"I laid down in there. I never seen the inside of a jail before. I didn't know how it looked, I was really scared," she said of her July 6 2007 arrest.When police brass learned of what had happened, Betty Perry, 70, of Orem UT, was immediately released. She says that the policemen who brough her home, traumatized and shocked, that evening were very courteous and even held the door open for her. The officer in the morning evidently saw Perry's arrest for resisting his enforcement of Orem's nuisance ordinance, something akin to a "try-out" for the TV show "Cops."
Betty Perry was found in violation of an ordinance against neglected yards. Before you envision a yard strewn with rusted cars, piles of trash and assorted junk, take a moment to imagine why her yard was thought to be in violation. Perry, at age 70, said that she can't afford to water her lawn and hasn't done so in more than a year. Her small, white house sits neatly surrounded by a tan colored lawn.
"Don't ever say no to the police when they tell you to do something. You better do what they tell you no matter what, even if you don't have anyone to help you. You've got to do what they tell you or they will hurt you," said Perry.
Lt Doug Edwards, Orem police spokesman, said that every officer faces a situation where by the end of it, they wonder how it could have ended up that way. There clearly other options available in this case. The officer involved in the arrest was sent home for the day and placed on paid administrative leave. They also aren't pressing charges for neglecting her lawn or resisting arrest.
It is a good thing that they aren't going to press the neglect charges........ I am sure that if the color of Perry's lawn was so important to the town, there are volunteers who could easily trim what is left and spray paint it green.