City Tells Trash Crusader to Leave Filth Alone

Palm Beach man doing neighborhood cleanup scolded by officials

By Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Feb 10, 2011  |  Updated 1:15 PM EDT
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City Tells Trash Crusader to Leave Filth Alone

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A Palm Beach County man fed up with the filth in his neighborhood has taken to the streets to sweep them up, but government officials say if he keep up with the cleanup he may find himself in lockup.

Hydn Rousseau was fed up with the filth in his Belle Glade neighborhood and he decided to do something about it, organizing a neighborhood cleanup with some 50 volunteers last Saturday.

"I saw debris and trash everywhere and I said I have to come back home and make a difference in my community," Rousseau told WPTV.

The group cleaned several lots, picking up dangerous trash, including used needles and buckets of rotting garbage.

But then on Wednesday, Belle Glade's mayor and city attorney scolded Rousseau, saying he could be charged with criminal trespass. They say he didn't follow proper procedures and can't take the law into his own hands.

"You can't just go on someone else's property and do something that you think would improve their property," said city attorney Glen Torcivia.

But residents say the neighborhood has been full of litter for years. They say the city isn't doing its job, otherwise Rousseau wouldn't have had to step in.

"Apparently the city is not doing their job, if they were, it wouldn't even be in this condition in the first place," said one angry resident.

Neighbors don't care what officials say, they're hailing Rousseau as a hero and say his efforts are helping in the fight against crime.

"They have their gang here to hide their money and cocaine, I think he did a good thing by cutting all the trees down where they can't hide or anything," a young supporter of Rousseau said.

Rousseau said he'll follow the law as much as he has to, but it won't stop his trash-fighting crusade.

"We're gonna continue our efforts, cleaning up the city of Belle Glade, one block at a time," he said.

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