Streetball (whether it be stick-, foot-, basket- or base-) has always gone by the rule that if the object being played with goes into the yard of a) a crotchety old person or b) a vicious dog, then the last person to touch it must risk their life to get it, or buy a new ball.
But cops in Ohio are breaking tradition.
Now an 89-year-old Ohio woman faces a charge of petty theft because neighborhood kids were too cheap to buy a new ball and too scared to just get it back.
Edna Jester was placed under arrest last week and taken to the police station in Blue Ash, OH.
Police say there had been an ongoing dispute over the errant football and a child's parent called to report that Jester kept the ball after it landed in her yard again.
“I'm 89 years old and I want a little piece of mind,” Jester told NBC-WLWT in Cincinnati. “This is my life here in this chair, looking out that door, and all I see is playing the ball down and all over and all over. If it doesn't come in my yard, OK, but if it comes in my yard, I'm going to get it. No trespassing.”
Blue Ash Police Capt. James Schaffer told the station Monday that police warned Jester twice and finally arrested her after she refused to accept a citation.
"She chose to take a stand," Schaffer said, saying she told police to handcuff her, but they wouldn't do that.
Jester must appear in mayor's court next month. The potential maximum penalty for a petty theft conviction in Ohio is six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
“I'm not giving the ball up, no,” Jester said. “That's the only protection I have. They know if it comes in my yard I'll get it, and that keeps them off of me a little.”
The $15-football is being held for evidence.