Indian Trail man arrested after removing median from in front of home

A man tired of making U-turns to get into his driveway took matters into his own hands, and it landed him in jail.

The Union County Sheriff's Office says Ryan Smith sought permission from the town of Indian Trail to have a portion of the median removed outside his home. The median that was in place blocked him from turning into his driveway.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office press release says his request was denied, but FOX 46 found it wasn’t entirely denied.

Neighbors can sympathize with Smith.

“They have to do a U-turn to get in their own driveway,” said neighbor Barbara Powell. 

Smith went to town council to get the median removed, and his neighbors backed him up.

“We signed the petition hoping it would work out for him,” Powell said.

LINK: Sheriff: Union County man hires contractor to illegally remove landscape median

After hearing it'd likely cost $22,000 to get the job done, council denied his request, but added that they "were not opposed to the median being altered and paid for by a non-town entity."

The 32-year-old got the green light as long as he paid for the job. His neighbors we spoke to were kind of relieved too.

Powell describes seeing Smith demolishing the median last week, “[He] pulled up a tree and some bushes and I thought 'oh, wow. He's helping them get it going,’”

The town of Indian Trail told deputies about the construction, and deputies arrested Smith, charging him with two counts of injury to real property and one count of felony conversion.

The Sheriff's Office says the excavator he was using was from a Monroe job site and that Smith paid a foreman on city company time to do the work. The Sheriff's Office also says Smith intended to use the left over asphalt from the city of Monroe project to pave the gap left by the median he removed. 

“Doesn't look like a big deal,” said neighbor Phil Munn. “Looks like a little bit of a mess, but I heard he was going to clean it up, but got stopped midway.”

Now, the median is gone, but there's no indication who's responsible for either reconstructing it or paving over the area.