Monday, November 10, 2008

Man Jailed For Having a Brown Lawn

About a month ago, 66 year old Joseph Prudente was sent to jail. His crime?

Having a brown lawn.

That's right, he was sent to jail for brown grass! Prudente, who lives in a Home Owner's Association neighborhood in Florida has been having money problems recently and was barely able to afford keeping up with his mortgage, let alone spending money on lawn care.

I was surprised to see someone jailed for what is a civil matter; I don't understand why the HOA did not take him to civil court. Or better, why they couldn't have worked with him, considering his circumstances. It's not as if brown grass is the crime of the century.

Personally, I'd never live in a HOA community; I couldn't hand over my privacy and freedom to a bunch of neighborhood Nazis who see nothing wrong with putting a sick old man in jail over brown grass. You'd think the man had killed somebody by the way they reacted

Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. Some citizens in his community saw a newspaper article about his plight and decided to do something about it. Two companies donated new sod and several volunteers came to Prudente's home to tear out the old grass, put in new, put in mulch and flowers and replaced his broken sprinkler system. Prudente was released from jail once the HOA had verified that the work had been done.

Even though I believe that HOAs are evil incarnate, the response from his community renews my faith in humanity, after all.


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