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The Nose

Witless Intimidation

Posted 6/1/2005

Everette Parks arrived in Courtroom 3 of the Eastside District Court on May 25 wearing a blue suit and alligator shoes, his dreadlocks ponytailed, potentially facing years in prison for menacing Todd and Erin Wetzelberger with a BB gun on March 31 (“Renovating Without a License,” Mobtown Beat, May 18). Parks said his lawyer, public defender Todd Oppenheim, told him he’d probably do no jail time, but Todd Wetzelberger told the Nose that prosecutor Kathleen Combs was going to offer a year in the stir—take it or face trial.

“I think Todd ain’t showin’ up,” Parks said, sitting on a smooth pew inside the courtroom.

Parks was wrong.

The Wetzelbergers flew in from New Orleans for the hearing armed with a pile of evidence, including 28 minutes of telephone messages from Parks to the Wetzelbergers, all about how Parks can’t wait for Todd and especially wife Erin to move into their house in Reservoir Hill.

An excerpt: “I’m waiting for you motherfuckers and I’m getting ready, and every fuckin’ phone call like this that I make and leave a message like this, just moves me away from being nice to you bitches. I’m being nice to you fuckin’ whores by callin’ up your mother, your father, and all a your goddamn relatives and tellin’ them what you do as a matter of fact, and it’s not harassment or slander, because your bitch-ass came here, broke my motherfuckin’ roof, tore off my fuckin’ chimney, fucked up my breezeway, and rolled the fuck out!”

In fact, Park’s chimney was felled, apparently by Wetzelberger’s workers. But Parks himself acted as the “general contractor” for the roof project, and he charged Wetzelberger $22 per hour to oversee the job.

Wetzelberger wrote a narrative of the case to the Baltimore Police Department dated Jan. 23. “In a nutshell, the problem that we are having is a case of a thug, Everett [sic] Parks, trying to shake us down, and to attempt to intimidate us into letting him work on our properties,” Wetzelberger wrote.

Parks laughed at parts of Wetzelberger’s five-page narrative, muttering that Wetzelberger is “going to hell.”

The Nose asked Parks about the invoices he sent to Wetzelberger, totaling $371, and what negotiations prompted the bills.

“There wasn’t no negotiation,” Parks said. “He just said ‘whatever.’”

The Nose: So Wetzelberger agreed to your rate?

Parks: “No. He just paid it.”

Parks read the narrative a bit further, then asked: “What’s ‘unsolicited?’”

The Nose explained that this meant what Parks just said had happened: that he charged Wetzelberger for work without first getting his OK.

“But I wrote down everything I did,” Parks protested.

That’s not how contracting usually works, the Nose explained.

“I fucked up,” Parks said. “This case doesn’t look very good for me, does it?”

Parks conferred with his lawyer shortly after that, and stopped talking to the Nose. Then the Wetzelbergers conferred with Parks’ lawyer, too. “He asked us, ‘Can we work this out?’” Todd Wetzelberger said. “I said ,‘No, we’re not working shit out.’ I said this isn’t about a simple little dispute here.”

Wetzelberger says he’s not really afraid of Parks, but he intends to sue Parks after the criminal case is settled. Wetzelberger says he thinks he can “foreclose on him” and end up with three houses on Madison Avenue.

After four hours in court, the state vs. Parks came before the judge. Prosecutor Combs added a charge of “failure to comply with a peace order” to the other charges facing Parks. With no deal on the table, the judge set the trial date for July 6.

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