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Bettendorf Castle conflict leads to court order

FOX RIVER GROVE – There’s been another flare-up at the Bettendorf Castle.

The son of the castle’s owners has filed a petition to keep one of the neighbors away after a confrontation outside the property.

Billy Strohl, of 416 Concord Ave., filed a petition Monday for a no-contact order against Sam Miyuskovich, of 405 Concord Ave.

Strohl said in the petition that about 11 a.m. Saturday, he had been blowing leaves away from the front of Bettendorf Castle.

He alleges that Miyuskovich pulled up in a white Ford Expedition, coming within a foot of Strohl, then got out and screamed at Strohl, using expletives and name-calling.

Miyuskovich lives kitty-corner from the castle.

“In response to his behavior, I told him to look at himself,” Strohl said. “[Miyuskovich] started to go back to his truck still swearing and calling me names.”

Miyuskovich then allegedly came back and made additional comments before walking toward his SUV and then approaching Strohl for a third time, thrusting his chest and belly into Strohl.

“Over the last two years on at least six or seven occasions, he has intentionally swerved his truck toward me so I would experience fear that he would hit me with his truck/SUV,” Strohl wrote.

When called for comment, Miyuskovich said Strohl had blown the incident out of proportion.

He said he backed out of his house with his family, and then went by Strohl. Miyuskovich said Strohl then yelled some kind of obscenity.

“I got out of the car, had a discussion, never touched him and then left,” Miyuskovich said. “I didn’t appreciate ... what he yelled.”

The discussion was the first contact that Miyuskovich had with Strohl in three years, he said. Miyuskovich added he has not spoken with Strohl’s parents for at least two years.

Miyuskovich said he stopped his vehicle at least 3 feet away from Strohl in an effort to avoid him.

“I have never been in trouble in my life,” Miyuskovich added. “Why would I try to hit him with my kids in the car?”

The emergency stalking no-contact order was approved by a judge and expires on Nov. 5.

As a result, Miyuskovich may not contact Strohl in any way, including through third parties.

The Strohls and their neighbors have been at odds in recent years as the Strohls have offered tours of their house, which is modeled after a castle in Luxembourg and includes turrets, a drawbridge and a dungeon.

Neighbors, including Miyuskovich, have objected to the tours because the property is in a residential area.

At one point, neighbors allegedly wrote down license-plate numbers of people visiting the castle, and contacted them later trying to persuade them not to visit the castle in the future, according to a previously settled lawsuit.

The Strohls previously asked to be allowed to have events at their house, such as wedding receptions, but they ultimately withdrew that request after it failed at the committee level and there were complaints from neighbors about possible parking problems and traffic hazards.

The Village Board has been working on possible rules that would regulate how tours are conducted.

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