Dangerous 89 Year Old Lady Jailed (Updated)

Move over Bill Ayers, there is a much bigger terrorist in the news and her name is Edna Jester. (Sounds suspiciously like a Muslim name, doesn’t it?) It seems Edna has a habit of keeping various sports balls that get hit/kicked/knocked over her fence. Clearly, she is a kleptomaniac. How clever of her to build a fence around her home to trap these balls.

A mother of one of the children that had his ball confiscated called the good folks at the police station and they stormed the house. It is unclear whether they were forced to use a Taser on the spry 89 year old but, fortunately, they were able to subdue her and charge her with petty theft. If you ask me, she should have received a full on larceny charge but I guess the Cincinnati police are just soft.

Police Capt. James Schaffer said that this was an “on-going” dispute so there is no doubt that Edna is trafficing these stolen balls overseas to terrorists. If not, she is probably using the balls to pay for her “alleged” crack addiction. Thank God they have at least temporarily taken this criminal off of the street. My hope is that she will be on an upcoming episode of America’s Most Wanted.

Ok. Let me get to the point.

I hope when Edna gets home she tracks down Kelly “I have way too much time on my hands” Tanis, who called the cops, and rams every ball she has collected over the years up her dumb a**. If she actually called the police because Edna took her kids $15 ball, I am quite confidant that even an 89 year old woman can handily kick her butt up and down the street. When she is done with her, she should grab the kid and beat the daylights out of him, too.

I am always impressed by the people that think law enforcement is their personal protector. Yes, Mommy Dearest could have just knocked on Edna’s door and asked for the ball back but why should she when she can just call the po po instead? Or how about this idea? Have your uncoordinated kid take up a hobby where he won’t be putting the ball in Edna’s yard every other day. 

Freakin’ soccer moms are out of control. Free Edna!!! Free Edna!!! Free Edna!!!

EDIT: Some 2 months after the initial incident, Edna has decided to sue the Tanis family for “emotional distress”. Unless some specifics come out that show the Tanis family harangued or harassed Edna after the initial incident, I must say I am disappointed in Edna’s decision (although I am not surprised). Again, much like the Tanis’ decision to call the cops over the ball, Edna is showing poor judgment in filing this lawsuit. (I will add the caveat that there may be extenuating circumstances that have yet to come forward).

Where the hell is Rodney King when you need him?

(Thanks Jackie for the update).


50 Responses to Dangerous 89 Year Old Lady Jailed (Updated)

  1. UF says:

    How the hell is this petty theft?

  2. tannerleah says:

    I don’t know but I have a neighbor that I am sure stole my baseball. He is going down!

    If Edna goes to jail, will she have to get prison tats at her age?

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. tannerleah says:

    Thanks Anon for the compliment. I also thought the two made for a great comparison. Good to see great minds think alike!

  5. domigian says:

    Kelly needs to spend a little more time making sure her 5 kids don’t grow up to be white trash idiots like herself. She’s got enough time to have an old woman arrested, but not enough time to teach her kids how to be respectful? Kelly needs a life!

  6. tannerleah says:

    Amen, domigian. You hit the nail right on the head.

  7. Joe Shmoe says:

    1. Why would the police think that the boy is entitled to having the ball returned to him and Enda as the perpetrator in this bizarre crime?

    2. Did the arresting officers ever stop to consider that there is a possibility that the boy throws his balls over the fence just to bust the chops of the old lady? Boys will be boys you know.

    3. Where is the common sense of these people? I i.e.… hand cuffing an 89-year-old lady over the dispute for a stinking ball? Get real and use your head!!!!!

  8. DJV says:

    Thank you for being so kind and understanding to my grandmother. This on going ordeal has just been too much for her. Her house is pelted and they have run down her fence retreving the errant balls. By the way after many other attempts at fixing the problem (usually at the expense of grandma’s rights) it was the police who told her to keep the balls and make a log of when she found them in her yard. They also placed a horrile “No Tresspassing” sign in her front window. This is thier idea of fixing the problem of parents who let thier children run amuck with out supervision. The parents are now running a smear campaign against grandma and are running her good name through the mudd. I supposed it is the only way to cover up he shame of their behavior. She has never said a negative word against the parents or the children. She has only ever asked to be left in peace. But she is willing to fight for her right to that peace. Once again, your kindness and civliity assure us that there are still people with common sense, morals and values.

  9. tannerleah says:

    Well, DJV, you can see from the responses that most everyone feels the same way. Trust me when I tell you that your Grandma is without question on the right side of the fence in this matter. (No pun intended). Have her make some “Free Edna” t-shirts and at least she can make some money on the deal.

  10. Erin Cowan says:

    Haha, this is a great article. I’m Kelly’s half-sister. I was shocked when my dad called me and told me she was on Inside Edition! What about taking the kids to the park & letting them kick the ball there? Honestly. Arresting a grandmother? Ridiculous!

  11. Kelly Tanis says:

    Hello, dumbasses. I’m Kelly Tanis, and let’s play a match of intelligence, and, uhm, facts. Go for it – let’s see whose facts hold up. Fun games – love this stuff, truly. You challenge my intelligence, and I might jump through the hoops….let’s go for it – we’ll see who wins.

    (Although I suppose I must give my disclaimer here – it’s way way later than I’m usually awake, and work and family and real life will likely not put me back here for quite awhile, though I will make an attempt for people of such worthiness as you, my truly greatest adversaries, to return and review your little comments again – but I’m not promising)…..

    Anyway, as I was meaning to say (you know, I’d hate to be insulting after the most warm welcome you all have provided me here)….But I was thinking that if my son were allowed to be awake right now, I would let him to blow you out of the water, but since my boy has a bedtime, a curfew, a slew of rules, and a 3.83 GPA in double accelerated courses ….and since he feels determined to keep above his younger sister’s grades, (who skipped into his grade) and since they’re both determined (though failing miserably) to beat my GPA in college, I suppose it would make me a horrible mother to wake him up and make him aware of the idiots on this site. I’m sure he’ll be disappointed to have missed out on such easy fodder.

    But, what can you do? You know how it is with those genius 13-year-olds. At least I get to hold onto the comfort of knowing that I specifically moved into one of America’s top 50 fabulous places to raise a family so that my kids could get the best possible education and feel comfortable in their own neighborhood – or backyard – or front yard – or neighbors’ backyard – or their front yards, for that matter.

    It does continue to amaze me, however, how kids like him get accused of such ridiculousness and no one bothers to mention the volunteer work they do for the elderly or the committee they might be on which is organizing an Adopt-A-Soldier program, or the amount of money they may have made for their families or the love and respect that they may have for their elders – especially their parents and neighbors.

    But – hey – as long as some asshole who knows nothing more than a 30-second snippet of some out-of-town newsbite has the willingness to believe he has more intelligence than the likes of such a boy….hey, who are we Americans to show any level of intelligence and challenge the idiocy of such a thing?

    But you asked for it, you got it.

    At any rate…

    Edna Jester was never handcuffed – she screamed at officers and threatened to hurt them and told them they had better handcuff her or else she might beat the crap out of them or run away, and they refused to do so – but she was never cuffed.

    Edna was not taken to jail, either. She was driven three minutes in a police car and was helped into a room with a table and comfy chair where she sat for twenty minutes in the Blue Ash police department. She was then brought home and the officer helped her up to her house. He helped her find her key and to open and unlock her door, and he made sure she was safely inside before leaving.

    I never called the police. I wasn’t even home. Watch the news, people. My husband was playing ball with my son, not me. He called the police not me. And he only did so because Edna told him to. Oh, so yeah, this isn’t an issue of people not keeping a watchful eye on their poor neglected THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD kids. Oh, and since parents and video cameras were there, I’m pretty sure there was no trespassing, either.

    My son DID apologize to Edna – it was the first thing out of his mouth when the ball rolled. My husband asked if he could retrieve it, she said no. No one could ever be charged with trespassing since no one walked even one step on her property. When Edna picked up the ball, my son said, “I’m sorry, Edna.”

    My husband came forward and asked for the ball back. Edna said, “No, Paul, I’m sorry, you’ll need to call the police.”

    She said this because Officer Bray told her to – it’s been our regular custom. Every time she would call the police because someone stepped into her grass to retrieve a ball, he would come talk with her and keep her company for several hours, and then he’d come talk with my son for a couple of minutes. That was our little agreement. Unfortunately, the sergeant decided he no longer liked that agreement, even though my husband told him that he didn’t want to push the issue because he was afraid of how she might react.

    Do some digging…find out about the situation – wow, how stupid you all look today after the dust has settled a bit and everyone clearly can see what’s going on.


    Challenge me. Dare you.

    Where are you people from anyway? The boondocks? Heck, they played ball in the street there, too, you know. Name a place where they didn’t?

  12. Kelly Tanis says:


    What grandchild are you? Are you the same one who was willing earlier today to come up with a positive resolution to this whole lying mess of a situation, or are you really the crazy lady with the chubby chipmunk husband? Because my husband has talked with Edna’s grandchildren, and he’s helped take care of your grandma on a regular basis when no grandchildren have been around….and since Edna was on the radio stations this morning talking about having no family to care for her, I guess I’m confused. Which is it?

    Is your family really wanting to do this flag football thing?

    When did Edna’s fence get trampled? Who fixed it since it’s not been moved? Who was it that ever trespassed on her property? You yourself say that she would never say a negative word about against us or my children – so why do you think that is? Are my children to blame for any of your accusations? Have you ever come to me to discuss any of your concerns? Because I remember Edna’s grandchildren apologizing to my husband if Edna had caused any harm to my children and had indicated that they felt her behavior towards children in the neighborhood was ridiculous….and I recall my husband telling those true grandchildren that she had been no problem to us – she was a little overbearing, but nothing we couldn’t handle.

    So, which is it, oh granddaughter of Edna??? Are you the people who are helping us organize this flag football game between your children and the neighborhood kids to raise money for Edna, or are you some fraud trying to make money off of an old woman’s issues that are none of your business? Or are you just Jamie, our neighborhood psycho who has been posing all over the Internet as someone who is wanted to be involved in this situation?

    Which is it, really? Why don’t you call George at 107.1 and have him resolve this miscommunication between you and I?

  13. Kelly Tanis says:

    DJV: If you really are Edna’s granddaughter, we’ve been dying to talk with any of you to discuss some important aspects of this whole stupid thing that haven’t come out. I’d really like to talk, but you must understand that investigations have proven that certain user ids in several sites have traced back to one URL and that person has been blocked from several sites. Seeing a posting here that indicates you could be Edna’s grandchild is disconcerting, given what we know of her grandchildren, and I have a hard time trusting things online. Please contact me at my junkmail email adress, tanisclan@msn.com.

    If you truly are Edna’s granddaughter, I should hope you’re aware of what we’re trying to put together to raise money for her with the local radio station. And I should think you wouldn’t be hostile like this toward us, which is the reason I don’t believe you to be her grandchild. But on the off chance that you are, PLEASE CONTACT ME. We need to talk.

  14. Kelly Tanis says:

    Yea, so, by the way, no fences trampled, no property damaged, no uncoordinated idiot children, no broken windows, no none of what you people are rambling aimlessly about…and I have to assume that whomever is claiming to be Edna’s grandchild can’t really be since none of the things she describes ever happened.

    How about a “LET OUR CHILDREN PLAY” tee shirt?

  15. Kelly Tanis says:


  16. tannerleah says:

    Kelly – I apologize for the delay in approving your posts. I am old and go to sleep early so that is why it took me so long. I never block responses, just spam.

    You started your first response with “Hello, dumbasses”. I think this kind of attitude might go a long way in explaining some of the problems here. While I am sure you are upset, you might want to lead with something slightly less hostile next time.

    You also are not focusing on the core point here. You and your son have absolutely no right to trespass on Edna’s property. It’s as simple as that. If a ball accidentally goes on her property, she has the right to not return it.

    You also state that your 13 year old son refers to her as “Edna”. I know I am old school but would Ms. Jester be too difficult to teach him?

    Lastly, you seem to have some anger management issues but it could be that you are just having a bad day…we all do from time to time. I hope you are feeling better today and ease off of the “chubby chipmunk” and “asshole” type of comments. I try to keep it PG 13 here.

    Kind regards,

  17. tannerleah says:

    Wow Jennifer – That was fast. I am sure some of the proceeds will go to Ms. Jester, correct?

  18. Kelly Tanis says:

    See, that’s exactly the point I’ve been making. THERE WAS NO TRESPASSING. You people think you can just say anything and it makes it true. Get the reality here.

  19. Kelly Tanis says:

    I do apologize for my harsh statements. Believe me, it had been an extremely long day and I had no desire to come on any of these sites, but when my sister called me from Florida to tell me that her son had seen people posting my home phone number and address and telling angry bloggers who live in our area to “teach my son a lesson” themselves since they believed there is no parenting going on here….and after deleting the twenty-five hateful, threatening voice mail messages on my phone…and after going through eight different sites and reporting the people who are organizing to try to get people to harass me and my family…well, I’m sure you can understand my frustration. GET THE FACTS.

    ERIN, that goes for you to. Once again, you’ve no idea what’s going on. You’ve refused to keep in touch just as much as I have. Going on blogs and adding fuel to the fire doesn’t help your nephews or your neices, you know. You don’t know anything about us, we haven’t heard from or seen you for many years. I’m sorry that that’s the case, but don’t come on these kinds of sites and make the claim that you’re my half-sister as if you know anything about me. If you have questions about me, you can always call. My number’s never changed. Or ask Laura if you’d like, but don’t try to get at me this way – it’s just not you.

  20. tannerleah says:

    Agreed, no trespassing. However, that would be your only option to get the ball back. Since that is not an option because you respect Edna’s property, she can keep the ball if she so chooses. That’s the reality.

  21. tannerleah says:

    I would never approve a post with your personal information. Also, people that are making threats are over the line but this is an ever growing problem with the ability to “hide” behind the internet.

    As to your frustration, and I am not trying to be mean here, but isn’t it almost 100% self inflicted? I still am under the assumption that someone from your family called the police. If so, shouldn’t you have ownership of the problem?

    This site is meant mostly for a few chuckles to get people through their day. If I have offended you, I apologize.

  22. Kelly Tanis says:

    No, not in Ohio. Apparently it is illegal. You wouldn’t be allowed to keep your neighbor’s dog if it ran onto your property, and you are not allowed to keep a friend’s car just because it’s parked in your driveway. Same thing here. We have a neighborhood watch officer here who usually takes care of this – you have to understand – we didn’t call the police to have her arrested. My husband was with my son at the time this occurred, playing ball with him. The ball rolled onto her property, and she came down from her proch and wouldn’t let Paul onto her property to retrieve it. My son apologized right there and then to Edna. (by the way, he calls her Edna because he didn’t know her last name until all of this – she makes it clear he’s never been disrespectful to her.) Paul asked Edna to toss her the ball, and she said “No, Paul, I’m sorry, you go call the police.” So he called the office (not 911) and asked the dispatcher if they could come by and talk with her to get the ball back. Watch the Inside Edition report – you’ll hear the call.

    When the officer came, he talked to Edna, she said she wanted to talk to Officer Bray (the neighborhood liasion officer). Officer Bray was working the next morning, and my husband told the officer that he didn’t want to push it; he just wanted the ball back. He told the officer it would be fine to wait til Officer Bray was on duty the next day. But the officer went to his car and didn’t leave. My husband went out and asked what was up, and the officer said that his sergeant decided he doesn’t want this to be a police matter anymore and that he wasn’t willing to wait for Bray, that he was “adamant about getting the ball back tonight.” Paul told the officer that was fine, but he said, “I don’t think it’s worth pushing her – I know she’s supposed to be on medication for nerves and she doesn’t take it. I don’t want to get her upset.”

    Then all hell broke loose when the other officer and the first went into her house and she started yelling at them and telling them to arrest her. She was telling them she’d hurt them and so they should put handcuffs on her. Of course they didn’t, and at one point the officer yelled at her and said, “I am not going to put handcuffs on a 90-year-old woman!!”

    We never pressed any charges against her. We just want the ball back and for this all to go away. Edna’s been more upset lately because she’s been meeting with another neighbor who is the true problem here. I had asked the police officers to talk “off the record” to Edna’s grandchildren because they’re the ones who told us that this particular neighbor is getting Edna all upset and riled up – it’s the same person who has been online nonstop for hours on end relentlessly attacking me and my son.

    I’ve got to get to work – I’m late – but I want people to hear the true story. And again, I apologize for going off last night – if you read the Cincinnati Enquirer or go on 700WLW’s website you can hear and read the kinds of things we’ve been saying – we never wanted anything like this to happen to Edna.

    One quick other note – sorry for writing a book here…

    107.1 is hoping to organize a flag football game to help raise money for Edna – they want to have the neighborhood kids play a friendly game with Edna’s grand or great-grandkids. I LOVE THIS IDEA and really want to see it happen. I think it would be a great way to bring this neighborhood together – to do something fun – to turn this craphole of a situation into a positive. I was thinking we could get the Blue Ash police involved – have them find the venue for us – and maybe get them to drop the charges – 107.1 wants to sponsor it, and they’re talking about making it a fun day kind of thing, raising money to buy some shrubs for Edna’s lawn or a nice fence or something – and also to buy the kids some new balls, and anything after that could be donated – we could donate half to the schools or something and half to an organization of Edna’s choosing…..I’d really like to talk with her granddaughter about this!

    Ok, truly, I gotta go to work!

  23. Kelly Tanis says:

    crap – in the sentence “I had asked the police officers to talk ‘off the record’ to Edna’s grandchildren….” the “they’re” I’m referring to is not the grandchildren – it’s the police. The police told us that Edna was getting upset because of her meetings with the other neighbor.
    K truly leaving now.

  24. Anebt says:

    Kelly, when I was a kid we were told to play in parks. Taxpayer money goes to build them so that kids (mostly) can use them. Yes, we had to walk. Yes, I jogged two miles to get to the tennis court with my racket in my hand. However, there was no maybe about it–parks are designed for kids to play ball–baseball, tennis, football–and that’s where we belonged. The streets were for travelers whether by car or foot. It worked. We never had a neighbor complain. The neighborhood was peaceful and quiet.

    Ms. Jester, as she should be respectfully called, comes from two generations before me. She was raised on the same principles as I was, except that she was taught to do much more, like contribute to fight world fascism and never mention such a contribution of effort and life (as my father-in-law never did when he fought in the Pacific and faced physical and mental trauma).

    You, as a mother, have no defense for your family’ actions. I don’t see you as respecting Ms. Jester, but rather, treating her as a helpless toy. She is first, as the elderly should be and are in most of the world. However, you don’t place her in a position of high honor; you compromise it so much that your relationship with her is nonexistent. For one, you allow your children to play in and around neighbor’s yards. You believe that physical boundaries are permeable at will because you have “bright” children. You insist that your children live conveniently by having someone fetch balls for your children at will. If you want to respect Ms. Jester, the best thing to do is to follow her wishes–leave her alone.

  25. tannerleah says:

    Anebt – I am not going to lie, that was a very eloquent reply. I think I am going to stay out of this one going forward.

  26. UF says:

    Boy! Maybe you best quit this blog thing.

  27. tannerleah says:

    This is what happens when you are a “people” person like myself. The love just comes out of the woodwork.

  28. PrinciplePerson says:

    Plain and simple….Sounds as if Kelly needs to take parenting and anger management classes, read up on trespassing laws, listen to R-E-S-P-E-C-T over and over, and realize that this just might in fact really be her fault.

  29. Observer Question says:

    Let’s consider the couple that videotaped this. Doesn’t the real root of all this publicity start with them? They had to release it, didn’t they? If they had not, this likely wouldn’t be a national event. Overzealous videographers! Are they the instigators of egging Edna on? If so, do they have something against the Tanis family? What motivated them? By his statement in the interview, 89 yr olds don’t get arrested in America !! Sorry … yes they do. What was their motivation to release the video? Shouldn’t all of you be wondering about this perspective?

  30. tannerleah says:

    Observer – I didn’t see the video until well after I had written my comments. (I think I read the news blurb on Yahoo). My problem with this is how any homeowner can be detained / arrested over such an insignificant event and that someone actually thought it was appropriate to involve the police over such a non event. Those two issues really annoy me.

    As to the videotape, which I did see later, I don’t know the motivation behind it. For me, personally, it is unimportant because it has nothing to do with the core issues. However, you may be absolutely correct about someone having an agenda.

  31. stopthespinning says:

    I really hate when people throw stones that live in glass houses therefore Kelly Tanis, there is no fixing ugly and you are one ugly human being. BTW, 99% of the nation thinks you are an absolute raving lunatic.

    Sorry, Tannerleah because I know you don’t care for this type of comment. But she and her husband have changed their stories so many times ever since this happened that she is the only one in her little twisted world that understands what she’s even talking about. Scary, scary, and more scary.

  32. Observer Question says:

    Tannerleah – both sides have been pushed to the brink and apparently to the extent a BAPD officer was a frequent negotiator. Any PD has a lot better things to do. I agree this is trivial, but apparently everybody had “overstayed their welcome” and BAPD had to do something. The law says the ball’s not hers, she bucked the PD and away she went. I’m glad they dropped the charges, but the law applies to all ages. The officer did his job, he’s paid to do that. Those above him did the same. That’s the system. Grass has been here long before her and will be there long after any of us. Walking on it and balls landing on it are so trivial it’s pathetic and it doesn’t hurt a thing. If the kids were mangling her bushes or something like that, it’s her fault for not calling the cops on them. Then, the kids could work to pay for that or even better, be made to buy new bushes and plant them themselves. In regards to the videographers, I agree it may not be the core of the matter. But if they were so appalled and defending of her that they had to run for the camera, what are they doing now? Maybe my logic’s a little off, but if it was that important to them, I’d think they’d be heading some group or fund to help her any way they could…. soliciting funds for a fence, lawyer fees, something. Maybe the video and the national pressure got her off the hook for the charges, so it may have accomplished something. I’m not picking on anybody, but I did think it was unfair to just look and question BAPD, Tanis’s and Mrs. Jester w/o looking at the rest of the picture. Maybe I’m just a Paul Harvey fan….and now you know the rest of the story.

  33. tannerleah says:

    Stopthespinning – No need to apologize. Most of what I write is insignificant but this subject seems to have touched a nerve in a lot of people.

    I started the blog to vent about things that frustrated me so I welcome and encourage all comments.

  34. tannerleah says:

    Observer – I appreciate everything you are saying and understand your point. In this case, I just happen to disagree. As I have mentioned, I guess I am just old school and consider a person’s home their castle. No one, or no thing, has a right to impose on my castle…it’s just how i feel.

    Having said that, I am open to the concept that I have it all wrong and am being myopic in my thinking. It has been an interesting discussion and I have enjoyed getting to read other points of view. Social discourse is sadly lacking in our country so I always like to see people engaged…even if it is on a keyboard.

  35. Observer Question says:

    tannerleah – totally agree. Basically, there are two sides like anything else. This one in particular comes down to Pro kids and privacy/property. They often are inter-mingled. I just lean towards kids, I think they are the great. I often see adults arguing about their rights and kids are left out. Adults need to be kids best advocates.

  36. PrinciplePerson says:

    Tannerleah….I agree 100%! If someone does not want objects flying, rolling, or however the Tanis’s want to sugar coat this now, onto their property, then that is their right. It’s called PRIVATE property for a reason. Mrs. Jester said that this has been going on for years. How awful. Since this has been going on for years then I still stick by my earlier posting….the parents are the only ones at fault here. And it sounds like after years of this going on that Mrs. Jester finally decided to take a stand….boy did she ever! Good for her! As for the PD….It sounds as if one in particular overstepped his bounds…per the new Cincinnati Enquirer story. That doesn’t mean the whole pd behaves that way. As for the videographers….how many millions of stories of an injustice are made public because of videographers and the injustice is made right again. On one of the newscasts it was stated that the “videographer” was a neighbor and supported Mrs. Jester. That pretty much sums it up to me. It appears that the attention that this story has received is the reason Mrs. Jester’s charges were dropped. Sounds like we all should be carrying around a camera with us these days. And yes, Tannerleah, this has hit home with millions of people. Who would have thought.

  37. Anonymous says:

    From a parents’ point of view, it appears as though the parents do not encourage discipline or respect towards other people or their property. I mean really, how many times should a person have to ask for the kids to please stop throwing things onto their property? It sounds as though Kelly herself has no respect for others and apparently this is a trait that she’s passing down to her children. And just out of curiosity, if the children are so intelligent then why can’t they figure it out for themselves that what they are doing is wrong? Maybe the children should be the ones to step up and say hey mom, Ms. Jester doesn’t want me in her yard any more, can you take some time out from your obviously busy schedule and take me to the park?

  38. anny. says:

    I am a mother of 3 and I will say if my teenagers would of kicked a ball or thru the ball into someone else’s lawn or yard then that is there fault and I definately would not of called the police on them. I certainly think the 89 yr old grandmother got the raw end of the deal here and it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure their children stay in line. If my teenagers did that then they have every right to keep the balls and it is their responsiblitiy to keep it in their own backyard and I do definately agree with everyone else.

  39. Neeneko says:

    After reading over both sides of the story, I think I am going to side with Tanis on this one.

    I think people misunderstand how property rights and trespass work, and while being elderly pulls in the heart strings it really sounds like this woman was in the wrong. It also sounds like neighbors have been dealing with a potentially belligerent woman for years now.

    I also can’t blame Tanis for being upset. The amount of demonizing going on in the press and blogs has to be pretty crushing. Most people seem to be assuming that the old woman is in the right for little reason beyond ‘old people trump young people, so in a conflict it must be the young people who are behaving poorly’

    People are not above the law simply because they are easy to feel sorry for.

  40. tannerleah says:

    Neeneko – Totally agree with the heart strings comment. I guess why I side with Edna is because, as a homeowner, I shouldn’t have to deal with this! I don’t want your football in my yard, your dog crapping in my yard, your trash blowing into my yard, etc.

    If it happens once in a while, fine, I can deal with that. The impression here is that it is an ongoing problem that the parents have never taken steps to correct. Why should anyone have to put up with it?

    As to Mrs. Tanis being “demonized”, I really think a lot of that is self inflicted. Had she came out and said, “Edna is right. We need to find a better place for the kids to play” the focus would have shifted to where it should have always been…with the over reacting police department.

  41. Neeneko says:


    As a homeowner, I agree utterly, and have had my fair share of footballs (including sometimes kids retrieving them) ending up in my back yard. So I can sympathize with Edna from that perspective. However, also from that perspective, I have an idea of what appropriate and inappropriate responses are and there is where I turn against her.

    I do disagree concerning the steps the parents took or didn’t take. If Tunis’s account is accurate it sounds like the neighborhood in general was putting effort into accommodating the woman but she took her ‘I want peace’ a little further then what would be considered socially acceptable. Since this was her front yard in a fairly dense suburban setting, enforcing strict ‘no trespassing’ is unusual and considered pretty anti-community, while children playing is generally considered normal for such an area.

  42. tannerleah says:

    Neeneko – I think you are correct. the actual complaint about the ball seems to be a matter of “he said, she said”. As you mention, more a question of what is appropriate versus what is inappropriate.

    It may well be that Edna is a cranky old lady and a terrible neighbor. If so, I would suggest it is all the more reason to stay clear of her. Not because she should be encouraged to behave that way but rather to avoid all of this drama. When I was kid, for instance, we knew who all of the “mean” people on the street were and just stayed away from them.

    Again, my main problem with all of this is the action of the police department. I don’t know any of the individuals involved so I can’t make a personal judgement on any of them. It is possible they are both nice people just caught up in a bad situation.

  43. Neeneko says:


    Looking at the events, I’m not sure how many options the police had left to them. I agree they probably should have just left it to the liaison, but I can imagine the sergeant getting fed up with this dispute.

    For the officer himself. Someone had something that didn’t belong to them, refused to return it, then became belligerent and was vocally looking to be arrested,.. I have trouble seeing what else he could have done. If an officer says ‘you have to give this back’ and you refuse, they really cant say ‘well, you said no so I’m going to leave now, esp if the person starts threatening you (and while her threats were obviously idle, she was still making them, and if you are going to apply the law fairly you have to base it off what the person is saying/doing, not an estimate of how capable they actually are of following through)

    Regardless. Yeah, it does sound like the most diplomatic solution would be for the family to find somewhere else to play, though I find that kinda distasteful. I have never liked hearing about bullies getting their way, and this would be a case of a bully dictating what people could do on their own property.

  44. lesa says:

    Well Kelly Tanis since you have posted your opinion , I will post mine. You are a classic example of spoiled generation me syndrome. You have said in articles that this has happened before and that this is an ongoing dispute. This tells me you were aware of the problem and could have either had your “genius” child move his ball playing a few feet down the block, go to a park or better yet use your OWN backyard. Not only did your “in your own words” genius son not figure this out, but your husband, an adult, actually perpetrate the act by going with your son to play near her property. You act like your son is entitled to what he wants, whenever he wants because you think he is smarter than they average bear. What happens to respect or are “genius” children (aka yours) exempt. Guess what in my old neighborhood when an elderly women asked a neighbor to stop her sons from waking her up by playing football in front of her house guess . She told her sons to play later or not in front of her house. This is what classy good neighbors do, but I guess you do have to respect anyone. I say good for Mrs. Jester to live alone at her age. Bad for you to disrupt her golden years because of just plain inconsideration.

  45. Jackie says:

    I know it’s been a long time since this incident, but I just read about it today because I guess Ms. Jester filed a lawsuit against the Tanis family for emotional damages. I just must put in my two cents. (I doubt anyone;s even reading this, it’s been over two months! But I will pontificate anyway…)

    Kelly Tanis… I see where you’re coming from, and I’m sure having a cranky old lady next door isn’t fun. But the fact is, life is full of cranky old ladies and much worse. You are not doing your kids any favors by teaching them that they can expect cranky people to stop being cranky just for them. That won’t happen. In the rest of the world, you just have to watch out for the cranky ones and not kick your prized belongings over their fence. You should also teach your kids that no 90-year-old wants to be picking up balls all the time; bending down at all is a pain for them. For that reason alone, your kids shouldn’t be kicking balls over her fence. But there’s also the fact that she’s made it quite clear that she doesn’t like it, aside from her age. Ok, it’s her property, you should respect it even if she’s being a grouch. Moreover, your son is responsible for his own football. Since this is not the first time there’s been an issue, he should not play with a ball he values around her property. You should teach him to be responsible with his belongings. If you play with your new $15 ball near a road, it could get run over. If you play with it near a ditch, it could fall in. If you play with it near a dog, it might get eaten. If you play with it near the cranky old lady, it might get taken. That’s just life, and I think you’d be better preparing your son for it by teaching him these lessons.

    This statement you made in your first post sums up my problem with your attitude here: “I specifically moved into one of America’s top 50 fabulous places to raise a family so that my kids could get the best possible education and feel comfortable in their own neighborhood – or backyard – or front yard – or neighbors’ backyard – or their front yards, for that matter.” Your kids have no business feeling comfortable in anyone else’s yard unless specifically invited, period. If they kick a ball over the fence, returning it is at the neighbor’s discretion. Yeah, she’s being a grouch by not returning it, but that’s all.

    As far as your husband calling the police… it makes no difference that he used the office line, not 911. He says he didn’t want her arrested… That’s what police do. I once called the cops on an ex boyfriend who absconded with my car… they said there was nothing they could do unless I declared the vehicles stolen, and hence get him arrested when he’s found with it. How can the police do anything about the football unless your husband declared it stolen? How can Ms. Jester be arrested for theft if the item in question isn’t officially stolen? So, yeah, he called the cops; yes, it is your family’s fault that Ms. Jester got arrested.

    Sorry you’ve had to deal with a grouchy neighbor. But I believe you handled it wrong.

    • tannerleah says:

      Jackie, thanks for the update. I had not heard about the lawsuit but will edit my original post.

      As to your comments, I think you said it as well as it could be said. I don’t think the Tanis family is evil or they are bad people…just made a poor decision in this incident.

  46. PrinciplePerson says:

    I think it’s important to note that Mrs. Tanis said another football went into Mrs. Jester’s yard AGAIN just recently! Are you kidding me???? The Tanis’s still allow their kids to throw a football around near Mrs. Jester’s property???? Any respectable & descent parent would tell their kids to play elsewhere. But, OH NO, not Mr. & Mrs. “my kids playing football is more important than my neighbor’s property rights”. Again, bad neighbors and bad parents pretty much sums it up when describing the Tanis’s. It sounds as if Mrs. Jester doesn’t have any other choice but to sue. She’s 88 yrs. It’s doubtful she’s doing it for any money. Peace and respect for her property is all she has ever wanted and this may be the only way to get it. Tanis’s….karma is headed your way and when it hits you smack in the face hopefully you won’t be to ignorant to realize that it’s happening because of what you did to this poor woman.

    • tannerleah says:

      You may be right that she feels like she has no other choice but to sue. Still, I can’t help but feel that some slick lawyer is just looking to make a buck off of her. In reality, it will only make this issue bigger, not smaller.

  47. elizabeth3hersh says:

    Perhaps it wasn’t the stray footballs that was so distressing to Mrs. Jester, but rather the noisy boisterousness that often accompanies a football game. Could confiscating the balls be her way of protesting? I’m nowhere near 88, but I wouldn’t be able to take a rowdy game of football next door either.

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