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09-30-09, 12:34 PM #1
Sarasota man admits he put razor blades on bushes
Sarasota, Florida - Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies say 47-year-old Gary Mitchell planted several bushes along the front sidewalk of the home he's renting, located at 5293 Old Ashwood Drive, in Sarasota. The bushes run along the sidewalk and along portions of the county right of way, just east of his property line, according to the sheriff's office.
Monday, one of his neighbors, Teal Fowler, noticed that there were several razor blades sticking to the branches of his bushes. Fowler took pictures and talked to Mitchell about it. She called the sheriff's office she says because she was afraid someone would get cut. "There's children. There's pets. There's quite a few people who access the sidewalk."
Fowler says Mitchell, who lives on a corner lot, went out and removed the blades. She admits he's a wonderful neighbor and while she doesn't condone his behavior she says his beef is with the Ashwood Homeowner's Association.
It's all over a row of bushes the association says is blocking public access. Fowler says, "They really have gone and created a lot of drama. They've actually forced a man to act in a way that I don't think that he would have ever behaved."
Mitchell didn't want to talk to 10 Connects on camera but did say by phone that he not only got the county's approval but he got the blessing of his landlord as well to plant the bushes.
He told Deputy R. Jovanovski when he responded to his home that he was only going to leave the blades there for the day and that his intention was to get people to stop messing with his bushes. Mitchell told us "I did it because they were stripping my shrubs. I wanted to hear a squeal or something from who was doing it."
Don Ridge is the president of the association and lives just a few doors down from Mitchell. He pointed to the side of Mitchell's home and says "We have to keep this open. There's like a six foot variance along here and we have a lift station there and if it's blocked and we can't get through then it creates a big problem and then you have to have access to cut the lawns and trim the bushes and the trees and everything."
There is a gate near the lift station though that gives workers direct access to the lift station from Honore Avenue.
Meanwhile Mitchell is facing a misdemeanor for his actions. Wendy Rose, a spokesperson for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office says "Now that we've become involved there is a charge of culpable negligence which is a misdemeanor and we send that case to the state attorney's office and it's up to the state attorney's office to pursue those charges."
Ridge admits the association has never sent any official paperwork to Mitchell or his landlord stating that the bushes need to go. "We've talked to him in person. We're right here. We're neighbors. At any rate the bushes as you can see are still there and he's starting to plant new ones but no one is sabotaging his bushes."
Sarasota man admits he put razor blades on bushes | 10connects.com | Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater
09-30-09, 12:49 PM #2
He should have just planted rose bushes with thorns.
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