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Former neighbor said Oregon kidnapping suspect made his previous neighborhood feel unsafe

The neighbor filed a restraining order against Negasi Zuberi in Washington state, months before he was accused of kidnapping and holding a woman captive.
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A former neighbor of a man accused of kidnapping a woman and holding her captive in a makeshift cell said the man also threatened him by text, which lead him to seek a restraining order.

The neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, lived in the same Vancouver, Washington, cul-de-sac as 29-year-old Negasi Zuberi around August 2022.

Zuberi has been charged in the kidnapping case and has been linked to at least four violent sexual assaults in four states, the FBI said. Officials fear he may have other victims.

More on Negasi Zuberi

The former neighbor said Zuberi stayed in the Washington State home for about six month, rented out rooms without notifying the landlord, kept pit bulls that ran loose and parked an RV camper in the driveway in violation of community rules.

Fire and police departments responded to the home more than once, according to the neighbor, who didn't know the reason for the visits. A letter from the Prairie Park Commons Homeowners Association includes pictures of authorities on scene on Dec. 13 and Dec. 17, 2022.

The neighbor, who was a volunteer on the homewners' association, said he documented Zuberi's actions and worked to get Zuberi evicted.

"I would describe him as intimidating," the neighbor told NBC News. "I tried to limit all communications and stay as far as possible from Negasi."

The neighbor said that in March a young couple moved into Zuberi's home and that he warned them about Zuberi, who they said was misleading potential tenants by telling them he owned the home and collecting security deposits.

The neighbor said that shortly after, Zuberi sent him a text message, warning, "I’m going to f--- you up," according to court documents.

This prompted the neighbor to seek a restraining order against Zuberi. In the court documents, he alleges that Zuberi had "previously threatened other neighbors."

A few days later, Zuberi also filed for a restraining order against the neighbor, claiming he received a threatening message that used the n-word. Zuberi alleged the neighbor had harassed him for as long as he lived in the home.

The neighbor denies using a racial slur.

Both restraining orders were eventually dropped because of "non-appearance," court documents state.

The neighbor said that after many situations involving Zuberi, the neighborhood no longer felt safe.

"We couldn’t even enjoy our community anymore, it was no longer safe after that," he said. "I couldn’t sleep for like six months."

Zuberi moved to Oregon following the incident that prompted the neighbor to file a restraining order.

Zuberi — who goes by the aliases “Sakima,” “Justin Hyche” and “Justin Kouassi” — was arrested in Nevada and accused of kidnapping a sex worker in Seattle and taking her to Klamath Falls, Oregon, where she was kept in a cinderblock cell he made in his garage. The woman was able to escape and flagged down a motorist for help, officials say.

A cinderblock cell in a home in Klamath Falls, Ore.
A cinderblock cell in a home in Klamath Falls, Ore.FBI Oregon

He’s been charged with one count of interstate kidnapping.

Zuberi's Washington state neighbor said he was "absolutely shocked" to hear the news.

“I always had a feeling that something was wrong, but not to this extent," he said.

Zuberi also allegedly attacked, abused and threatened to kill another woman and their two children before she sought a protective order against him three years ago.

“He physically attacks me, he hits me, he brakes (sic) and throws things, he screams at the kids and me ... we get woken up every night from him being drunk and loud and scares us,” the woman wrote in a 2020 petition for a domestic violence restraining order.

Zuberi's neighbor says he remembers seeing a woman who lived at the Washington state home and appeared to travel with Zuberi, but wasn't sure if that was his partner.

Zuberi’s lawyer in Oregon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.