ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Ron Roark is a paraplegic veteran who relies on the ramp connected to the deck at his St. Charles home to get around. He said he hired Michael Gore with Michael’s Landscaping and paid him thousands of dollars, but he never followed through on the work.
“I’m on disability. I’ve saved up for a year and a half to save this money. I mean, it’s tough,” said Roark. “I don’t know how I fell for someone like that.”
Roark agreed to pay $2243.50, according to an invoice he provided to News 4, to fix his deck door and the surrounding frame and well as refinish his deck.
Roark said Gore asked for half of the money down up front and then he’d take the rest when the work was finished.
Gore told News 4 his tools were stolen from Roark’s home, which is when Roark said Gore agreed to pay him the rest of the money up front to help him get new tools.
Roark said two men showed up and sanded a couple boards on his deck and power washed his ramp, which he said he hadn’t even asked them to do. Roark said the men were showing up late and appeared intoxicated, so he asked that they not return. Roark said Gore himself never came to his home to finish the work.
“He would send me text messages saying, “I’ll be out over the weekend to start the job.’ Well, he didn’t show up,” said Roark.
Gore told News 4 he was in a tough place when his tools were stolen and he ‘froze,’ referring to not calling or texting people back.
“I have people calling my house threatening to kill my family so that’s the reason why I’m handling this situation the way I am,” said Gore. “I’m working full time at a job that hired me on to try and get me back on my feet to try and pay everybody back what needs to be paid.”
Until that happens, people from Nextdoor have offered to help Roark, including Justin Gousha.
“When you see that situation, someone in his situation, you know handicapped, very vulnerable, can’t do the work himself, it caught our attention. Caught a lot of people’s attention. We just wanted to help out,” said Gousha.
Gousha is working with Franklin and 5 Decking to do the work Roark needs for free.
Gousha also set up a GoFundMe for Roark to help cover what he lost.
Gore said he owes four people about $4,000 and hopes to repay them by Halloween.
According to the St. Charles County Government, there’s no record of Gore’s business or his name. Gore said he was told he did not need a license.