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Driver seen on security footage ramming gate of Brandon neighborhood then taking off

Posted at 4:17 PM, Dec 10, 2019

BRANDON, Fla. — A Brandon neighborhood known for its Christmas light display has to now shell out thousands of dollars to fix the exit gate out of their community.

They say someone attempted to get through and was sandwiched between steel.

"This gate is pretty thick, the steel on here,” said Katherine Neal, a Director of the Barrington Oaks Home Owners Association. “It really took a lot of power for them to do this type of damage.”

Security footage from Saturday night shows a neighbor exiting the gate around 9:30 p.m. Seconds later, a truck attempts to enter through the exit. They get halfway through when the gates close and the truck gets jammed between the steel doors.

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"Whoever was in the truck must have panicked I guess,” said Neal.

Because, almost immediately, the driver of the truck throws it into reverse, breaks free from the gate and guns it straight into Lumsden Road.

"My God it could’ve been a pile up like you wouldn’t believe,” said Neal.

She says at the time, there was no oncoming traffic but, believes if there was, “someone could’ve been killed."

Members of the HOA wonder if the people were trying to get in to see the communities Christmas light display.

Neal says they do it every year, but they open the gates for several hours so people can get in without a code.

"When the gates weren’t open that should’ve been a clue that if the lights were going on you have to come back another day,” she said.

Now, Neal says they have to pay thousands of dollars to fix it. She hopes the driver comes forward and apologizes.

The HOA has filed a incident report with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. We reached out to see where they stand in their investigation and are waiting to hear back.

Neal also says folks need to think twice before they attempt to scoot in behind another driver in a gated community.

"I would caution anyone doing that! I mean let this be a lesson learned — you can’t do that because these gates are here for a reason,” she said.

Neal adds they will not let this incident deter them from allowing the public in to view their Christmas light display.

It starts December 13 and goes until December 26 from 6 p.m. until 11p.m. Click here for more information.