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Neighbors Involved in Shooting Still Live Close

April 5, 1993

CALIFORNIA, Pa. (AP) _ Ralph Anderson believes he has good reason to have a shotgun beside the front door, a .38-caliber revolver within reach near his couch, and an assault rifle on the lace-covered dining room table.

He was shot six times March 25 in a dispute with his neighbor, who was charged with attempted murder but is now free on bail and living next door.

″What’s to keep him from coming after me again?″ said Anderson, who is recuperating at home. ″He has nothing to lose at this point. He’s already in trouble.″

Charles Platter, 61, was ordered last week to stand trial on attempted murder and other charges stemming from the attack. He was released on $25,000 bail.

Anderson, 55, said the dispute started in 1986, when he bought a parcel of land across from Platter’s home on McCrory Lane. When he began building a house, the borough completed McCrory Lane, covering with gravel a section that until then had been nothing but grass.

The street shaved off a 12-foot strip that Platter had considered his front lawn.

Fist fights, fender benders, squabbles over parking spaces and a dispute over bushes followed, said Anderson, who sued Platter twice. The quarreling culminated at a nearby store.

Witnesses said Platter walked in, argued with Anderson and opened fire.

″I saw Platter with a small caliber pistol ... and he discharged it twice and Anderson fell to the floor,″ clerk William VanDivner testified at a preliminary hearing. ″Platter stepped around and discharged it another four times.″

Anderson said he remembers it vividly.

″When he was firing, I could feel my head being driven through the floor by the impact of the bullets,″ Anderson said. ″Then, Platter left and I could feel blood oozing out everywhere.″

Anderson has a cast on his left hand, bullet fragments in his head and blurred vision and poor hearing. But he says he harbors little animosity.

″I never did dislike the guy, but I don’t understand him,″ he said.

Across McCrory Lane, Platter awaits trial.

″I really can’t say anything except I’m sorry for what happened,″ he said. ″I’m just sorry for the whole mess.″

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