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Brookline Police arrest man after alleged leaf blower violation

Posted by Brock Parker  September 17, 2013 07:11 PM

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Brookline Police arrested a landscaper Saturday for allegedly violating local leaf blower laws and then refusing to identify himself to an officer.

By Tuesday, though, the case was beginning to unravel.

Marvin Astillo, 40, of Waltham, was arrested Saturday after Brookline Police said they spotted him and another man using gasoline powered leaf blowers in a parking lot at 850 Boylston Street Saturday morning before 9 a.m. Three other men were also doing landscaping work on the property at the time, including pulling weeds and using a lawn mower, according to a police report.

Police signaled for the men to stop working and informed them that under a local bylaw governing leaf blower use in Brookline they are not allowed to use the gasoline-powered tools between May 15 and Sept. 15 and they are not allowed to perform landscaping work before 9 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Police informed the men that Saturday was Yom Kippur.

The local leaf blower laws took effect in Brookline in June 2012, and violations carry fines ranging from $50 for a first offense to $200 for a third offense.

But when police asked Astillo to identify himself, he asked why he needed to provide identification, according to the police report. Police again informed him that he was violating the town’s bylaws and he needed to provide identification so he could be issued a citation for the violation, according to police. Police said Astillo again refused to identify himself and when police asked a third time he began to walk away and was shaking his head.

He was then arrested on a charge of refusing to submit his name and identification to police and for two violations of town bylaws, according to police.

The second man who had been operating a leaf blower, whose name has not been released, said he was the foreman and identified himself to police. He was fined a total of $100 for operating a gasoline powered leaf blower between May 15 and Sept. 15 and performing landscaping with equipment prior to 9 a.m. on a Saturday, according to police.

Update: On Tuesday, the case against Astillo began to fall apart.

Brookline District Court Judge Mary Dacey White dismissed the complaint against Astillo on Monday, before he was to be arraigned, David Traub, spokesman for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, said Tuesday. Traub said it is the district attorney office’s understanding that the complaint was dismissed because only criminal violations are supposed to go through the arraignment process; the leaf blowing incident was a civil infraction.

As a result of the dismissal, Brookline Police Chief Daniel O’Leary said Tuesday he doesn’t think Astillo will have to pay fines for the alleged leaf blower violations, either.

O’Leary said Tuesday that if Astillo had just co-operated with police from the start, he never would have been arrested.

“Our goal is not to arrest people,” O’Leary said. “Our goal is to get compliance.”


--brock.globe@gmail.com

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