After 20 years of begging him to cut his lawn, a man in Grand Prairie Texas was arrested for defying city orders.
Rick Yoes has collected $1,700 in fines due to the improper care of his lawn, with violations such as “overhanging tree limbs,” “dilapidated wood fence,” “high grass,” “inoperable vehicle,” “junk in yard” and “swimming pool not maintained.”
He turned himself into the Tarrant County jail on Saturday to do the necessary time to cover the fines he has accumulated. Many have raised their concern on social media and stated that the measures were a bit excessive, but local law enforcement insisted that they had offered Yoes help to clean and mow his lawn.
“I can assure you our city would never simply place a citizen in jail for failing to mow their grass,” said Officer Mark Beseda with the Grand Prairie Police Department for Chron News.
He also mentioned that law enforcement has visited the man’s house over 32 times since 1996, accumulating 59 violations and six citations regarding his lawn. Officers also clarified that citations are issued when weeds and grass exceed 12 inches and the trees or shrubs obstruct public sidewalks or streets.
The pictures are taken by police show overgrown grass and weeds, vines hanging from a tree long enough to brush the windshield of a passing truck, and trash.
Yoes is the Southeast campus electrician for Tarrant County College, and he is well known and beloved by students for being extravagant. He has a seashell collection displayed on campus and is known for having dressed in 1776 fashion in 2012 to read the Constitution to students.
His daughter, Angel, is pretty upset about the situation and stated that they were not aware of the 12-inch growth limit and that Yoes had tried in the past to mow the lawn to the accorded height when he first received a complaint.
“I’m seriously disappointed with the way Grand Prairie is handling this situation. I think there are better ways to spend taxpayer money than locking up dangerous grass growers”, she stated for Fresno People’s Media.
Yoes had to take his work vacation days to be able to go to jail, since the $1,700 fine would mean giving up around 3 paychecks, and the money was much needed to maintain him and his daughter as well as to cover daily expenses.
City officials said in a statement that “We all agree it is unfortunate that exhaustive measures to work with this citizen during each step of the process have failed, but every city has a responsibility to watch over the best interests of everyone in the neighborhood to retain a high quality of life for all in the community.”