Sunday, August 07, 2005

Primer, Paint, and Police

Remember the story about Robert Schulze? Schulze was an 88 year-old South Saint Paul resident who was jailed for missing a court appearance about his messy yard.

Here's another one. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Edward Julius Anderson on November 17, 2003. The 92 year-old was accused of not painting his garage in South Minneapolis. After several inspections, written orders were issued, followed by the arrest warrant. You can tell that Anderson got a start on the project from this picture:

His neighbors across the alley may be in violation of some code or another, as well:

Why did Mr. Anderson fail to finish painting the garage? Well, he passed away in 2002 at the age of 90. His son says that the died before he could finish the job.

How do I know about this case? My friend Edward James Anderson of Hopkins was arrested in 2004 for the caper in South Minneapolis. Some clerk at the Minneapolis City Attorney's office attached Edward James' personal identification to the warrant by mistake. The warrant listed "Edward J. Anderson." To compound problems, Edward Julius had given up his drivers' license some time ago, so there were no records that would match the address on the driving record to that of the garage.

Eventually the younger Anderson was able to straighten things out.

City inspectors and neighbors should not have to make repeated attempts to ensure routine household chores are done. But they could also realize that non-compliance could suggest infirmity or other problems. A little compassion goes a long way.


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