"Hey Andy, Can I Put The Bullet In My Gun Now?"
I guess it's nice to know that although Don Knotts has gone to his reward, the spirit of Barney Fife is alive and well - and not just living in Elm Grove!
Edna Jester is an 89-year-old woman who lives in Blue Ash, a suburb of Cincinnati. Apparently, kids playing in the neighborhood keep throwing various types of balls - basketballs, soccer balls and footballs - into her yard. Frustrated, Ms. Jester has begun keeping them.
Last Thursday, one of the progressively educated teenagers tossed a football into her yard - which she refused to immediately return. The boy's father, Paul Tanis , got involved and demanded the football be given back. When Jester refused, the man called the cops!
According to police, when they arrived at the crime scene, they demanded that Jester return the football. Ms. Jester said that she was trying to teach the children a lesson and that she would return the ball - just not immmediately. This apparently wasn't good enough for Barney and Goober, who then tried to give her a citation. When she refused to sign for it, they placed her under arrest and hauled her down to the police station - where she was booked!
Ms. Jester now faces a charge of petty theft, which carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1000. In an incredible stroke of irony, the football, valued at $15, is being retained as evidence.
I swear I'm not making this up.
Tanis, the father of the boy that started this whole thing by calling the police, says that it's becoming "a nightmare". I don't doubt it. Causing an 89-year-old woman to be arrested because you can't control your child is not something that anybody would want on their resume.
Perhaps he should have thought about this however before he complained about Ms. Jester. More to the point, perhaps he should have prevented the whole incident by telling his bratty kid to stop tossing balls into this lady's yard.
I hope to never grow up to be the crabby old guy who yells at neighborhood children and tells them to stay off my lawn. At the same time, I can understand why this lady got annoyed after the neighborhood kids kept throwing stuff onto her lawn - and their parents refused to rein them in.
What I can't understand is why Blue Ash Police Captain James Schaeffer allowed himself to get drawn into this mess? All I can figure is that it was either a really slow day for law enforcement or the guy is a complete idiot. At this point, I'm not sure which is more likely.
It is somewhat refreshing to know though that Barney Fife is still with us - and living happily ever after in Blue Ash, Ohio. I just hope the police chief isn't letting him put that bullet into his gun!
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