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Published: Saturday, 5/30/2009

Man arrested for cutting grass in Sandusky park


SANDUSKY - A man arrested for mowing unkempt grass at a public park says he just wanted to make his city look nice.

John Hamilton said he was attempting to take control of the situation because the grass in Sandusky's Central Park was about a foot high.

According to a police report, a witness said Mr. Hamilton was blowing grass onto the sidewalk and shredding trash in the park that had not been picked up.

Police said they arrested Mr. Hamilton, 48, at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday after he refused to stop mowing. They charged him with obstructing official business and disorderly conduct.

Mr. Hamilton told the Sandusky Register that he simply wanted to be a good Samaritan and help keep the parks nice. "I didn't know it was illegal," he said.

Officers cited "liability reasons" in the police report.

The Register reported on its Web site that Mr. Hamilton plans to fight the charges against him.

The paper said he pleaded not guilty at his Sandusky Municipal Court arraignment yesterday morning. His next hearing is scheduled for August.

"I am a citizen," the paper quoted him as saying.

Before the arraignment, City Manager Matt Kline called the arrest unfortunate and said he understands Mr. Hamilton's frustration. Mr. Kline said budget cuts have left Sandusky understaffed for seasonal maintenance work.

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