Guy Mad at Neighbor's Tall Grass Torches House: Cops
Georgian faces arson charges after dispute gets a little out of hand
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2013 12:12 PM CDT
Updated May 19, 2013 11:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – There's probably all kinds of good ways to resolve an argument with a neighbor about mowing the lawn, but none involve two cans of gas and a match. That's what 58-year-old Phillip Roger Bennett used to set his neighbor's house ablaze, say police in Cartersville, Ga. Luckily, the neighbor and his 3-year-old daughter escaped unharmed, reports MyFox Atlanta. Bennett, who fled to North Carolina before turning himself in, faces arson charges.

"Slapped me across the face and said, 'Mow your grass,'" victim Marty Corbitt tells 11 Alive. "My grass was too tall for him. I was going to cut it today, and then he set my house on fire."

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May 20, 2013 11:14 AM CDT
Code enforcement in my city is very aggressive about such things. You don't let your grass get very tall without them noticing. You get one warning taped to your front door. It gives you a week to mow. It happened at work a couple years ago with my former job. I was out front with the smokers, standing upwind, when a code enforcement car pulled up. They 400 lb man gets out and asks, "Who is the boss?" He asks, "I'm him, what do you want." The guy says our lawn is way too high and someone in the area complained. So he hands the boss a warning letter. The boss then says, 'What gives you the right to come on my private land and bother me and my workers who are on a break?" The code inspector says, "If I can see something out of code, I can act on it." He leaves and heads to his next box of Twinkies (still being made at the time.) After the boss ranted and raved for a while, he called some people who mow the front and told them to get over quick. We figured it was a competing lawn care company that complained since they are on our block but had put in a higher bid for services. What the city does if you don't mow is to send out a contractor to get it done. Then the home gets a bill for it through the utility bill. If it isn't paid the city attaches a lien on the land deed.
May 19, 2013 2:19 PM CDT
I guess she waited one day too long to cut it. The insurance shouldn't pay for it. It was all her fault.
May 19, 2013 12:25 PM CDT
One place I lived the landlady let the grass get armpit high before it was cut. Her excuse was that the lawn mower needed a part and her 2o year old son wouldn't tell her what part it was so she could get it. Probably because the kid was a lazy piece of crap that didn't want to have to mow the lawn once the mower was fixed. It finally got cut after the town issued a citation to her for letting it get so high. It was embarassing to live there 'cause the place looked like an abandoned house. I still have photos of that lawn. My cat looked like she was in the jungle wading through it.