by Steven Hale
Consider this a public service announcement, folks. Best start stocking up on the bottled stuff, because there is something in the water.
The Dickson Herald reports that Republican state Sen. Jim Summerville was served a criminal summons Tuesday and cited with a misdemeanor for "dogs at large." The summons is actually just another chapter in what appears to be an ongoing situation between Summerville and his increasingly irritated neighbors.
The story is a must-read, and we've hardly been able to come up with a favorite gem. The threatening sign (pictured above the story) that Summerville apparently posted on his fence as a warning to neighbors? Dickson Police Chief Rick Chandler's on-the-record disbelief that a public figure would act this way? Summerville insulting the paper's readership by questioning their very reading ability? Take your pick.
From the Herald, after the jump:
The most recent police incident happened July 9 when Paltzer called Manley to say that Summerville had “threatened her.” The police report states Summerville put a sign on his fence reading “Just keep it up. You’ve been warned.” Paltzer took a picture of the photo and gave it to Manley who put it in the police report.
Chandler said no one is above the law.
“Every time we get a call like that, we take them seriously,” Chandler said. “What I can’t understand is that knowing the position he’s in, why would you do something like that to bring attention to yourself?
“That’s just something I just don’t understand,” he continued.
Summerville would have been required to go back to court for the second July 26, but that court date was trumped by the Aug. 23 court date for the criminal summons in the Municipal Court.
When approached about the issue, Summerville said he believed The Herald wanted a “little piece of sensationalism guaranteeing your readers, a few of whom who read at about a sixth-grade level, so I am not going to cooperate with your investigation.”
Chandler said that before the criminal summons, Summerville had a pending citation but wouldn’t come to the door, prompting the city to take tougher action by serving him the summons under the tougher state statute on dogs at large.
Chandler added that he thought the sign on Summerville’s fence was somewhat disturbing.
“No doubt about that, that was odd,” Chandler said. “When I talked to her, she feels he’s intentionally intimidated her. I would have to say that there is probably more to this; it’s probably a neighborhood dispute that’s gotten bigger.”
Paltzer said, though diligent, she didn’t mean for the issue to escalate the way it had.
“I didn’t intend for it to go this far. This is a man that we are supposed to look up to,” said Paltzer. “He’s got a very poor attitude. He has no respect for his neighbors, and he has no respect for the law.”
As Pith godfather Jeff Woods would say, this would all be hilarious if these people weren't the ones making our laws.