The lawn arm of the law reached out and clipped a man caught mowing under the influence in North Pole over the weekend.
Wyatt Lewis, 20, faces a couple of criminal charges for celebrating solstice with a mix of grass and alcohol.
Alaska State Troopers say Lewis was legally drunk when they bagged him early Sunday morning as he drove a red Craftsman mower across a series of lawns on Garnet Drive.
Anne Sterle, who lives on the street, called 911 when Lewis decided to cut her grass, unasked and in the middle of the night.
"I was woken at about 1 in the morning by hearing a lawn mower outside my window," Sterle said. "And it scared the heck out of me, because my husband was out of town.
"The first thing that went through my mind was someone was stealing our mower. And then I thought, wait a minute, we don't have a riding mower."
Phone in hand, Sterle went to a window to check things out. In the front yard was Lewis, whose mower got stuck when he drove it over some decorative rocks, Sterle said. When he got off the machine to free it, he was staggering, she said.
"He was falling all over the place," she said.
By the time a trooper showed up, Lewis had left Sterle's yard and was headed to another.
There was a chase, reaching speeds up to 5 mph.
The trooper followed Lewis for about 200 yards, according to a report in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. The trooper turned on his lights and siren. Lewis kept on mowing.
The trooper "was too embarrassed to call it a pursuit over the airwaves," spokeswoman Megan Peters said.
Finally, Peters said, the officer left his patrol car and got Lewis to stop. Lewis was charged with driving under the influence - the News-Miner reported a breath test showed he was more than two times over the legal limit - and failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer. He could face additional charges for consuming alcohol as a minor.
Though news of the mowing-under-the-influence arrest has been the source of plenty of jokes, Peters said it's no laughing matter.
"It's not funny, it's dangerous," she insisted. "Those things have blades under them. He could have fallen off."
Alaska state law says you can get a DUI while operating any motorized vehicle that can transport a person, Peters said.
"A lawn mower, a boat with a motor, one of those little scooters with a motor - all of those are encompassed by (state law)," she said.
Sterle said there was no real damage done to her freshly cut lawn - "my son had just mowed," - but some of her neighbors apparently suffered significant damage to lawn and property, she said.
For Lewis to go from lawn to lawn as troopers said he did required both time and trouble, she said.
"Our house is kind of secluded, so for somebody to come along in a lawn mower is just off the wall," Sterle said. "Everyone has two to five acres. He had to go through winding driveways. This was not like going from one lawn to the next and the next, all in a row."
Lewis couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday, and a man who answered the phone at the address listed on Lewis' vehicle registration records offered no details about the incident, including where the lawn mower came from.
"You'd have to talk to him about that, and I haven't seen him in a couple days," the man said.