Orem presses case against 70-year-old over her brown lawn
The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 08/22/2007 05:44:45 PM MDT
Posted: 5:46 PM- OREM - The city is pressing charges against a
70-year-old woman who was arrested in a dispute over her brown lawn,
an attorney said Wednesday.
Betty Perry was taken to a holding cell July 6 before she was
released by red-faced police officials. The mayor and City Council
apologized for her treatment.
But city attorney Paul Johnson said he's sticking to the facts: He
claims Perry failed to followed an Orem ordinance that requires
property owners to maintain their landscaping.
"We don't make our decision based on what political leaders do or
think. ... There's a huge other side of the story," Johnson said
Wednesday. "There's a violation that needs to be corrected."
Besides the brown lawn, Perry is accused of resisting arrest. Two
misdemeanor charges were filed Aug. 17, and she is due in court Sept.
18, Johnson said.
There is no dispute that she refused to cooperate when Officer
James Flygare arrived at her house last month to talk about her dead
grass and foot-high weeds. Perry's water apparently had been turned
off at her request.
As she walked back into the house pulling Flygare, Perry tripped
and fell against the door jam, injuring her nose, according to the
Utah Department of Public Safety, which investigated at the request of
She was handcuffed and taken
to an Orem holding cell. The state investigation found Flygare's
actions were proper, although his bosses have said the incident could
have been handled differently.
Johnson said Perry and her brown lawn are not being treated
unfairly. He said 11 cases "for the exact same thing" have been filed
against other residents since April.
Perry could not be reached for comment Wednesday. There is no
phone number listed in her name.
After Perry's arrest, Mayor Jerry Washburn and the City Council
apologized, saying they were "shocked and dismayed" by what happened.
Washburn declined to give an opinion on Johnson's decision to file
"That's his call," the mayor said Wednesday.
Posted on Thu, Aug. 23, 2007
The Associated Press
Woman gets apology but faces charges
UTAH -- The mayor and City Council of Orem have apologized to
70-year-old Betty Perry, who was arrested and handcuffed after a
dispute with a police officer over her brown lawn -- but she still
faces charges of resisting arrest and violating an ordinance that
requires property owners to maintain their landscaping. Officer James
Flygare arrived at Perry's house last month to talk about her dead
grass and foot-high weeds. Perry's water had apparently been turned
off at her request. She is not being singled out, Mayor Jerry Washburn
said, citing 11 similar cases.