Extra! Extra! “Squirrel Lady” to go on trial for criminal trespass
On October 28, the wheels of justice began to turn as the City of Kettering accepted a complaint for two counts of criminal trespass against one Annick Richardson of Kettering. What, you may ask, was Richardson’s crime? Well, she is charged with trespassing on her neighbor’s property to feed peanuts to the neighborhood squirrels. The accused Richardson has now been arraigned and is scheduled to next appear before the Kettering Court on December 19 at her pretrial.
Although some readers may scoff at the presumed non-serious nature of this crime, there is more to this crime than might appear at first. This is not the first instance of Richardson feeding members of the Sciuridae family, more specifically the arboreal (tree-living) squirrels. No, as the evidence will show at her trial, Richardson is a habitual squirrel feeder. These little creatures might seem cute to some, but they are not so cute to those living in her Kettering neighborhood whose gardens are being dug up, car wires are being chewed and air conditioners are being clogged with peanuts. Richardson’s strategically placed nuts on her neighbors’ property are luring these busy-tail rodents onto those neighbors’ property where their little sharp teeth show no mercy to fruit or flower.
According to statements from her neighbors, Richardson is not only a habitual squirrel feeder, but she refuses to listen to the lawful order of the police, who have asked her to stay on her own property. Richardson is defiant and unabashed in her efforts to feed the squirrels of Kettering. Frantic neighbors complain that she won’t stop. According to some neighbors, she won’t listen to the police and she won’t listen to the animal control officers. Finally, some of the neighbors, having reached their breaking point, brought this criminal action against the squirrel lady.
However, other neighbors and community members claim that Richardson is a caring woman who has looked after her neighbors for years. They argue that something as petty as feeding peanuts to squirrels (something hundreds of people in the Miami Valley are guilty of) shouldn’t constitute criminal action, let alone jail time.
If convicted, she could serve up to 60 days in jail and pay a fine.
Forum Question of the Week:
Should Annick Richardson be prosecuted for criminal trespass for feeding squirrels on her neighbors’ property or do you stand in solidarity with the “Squirrel Lady” and find this whole issue a little nutty?