Trial for ‘overly-aggressive’ vacuum salesman begins next week.

September 25, 2014

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

Burton

Burton

HART — A jury trial for one of three “overly-aggressive” vacuum salespeople who were arrested for allegedly barging into people’s homes last spring is set to begin in 78th District Court next Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Darnell Marquis Burton, 35, of 448 NE Sweet St., Grand Rapids faces up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine for a misdemeanor of criminal trespassing.

The trial for Brenda Spicuzza, 53, of 122 Celia St., Grand Rapids, who is facing the same charge, is slated to begin Nov. 25, said Oceana County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey Kabot. A third salesperson — Roosevelt Hinds, 23, of 6661 Cherrywood Dr., Kingsley — was arrested last July after authorities tracked him down in Cadillac. The status of his case was not immediately available.

All three salespeople described as “overly-aggressive” by authorities reportedly would refuse to leave residents’ homes and would stay for several hours until late at night, apparently attempting to tire out their victims so they would give in and purchase a vacuum cleaner.

Authorities investigated similar complaints of aggressive vacuum salespeople in the Mason County area last March.

Hart Mayor Pro Tem Sara Bizon announced at a city council meeting in mid-May that the salespeople were out there. Bizon said they forced an elderly woman to write a check for $950 before they would leave her home. Fortunately, the the check was cancelled before the salespeople cashed it.

“These Kirby salespeople come to residents’ houses quite late in the evening, around 9 p.m. or even later; then use very heavy-handed sales tactics,” said Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Craig Mast when the investigation first began. “The salespeople gave a ‘gift’ of Tide (laundry detergent); then would not leave even when asked to do so. It came to the point where a neighbor had to be called to the elderly person’s house to make the Kirby people leave, and only when they were threatened with police being called would they leave.”

The Kirby salespeople were working through CEZO Corporation in Grand Rapids.

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