back to article US man cuffed for executing lawnmower

A Milwaukee man faces up to six years and three months in chokey and a maximum fine of $11k for blasting his lawnmower with a shotgun after the machine ill-advisedly refused to start, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Police mugshot of Keith Walendowski Keith Walendowski, 56, (pictured) had apparently had a few ales when …

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Paris Hilton

One of God's own prototypes

This is proof positive that alcohol, lawnmowers, and shotguns make you ugly. Let the grass grow long!

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Anonymous Coward

man

US authorites are fucked up, can't shoot a lawn mower in your own back yard, can't shag a lawn table in your own backyard, what's next, can't fuck a bicycle in your own locked room?

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The Dead Kennedys

Covered this years ago:

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/deadkennedys/achildandhislawnmower.html

Apparently he'll only get a $60 fine.

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Sam

@Ashley pomeroy

Alcohol? Where?

When one of our American cousins say "they got pissed" I believe it means they got annoyed, as in short for "got pissed off".

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Black Helicopters

Government at it again

Government has no respect for private property rights. This is just another example of the tightening of the noose. Now all we need to wait for is which costume our slave masters will put on next: a hammer and sickle, or a swastika?

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Alert

@Sam

Hate to point this out.... (although to be honest I dont.... its been one of those days at work)

"had apparently had a few ales when"

unless Ale is now no longer booze then I think Alcohol was mentioned.

Anyway who hasn't thought about taking a shotgun to a piece of machinery/equipment of some kind... or even the person using the machinery/equipment.... or thier boss... ok wow... it must be medication time for me then!

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Coat

6 years is a bit excessive...

Unless the lawnmower recovers sufficiently to testify in court.

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Tim

You can shoot your mower...

...as long as you use a weapon that you can legally own, and don't do it where local ordinances prohibit firearm discharge.

This guy did it with an "illegally" sawed off shotgun. (In quotes because it's only illegal due to unconstitutionally oppressive gun laws.)

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Anonymous Coward

Don't fear the reaper !

What an idiot !

Y'all ain't gonna git no penetration with a sawn-off. Y'all need solid slug ammo for huntin injuns... er .. engines.

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@Sam

"Alcohol? Where?"

Errr ....

How about:

"Keith Walendowski, 56, (pictured) had apparently had a few ales when he decided to fire up his "Lawn-Boy""

and

"His state of inebriation was confirmed by an unnamed female member of his household."

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Thumb Up

@ Jamie Kitson

Splendid. Your comment made me put on that CD at once...

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Boffin

A Child and His Lawnmower

Some clown in Sacramento was dragged into court

He shot his lawnmower

It disobeyed, it wouldn't start

Might makes right, it's the American way

They fined him $60 and sent him on his way

You know, some people don't take no shit

Maybe if they did they'd have half a brain left

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Boffin

Re: One of God's own prototypes

Another statistic for my thesis proposing that the IQ of the US of A is constant.

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Separated at birth

Looks like a member of the extended Orlowski family. Them's crazy people.

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Anonymous Coward

@Sam - He WAS pissed

"Alcohol? Where?"

Actually, here in the...

Bootnote

*Just to clarify, Walendowski was pissed in a double, Transatlantic sense, viz: intially drunk and then drunk and angry. His state of inebriation was confirmed by an unnamed female member of his household.

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What exactly did he do wrong?

Obviously the guy is a nutjob, but last time I checked that wasn't illegal even in the US. So, anyone know exactly what he did wrong?

I presume from the story that the guns he kept were not allowed, but I've no idea about gun law.

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Joke

Just shotgunned an old server I was rebuilding...

...and yes I am drunk @ 8:33 AM on a Monday.

As a native of Milwaukee and having 50% of our last names in common (W + half the alphabet + ski) , I am SURE he had already let the grass grow long and was trying to chop it down grass that was already way too long.

Perhaps he should have tried to style his hair with either the lawnmower or the shotgun instead?

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Joke

Ahh but this is the US

"Anything not factory recommended would void the warranty."

But because it clearly *fails* to state that using a shotgun on it may damage it, I reckon he'd have a pretty good chance of suing the manufacturer for damages.

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Paris Hilton

Disco Inferno

"Alcohol? Where?"

This is why I write my comments with one eye on the present day, and one eye on posterity. A hundred years from now, when people look back at this news story, they will read my words and conclude that I was unusually perceptive. "My eyes point ahead, away from the ghosts of the dead."

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Paris Hilton

in his own yard?!

The police state here is worse than I thought (sigh!)

look out world .. its the 4th Reich, how embarrassing.

PH cuz she knows when she's been screwed too.

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ouch

"man faces up to six years and three months in chokey and a maximum fine of $11k fine"

That is a bit harsh...

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Silver badge

I feel...

I have to agree with the guys logic.

His yard,

His gun,

His lawnmower.

Assuming he had a licence for the gun, why can't he go destroy his own property?

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Dead Vulture

Ales?

Cheap lager is more likely. Ale is more expensive in these parts.

"Keith Walendowski, 56, (pictured) had apparently had a few ales..."

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Alert

And another thing...

...you'll note the jail time and fine are not for shooting a lawn mower (which is illegal in most city limits, but allowed in rural areas). He was found to be in possession of a a "shortened rifle or shotgun" aka a sawed-off shotgun (or "sawn-off shotgun" for those old-school grammatical felons among you)

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Boffin

He did it wrong

Everyone knows that inorder to repair any item of equipment for household/lawn/general DIY maintenance, one must start with a small hammer [ok not a glass hammer which is made of rubber :)] then work up to the handy 1lb [453 592.37 milligram] going through the various gauges until you get to the ol' reliable Sledge hammer. If that fails to solve your problem, one way or another, THEN you get your shotgun. DUH

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Coat

Duh! (Re: He did it wrong)

Hey, Mr Coward,

first up, your title should have been "He done it wrong", second up, "a glass hammer which is made of rubber". You sure are stoopid boy -- it's a glass hammer... glass hammer... so what's it made out of? I bet y'all think that a wood shack is made of bricks.

Ma, fetch my gun. This cotton-pickin "Post Comment" button done broke down agin.

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Dead Vulture

@Tim (Right to bear arms)

2nd amendment:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

How did this ever get translated to "every nutjob can buy themselves a firearm", personally I see it as "if you're part of a militia (one that's well regulated) you can bear arms". Admittedly, this was overruled in 2008 in favour of "here, have a gun".

It was important at the time, but can you honestly say it's now necessary to own an automatic rifle "protect yourself"?

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Six years !!

Someone alluded to his sentence but six years for just this? He didn't kill anyone and he might be a bit wacky (and, I may point out, in a country that is very free with guns anyway) but surely this is overkill - or should I pun - mowerkill.

I don't really take much notice of US sentences so I can't compare this to a child molester or anything. I do note that the British legal system is almost as stupid. Drop some litter and you get 3 months jail. Rape someone and you get a couple of years and get out early anyway.

<FinalRant>

I also love it when they use the term "life" and they say - but must at least serve a minimum of ten years. I remember seeing a report on an 18 year old in this situation. So he's 28 and back on the streets. Really pisses me off.

</FinalRant>

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Not what he did, but who he was(n't).

If the perpetrator had been another cop, or the mayor, or Dick Cheney, the cops would have said "So it just wouldn't start, Keith/sir/Mr Vice President? Yeah, hate it when that happens, too." Of course, with Vice Presidents, the degree of latitude extends all the way to winging of hunting partners (and beyond).

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I forgot to say

The sentence is completely disproportionate, though you do have to ask why he had a sawn-off shotgun.

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Anonymous Coward

Right to bear arms

There are many arms that Americans don't have the right to keep or bear.

So isn't it time they updated the constitution to reflect that blindingly obvious fact?

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6 years's not enough

It is was the lawnmower this time. What if he was 'pissed' with his neighbour next time? Lock him up, lock him up for good.

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Yeah hokaaay...

What got him taken 'downtown' in the first place was the fact he fired a weapon within city limits. Once the cops got there they found that the weapon he fired was a Sawed off shotgun (VERY illegal in the states). They took his ignorant butt to jail.

Once they got him to jail they probably did a breathalyser and found that he was drunk as well.

IMHO, he got what he deserved and he's getting of pretty easy. NOTHING good can come from a drunk guy with a weapon that can spray ammo in wide patches for quite a bit of distance.

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Coat

"The right to bare arms?...

What's next...are they going to regulate our sleeve length."

The constitution does recognize there is a limitation on owning arms (so far, but the courts are changing this). Most NRA types like to forget that the entire sentence includes the bit about a "well-regulated militia." When the Supreme Court last visited the issue of sawed-off shotguns (nearly a century ago, so we are talking about a much more liberal court), they upheld a ban on certain concealable weapons because the National Guard (our well-regulated militia) specifically forbid their use by active personnel.

Mine's the one with...um...two pipes and a board in the pocket. Yeah, that's it. Definitely not a sawn-off shotgun...

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Anonymous Coward

Sawn.

The shotgun barrel has been sawn off, he sawed it off and then it was sawn.

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Thumb Down

RE: Right to bear arms

States and Cities can infringe on rights protected/granted by the constitution. This is why such shitty states as the one I am stuck in can do things like make guns illegal in Chicago, etc.

The whole DC thing went through because Washington DC is federal land.

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Sam

@ AC

""Alcohol? Where?""

The bootnote appeared AFTER I commented.

I therefore claim conspiracy theory number 3322828916645.

Thank you.

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Go

@John Bayly

Actually it could be interpreted as meaning, in order to establish said militia everyone has the right to own a gun. However...

Even if you do take that more liberal meaning of the wording, the writers of the Constitution built in a mechanism for changing things when they go past their sell by date. Namely "Amendments to the Constitution".

And you'll note there were indeed quite a few of them, as was originally intended. Quite clever really, to realise that a current set of laws and protections might not always be relevant. Or is that.. quite obvious.

So even if you take this little part of the Constitution to mean "Here, have a gun" the Government has every right to change it or even remove it completely.

It's one of the reasons we have a Government.

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Stop

We Try

We try, we really do. We just can't get it across to some numb-nodes that the firing squad has been outlawed for errant mowers. Only lethal injection is approved and then it has to be administered by a trained technician.

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Flame

yes, he was stupid

BUT...

(1) the right to keep and bear arms goes all the way back to the Revolution when the (then) king and his minions offered to kindly dis-arm the colonials so as to suppress them further. The founding fathers recognized that the citizens (then and now) may have need of arms to remove an oppressive government. Thanks to our fore-fathers for that far-reaching thoughtfulness. You may want to consider your own un-armed state with your current stasi government.

(2) he was most likely in violation of local law in discharging a firearm within city limits. In the country, where I live, I can legally shoot all day long and the state and county government have NO say in the matter.

(3) he was in violation of federal law which had been passed a long time ago regulating barrel length on "long" guns. I am not passing judgement on this. they also regulate possession of fully automatic weapons.

(4) i am curious as to what they were doing in his house and why they would have stolen/confiscated other property legally owned there. Illegal search and seizure comes to mind.

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JC

Crazy Punishment

In the US of A we don't go around imprisoning people without some very important (to US) reason.

That reason is that it's ok to own deadly weapons but only CERTAIN TYPES. There's no sport in killing if you have an unfair advantage against an unarmed lawnmower.

If the fellow had been brighter, he might've said the lawnmower was a disguised terrorist conceiling a fuel bomb, then he'd have been a hero.

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Anonymous Coward

I reckon

everyone has the constitutional right to keep uppity machines in their place.

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Joke

Rage against the Machine

I can't believe no one has mentioned the ROTM angle! Clearly, this was a case of a brave human fighting against a vicious machine that was illegally conspiring to make his grass tall. Obviously, it was self defense, but now that he is caught up in the cogs of the "legal machine", our freedom fighter may just learn what Rage against the Machine is all about.

Seriously though, he's in trouble for discharging a weapon inside city limits (prohibited) and possession of a shotgun with a barrel less than 18.5" (VERY illegal). Had he lived in the sticks, and shot it with a legal weapon, we wouldn't be having this discussion - it really would be a case of his yard, his mower.

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what ever...

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

How did this ever get translated to "every nutjob can buy themselves a firearm", personally I see it as "if you're part of a militia (one that's well regulated) you can bear arms". Admittedly, this was overruled in 2008 in favour of "here, have a gun".

It always amazes me when people read the second amendment and totally overlook two very important things:

1) The "Bill of Rights" (aka: first 10 amendments) was completely about the RIGHTS of INDIVIDUALS. There isn't one single amendment in there that guarantees a right to any level of government. Period.

2) Did you even READ the second part of that amendment??? "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." THE RIGHT of the PEOPLE to KEEP and BEAR arms shall NOT be INFRINGED. Is that so very hard to read? Pull up your dictionary (an old hardback please) and look up "infringed" if you REALLY want to get the pulse up.

Do just a TINY bit of research on the debates the founding fathers had while preparing the Bill of Rights.

Hell, most of the debate was around "Hell, EVERYONE knows these are basic rights given by GOD. If we put them into the Constitution, some DUMB ASS 200 years from now will actually decide that WE gave them those rights and then try to limit them!"

It still amazes me how many people can read the Constitution and then selectively translate it to mean what they want. The read the 1st amendment and some how translate that into banning God from everything (along with creating the whole "separation of Church and State", a phrase that appears NO WHERE in the Constitution in any form!) as well as somehow create a right to privacy that is then used to allow pretty much anything these people want to do. At the same time, these same folks are completely able to totally IGNORE the 10th amendment (powers reserved for the States and people) while creating Federal bureaucracies that have NO possible allowance in the Constitution.

I'll be the first one to admit that there are things in the Constitution I don't like. I personally feel the 17th amendment (Senators are directly elected by the populace instead of being appointed by the States) was the single biggest mistake this country ever made. But I don't go around and try to convince other people that it doesn't mean what it says! Too bad the left isn't so liberal in there own attitudes and understanding of the Constitution.

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Not so much...

The man wasn't charged for shooting his mower. He was charged for "possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle and disorderly conduct". In most areas, it's illegal to possess a sawed-off shotgun, under the notion that desiring the increase in the spread would only be useful in an anti-personnel capacity. As for the disorderly conduct, he was probably shouting obscenities and generally disturbing the peace.

The government isn't saying you can't shoot your lawnmower. They're saying you can't do it with an illegal gun, and you can't be a nuisance to others. Only newsworthy for the humor of a man "putting down" his lawn equipment, and not for the "damned government stripping us of our rights" wackos.

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Pirate

Daniel, hammers and svastikas

"Now all we need to wait for is which costume our slave masters will put on next: a hammer and sickle, or a swastika?"

Or maybe a red dot, or a green crescent, or a white cross? My money is still on the star'n stripes costume... yeah, definitely.

Or maybe your comparison just doesn't work for the tiny unimportant portion of the world population that happens NOT to live in the US of A? The hammer and sickle happened to be the representation of labour and hard work (which is maybe why it was so hated by... an unnamed large imperialist state) and the svastika was the symbol of the sun in some unamed extinct civilisation, they therefore are both ambiguous and can't be used to depict pure evil. The stars and stripes, on the other hand...*

Not that the remark would be justified in this case anyway: he would have faced trouble if he had used a nuke, too (or maybe not, but for purely technical reasons). I don't think that the lawnmower was a problem in this particular case. Owning an illegal piece o'weaponry, and using it in town, might be the key. As stated in the article.

* I would have suggested the blue flag with stars in a circle, but it's not unambiguous, and I wouldn't dare to defy the Catholic church and its newly-acquired intergalactic allies.

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Stop

too bad he wasn't an Official Minority

then he coulda got off the hook with a fine and claimed it was part of his "culture" to blow things up, get drunk and abuse his wife, whatever his "homeland" allows.

Mexicans firing guns downtown to celebrate their Cinco de Mayo and the worst punishment was confiscation of the firearms and threat (which wasn't carried out) of deportation for illegals.

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Flame

50%=F

Have you read the ENTIRE 2nd Amendment? The founding Fathers linked Militia and Arms by putting them into one sentence. They also threw in that bit about the security of the State. Only after listing two organizations did they they grant the people the right to bear arms. There are limits in the first half of the sentence that must be read as applying to the second half. No government, no matter how democratic (and the original US of A was anything but) would allow citizens to overthrow it. The whole model of our government is based on checks and balances.

Selective reading is only acknowledging half of a sentence. If any of my students turn in a paper or answer that is only 50% correct, the get an F.

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I guess

It would not be worth mentioning here if he used a sledge hammer or a sword. Wait maybe in the UK since replica swords are banned.

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Dead Vulture

Varmints

Look, Ma! There's gun trolls in the website agin! Fetch muh unconstitutionally eelegal shootin' iron!

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