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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Barnegat Light bait sellers argue case in court
By JARRETT RENSHAW Staff Writer, (609) 978-2015

BARNEGAT LIGHT - A well-stoked and longtime feud between two local bait sellers has landed the pair in municipal court.

The case, which began Feb. 2, is highlighted by accusations and finger pointing on both sides and revolves around where one can and cannot sell bait.

The feud came to a boil when two-time Borough Committee candidate and longtime resident Victor Stott was accused of making a terroristic threat to Barnegat Light Bait and Tackle owner Basil Shehady after Stott was allegedly found selling bait on the store's property.

According to court transcripts, Shehady said he came home from a fishing trip to find Stott selling bait out of a truck on store property.

Shehady allegedly then asked Stott "When did you start paying rent here?"

Shehady then testified that Stott told him to mind his own business.

Following a second round of verbal sparring, Shehady alleges Stott told him to "Shut the ...up or I will kill you."

Shehady called the Police Department the following day and filed a claim against Stott based on the alleged threats.

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office looked into the claims and decided against filing charges, sending it down to municipal court to be resolved.

The charge has been downgraded to harassment and Stott faces fines and minimal jail time. The case is being heard at Barnegat Light municipal court in front of Judge Frank Salzer.

Shehady alleges Stott has persistently sold bait on or near the store property during the past two years, leading to verbal disputes the whole time.

The storeowner said bait sales make up 35 percent of his sales, which in turn goes to paying rent for his commercial property.

Stott, who doesn't own or rent a storefront, claims he has the proper licenses to sell bait anywhere in the state.

In addition, he said he sold bait off a friend's boat docked behind the store and off the property.

He added that he has not sold bait in several years; instead he gives bait away to friends in the fishing community.

Shehady disputes this claim.

In rebuttal of Shehady's allegations, Stott's attorney, Stephen Pepe, raised concerns about the validity of the claim.

Pepe argued that if Shehady was so concerned for his life why did he wait a day to file charges.

When Stott took the stand, he testified that he, not Shehady, was the victim.

Stott said Shehady called the state Department of Environmental Protection and the state Division of Taxation to report alleged wrongdoings.

Shehady did not deny the claims, saying he called the state agencies in hopes of resolving a continuing problem.

Stott said it was just a ploy to get him out of the business.

The court proceedings were cut short when Shehady's attorney, Raymond Morasse, called a second witness (the first was the police officer who wrote the initial report).

Pepe was granted a continuance for discovery and the case is scheduled to resume in April.
 

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Uh-oh... I know BOTH these guys. I have fished next to Victor a number of times in the backbays.. one heck of a fisherman, that does give his friends free bait... and Basil runs a nice shop....

Used to get my grass shrimp from Victor all the time.. he dropped it at our dock for us or we met him at the public dock in BL...
 

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if it is free fine,but why in front of a "bait" and tackle shop???seems to me this guy just wants to give it to this owner or something??,matt :rolleyes:
 

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Originally posted by sweet release1:
if it is free fine,but why in front of a "bait" and tackle shop???seems to me this guy just wants to give it to this owner or something??,matt :rolleyes:
ITS SURE NOT BECAUSE HE IS A NICE GUY.HE IS TRYING TO RUIN THE GUYS BUSINESS.
 

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Originally posted by sweet release1:
if it is free fine,but why in front of a "bait" and tackle shop???seems to me this guy just wants to give it to this owner or something??,matt :rolleyes:
Like I said, don't take what you read as true. That's an accusation, not an established fact.
 

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Anyone who is a serious Live Bait Fisherman and relentlessly chases Herring and Spot knows Victor, he is the one responsible for getting me involved in this highly addictive type of fishing,I had a run in with him years ago even though we were friends,over the fact that I was using a friends slip to keep an extra cage for Herring, all in all hes not a bad guy and works his butt off to get his Baits, one thing for sure either you really like him or you hate him , theres no in between, Him and Basil have had a problem with each other for quite some time.
Good Luck Vic
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Barnegat Light bait seller found not guilty
By JARRETT RENSHAW Staff Writer, (609) 978-2015
ACPRESS


BARNEGAT LIGHT - -Municipal Judge Frank Salzer found the defendant not guilty on all charges Monday in a dispute between two local bait sellers, describing it as no more than your typical, expletive-filled schoolyard argument.

Basil Shehady, part owner of Barnegat Light Bait and Tackle, accused Victor Stott, a former Borough Council candidate, of threatening him during September of last year. Shehady said the threat took place after he returned from a day of fishing and found Stott selling bait from the back of a truck near his property.

Shehady allegedly asked Stott "When did you start renting here?" Stott then allegedly responded, "Mind your ... business," with an expletive in the space.

Eventually, Shehady alleged, Stott said, "Mind your ... business or I will ... kill you."

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office looked into the claims and decided against filing charges, sending it down to municipal court to be resolved.

After hearing testimony from Shehady's friends and business partners, dressed in jeans and sneakers, Salzer said the feud between the two men did not rise to the level of harassment.

"I cannot see where there is harassment here. There seems to be a long-standing feud between both parties and the argument appears to be no more harsh than your typical schoolyard argument," said Salzer.

The defense argued successfully that Shehady approached Stott and initiated the heated argument, which eventually led to the alleged threat.

"The witnesses here today showed that the defendant was minding his own business when the complainant approached him and started the argument," said Salzer before giving his ruling.

During his ruling, Salzer gave a blow-by-blow account of the argument, including all the four-letter words believed to be a part of the heated exchange.

The prosecution - Shehady's lawyer was serving in the capacity of municipal prosecutor - argued that although Shehady started the argument it was Stott who threatened physical violence.

"What we have here is a man who was asked a question and who responds with threatening to take another man's life," said Raymond Morasse, Shehady's attorney.

The first court hearing took place in February but was continued after Shehady's attorney called a witness that was not familiar to the defense.

To e-mail Jarrett Renshaw at The Press:
 
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