It’s a business that has existed for as long as there have been summer vacations and borrowed lawn mowers: A pint-size entrepreneur offers to endure the rage of a summer sun on a neighbor’s behalf, pushing a lawn mower across high grass for a small fee.
Last week, in Maple Heights, Ohio, that entrepreneur was Reggie Fields, a 12-year-old middle schooler who is the owner and mower-in-chief of Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Service. His sister and two cousins also provided manual labor in their neighborhood outside Cleveland, working a rake and a broom to corral clippings.
That’s what they told Lucille Holt-Colden, 51, who encountered them at a Dollar Tree where they were purchasing a gas canister and some lawn bags on June 23. Holt-Colden thought it was a good investment. Her grass was growing taller, and her $20 would be used to keep this particular group of black youths off the street and out of trouble.
She was mostly right.
As Reggie and his troupe were finishing up her yard, a Maple Heights Police SUV rolled up in front of Holt-Colden’s house.
When she saw the police through the window, she was surprised. Then, when she learned what had happened, she was outraged – and reached for her cellphone to share it with the world.
“My neighbors that stay in that house right there,” she said, swiveling the phone as it recorded her on video. “So I guess I have a line where part of it is not my yard. They called the police to tell the police that the kids was cutting their grass. Who does that? Who does that?”