Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – An elderly man ran afoul of the law Jan. 18 when a landscaper caught him driving his tractor down 20th Avenue.
According to a Safford Police report, the landscaper had left the tractor at the Casa de Flores apartment complex at 1775 S. 20th Ave. to go get some supplies. The landscaper said he was using the tractor to do some leveling on the property.
On his way back, however, the landscaper noticed an “old man” – later identified as Robert Dixon – on a tractor that looked like his heading northbound on 20th Avenue. Upon arrival at the apartments, he noticed his tractor was missing and went back to locate Dixon.
The landscaper caught up with Dixon and the tractor near Bulldog Lane and managed to force him to pull over.
The landscaper told an investigating officer that he had taken the key to the tractor with him, but Dixon had used another key he located to start the tractor.
The officer spoke with Dixon, who said he had “borrowed” the tractor to travel to Walmart so he could cash a check. Dixon apologized and said in hindsight that it wasn’t a very good idea to use the equipment without permission.
Dixon was advised that the owner of the tractor would be notified of the situation to see if he wanted to pursue charges and he was then released to go back into his apartment.
Casa de Flores is a subsidized apartment complex designed for the elderly and mobility impaired who are living at 60 percent or less of the area median income. The complex reports that residents are eligible to receive transportation assistance from the Southeastern Arizona Community Action Program, which provides transportation to “nutrition sites, medical appointments, and shopping in Safford.”