Betty Perry – A Lawn unto herself

Here’s the latest on this story, as of 18th September: Betty Perry is still being prosecuted for not watering her lawn. She’s had to plead not guilty to resisting arrest and failing to tend her lawn. Her lawyer is trying to win the sympathy vote by stressing how the law needs to be applied a little more sanely. She’ll be back in court on October 11th.

Maybe then they can add charges for “wearing 1970’s clothes in public” or even “sporting a bad hair-do in public”. But, then, everyone in Utah would be on trial.

Here’s my original story from July:

bettyperry.jpg

Betty Perry, world-leading lawn-law breaker. Approach with caution!

Honestly, in the weird and wacky world of law enforcement, is this the most disproportionate response ever? A little old lady, 70, Betty Perry, from Orem City, Utah, was alleged to have refused to give her name to police officers questioning her about her unkept lawn. So far, so mad. (Story here).

What’s the law got to do with it? Apparently, there is some bye-law in Utah (or that part of Utah, Orem City) that says residents must water their lawns. In other, saner places, the law says you must not water your lawn in times of drought, when massive fires are sweeping across the state. No wonder the little old lady was confused!

In any case, let’s say she was breaking the law in Orem City, just for arguments sake. Just let us put aside for the moment that it was her lawn, she was a confused 70-year old woman in a bizarre conversation with a uniformed police officer and all that. No extenuating circumstances, let’s pretend.

At that very moment, when she turns to go inside to ask her son for help, the police officer is said to have slapped her across the face with handcuffs! So she says. He claims she fell during a struggle. Either way, it wasn’t pretty.

Was he afraid she’d bolt for the door and he’d never catch her? Was he afraid that she’d head for the hills, Rambo-style, hiding out and defying the entire Utah police force to come and get her? All over a brown lawn? Even more outlandishly, he called for reinforcement! Oh my, was she about to crack his head open? Was the little ole police officer afraid of the little old granny?

Ah, but then they dragged her sorry ass off to a holding pen. Zero-tolerance for lawn-neglecters. Zero. Otherwise they’d all be at it, all those law-breaking, 70-year-old, sit-at-home, do-nothing, old women. And Orem City just couldn’t have that. It was then that some common sense broke out. Seeing that she was injured, they brought her to hospital to be treated. A thoughtful gesture. And one that you would think would result in everyone calming down and thinking through the situation. And how disproportionate it all was, and how they ought to bring her home and try and make it up to her. The official police statement, from one Lt. Doug Edwards says “[the police]… immediately released the woman and returned her to her home on the basis that there were other options available to handle this situation besides making an arrest and holding the woman in jail,”. No shit Sherlock!

To cap it all though, Lt. Doug Edwards described the arresting officer as “intelligent”. Really? In that case, I’d hate to see the dumb ones…

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Betty Perry, Utah

Oh Betty, you really have landed in it now. After your tangle with the law over your lawn, the Internet worm is turning…. This comment from “Orem Citizen” (what is it about “citizen” that is scary?) says all you need to know:

Brutalize? Someone needs to get the whole story
Submitted by Orem Citizen (not verified) on Mon, 07/09/2007 – 12:31.

Brutalized? The officer took her hand and she FELL herself. Of course there is more to this story. This lady’s neighbors say she goes on vacation to Florida and drives a Mercedes. She was arrested for not complying with the officers request, not giving her name, which any police officer will tell you is an offense at any age. She was not cooperative, she could have had a weapon in her house, just because she is 70 doesn’t mean she isn’t dangerous or doing something illegal. Someone aught to find out the entire story. There are now people collecting money to give to his woman, BUT her neighbors have all taken care of her yard for her a couple of times a year and she just lets it go again. Please do a follow up story on this in a couple of months or next year and see if she has made any improvements in her yard, and interview her NEIGHBORS to find out the whole story.

Goddam it Mr. Citizen, you are right! She goes to Florida, that proves it, what a den of iniquity. She must be running drugs or hanging with the gangs on the beach. And that Mercedes, now, is that a foreign car by any chance?

She could have had a weapon in her house, that is true, and who knows, she might have decided that pulling a gun on a police officer was a sensible thing to do in that situation. After all, that’s the kind of thing 70-year-old ladies do, don’t they, when they’re backed into a corner and they’ve nothing to lose? She’s obviously doing something else illegal, otherwise why would the police be interviewing her? After all, she was being “uncooperative” as you rightly say. Falling over when he whipped out his handcuffs, now that was just play acting…

Mr. Citizen, goddamit, why don’t we set up a neighborhood watch scheme outside her house. You know, kinda keep an eye on the old bird, make sure she’s watering the lawn in the desert that is Utah. We’ll keep weapons of course, just in case….just in case! America is safe in your hands Mr. Citizen. Ever think of running for President?  

Utah woman jailed for not keeping her lawn

Here’s the latest on this story, as of 18th September: Betty Perry is still being prosecuted for not watering her lawn. She’s had to plead not guilty to resisting arrest and failing to tend her lawn. Her lawyer is trying to win the sympathy vote by stressing how the law needs to be applied a little more sanely. She’ll be back in court on October 11th.

Maybe then they can add charges for “wearing 1970’s clothes in public” or even “sporting a bad hair-do in public”. But, then, everyone in Utah would be on trial.

bettyperry.jpg

Betty Perry, world-leading lawn-law breaker. Approach with caution!

Honestly, in the weird and wacky world of law enforcement, is this the most disproportionate response ever? A little old lady, 70, Betty Perry, from Orem City, Utah, was alleged to have refused to give her name to police officers questioning her about her unkept lawn. So far, so mad. (Story here).

What’s the law got to do with it? Apparently, there is some bye-law in Utah (or that part of Utah, Orem City) that says residents must water their lawns. In other, saner places, the law says you must not water your lawn in times of drought, when massive fires are sweeping across the state. No wonder the little old lady was confused!

In any case, let’s say she was breaking the law in Orem City, just for arguments sake. Just let us put aside for the moment that it was her lawn, she was a confused 70-year old woman in a bizarre conversation with a uniformed police officer and all that. No extenuating circumstances, let’s pretend.

At that very moment, when she turns to go inside to ask her son for help, the police officer is said to have slapped her across the face with handcuffs! So she says. He claims she fell during a struggle. Either way, it wasn’t pretty.

Was he afraid she’d bolt for the door and he’d never catch her? Was he afraid that she’d head for the hills, Rambo-style, hiding out and defying the entire Utah police force to come and get her? All over a brown lawn? Even more outlandishly, he called for reinforcement! Oh my, was she about to crack his head open? Was the little ole police officer afraid of the little old granny?

Ah, but then they dragged her sorry ass off to a holding pen. Zero-tolerance for lawn-neglecters. Zero. Otherwise they’d all be at it, all those law-breaking, 70-year-old, sit-at-home, do-nothing, old women. And Orem City just couldn’t have that. It was then that some common sense broke out. Seeing that she was injured, they brought her to hospital to be treated. A thoughtful gesture. And one that you would think would result in everyone calming down and thinking through the situation. And how disproportionate it all was, and how they ought to bring her home and try and make it up to her. The official police statement, from one Lt. Doug Edwards says “[the police]… immediately released the woman and returned her to her home on the basis that there were other options available to handle this situation besides making an arrest and holding the woman in jail,”. No shit Sherlock!

To cap it all though, Lt. Doug Edwards described the arresting officer as “intelligent”. Really? In that case, I’d hate to see the dumb ones…