When Hattie Reynolds called for help she just wanted her granddaughter to stop “soaking up the air conditioning” and get out of bed, but she was the one who ended up in jail.
After her 46-year-old granddaughter, Janeen Williams refused to move, the Florida nonagenarian called the police.
“I got a gran in my bed and I can’t … get her out from my bed,” Reynolds told the non-emergency dispatcher. “I ain’t got nothing to pay bill on air condition all the time for her to go into the room.”
“She won’t get out of my bed,” Reynolds continued. “I want her out of the bed, I don’t want to get myself in trouble … cause she don’t listen after me.”
When police arrived, they documented the incident in a brief report.
“Hattie Reynolds said that Janeen Williams, her granddaughter would not get out of the bed and was screaming and swearing at her. (Hattie Reynolds) then began to start yelling and smacked (Janeen Williams) in the face with the shoes she had on,” the police report read.
While there wasn’t much officers could do about Williams’ insolence, once Reynolds admitted she slapped her granddaughter with a slipper, they took her to jail — even though the elderly woman posed no threat and her granddaughter did not want to press charges.
“I mean the lady was 95-years-old. How much of threat could she be?” Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri admitted. Still, he said his officer’s hands were tied by local laws that required domestic abusers to be detained, but several defense attorneys argue that’s not actually the case.
“They don’t have to make an arrest,” Don Dempsey said. Dempsey, a former local prosecutor turned defense attorney, said police could have handled things differently. “They have the option to issue a notice to appear or make a complaint affidavit and forward that to the State Attorney’s Office for a final decision.”
As for Reynolds, after spending a night in jail and being released on her own recognizance, the elderly woman said she just needed some rest.
“Only my feet hurt and I need to sit,” she told a local reporter.
Let’s hope her granddaughter gets the hint and leaves Reynolds — and her air conditioning — alone.