'Y'all put me in this cage?': 82-year-old Alabama grandmother said she was told by police officers 'not to cry' after they arrested her for not paying her trash bill

Light Bar on Police Car - stock photo
Light Bar on Police Car - stock photo  
  • Martha Louis Menefield was arrested on Sunday after police said she did not pay her trash bill.

  • Menefield told CBS 42 that she thought her bills were paid and that she never received a notice or citation.

  • Valley Police Chief Mike Reynolds said Menefield was treated with respect during the arrest.

An 82-year-old woman in Alabama was arrested for failing to pay her trash bill, police said.

Martha Louis Minefield, a longtime resident of Valley, Alabama, was arrested on Sunday after she failed to make payments for her trash service for the months of June, July, and August, according to a statement by Valley Police Chief Mike Reynolds.

Code Enforcement attempted to contact Menefield several times and issued a citation in August that advised her to appear in court on September 7, police said. A warrant for Menefield's arrest was subsequently issued after she failed to appear in court, per officials.

Menefield, however, told local news outlet CBS 42 that she was surprised when police officers came to her home on Sunday to arrest her.

The senior told the outlet that she had never received any notice to appear in court and that she thought the $77.80 bill had already been paid because her trash pickup was never suspended.

"I was upset because I didn't know why they would come and arrest me," Menefield told the outlet.

Menefield told CBS 42 that she asked the officer, "how would you feel if they came and arrested your grandmama," after he placed the handcuffs on her and told her not to cry.

"I'm just happy my grandkids weren't here to see that," Menefield told CBS 42. "That would have upset them. I was so ashamed. And it's been bothering me."

In the press release, police Chief Reynolds defended the arrest by saying Menefield was treated with respect.

"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 said in the statement. "Ms. Menefield was treated respectfully by our officers in the performance of their duties and was released on a bond as prescribed by the violation."

Menefield was released on bond after spending a short amount of time being processed at Valley Police Department, according to the police statement.

"I was in a little cage-like thing at the police station," Menefield told CBS 42. "And I said 'Y'all put me in this cage? You ought to be ashamed of yourself."


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