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Mobile home park manager arrested for pointing gun at resident

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 7:48 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Residents are speaking out after a list of problems at the Bel Aire mobile home court on Nebraska Avenue.

Jason Stringer says last week his trailer burned down. He lost everything, including his two dogs. The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department says the fire is suspicious and investigators are still looking into a cause. It’s the second fire in two months at the trailer park.

In July, there was a fire in another mobile home. Firefighters told 13abc it was vacant and they believed someone set the home on fire. At this point, both cases are still under investigation and no charges or arrests have been made.

Meanwhile, Stringer is pointing a finger at the property manager, Leo Zilba. Stringer claims in addition to the fires, money is mismanaged and tenants are threatened and harassed.

Last week, Zilba was charged with three counts of aggravated menacing after pointing a gun at Stringer and two others during an argument, the day after the fire.

We wanted to hear Zilba’s side of the story.

[Christina] There have been two fires in two months and some of the residents are blaming you for setting them. What’s your response?

[Zilba]: I’ve never heard of anything like it. It’s kinda scary to have people say something like that. I don’t even know how to respond to that frankly.

[Christina]: So you didn’t set the fires?

[Zilba]: Obviously not, of course not, no. Unequivocally no, absolutely not under any circumstance at all, not even close.

Zilba said he feels threatened by tenants and is not comfortable in his own home. He denied any link to the fires and says he pointed the gun in self-defense.

“I was in fear for my life. I finally pointed it up and said stop and I held it there until police got here,” says Zilba.

Meanwhile, Stringer is sleeping in his car outside of the burned down property. He says he has no where to go and is raising money to find a new place. Zilba is also facing a civil lawsuit linked to the fire in July. The tenant who filed in small claims court says she gave Zilba $1,500 as a down payment on two trailers. Two weeks before she was scheduled to move in, the trailer caught fire. She tried getting the money back but has yet to receive a refund.

13abc also asked Zilba about that case and he said he “didn’t know anything about it” but is more than willing to give her back the cash.

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