A Georgia man was investigated by police for growing marijuana in his garden – but the green plants were actually okra.
Dwayne Perry, of Cartersville, Atlanta, was woken up by the sound of a helicopter hovering over his home on Wednesday, WSB-TV Atlanta reported. Shortly afterwards, Bartow County deputies and a K-9 unit knocked on his door.
“I was scared actually, at first, because I didn't know what was happening,” Perry told the broadcaster.
The helicopter was part of the Governor's Task Force for drug suppression and had been scanning the ground from above in search of illegal cannabis plants.
But during the aerial examination, Perry’s crop of okra, a flowering plant that produces edible green seed pods that is considered a delicacy in the US South, wrongly caught the police’s attention.
Capt. Kermit Stokes of the Georgia State Patrol told WSB-TV: “We've not been able to identify it as of yet. But it did have quite a number of characteristics that were similar to a cannabis plant.”
The police apologised at the scene but Perry maintained that their error was unacceptable.
“Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing,” he said. “Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It isn't right."