Neighborhood watch president accused of chasing man, ramming car

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 9:34 AM

HARRIS COUNTY -- A community leader who neighbors in a northwest Harris County subdivision look to for protection is accused of doing the opposite to a young man passing through.

Anthony Cecala, 52, is charged with aggravated assault. He’s accused of chasing a driver through several neighborhoods and ramming that driver’s car with his truck in the Sheffield Subdivision on March 21.

Brandon Alsobrooks said Cecala accused him of running a stop sign. According to Alsobrooks, Cecala was right on his tail and kept following him.

Alsobrooks said he drove to the nearby home of a family friend in the 1700 block of Eden Falls, where his father was.

“The look in his eyes was like, 'I’m gonna kill these people,'” said Brandon Alsobrooks. “You can’t run around the streets acting like a crazy person.”

Alsobrooks said his father walked up to Cecala’s truck to get his license plate information.

“The guy tries to run my father over with his truck,” said Alsobrooks.

Alsobrooks claims Cecala nearly mowed his father down and kept going. Cecala reportedly rammed into Alsobrooks’ car, pushing it off the street and onto a neighbor’s lawn.

“[He said] he was going to kill me,” said Alsobrooks. “It freaked me out. I got threatened and it caused my father to almost be run over.”

A witness, who was playing basketball with her kids, recalled watching in disbelief.

“That guy, if he didn’t jump back, he would’ve run him over. He was that close,” said witness Ruth Soto.

Soto said she screamed for her kids to go inside. She later learned the president of the Copperfield Coalition was the man behind the wheel of the white truck.

“He does a lot of our events. We do a 4th of July and Christmas,” added Soto. “It’s scary he resides in my neighborhood. What if he has another off day and my kids are crossing the street?”

KHOU 11 News went to Cecala’s home for comment.  He claimed it was self defense.

“He attacked me,” said Cecala, after he cracked his door open. “He and his father physically attacked me and I defended myself. That’s all I’m gonna say.”

The mother and wife of the alleged victims said she’s still traumatized from the incident.

“If his brakes would’ve not worked, I would not have a husband. My husband would be in a casket,” said Janet Alsobrooks. “What kind of person does that?”

Courts records indicate that this isn’t the first time Cecala has been investigated for this sort of thing.

Records show he served jail time in 2010 for a criminal mischief charge. Back then, he was also accused of ramming into someone’s car.

Cecala is out on bond and is due in court later this month.

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