(WSVN) - His business is near a city park with baseball fields and batters who can really slug it. Unfortunately, the long balls keep smashing into his trucks and vans. What can he do to stop it? He pitched his story to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

There is not a lot to do during COVID, so whacking a few balls is a great release. Fun to hit, fun to watch.

Sam Ayoub, pounded by fly balls: “I open the garage door of my warehouse. I sit outside, drink my coffee, watch them play. It’s nice.”

Sam’s business is near the Margate Sports Complex facing two baseball diamonds and two batting cages.

Sam Ayoub: “A lot of times, I think those kids should be in the Major Leagues, honestly.”

The batters are good, too good.

Sam Ayoub: “You know, we need to make a stop of it.”

The baseballs come flying onto his property.

A few just make it over the fence, some land on the roof, and then, there are the balls that smash into his parking lot.

Sam Ayoub: “Those balls come like flying on here. They dented my truck, broke the windows. I have four trucks with broken windows. Now, I have this one. I have two more on the road. My car is dented twice. You see the dent on the car?”

Every time a window is shattered, it costs Sam about $300 to replace it.

Sam Ayoub: “Now, it’s almost everyday. Everyday in the morning, I’m afraid one of the guys come in and say, ‘Hey, we have a broken window again.'”

Surprisingly, Sam doesn’t blame the people who are hitting the baseballs.

Sam Ayoub: “It’s not the kids. The kids are having fun. They should have fun. Like I told you, I love those kids. I love the way they’re playing and everything, but the city has to be responsible.”

The city is Margate, and Sam says he has struck out with them.

Sam Ayoub: “We leave messages. We emailed them. They don’t respond.”

Sam is not focused on getting the city to pay for the broken windshields, just find a way to block the batters from busting the windows.

Sam Ayoub: “We need the city to help us to do something about it, so I said, ‘You know what? Let me call Help Me Howard. That’s the best thing to do probably.'”

Well, Howard, legally, can Sam do anything about balls flying onto his property?

Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “In this case, yes. While most baseball fields and golf courses are not responsible for the damage an errant ball causes, if the design is negligent, then they are responsible. They then have to change the layout, put in new nets to stop the balls and also pay for the damage the fly balls have caused.”

We spoke the Margate Assistant City Manager Larry Vignola, and he was great.

He spoke to several batters and determined the balls were coming from the batting cage through holes in the top of the net.

The holes had been created by hard hit balls.

The city repaired the net and added a second net on top of that.

They also said they will pay to replace Sam’s broken windshields.

Sam Ayoub: “I am very happy to call Help Me Howard. They came right away and took care of it, really.”

We got the ball rolling, Sam, but Margate deserves a lot of credit, as well.

Sam Ayoub: “The City of Margate actually stepped up to the plate. They offered to fix my truck, and they offered to fix the problem, and I thanked them for that.”

Stepped up to the plate. Nice line, Sam.

Now, Howard said in this case, the city was responsible, but in other cases they would not be. An example? If it’s an occasional bad golf shot or a rare 500 foot home run, then the golf course or ballpark is not responsible.

Striking out trying to solve a problem? Ready for us to step up to the plate? Pitch it to us and see if we can slap one over the fence for you.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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