One of my family's favorite places to eat is a soup and salad restaurant called Sweet Tomatoes. I also take a lot of friends there. I love vegetables and salads and soups, and often I make the joke, "If I'm ever homeless, this place's dumpster is the one I'll eat out of."
I may have to rethink that idea.
An assistant district attorney in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, has made a name for himself for prosecuting two men who went dumpster-diving for rotten fruit and vegetables outside the Sweet Pea Produce store.
The owner of the store, Jonathon Heib, calls it "ridiculous," and refused to press charges. That didn't stop Asst. D.A. Kerry St. James. He charged the men, Giles Charlé, 24, of Somersworth, N.H., and David Siller, 27, of Wayne, Pa., who were passing through town on their way to North Carolina, with felony second-degree burglary and misdemeanor theft. To secure a conviction, he then offered them a lesser charge of misdemeanor trespass, which they accepted after consulting with several local attorneys. The men were sentenced to six months in jail and must pay "restitution" to the produce store of $15.
St. James also asked the judge to fine the men $42 a day, each, for the costs the county will incur for incarcerating the men for six months. The judge refused.
Law and order? Justice? Are the streets safer now that two vagabonds are spending six months picking up trash alongside the highway (something ironically similar to their "crime")? Hardly.
What kind of Asst. District Attorney wastes taxpayer money prosecuting cases like this? Alas, the kind of A.D.A. who will probably be elected governor one day running on a "Law and Order" ticket.
If the men had just come to town offering to make stone soup for everyone, they'd have been considered heroes, not thieves.
Dumpster Diving | Law and Order | Steamboat Springs, Colorado | Kerry St. James | BurningTaper.com | Burning Taper