Defend Art Zapata

My name is Art Zapata. I’m a retired, and disabled Marine Corps veteran. The reason this is important, I am being sued by Darin Strong of South Padre island. Darin started a harrassment campaign against me few months ago and shortly after I moved into a neighboring condo.  Mr Strong was initially very friendly with me and shared a lot of personal information about himself and his history at the condos in which we both now lived.   In this initial meeting, I also informed him my 80 lbs pit bull (Macho) wasn’t socialized with strange dogs and I would appreciate him putting his dogs on a leash in order to prevent any dogs getting hurt. He insured me his dogs were obedient and stayed by his side.  I was constantly asking him to leash.  On one occasion his dog ran out of the complex elevator (off leash) and ran straight towards my dog and me.  I tried to run away from his 6 month old English Bulldog and got all the way across the street when his dog caught up and my dog ended up biting his dog. I made a police report.  Darin apologized for not having his dog on a leash.  Shortly after that, I had an A/C issue for which I called my landlord in order to get it repaired. Darin Strong is also the complex A/C  repairman. After being disrespectful and completely unprofessional (he told me to “move back to the projects”).  I wrote a professional review on his business. He quickly responded to the review with a lie.    The next morning the words “GO BACK TO THE PROJECTS MEXICAN” were written on the stainless steel doors of the complex elevator.   After that, he started harassing me about my dog, disrespecting me from the street or from his balcony for which I have video proof.  He even removed a a water hose and the spicket handle to prevent me from using it.  Darin is also the Maintenance man for the complex. He even used this position to affect my quality of life at the condo complex.  My storage power was mysteriously shut off over a several  month period which I ended up correcting myself. He drained the pool for days to make unscheduled repairs that weren’t needed.  This harassment has been ongoing and I’ve had to make several police reports due to his behavior. Mid Feb 2018 I decided to move due to the level of intensity my neighbor was showing me and my guest.  I was finally able to record his harrassment and posted the videos on my Facebook page.  In my post I described who my neighbor was and the company he owned (it involved his unprofessional behavior and racist remarks towards me.)
My neighbor is now suing me for posting the videos and mentioning his business which allegedly resulted in loss of business.  
I met with an attorney and discussed representing myself because I can’t afford to get a lawyer due to my pending divorce and child support obligations. The lawyer adviseds me to hire representation and said his lawyer will take advantage of me not having a lawyer as this would take place in county court and  I would be held to the same requirements by the judge as a lawyer would be held.  
So, although I don’t understand my inability to defend myself, I am financially unable (unless I stop paying my finacial obligations.  I am raising money  in order to defend myself. 
Sorry for the lengthy description but I felt it was important to detail since I was asking for so much.
I will keep this campaign up to date as it goes along. The $5,000 is my initial number. I’ll update as I’m informed of the cost for the specific lawyer I find. 
Thank you for your support in advance

Donations ()

  • Eric De Los Santos 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Shannon Adams 
    • $100 
    • 26 mos
  • Chris Herzing 
    • $25 
    • 26 mos
  • Chad Luke 
    • $100 
    • 26 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 26 mos
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Organizer

Art Zapata 
Organizer
Port Isabel, TX
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