Police say Milwaukee man shoots lawn mower

Saturday, July 26, 2008 | 9:04 p.m. CDT; updated 9:10 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 26, 2008
MILWAUKEE — A 56-year-old Milwaukee man is accused of shooting his lawn mower because it wouldn’t start. Keith Walendowski has been charged with felony possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle and misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed. According to the criminal complaint, Walendowski says he was angry because his Lawn Boy wouldn’t start Wednesday morning. He told police: “I can do that, it’s my lawn mower and my yard so I can shoot it if I want.” A woman who lives at Walendowski’s house reported the incident. She says he was intoxicated. Walendowski could face up to an $11,000 fine and six years and three months in prison if convicted. A call to Walendowski’s home went unanswered Friday.

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Ellis Smith July 27, 2008 | 8:03 a.m.

This is merely a case of life imitating art. In the motion picture "Blaze," starring Paul Newman and Lolita Davidovich (1969, 117 minutes, color)a similar incident occurs. The film is billed as being a true story about former Louisiana Governor Earl Long, told by his mistress, a former stripper.

In one scene near the end of the story Blaze Star is arguing with several other people concerning the state of Earl's mental health. Through the window we see Earl outside the house making futile attempts to start a lawn mower. Just as Blaze states that "Earl Long is the sanest man I ever knew" Earl appears with a shotgun and blasts the lawn mower!

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