'Karen' Calls Police on Neighbor's Kids for Playing Nerf Guns in Her Yard

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woman on phone looking out the window
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It comes as no shock that sometimes people are hard to deal with. When we live near other people, we have to learn how to get along with neighbors -- whether that means confronting any issues in a constructive way or ignoring and choosing where to fight your battles. One woman took to Reddit's AITA to ask the community if she may have gone too far into "Karen" territory when she called the police on the neighbor kids who were playing in her yard.

  • There was a little more to the story than just calling the police, so the woman gave some backstory. 

    The 32-year-old woman said she moved into the neighborhood about six months ago, and the people next door have three boys that range in age from 10 to 14. A few months ago, soon after everyone was having to work from home and do school at home, the poster noticed the kids playing in her yard.

    "I initially just bit my tongue and dealt with it, because I was sympathetic to the fact that their worlds had just been turned upside down," she explained. "However, as the weeks and months went on they started to test my limits."

    She explained that they started having Nerf gun fights in her yard and that they "didn't pick up the bullets and brought the dog into my yard and let it s--- in my yard." She said that she had spoken to the boys and asked them to "please be respectful and clean up after themselves, keep the volume down, and stay away from my doors and windows, but the message never seemed to stick."

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  • Then, she found one of the boys in her home. 

    "Last week, I came home from a jog, and one of them was hiding in my garage (which I had left open) as part of their nerf gun game," she said. "Not realizing he was there, I closed the garage and walked into my house. The kid then came into the house and asked me to let him out."

    "I told him that under no circumstances was it okay for him to come inside of a stranger’s home, and that he should have knocked and it was not okay that he just let himself in," she said. "I didn't yell at him, and understand that he was probably scared because he was stuck in the garage."

  • After that happened, the woman says she went to speak to the boys' parents. 

    "I knocked on the door of the neighbors' house after I calmed down a bit, and told the parents that I didn't want their kids playing in my yard," she said. "They were pretty taken aback and said that it was normal for kids to play in other people's yards in this neighborhood, but I stood my ground. The conversation was awkward but civil, and the kids seemingly stayed away after that."

    Well, that's what she thought until another incident happened that had her even more uncomfortable. "Fast forward to earlier today. I'm in my living room working out, and I turn around to find two of the kids standing in my yard watching me through the window," she said.

    "I took a picture of them for evidence, then called the police non-emergency line and told them that two middle-school aged boys trespassed and were watching me work out in just a sports bra through my window. The police came about an hour later, and I showed them the picture and gave the background of the situation," she continued. "The police said they would go talk to the parents."

  • The boys' dad then confronted her over her decision to call the police.

    "The dad just came and knocked on my door, and told me that I totally overreacted and that his kids were just looking through the window to see if I had noticed them out there playing, and that they had no sexual motives," she said. "I never told the police that they did, though I guess mentioning the detail of being in just a sports bra might have implied that."

    According to the Redditor, the dad told her that she upset his kids and that she wasted police resources. "I'm starting to doubt whether I've been too much of a Karen about this whole thing. AITA?" she asked.

  • The community pondered her situation and shared their advice on who was wrong in this situation.


    "NTA. Middle school teacher here," a person commented. "Kids need to learn boundaries. Either their parents teach and enforce boundaries or society will. And society is more harsh than a parent ever could have been. You did everything correctly and didn't call the cops immediately. You spoke to the boys and you spoke with the parents. You put up with a lot more than I would have and I'm a mom and a teacher. Kids are my life, but this is a big no no. Call every time it happens from now on because you and the police clearly need to teach the parents boundaries as well."

    "NTA," another agreed. Explaining, "They've been warned, their parents have been notified, and it's your property. If the parents don't want to actually PARENT their children, that's not your problem. They overstepped their 'neighborly' bounds."

    "NTA. You're not a Karen at all," agreed another. "You've told them repeatedly not to go in your yard and they still continue to do so. Also the boy hiding in the garage then just going into your house was unacceptable and crossing the line. I don't know how their parents can think that behavior was okay?"

    "Agreed. A Karen calls the police for benign things like people having a picnic on public property," a commenter explained. "This is not Karen behaviour, OP has been quite lenient."

    "ESH [everyone sucks here]" another said. "The parents suck much more than you. And the children sucks You suck because it was a little early to involve the police; 1 or 2 more warnings and yelling at the children. Then talk to the parents again. If that didn't help, calling the police would be appropriate."