Off Beat Stories

Oct 26, 2009 4:52 PM by Joe Dana

Heated tennis match lands 2 octogenarians in pokey

Two residents of Arizona's Sun City West retirement community are facing charges of resisting arrest and trespassing after they refused to leave a recreation club tennis court.

According to Maricopa County Sheriffs Deputies, 85 year-old George Morell and 82 year-old Richard Moore were playing tennis at the R.H. Johnson Recreation Center.

Staff members repeatedly asked Morell to show them his club membership card but instead he only showed them a photocopy of the card, say witnesses who were quoted in Maricopa County Court records.

A Maricopa Sheriff's Deputy was called to resolve the problem.

According to the staff members and court documents the men refused to cooperate.

The deputy told the men they needed to leave.

After the men refused the deputy told Moore he was under arrest.

When the deputy attempted to place handcuffs on Moore, he pulled his wrists away from the deputy.

"I grabbed Moore from behind and lifted him. Moore then fell back toward me as I guided him to the floor," states the deputy in court records.

The deputy also states: "George came over to where I was trying to detain Raymond. George attempted to come over my back to assist Raymond."

After additional deputies arrived, Moore injured his arm during the scuffle and later tried to spread his blood onto the arresting deputy, according to the documents.

Both men were booked in the Maricopa County Jail and later released.

An administrator at the center says the men have been members for several years.

She says Thursday was the third consecutive day Morell was told by staff members that he needed to bring his membership card to play tennis and that a photocopy was not sufficient.

"They've known the rules for years and we have to enforce them," said Katie O'Grady, administrator of Recreation Centers of Sun City West.



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