OAKLAND / Neighborhood adversaries spar in court / Both families must stay on their own side of 59th Street

A North Oakland anti-drug crusader who shot and wounded a 16-year- old outside his home in February feuded with the teenager's mother in civil court Friday, with each side now holding a stay-away order against the other.

Patrick McCullough, 49, and Stacy Hegler argued before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Leo Dorado that they were living in fear of violence from the other party and their supporters.

Under separate court orders, the two families must stay at least 50 feet away from each other and walk only on their own side of the 500 block of 59th Street.

On Friday, Dorado declined to make permanent Hegler's order restricting McCullough. But he also declined to lift it, as McCullough has sought. That order is set to expire on April 15, and Dorado told both parties to return to court that day. McCullough has a separate, indefinite order against Hegler and her son.

On Feb. 18, McCullough shot and wounded Hegler's son Melvin McHenry. McCullough, who has campaigned for 10 years to chase drug dealers off his block at 59th Street and Shattuck Avenue, said he had been surrounded and attacked in his front yard by young men shouting, "Snitch! Snitch!"

McCullough said he had fired when he saw the youth reach into another person's waistband to pull out a gun.

But the 16-year-old and his mother said McCullough had provoked the incident by shouting profanities at a group of young people walking by and then swinging at the teenager. Police said McCullough had acted in self- defense, and the district attorney's office decided not to file charges against eitherman.

McCullough and his wife, who have been visited by Mayor Jerry Brown, have been widely lauded for their efforts to clean up the street. But after February's incident, they have decided to sell their house and move to another part of the city.

In another development, Hegler and her attorney, Daniel Horowitz, have sent a letter to McCullough's homeowner's insurance company seeking $300,000 in damages. Horowitz said they expected to file a civil suit next month if the demand was not met.

Outside court Friday, Hegler said she also planned to move away from 59th Street as soon as possible, complaining that her son had been unfairly branded a troublemaker even though he has no prior arrests or convictions.

"I'm looking to move," she said. "I'm just trying to live a nice quiet life, and I want that back."

Since the shooting, her son, who was living part time in Antioch, was expelled from Deer Valley High School, Hegler said.

"Our landlord is getting letters urging them to evict us, and my son had to change schools," she said, "Our lives here are basically ruined."