America the Messy Yard Police State
70 year old woman busted for messy yard crimessource
Lawn and order: Woman jailed for not watering
July 8, 2007
OREM, Utah — A 70-year-old woman who said she couldn't afford to water her brown, sickly lawn was briefly jailed Friday after refusing to accept a ticket for violating a city ordinance.
Betty Perry has not watered her lawn in a year, said Lt. Doug Edwards, a spokesman for Orem police.
When an officer knocked on Perry's door, she refused to identify herself or accept a citation for not watering the lawn, and said she wanted to call her son.
As the officer tried to take her hand, Perry tripped on the front step and cut the bridge of her nose. She rolled onto her stomach, putting her hands under her to foil the officer, Edwards said.
Perry was eventually handcuffed and taken to jail, where she spent more than an hour before officials decided custody was inappropriate.
The police officer who arrested Betty Perry was suspended.
"Life is a learning experience, and each officer learns over the course of a career that tactics and responses are not absolute in each situation," Edwards said.
The officer's name was not released. Orem is in Utah County, 30 miles south of Salt Lake City.