For Lynn Meck, the front of her son's house is where her grandchildren play every day. That's why when the tree in front it was damaged by a storm, she wanted it cut down immediately.
"I had the tree guys come out and take a look at the tree and they said that the next big windstorm would probably take it over and I was afraid that somebody was going to get hurt," Meck said.
She went ahead and had a contractor remove the tree, but a couple of months later, she received a notice from the city telling her that she has been charged for aiding and abetting malicious destruction of city property. That's a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days in jail and/or $500 in fines.
"I'm 63 years old, I've never even had a parking ticket. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do and had it cut down," Meck said.
Mason City Attorney Dennis McGinty said the tree is on public property and the homeowner should've contacted the city to have it taken down.
Meck and her son says looking back, that's probably what they would've done. However, they say getting rid of it quickly was the priority.
"I didn't even let the kids come near the area, you know what I mean, no playing by the tree," said Meck's son Shannon Kanouse.
"The way I look it is basically we saved the City of Mason $300 or whatever it would've costed them to have the tree removed."
Meanwhile, they city is still investigating to confirm if the tree was indeed at risk of toppling over.
The contractor who removed the tree was also charged.