Florida man jailed for brown lawn freed

There is a large sign outside Joe Prudente’s home in Hudson. It reads, “Free At Last.” He put it up Sunday after spending the weekend in jail.

Prudente lives in the Beacon Woods subdivision. The community has deed restrictions requiring lawns be kept green. Prudente says his sprinkler system broke, and then his mortgage payments shot up by $600 a month.

He says he was confronted with a dilemma: keep a roof over his head, or spend the money to keep his lawn green. Prudente let the grass die. That prompted the Beacon Woods Homeowners’ Association to go to court. The association won a court order demanding Prudente green up his grass. After a long legal fight, Prudente gave up. He turned himself in at the Pasco County jail Friday…

When people in the community heard about Prudente’s plight, volunteers got two companies to donate sod. They then went over and replaced his grass themselves. Even Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano chipped in to help.

I’m lucky. The community association I belong to is run by human beings.

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