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Sinajana neighbors remember "the man next door"

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - After a dispute between two neighbors turned deadly, longtime residents of Etton Lane remember the man they knew from next door.

As former Sinajana resident Odilia Jaime remembers her neighbor, 56-year-old John Chargualaf, her eyes begin to water up.

On Thursday afternoon, she looked onto Chargualaf's home with only kind words to say.

"I've always known him to be a very caring person. Anything you needed he was there. He always helped us and vice versa. Even when my parents were sick, he was always here helping us out. For him, what I heard in the news he was throwing rocks, I don't know exactly what transpired but he's not a violent person. I've never known him to be that way," she said.

Chargualaf passed early Wednesday morning from a skull fracture with a brain contusion from a fall.

As we've been reporting, police reports state Chargualaf was burning in his yard on Tuesday, sparking a dispute between him and his neighbor, Ryan Taitano from across the street.

The argument turned deadly when Chargualaf reportedly threw rocks to Taitano and Taitano pushed Chargualaf. Chargualaf was transported to Naval Hospital where he later passed of head injuries.

"I'm pretty shocked because he's always here and we're always back and forth helping each other out," said Jaime.

According to Irene Garrido-Taitano who resides in Jaime's old Sinajana home, tensions were always high between the two men.

"To find out that he passed away it's real shock. I didn't know it was going to go this far. Ever since Mr. Taitano moved in it's always been a dispute between those two. I hear it. I stay home. Sometimes I peak to see what's going on to see if it's bobby needing to be transported to GMH it's just the fire rescue so I just go back in because it's a normal thing," she said.

Both women say Chargualaf was retired and lived with his bedridden wife, Bobbie. Bobbie suffered from a stroke, leaving Chargualaf as her primary caregiver. Because Chargualaf couldn't afford a weekly trash pickup, he resorted to burning on his property.

As Garrido-Taitano says, Taitano, is not a relative, but lives adjacent to her home. She adds, the man appears to be in his forties and only came out of his house for one reason.

"That's the only time he comes out - when John burns," she said.

Although Garrido-Taitano wasn't home on the night of the altercation, she can only speculate what happened between her neighbors.

"Maybe out of anger because (Chargualaf) already had it through the top where the fire rescue would always come. Sometimes two times in one day. Sometimes three times in a week. It was getting too ridiculous like when is it going to stop. It wasn't like this before because my mother in law would burn but no one would complain but when Mr. Taitano moved in it was different," she said.

While the death investigation continues, Garrido-Taitano says Etton Lane will never be the same, noting, "It's sad that he's gone. He was really good buddies with my husband. They played darts. Helped each other. Joked around. Go to garage sales to sell at the flea market to make money and all. He's gone. We'll miss him."

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