GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- A Grandview woman went to court on Tuesday to get a protection order against a man police say destroyed her home with a pick axe.
But she says she got a major surprise from the judge - one that she says is keeping her from protecting herself from a man she says she has every right to fear.
Sylvia Breckenridge received a protection order against 52-year-old Michael Waller, a former tenant who allegedly broke every window and appliance in her home after she evicted him for not paying rent.
Waller was arrested by police, but is now free while charges against him are pending.
"I have family members that are afraid to come here because this man is not in jail," said Breckenridge, who went to court on Tuesday to get the protection order and then to go buy a gun for her protection. "If someone tears up your property to the exteny that Michael Waller has torn up my property and financially devastated me and threatened to do physically harm to me, I think a gun would come out better than a Louisville Slugger."
But after the judge approved a protection order for Breckenridge, she then approved a protection order request for Waller against Breckinridge, thus preventing her from legally owning a gun for one year.
"Now I have been prevented from owning a weapon to protect myself," said Breckenridge. "I don't know what to say."
The story is familiar to one woman who asked to only be identified as "Susan." She says that when she kicked Waller out of her home where he was staying as a renter after he didn't pay rent last November, he promptly destroyed most of her property as well.
"Every single faucet running full blast, every light on the house on the, the heat turned up as high as it would go and the oven up going up as high as it would go," said Susan, who says that at the time the damage was done, she wasn't even allowed in her own home because Waller had obtained a temporary restraining order.
"His name is not on the lease, he hasn't paid a dime, how is it he can put me out of my own house?" said Susan. "It was because he filed first with that address."
Susan says that Waller's temporary restraining order was finally lifted once a judge held a hearing, but by then the damage was done.