Police in Mason City, Iowa recently arrested two children and charged them with felony criminal mischief for stripping bark from a tree in front of their school. A neighbor with nothing better to do with their time witnessed the children peeling the bark from the tree and felt the need to call the police.
The police actually took the call seriously, and showed up to treat the children like criminals. The police interrogated the children, who eventually admitted to peeling the bark off of the tree. When they confessed, the police arrested them and charged them with second-degree criminal mischief.
“There’s nothing worse than seeing my 13-year-old son turn right, left and front as his mug shot is taken. My heart is hurting for my son. I don’t believe it had to go to this extreme,” mother Naomi Wells told The Global Gazette.
“I guess as a parent, I should be at fault for not teaching him that pulling bark off a tree will kill it. I made sure to cover sex, drugs, drinking, responsibility, honesty and God, but trees, that one slipped my mind,” she added.
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The charges filed against the children were based on the cost of removing and replacing the tree, which came to $1,166. If the cost of the tree was lower, than the charges against the children would not have been as steep.
However, Ms. Wells did some research on her own and got a quote from a local tree company that totalled around $475. If the police got a quote from the same company that Naomi Wells did, then the children would not have been charged with felonies.
When asked about the high projected cost to replace the tree, Mason City Police Sgt. Dave Houser said, “I thought it was high to begin with, but how do you come up with a cost of a tree?”
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.