Police Blotter: Plea Deal For Rogue Ficus Trimmer
A biologist named "Roy van de Hoek" -- this story had me at "van de Hoek" -- was prosecuted under the "trim a ficus, go to jail" law for a crime he allegedly committed in the so-called "Ballona Wetlands" in the Marina del Rey / Playa del Rey area.
According to the L.A. Times, "was charged with cutting down nonnative invasive plants in the wetlands without permission." (In my day, we would have just called that "trespassing in a swamp," but why use just four words when you can use 10, after all?)
Anyway, this alleged criminal copped a plea. He will not be picking up trash by the highway. He will be giving tours of the very area where he committed his alleged dastardly deed.
You know what that deal reminds me of? Back in the 1988, when Rob Lowe was caught with two teenage girls, his plea agreement, as I recall, involved his doing community service by giving speeches at -- you guessed it -- high schools.
Ficus article: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cutter21oct21,1,1191170.story?coll=la-headlines-california
Rob Lowe article: http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,6737,518317,00.html