ST. LOUIS (CN) – A wheelchair-bound woman claims in court that police officers held her in her home against her will while the city bladed her unmowed yard down to dirt.
Betty Hines sued the City of Edina, Mo. and its Police Chief Roger Waibel, in Federal Court.
Hines claims that Waibel sent her a letter in July 2009, stating that he had received several complaints about weeds and grass on her property, and giving her 10 days to remove the weeds.
Six weeks later, Hines says, deputies entered her property with a skid loader, garbage truck and dump truck without a warrant.
“Unknown city employees used the skid loader to scrape and strip plaintiff’s yard down to dirt,” the complaint states.
“Unknown city employees destroyed vegetation on the premises and removed a majority of plaintiff’s trees, plants, flowers, shrubs, grass, stones, rocks, gravel, potting containers, antiques, lawn furniture, and yard tools.
“On information and belief, unknown city employees caused the trees, plants, flowers, shrubs, grass, stones, rocks, gravel, potting containers, antiques, lawn furniture, and yard tools that were removed from the premises to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of in the city garbage truck and dump truck.”
Hines claims she was detained against her will while the city did its landscaping.
“Defendant Chief Waibel detained and confined the wheelchair bound plaintiff inside her home against her will, for several hours, by blocking the only handicapped accessible entrance or exit to plaintiff’s home while unknown city employees removed plaintiff’s property and scraped her yard to dirt with the skid loader,” the complaint states.
Hines seeks actual and punitive damages for illegal search and entry, unlawful seizure of property, denial of due process, statutory trespass and conversion.
She is represented by Sherry Darling of Kirksville, Mo.
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