A person is in custody after police say a high grass violation resulted in shots fired against Fort Worth police, code compliance officers, and a lawn mowing company.
Around 8:30 a.m. Friday, Fort Worth police assisted code compliance officers with the city of Fort Worth regarding a warrant for a high grass violation at a home on the 4800 block of Cedar Springs Drive. Brandon Bennett, director of Code Compliance for the city of Fort Worth, said the particular property has had a number of high grass violations since 2010.
“In this case, the owner had not responded to a notice to mow the tall grass. We went to the municipal court to get a warrant to enter the property and mow the tall grass for him. Then we bill the owner,” Bennett said Friday. “There was enough history with this person and enough indication that when we did a risk assessment and it’s something we do whenever we do a warrant to enter on someone’s property, that we felt the risk was sufficient enough take the police with us.”
No one answered the door after several attempts, Bennett said. They posted the warrant and an independent mowing company starting working. Officer Jimmy Pollozani with the Fort Worth Police said moments later, the homeowner began shooting from inside the home.
“The officers are okay. Several of the vehicles belonging to code compliance were struck by bullets,” Officer Pollozani said.
Officers took cover and SWAT moved in, he said.
“Obviously with a simple call as high grass where we went to go assist the individual, had independent mowers to cut his grass… and for the outcome to come out like this, it tells you there is no such thing as a routine call,” Pollozani told NBC 5 Friday. “These are the dangers these officers face every single day when they put that uniform on.”
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Melissa Sandoval lives nearby and said she heard around six or seven rounds.
“I couldn’t even keep count,” Sandoval said. “I actually screamed because I’ve never heard that before, so we ducked down and just stayed down.”
Bennett said the issue with high grass is less of an eyesore and more about health amid the summer months.
“Tall grass is a habitat for mosquitos, so we will work with the police department and their investigation. We will work together to complete that investigation,” Bennett said.
The suspect is expected to be charged with aggravated assault, police said.