Just a guess (pics would help) but a stumpy tail in a snake might be an injury (missing tail tip). Predators grab snake tails
& sometimes the snake gets away, albeit "shorter". I keep & have raised rosy boas, so I do know what you mean by that.
And some snakes are born/hatched with imperfections too. I hope you can educate your neighbor to "chill out" & share the planet
Was it anything like this? http://herpsofarkansas.com/Snake/NerodiaErythrogaster