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Followup on the "football Taker"

posted 10/21/2008 8:44:38 PM |
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All Edna Jester wanted was to keep the neighbor kid’s football out of her yard.

Now, it’s almost taken over her life.

The 89-year-old grandmother has fielded dozens of calls from TV stations, newspapers and lawyers eager to learn more about why she refused to return a football that landed in her yard last week while kids tossed it around in the street.

Dr. Phil invited her on his show, her lawyer is considering a lawsuit and “Inside Edition” visited Monday to shoot video of her with the offending pigskin in hand.

Jester, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, said all the attention is taking a toll.

“I’m not worried about the football,” she said Tuesday. “I’m worried about my health.”

Jester seems as amazed as everyone else that a simple neighborhood spat over kids tromping through a yard could get so out of hand, culminating last Thursday with her arrest by Blue Ash police after she refused to return the football or accept a written citation.

The dispute is, after all, so common in neighborhoods across the country that it’s become an all-American cliché: The cantankerous neighbor vs. the rowdy kids.

“This case cries out for Andy Griffith,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, whose office is not involved in the case. “Andy would say, ‘Now you give them their ball back, and you stay out of her yard. And don’t make me come back here.’”

But this isn’t Mayberry. The animosity between Jester and the neighborhood kids continued to grow until finally boiling over last week.

“This isn’t someone who is mean-spirited. She’s just trying to enjoy her property, which is certainly her right,” said Jennifer Kinsley, Jester’s attorney. “She felt this was the only thing she could do to keep these people from going on her property.”

Kinsley said Jester is in poor health and was bothered by frequent intrusions onto her property by neighborhood children. Paul Tanis, whose son owns the football, said the incident was blown out of proportion and his son just wants the $15 football back.

If they can’t work things out, both sides may have a legal case.

Under Ohio law, a football or any other item cannot be seized by a property owner just because it lands on his or her property. “If your dog runs onto her yard, it doesn’t become her dog,” Deters said.

At the same time, the law also protects property owners by defining trespassers as those who “knowingly enter or remain on the premises of another.”

Jester is due in court Nov. 12 to face petty theft charges. She faces up to six months in jail, but police have said jail time or a fine is unlikely considering her age and lack of a criminal record.

Jester said she’s tired and hopes the whole thing is over soon.

She did say, however, that she’d be willing to talk to Dr. Phil if she feels up to it.

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Oct 21 @ 8:56PM  
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.

I agree with "Manwithoutahorse" when he posted this in his comment about what his dad (who was a cop) had said.

Oct 21 @ 10:25PM  

Oct 21 @ 10:31PM  
As long as Oscar the cat doesn't show up by her bed side, I guess it will work out, not that anybody including Joe the Plumber or me gives a rat's ass.

Oct 22 @ 12:55AM  
Good thing it didn't land on my crazy sister-in-law's lawn, because she wil take the time to stab and slice the ball into pieces, the old woman was very subtle with the kids. .. that is compared to our "loka-loka"

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Followup on the "football Taker"