Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stupid People Doing Stupid Things...

Scott in MI sent me a link to this story, with the subject line "He's lucky to be alive":

Code Enforcement Officer Walks Into Home
Monday morning, Erica Masters was sleeping in her bed when Columbia County Code Compliance Officer Jimmy Vowell came to serve a violation notice for her grass being too long. Erica caught the whole incident on tape.

"He let himself in and actually came through the house and into my bedroom. And yelled at me to wake me up, to let me know that I needed to come back outside and sign the violation notice."

Here's the best part: He wound up losing his job over this! Now, granted, it was because he lied through his f**king teeth about it and got caught, but he's still an ex-employee. You see, Masters filed a complaint about the incident, and the fat tub of goo denied entering her house. One small problem: Masters has video surveillance at her home. He filed a false statement to a superior about not entering the house, and that was grounds for termination. Isn't that a kick in the teeth? Not waltzing into someone's home over uncut grass, but lying about it.

Granted, he *is* lucky to be alive. Someone who is not supposed to be inside your house starts yelling at you, even here in Massachusetts you'd be fully justified in sending them straight to hell. I wake up to find someone who doesn't belong there yelling at me, they're going to see how fast they can run before I can access one of the three 45s near the bed (yes, I have three. Why? BECAUSE G-D'S OWN PISTOL CALIBER). Now, granted, I keep my doors locked (it's just plain good sense), and I do not recommend leaving doors unlocked for any reason, but still. Walking inside the house was one thing. Walking INTO HER BEDROOM DOORWAY is a whole new level of stupid.

And lastly, ARE YOU F**KING KIDDING ME??? The county can give you a fine because your grass is too tall? I swear on a stack of MidwayUSA catalogs that if my town ever enacts an ordinance like that, I will custom build a lawnmower that cuts the grass to 0.1" less than the maximum height and mow twice a week just to waste their time. Not only that, but they have apparently an entire department devoted to checking people's lawns for compliance? I certainly hope that every street in that county has a sign at either end and zero potholes - and spotless trash cans. If they've got enough free cash lying around to support "compliance officers", that had better be one with-it town.

So: to recap. Town with way too much extra money and a serious case of busybodyitis hires Cletus the peeping Tom as their compliance officer. Cletus waltzes into someone's house, walking up to their bedroom to tell them they have to sign a violation, and only gets fired because he lied about entering the house. Does that about cover the story? I wonder what would have happened if Cletus had fessed up to entering the house? A censure? Maybe a demerit? And he'd be right back to peepin' the next day.

Unless, of course, the next time he pulled that stupid stunt the homeowner had a nice Mossberg...

That is all.


The Big Guy said...

I'm a little more concerned about the DA's take on NOT charging this guy with unlawful entry, on the grounds that he had no criminal intent.

Does that mean I can wander through anyone's house in Columbia County GA and if I get caught I can say I wasn't going to commit a crime and just walk away?
Cracker, please.

All the local choirboys all now know that if caught breaking into a home, all you have to do is tell the 911 dispatcher that you are a county employee and they will call off the responding officer.



chiefjaybob said...

I agree she should have pressed charges against him for entering her home.

And if you live in an incorporated city or town, I would bet you have an ordinance on the books regulating grass height. Twelve inches is the most common. Even my little one-horse town has one....

Ruth said...

blogger just ate my comment dammit.

Check your laws, there probly already IS a law about lawn height.

and I don't care who you are, you walk into my house (much less my bedroom!) unannounced and uninvited you're going to be met with the Mossburg.

Tim Covington said...

As Ruth said, check your laws. Most municipalities already have a law about this. Though, it is usually 12 inches is the max heigth.

Mikael said...

"I swear on a stack of MidwayUSA catalogs that if my town ever enacts an ordinance like that, I will custom build a lawnmower that cuts the grass to 0.1" less than the maximum height and mow twice a week just to waste their time."

Too much work, I'd replace lawn with a shag rug or something else that's reasonably soft to walk on and play in. Preferably with as garish colours as I could find. Just to piss them off.

Firehand said...

When I first read about this, my first thought was "What kind of idiot ENTERS A HOME WITHOUT PERMISSION over the freaking GRASS? And then wakes them up and yells at them?"
A gummint employee who apparently thinks that means he can do anything he wants.
Yeah, he should have been fired for doing that, tell the truth about it or not. AND he should have been charged with illegal entry(or whatever the local wording is).

'Lucky to be alive' pretty much covers it.

Sabra said...

To be fair, Code Compliance is a lot more than lawn length. They're the folks who tell your neighbors with the giant pile o' junk furniture to get it gone and who make recalcitrant landlords actually fix the water heater in their rented units.

And while I absolutely share your loathing over having the length of your grass dictated, around here vacant lots which have become overgrown and begun to harbor snakes really can't be handled any other way. Two or three notices and the city will mow and charge them.

This guy, though, is a douche and sadly in my experience not at all unusual for code compliance officers. They're the worst form of rent-a-cop.

Ken O said...

Here in Texas I had a run in with the meter reader. 0700 one chilly February morning, I awoke to find a man with no identifying uniform, wearing *gasp* a hoodie, inside my 8' privacy fence, on my deck and approaching my back door. I greeted him in a bathrobe and a .45. After yelling about his company's right to access my yard and threats, I got it though Bubba's head that he was taking an unnecessary risk. We made an agreement; he rang the doorbell and I invited him in for coffee after that.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, the BTK serial killer worked as a compliance officer.