News roundup: Landscaper wins lottery while on his lunch break

Updated May 2, 2018
Photo: SourcePhoto: Source

A Maryland landscape worker was enjoying his lunchtime routine with coworkers when he discovered he had actually won $10,000 in a scratch-off.

The 38-year-old and his companions often purchased scratch-off instant tickets during their lunch break and chatted about what they would do with their imaginary prize money.

The landscape worker scratched off his $10 50x The Cash card in the parking lot outside Southgate Liquors in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and his colleagues noticed something was off as he became quiet.

“I was trying to figure out if what I thought I was seeing was really what I was seeing…if it was real,” he told the Maryland Lottery.

He soon got over his shock and leapt to his feet as crew members began to gather around.

“I think I startled them,” he said. “The need to yell and jump just came over me. I couldn’t help it.”

While the man didn’t win the grand prize of $100,000, he was still certainly thrilled and already knew what he is going to do with the money.

“Every penny of this is for my daughter’s education,” he said. “It’ll be a big relief to add this to what we’ve saved so far.”

New Jersey landscaping company recovers from fire

J&J Landscaping Company and Garden Center was devastated when a two-alarm fire left its Garden Center in ashes back in March, but the business is working to stay on track.

The company has set up a temporary space to serve as the Garden Center, which houses the retail items, computers and service bay.

The Garden Center was lost in the flames but the company hopes to rebuild it. Photo: J&J Landscaping and Garden CenterThe Garden Center was lost in the flames but the company hopes to rebuild it.
Photo: J&J Landscaping and Garden Center

“It was difficult enough for us to lose our Garden Center, but to lose our valued customers would be a double blow,” Jack George, president of J&J Landscaping, told  “This time of year is key in our business. We have a short window. We’re open and want the public to know we’re still providing the first-class service our customers have come to expect.”

No one was harmed during the fire and George is currently looking into estimates to have the Garden Center rebuilt but it will likely take months before it is done.

“We just feel so blessed that no one was hurt,” George told “That’s the main thing. But the Garden Center is just one piece of our business. We have landscaping crews going out every day. Our inventory took a hit but if we don’t have something in stock, we can get it in short order.”

Firefighters believe the fire was accidental and suspect that it was something electrical, but due to the intensity of the fire there’s no way to determine the exact cause.

Grand jury refuses to indict landscaper accused of hurting dogs

Last year William Michael Dewitt was arrested after being accused of attacking a woman’s dogs with a string trimmer and on March 31 a Tarrant County grand jury declined to indict him.

The Fort Worth, Texas, resident and owner of one of the dogs that was attacked, Dawn Painter, was shocked by the outcome.

“I feel like he got away with what he did,” she told the Star-Telegram on Monday. “I feel like if he’s done it once, he could do it again.”

According to Painter it took about three weeks for her Lab mix, Moxie, to heal. Photo: Dawn PainterAccording to Painter it took about three weeks for her Lab mix, Moxie, to heal.
Photo: Dawn Painter

Painter had hired DeWitt for his landscaping services of DeWitt Lawn Care last year and had stressed that her and her roommate’s three dogs were suspicious of strangers and that he should not go into the backyard unless she was at home.

“I had specified to this man, ‘Do not go in my backyard – ever – if I am not here and my dogs are out,’” Painter told the Star-Telegram. “I made it very clear.”

According to Painter, she and DeWitt had agreed that he would work on her front yard while she was at work and then he would return two days later to take care of the backyard while she was present.

Instead a neighbor witnessed DeWitt climb over the locked fence to enter the backyard with his string trimmer. Painter’s roommate, Emily Mathe, who was home at the time heard the dogs whimpering and went outside to see the dogs injured and DeWitt holding the string trimmer.

Mathe said DeWitt gave several different stories, claiming the dogs had injured each other fighting and then eventually admitted to striking the dogs with his equipment after the dogs came after him.

According to an affidavit written by Fort Worth Detective R. Molina: “DeWitt used the weed eater on Moxie, causing deep lacerations across Moxie’s entire chest, belly and slightly underneath her muzzle.”

An official told Painter that the grand jury’s decision may have been different if DeWitt had been trying to rob them.

“I say, what does it matter?” Painter said. “He was not allowed back there and the gate was locked.”

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