Skip to comments.SWAT team called in over landscaping flap[Indiana]
Posted on 07/08/2009 11:23:21 AM PDT by BGHater
Indianapolis - A call to the city's SWAT team was the final move against one property owner who let his grass grow higher than a foot.
Specially trained officers were called out to the 9000 block of Harrison Run Drive as city crews tried to groom one unruly yard on the northeast side.
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. 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.
This wasn't the first time for residents of Harrison Run. They say it had become a summertime tradition. While they'd be busy manicuring their lawns, Rhymes was busy digging his heels into his.
"He doesn't want to fit in with the rest of the neighborhood," said Kevin Marrs, neighbor.
The homeowners association says it took Rhymes to small claims court to force him to cut his grass, a ritual that repeated itself over the years.
"There's one in every neighborhood," said Marrs. "I happen to live a couple doors away from it."
At the end of the day, SWAT did its job and a misdemeanor charge was leveled against Rhymes and the grass got cut.
Did the guy at least own a dog that the SWAT jackasses could shoot?
Tough s$^%. His property, not yours. Stupid home owners ASSociations.
Of course it is the fault of the home owner in the first place for buying a house covered by home owners ASSociation rules.
“He doesn’t want to fit in with the rest of the neighborhood,” said Kevin Marrs, neighbor.
key quote here
gotta use those swat teams if you’re gonna have em.
Indy to residents: Mow your lawn!
Updated: May 22, 2009 01:05 PM
Indianapolis - The city is hoping to stay ahead of complaints about residents who let their grass grow too high. Anything over 13 inches violates city ordinance.
The Office of Code Enforcement says recent changes in city ordinance allow Indianapolis to take aggressive action against property owners after just one notice. If the city notifies the owner that the grass is too high and nothing is done about it, the city will clean up the property and send the owner the bill. Bills for landscaping and mowing generally come to around $300.
The city says it's sent 4,700 advisory notices to property owners who failed to cut their grass since 2008.
Abandoned homes are a particular concern for city because they attract crime and drive down property values as well as the quality of life in neighborhoods.
'Bills for landscaping and mowing generally come to around $300.'
Mafia, you guys will always be second fiddle.
Ridiculous and dishonest headline.
It couldn't possibly have been the fact that the home-owner had chosen to engage in and armed stand-off. Nope.... couldn't possibly be that.
That would be an inconvenient obstacle for the usual cast of hystericals....
If the idiot doesn’t like cutting his grass then don’t live in a neighborhood where it’s required. Kill the grass and put down gravel. Roundup is faster than a lawnmower.
as much as i hate the idea of anyone telling me what to do with my property, there are two separate issues here and the title is misleading. The SWAT team was not called because the man refused to cut his lawn. They were called because the man pulled a shotgun on the city lawn crew. No, I don’t believe in homeowner’s associations or in giving them any power, yes I believe in homeowner’s rights and the RKBA. HOWEVER, if you pull a shotgun on someone who is (albeit forcibly)mowing your lawn, the authorities will of course get involved.
He reminds me of teenagers who are determined that no one is going to tell them what to do. I remind them that, some day, someone WILL tell you what to do. Tall grass is NOT worth dying for.
‘At the end of the day, SWAT did its job and a misdemeanor charge was leveled against Rhymes and the grass got cut.’
I certainly give the Police credit for only giving him a mis. and dealing with the situation with patience.
Ridiculous and dishonest headline.
Grass & guns. Whoda thunk it?
I was very surprised to see he only got a mis. charge! But $300 to mow his lawn? That’s nuts, THAT is a crime!
The grass IS NOT why the swat team showed up.
One blade? Every blade? A rolling average of blades? A statistically valid sample of blades?
One blade? Every blade? A rolling average of blades? A statistically valid sample of blades?
Dollars to donuts, gravel and dirt are both banned.
The guy shouldn’t have pulled a gun. You do that and the local authorities are going to have to respond whether it’s a swat team or not.
What these ordinances do mean though, is that in the end lethal force will be used to make you comply if you don’t do it willingly.
Is grass (weed) length really something we want to execute people for? Evidently the city thinks so.
We can say the swat team came out because he leveled a gun at someone, and that is true. What it all boils down to though, is this guy didn’t want his grass cut. He sought to keep it from being cut. The city fielded a paramilitary force to make sure the grass was cut.
Just damn... Sure hope they don’t ban Freeping.
Remember folks,your property is not yours.You only think you own it.
yer fast........ LOL, good comeback too.
Don’t look for any of those Code Enforcement jackboots to get the ax due to budget problems. That’s the second most lucrative hidden profit center after local speed traps.
So calling out the military in order to cut grass IS sane?
I suppose that he was silly enough to think that he owned the property since he paid the taxes pn it and his name was probably on the deed.
One thing for sure is that he was eucated real quick.
“Tall grass is NOT worth dying for.’
No its not, is freedom?
No one wants to live next door to some nutbag slob who lets his yard go. We have that problem with foriegners here. Some cultures don’t believe in cutting grass. The first time they get a bill for $200, they figure out how to fix the problem.
Maybe he didn’t want the man on his property.
Put me on the jury. Not guilty. He was protecting his property and I don't see a problem with him utilizing a weapon to chase off a trespassing agent of the government who had no right to be on his property in the first place.
On my commute to and from work every day, I travel though the beautiful leftist haven of Kensington, MD in Montgomery County. The County let the grass in the median strips along Connecticut Avenue grow ridiculously long. Finally, a crew came to mow it. The result was a ton of matted down grass clippings in the middle of the street which posed quite the traffic hazard during a thunderstorm when it all got wet. Maybe SWAT needs to be called in on the County. Of course, the fine, manual labor-averse citizens of Kensington couldn’t be bothered to take some initiative and keep the median strips mowed on their own.
That is certainly the case. Condominium style ownership makes more home available to some, at the cost of mutual ownership of some part of the property.
For the owner in the article, it was particularly unsuitable for him to have possession of an exterior part of the property and to be responsible to maintain it to suit some standard other than his own.
Years ago I ran afoul of a city ordinance regarding the same issue. I was an absentee owner, through financial circumstances, and couldn't maintain the yard to the city's standards. I think they billed me twice for services they determined to be warranted.
He lost that right when he agreed to living in an HOA. Were this normal property, I'd be right with you, and him. He lost in court, too.
There’s lots of places to live where you don’t have to cut your grass. He could move to one of those places. And it works our great for him because not cutting your own grass lowers your neighbors’ property values much more than your own.
I don’t buy that nonsense at all.
Leave the man alone. Like tall grass is harming anyone.
I doubt very much that just any citizen has the authority to mow the grass on public property. And if they did, there would be little reason to believe that they wouldn't also find a way to create an unsafe situation or a nuisance of some sort.
If as Home Ownes Association banned freeping you can bet there will be defenders here at FR saying “Then don’t buy a house and live in that neighborhood”. As if there’s a choice in some cities.
There is basically no choice here in central florida
From reading the article, it seems the whole town is under some city ordinance where you can’t let your lawn growth go above 13 inches. Evidently it’s not just the home owner’s association here. You somewhat alluded to a situation like that in your comments.
You point was a rather interesting one though, wasn’t it.
Good point. I hadn’t considered the unintended consequences of manual labor-averse leftists let loose with lawnmowers on median strips. Yikes. The thought of that is actually pretty frightening.
The situation is even more complicated than that.
So-called "redevelopment agencies" buy up properties in what they see as depressed, neglected areas, including using eminent domain in some cases, and then encumber the properties with some of the same kinds of covenants, conditions, and restrictions as are found in condominium agreements.
The properties are then often re-zoned to suit the development agency, and individual properties are then marketed to the public with these CC&Rs permanently attached to the properties. Such CC&Rs have the force of law and can and will be enforced by the courts.
I own a condominium unit which was converted from apartment buildings. The original apartment buildings were years previously built on redevelopment property. At that time, the property became encumbered with a requirement to maintain the property in a presentable manner. (I forget the exact wording.) This requirement is enforceable in the courts.
I suppose you are right- The mowing crew wasn’t there to rob, nor harm the man or his property, what the man should have done (in writing- so that it is on record) is to warn the city that if they cut his lawn without his permission- he will not pay!
Then warned the crew leader the same when they showed up to do so, then let them do it, but refuse to pay for the citys’ temper-tantrum.
I don’t like the idea of this guy creating a hovel that will be offensive to other people in his vicinity.
It would seem to me the guy is acting every anti-social. There may or may not be a reason for it, such as (feeling like or actually) being mistreated by his neighbors or something like that.
Perhaps there’s a better way to approach things like this, reaching out as neighbors to make the guy feel more connected. If some minimal form of communication could be established, he might allow his lawn to be cut for him. Perhaps the place could be spruced up on the outside as well.
As a neighbor of his, I would find it a great investment to perhaps donate $50 bucks up front and $5 a month to help get his place in shape initially, and help keep it manicured each month.
If he turned out to be someone that was within the realm of the possibility of being rehabbed himself socially, perhaps he could be invited to some neighborhood functions.
This would all sure be preferable to watching my own home values sink.
I just don’t like the idea of establishing a long list of rules that people have to live by, then call the swat team out for when malcontents object.
BTW, I should have proof read that response. Sorry.
I would probably tend to be pretty lenient if the requirements were being imposed by government on his property. I would be less lenient if he obviously had chosen to be subjected to the requirements.
From a purely legal standpoint, the man was probably in the wrong. Exercising jury nullification will do little to prevent governments from unduly imposing requirements on private property.
Where are the liberal groups dedicated to protecting the right to encourage natural plants and discourage the cultivation of non-native grasses? Preventing indigenous plants from going-to-seed is quite unnatural. It's the botanical equivalent of Chinese foot-binding and should be outlawed.