An elderly woman was detained for failing to pay a late trash bill, shocking a neighborhood that believed her arrest was a bit overzealous.
The incident occurred on Sunday, November 27th, in Valley, Alabama, a small town of only 9,500 residents. Valley Police arrested 82-year-old for failing to pay for her trash services in June, July, and August. According to code enforcement officers, they tried making Menefield aware of her outstanding balance on several occasions to no avail. Eventually, she was issued a citation with a court date of September 7th, 2022. The notice was left on her front door with the contact information, but authorities say Menefield never followed up.
Menefield did not show up to her court date, which resulted in a “Failure to Pay-Trash” warrant being issued. The woman has had a hard time affording her trash services, dating back to 2006. Since that year, her service has been revoked 22 times, three of which were in the past two years.
Residents of Valley slammed the police for going to such extreme measures considering that Menefield was already financially strapped and a senior.
“At 82, she has to make sacrifices with the pricing of everything now. Food or trash…I would definitely hold my head down in shame,” one commenter wrote on the Valley Police Department’s Facebook post about the incident. Another voiced their disdain for the department, stating they should “all be shamed.” However, Chief Reynolds stands by his officers, explaining that they had no option but to carry out the court order.
“While our officers can use their discretionary judgment on certain matters, the enforcement of an arrest warrant issued by the court and signed by a magistrate is not one of them,” Reynolds explained in a press release. He went on to add that Menefield was treated respectfully by arresting officials and has since bonded out.