Local man says neighbors call police while he tries to mow lawns

Posted at 6:41 PM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 18:41:08-04

South Seminole Heights is being rejuvenated. Young families are moving in. People are renovating old homes. But one man whose family has lived in the area for years says it's tough for him to make an honest buck because his neighbors consider him "suspicious".

"I'm not a bad kid." Christopher Cook, 20, said. "I'm Just going around looking for work."

On days as hot as 95 degrees, you can find Cook pushing an electric lawn mower around his neighborhood. He's lived there for 8 years with his grandmother and several cousins. His grandmother has been in her home for 13 years. But, Cook says many of his neighbors wont even answer their doors. Several have called the police on him.

When asked how many times police have approached him while going door-to-door he simply said "three."

One neighbor even posted surveillance pictures of him on a neighborhood watch Facebook page. The post was not accusing him of doing anything illegal, but did question his motives.

"It's crazy to me. I just don't get it." Cook said when we showed him the pictures.

Now, some neighbors are praising his work ethic. He cut one lawn with knee high grass using his electric mower. He only asked for $10. Gary Ramsey, who is renovating that home, gave him $35.

"Probably took him 11, 12 hours to cut the grass with that electric mower, you know, but he did it. Wee eated with an electric weed eater, blowed everything off with an electric blower, used hand shears and a had saw to cut back trees. That's a lot more work that most kids his age would do for $35." Ramsey said.

"He mowed our lawn in the rain." Another neighbor said.

Cook started mowing lawns on his own about a year-and-a-half ago. His father owned a lawn business. He died three years ago.

"My mom said he started out with one lawn mower. You see what I go? One lawn mower." He said.

He now hopes to grow his small business.

We checked and Cook has a clean criminal history.

All of the neighbors we spoke to who had direct dealings with him said nothing but positive things. Some neighbors did still claim they suspect him of some suspicious activity. None of them would go on the record.