An Oklahoma City man said he was doing a good deed when he was arrested and cited for mowing his yard and a neighbor's yard Friday morning. Phil Ray Gage, 40, was arrested on a complaint of disturbing the peace after a neighbor called police to report him for mowing a lawn at 2529 NW 33 at 4:30 a.m., Oklahoma City police said. He was released by police at the scene after he signed a citation for disturbing the peace. But Gage said he's been mowing in the early morning hours for 10 years, and nobody has complained before. He said when he was arrested he was in the process of finishing up mowing his neighbor's yard. “When the officer came up to me she asked me if I knew it was illegal to mow at that time of day,” Gage said. “I thought she was cracking a joke. Then she told me to get up against the car, and she put cuffs on me.” Gage said he mows in the early morning hours because of the heat and because it fits his work schedule best. Gage said the light from his neighbor's yard and his yard provides enough light for him to mow. “I'm a carpenter, so I have to mow when I can,” he said. “That time is just what works best because of the heat and my job.” Gage said he never has had problems with his neighbors. “We all know each other,” he said. “We watch out for each other's houses. I have phone numbers for just about all my neighbors except for the guy that lives across the street. I don't know him as well.” Gage said he would have stopped mowing in the early morning hours if someone had asked him to. “I just wished he would have talked to me about it before he called the police,” he said. “If people wanted me to stop, I'd stop.” Gage said he intends to fight the ticket. “I'm going to try to fight it,” he said. “It's unreal how I got treated for mowing a yard.” According to police reports, Gage became argumentative when officers arrived and asked him to turn off his mower, but Gage said he complied immediately. “I did what she told me to do,” he said. “Believe me, if I had said one thing to her she would have taken me to jail.” The neighbor who called police could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
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