Friday, July 10, 2009

Um ... don't SWAT teams have anything better to do?

These Special Weapons And Tactics officers were dispatched to arguably the least interesting (and, at first, least-dangerous) job of their careers: to mow a man's lawn. Seriously.

Harrison Run is a neighborhood well cared for. At home after home in this subdivision near 71st and Fall Creek Road, neighbors tend to their yards. That's why one in particular stood out - or in this case, stood up.

"We're talking about a foot and half tall," said Luis Araoz, neighbor.

But the high grass produced more than just dandelions. Monday morning, it called out Metro's SWAT team.

"This is a first for something I had to run up against," said Lt. Jeff Duhamell, IMPD.

The city's Office of Code of Enforcement responded after a notice of high grass and weeds went unheeded for at least five days. So it showed up with a mowing crew to do the job.

First of all, I'm sorry, but grass that's a "foot and a half" tall? Please. I've frolicked in fields in Texas with grass and herbage twice that height, and no-one made a fuss despite said fields of tall grass being right there in residential neighborhoods, in plain sight.

And second ... um ... why did they send the SWAT again? Out of bank robbers or hostage situations? (Not that I mean to be glib, but seriously, they have other things to do.)

However, they did have their fair share of tension after all, and I don't just mean by catching their lawnmower blades on roots or anything:

But police say when contractor Dominique Thompson climbed up on the riding mower, he noticed the homeowner pointing a shotgun directly at him.

"I was kind of shocked. This man pulled a gun on me, and I'm out here doing a job. There was a lot going on in my mind at that point," said Thompson.

Police say the man on the other side of the weapon was 32-year-old Christopher Rhymes. He touched off a standoff that lasted three hours.

"They attempted to negotiate with him by audio means, loud speakers. They tried to call him with no answer, finally they made a limited penetration into the house. They heard him inside and subsequently he gave up," said Duhamell.

Neighbors say Rhymes keeps his grass extra-tall in a bid to try and distinguish his residence and lawn from others'. Seriously man, when your obsession with being different ends with you, a shotgun and a SWAT team (albeit originally dispatched specifically to mow said lawn) ... you may have taken things a little too far there.

(via The Agitator)


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