WWII Vet Jailed for Not Being Able to Afford Repairs to His Business
An 88-year-old World War II veteran was thrown in jail for not being able to afford repairs to his business. Kenneth Knudson’s jewelry store was deemed a public hazard zone and in need up updates.
The city of Horton, Kansas offered to do the repair work for $10,000 dollars and apply it to his taxes. Knudson, whose jewelry store business is already struggling, said that was too expensive.
On December 23, he appeared in court and told a judge he did not have the money. The judge then fined Knudson $100 dollars and put him in jail for one night.
The beauty salon he owns next door is barely keeping him and his wife of 66 years afloat.
"I don’t feel like I committed a crime," he said. "I can understand the city being concerned about vacant houses and other places in need of repair. But the crime didn’t fit the punishment in this case."
Horton Police Chief John Calhoon told Hiawatha World, “There are crumbling bricks and a large crack – that could pose a hazard. […] If we ignore the laws, then that creates a liability."
Since word got out of Knudson’s troubles, contractors have offered to do the repairs for little or no charge. Knudson faces a $500 dollar fine if he fails to have the work done before his next court appearance later this month.