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THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2007
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Suspected litterbug in Athens goes to jail

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ATHENS — She already had the cops' attention for not following the rules.

In addition, she was walking near the Athens Police Department. On top of that, she was within sight of the department's surveillance camera.

So the 23-year-old Missouri woman shouldn't have been surprised she went to jail after leaving a broken bottle in the road and arguing with an officer over whether littering is a crime.

Officer Jay Looney said the department received a call about people selling magazines door-to-door in Athens on Tuesday evening. The group from St. Louis did not have a business license.

Police found part of the group and brought them, including the woman, to the station. Police identified the woman as Latrice R. Grawer, 23, of St. Louis.

Get out of town

Looney said the group's organizer was going to pick up Grawer and the group and leave town.

Looney said Grawer got tired of waiting and walked to a nearby gas station.

Lt. Floyd Johnson said that on Shaw Street, which is adjacent to the department, Grawer allegedly dropped a glass bottle, and it broke. He said she refused to pick it up.

Looney said the department's outside camera caught the incident. Officer Charlie Clem went to write her a citation for littering.

Johnson said Grawer got boisterous and allegedly refused to give Clem her identification. Looney said Grawer told Clem she "didn't see a problem with littering" and that "littering is not a crime."

"She wouldn't get out of the roadway and wouldn't stop yelling," Johnson said, "so officer Clem decided to arrest her."

The officer showed this woman from the Show-Me State that, yes, littering is indeed a crime.

Clem charged her with disorderly conduct and littering, both misdemeanors.

Grawer is out of jail on $500 bond for the disorderly conduct. If found guilty of littering in Municipal Court, under the city's newly adopted litter ordinance, she faces fines and community service time picking up litter.

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