Last October in Cincinnati, an 89-year-old woman who was sick of kids' toys ending up in her yard was arrested after she confiscated a stray football. According to Edna Jester — and if I was going to make up a name for her, I like to think it would be that one — her property is constantly bombarded with a meteoric rain of footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, and whatnot, all coming from the yard of the Tanis family next door. In October, she decided she had endured one too many.
It was not the first item Jester (right, displaying her patented "Out of My Yard" expression) had confiscated. She admitted to three, although Mr. Tanis said it was "about 10." Apparently having finally run out of balls, he called police, who asked Jester to return the ball to the children. Jester refused. They then tried to give her a citation rather than arresting her, but she refused to sign it. Police then took her downtown and booked her for petty theft. (According to police, Jester demanded that they handcuff her, but they refused.) The charges were later dropped, however.
Jester has now sued Paul and Kelly Tanis, alleging that the emotional distress resulting from the repeated property infringements has caused her health to deteriorate. According to the complaint, members of the Tanis family have repeatedly "thrown objects against the side of Ms. Jester’s house, into her gardens and onto her porch," and they “regularly and without permission” enter her yard to retrieve the “carelessly tossed” items. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
According to Kelly Tanis, Jester still has the football.