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Texas court issues arrest warrant for 75-year-old woman over lawn not being mowed


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(NaturalNews) An elderly woman from the Central Texas city of Riesel, east of Waco, appears to have narrowly escaped being taken into custody by local police after a judge issued a warrant for her arrest. Her crime? Failing to appear before a court over her failure to mow her grass, which was in violation of a local city ordinance governing foliage height on private property.

Seventy-five-year-old Gerry Suttle says she never even received the notice that the city says it sent to her house prior to the arrest warrant being issued. The city claims it issued the notice and she failed to appear, so Suttle was quickly relegated to criminal status with a local police chief notifying her that he had a warrant out for her arrest.

"I'm 75, and I've never had a speeding ticket," Suttle told KWTX News. "I've never had a ticket of any kind, not even a parking ticket. And now, here I am, I've got a warrant for my arrest from the big city of Riesel."

A former Riesel city council member, Suttle is well known in her local community, including by the police chief, who told the media that he didn't plan to actually arrest her for failing to appear in court. However, Suttle says she fears being arrested in other nearby towns and cities since her name is now in the arrest warrant database.

"My name is on the list," she says. "If I get stopped on the highway, I'm going to get picked up."

Local brothers come and mow Suttle's lawn to keep her out of jail

Having previously served on the council, Suttle vehemently disapproves of the lawn ordinance, which she says contradicts state law. She told the media that Riesel council members needs to "straighten their act up" and "read the state laws."

A few neighbor boys reportedly came and mowed the lawn for Suttle to help her avoid possible jail time. The four Reynolds brothers came on a blazing Texas day with mowers and positive spirits, admitting that they just wanted to help their elderly neighbor take care of her property.

"It's a summer day ... what else could we do but just go out and help some people?" one of the boys, Blaine, told KWTX. "We haven't met her before but ... she's 75 years old and she needs help out here mowing. I mean, that's the least we could do."

Although Suttle's fate if she ever gets pulled over by cops in an area outside of Riesel remains unclear, the teary-eyed senior expressed sincere gratitude that the Reynolds brothers would help her out while expecting nothing in return. It's a silver lining to a dark cloud of bureaucracy gone wrong, and it's one that she won't soon forget.

"I cannot believe this," she stated. "I'm very seldom without words, but this is one time that I'd better mark it down in history that I didn't have something to say. For them to be that young and to want to help somebody is just absolutely wonderful."

Suttle receives second court summons even after lawn was mowed

Since her initial encounter with the city, Suttle says she's received yet another summons to appear in court over her lawn, even though it has now been mowed. Suttle says she was told that if she simply stopped by city hall and signed a paper explaining that she didn't receive the initial summons letter, her arrest warrant would be dropped. Nevertheless, the city has apparently decided to continue going after her.

"Just leave me alone," Suttle told KWTX, directing her statement to the city. "I've lived here 59 years. I don't know how much longer I've got to live here."

Sources:

http://www.kwtx.com

http://www.cbsnews.com

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