HOLYOKE — Up until the time police put her in handcuffs and loaded her into a cruiser, Ann Musser was not expecting to be arrested. Musser was arrested at her home Friday night on an outstanding arrest warrant issued by Holyoke District Court for failing to appear in court. The court appearance was scheduled last September because Musser had failed to comply with repeated requests from the city of Holyoke in June for her to renew the license for Pumpkin, her 14-year-old family dog. Musser, 41, admits failing to pay the $5 renewal fee was an oversight on her part, but she had a lot on her mind at the time. The main thing was the diagnosis for advanced ovarian cancer and having to undergo major surgery. “Your priorities are a little different when you are fighting death,” said her husband, Ozzie Ercan. “It’s easy to lose track of how important those little pieces of paper are.” Holyoke City Clerk Brenna McGee said Tuesday that, strictly speaking, Musser was not arrested for failing to renew her dog license. The warrant was issued because Musser was ordered to appear before a judge but never showed, McGee said. In Holyoke, dog licenses must be renewed annually. Each year, some 300 of the city’s 3,400 registered dog owners are tardy with their payment and must be sent reminder notices. Musser did come to the clerk’s office to pay the $5 renewal and $25 late fee on Sept. 13, McGee said. But by then a warrant had already been issued by the courts for her arrest. Paying the late fee, McGee said, “doesn’t make the warrant go away.”We have nothing to do with that. Once a warrant is issued, it is out of our hands.” Musser and Ercan say the story is not about their dog license renewal, either. Instead, they say, it is about someone with a life-threatening illness coming face to face with an indifferent and unyielding government bureaucracy.
This was a long article, but you really got to read the entire thing to appreciate it. Because I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s arguably the most insane thing I’ve ever posted on Barstool in the decade we’ve been in business. A lady battling cancer literally being arrested by MA State troopers, cuffed and thrown in jail for not paying a 5 dollar dog renewal fee on time in Holyolke.
Honestly there are so many fucked up parts to this story I don’t even know where to begin. Is it the fact Holyoke actually issues warrants for peoples arrest over a 5 dollar dog fees? Is it the fact nobody at the courts seemed to care she had cancer when she showed up to pay the ticket? Is it the fact that state troopers actually showed up at this lady’s house and arrested her for this? Was it the jailhouse for actually putting her in a cell? The list goes on and on and one. Just a gigantic clusterfuck of ineptitude and wasted time and money.
And how about Holyoke City Clerk Benna McGee? Not even a hint of remorse in her voice. Like oh well that’s what this cancer patient gets for being 21 days late paying her dog renewal fee. Not my fault she ended up in prison. We sent her 3 notitces. She was 21 days late. I don’t care that she actually DID show up to pay the fee. Once the courts issue a warrant it’s out of of my hands, blah, blah, blah. WHY ARE YOU TURNING OVER 5 DOLLAR DOG FEES TO THE COURT SYSTEM TO BEGIN WITH!
The bottomline is this shit is flat scary. You always think in the back of your mind “this is America” common sense will prevail. Wrong. We see it time and time again and this is just another shining example of it. A bunch of absolute morons from Holyoke town officials to MA State Troopers all just refusing to use an ounce of commons sense here. Not an ounce. If it was up to me everybody involved in this story would lose their jobs. I just can’t trust anybody who can be this stupid and robotic.