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89 year-old woman arrested over a football

posted 10/20/2008 6:32:15 PM |
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BLUE ASH – An 89-year-old woman arrested for not giving neighborhood children their football back after it landed repeatedly in her yard said today she'll return the ball.

But not right away.

"That's my only way of getting through to these children," Edna Jester said. "I'll give it back to them later, but not right now."

Jester was arrested and charged with petty theft after she took the ball and refused to give it back, Blue Ash police said. Word of her arrest has touched off national news interest in the case.

Officers were called about 6:30 p.m. Thursday to her home in the 4900 block of Myrtle Avenue by one of the children’s fathers, Blue Ash Police Capt. James Schaffer said.

The football apparently was thrown into Jester’s yard, and it wasn’t the first time, he said. The issue has been an ongoing dispute in the neighborhood, he said.

When police asked Jester to return the ball to the children, she refused. They warned her twice she would be charged if she did not cooperate, Schaffer said. They tried to give her a citation, but she refused to sign for it, he said.

Left with no other choice, he said, officers placed her in the back of a cruiser, took her to the police station and booked her, he said. Schaffer said Jester told police to handcuff her but they refused.

Jester was cited to appear in Blue Ash Mayor’s Court Nov. 12 and released from custody.

Commenting on her arrest, Jester said, "It was a terrible ordeal. Terrible."

The football, valued at $15, is being held for evidence, Schaffer said.

The potential maximum penalty for a petty theft conviction in Ohio is six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Schaffer said he suspects the mayor or presiding magistrate will take into account her age and lack of criminal record when the case comes up.

Tanis said he never wanted Jester to be arrested.

“I just wanted the ball back,” Tanis said. “My son paid for the ball with his own money.”

Tanis said she has kept about 10 balls – basketballs and soccer balls – belonging to his children that went into her yard. Jester said she has kept only three.

Tanis’ son is in junior high school. Tanis declined to give his son’s name in order to protect him from unwanted publicity.

“It’s inappropriate that it’s blown up into this big a deal,” he said. “This is turning into nothing but a nightmare.”

Tanis and his wife, Kelly, have five children and have lived in the Blue Ash neighborhood for seven years. Jester has lived there since 1949.

Tanis said his son and some of his cousins and friends were playing football in the street Thursday when the ball landed in Jester’s yard, where she was gardening. He said Jester picked up the football, refused to give it back and told him to call the police.

Tanis said he told the police officer who responded to his call that he didn’t want to press charges against her.

“Edna and I have gotten along well,” he said. “I’ve cut her grass for free. We know she doesn’t like neighbors going into her yard, and we do the best we can to avoid it.”


I saw this first on Cincinnati's NBC station just now, and decided to go over to the Cincinnati Enquier's web site to copy this story for this blog.

Was she right in refusing to give back the ball, or anything else from the neighborhood kids? What would you have done?

Copy & paste to friend: (Click inside box; Ctrl + C to copy; Ctrl + V to paste)

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post a comment!


Oct 20 @ 6:41PM  
That shit was funny....we should protest....Bratty kids probably do it on purpose to piss her off, I don't blame her!!!

Oct 20 @ 6:51PM  
My dad was a cop and he had a great saying; "posession is 9/10ths of the law". In my opinion she was within her rights. And I love that she stood up to the police. Everyone who plays golf knows that people who live on a golf course own your golf ball if you hit it onto their property. My ugess is she will love the time in court and a smart attorney will defend her pro bono for the publicity. Serves the kids right.

Oct 20 @ 7:13PM  
Sad, sad times these are. Seems a cop could just get a warrant, enter the house, walk out with the ball, and hand it back to the kid. But then he risks a physical confrontation with an 89-year-old lady- that could spell even worse publicity.

What I want to know is, why the hell aren't the kids just hopping the fence, grabbing the ball, making sure not to step in the flower bed and resuming the game? That's what we always did when I was growing up. Much more simple than bugging the neighbors about it, and she probably wouldn't notice.

Oct 20 @ 7:17PM  
i say throw the book at her.................she kin learn how to run a meth lab while in tha big house............she might need the extra money

Oct 20 @ 7:33PM  
Growing up, my next door neighbor was just like she was. When I got my own car as a teen, she would bitch to my parents about it. They did not want to hear about it and held me responsible for her bitching.

After I moved to Texas, I made a trip back to Cali and that involved checking out the neighborhood when I was around 27 YO. At the end of my visit with the neighbors, I went and paid her a visit. I knocked on her door and she answered. I politely said, "Hello Mrs. Ely. You might not recognize me, but I am Bruce XXX, and I used to live next door. I just wanted to drop by and say..." (changing my inflection), "Fuck you! Suck my dick you bitchy old pig!!" I then turned and walked away.

Not one ounce of regret to this day. I still grin when I recall it.

Getting back to the situation of the blog. After the first ball was impounded, I would have asked my kids to go play in the park or in front of somebody else's house. I am not saying the old lady was right in her actions, but that is the simplest solution.

Oct 20 @ 7:35PM  
Fuck me! That should have read: When I got my own car as a teen, if I parked in front of her house, she would bitch to my parents about it

Oct 20 @ 8:20PM  
Ok someone has to defend the poor grandma. I for one applaud her, I've been in the position where I and my son couldn't even enjoy our own yard due to rotten little bastard kids playing ball and deciding that my yard was part of their field. Even if and when I called the cops or had cars in the driveway (next to my lawn by the way and in the line of "fire") they still played, even when the family was threatened with eviction nothing changed. HOORAY TO GRANNIE!!!!! And I hope she gets off with nothing.

Oct 20 @ 9:38PM  

I knew a 29 yr old girl some years back, I swear she was big enough down there to swallow a Football.

Oct 20 @ 11:44PM  
Awwwwww that granny will be ME 25 years from now... If ya'll recall, the only thing I return to the neighborhood kids is the shit their dogs leave in my yard!

Hooray for her!

Oct 20 @ 11:59PM  
Awwwwww that granny will be ME 25 years from now... If ya'll recall, the only thing I return to the neighborhood kids is the shit their dogs leave in my yard!

Hooray for her!

Oct 21 @ 11:20AM  
This story mad both Fox News and CNN.

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89 year-old woman arrested over a football