A Columbus man learned May 22 that a minor infraction on your record may not be permanent, but it sure can last a long time.

A Columbus man learned May 22 that a minor infraction on your record may not be permanent, but it sure can last a long time.

Grandview police arrested the man on a 21-year-old warrant out of Columbus for a bicycle light violation.

"A warrant is a warrant, and if it's still outstanding, it has to be served," Grandview Police Sgt. Larry Balla said. "Especially if it's from another jurisdiction."

A Grandview officer responded May 22 to a burglar alarm at First Community Church.

He found the man there setting up a sound system for a funeral. The man said he apparently set off the alarm accidentally when he hit the wrong code.

A routine check of the man revealed the 21-year-old warrant.

"It was for a very minor violation, so we said why don't you finish your job here (at the church) then take care of this warrant afterwards," Balla said.

The man turned himself in at the Grandview police department after the funeral and was arrested on the warrant, he said.

"It wasn't a big deal. He wasn't fingerprinted, photographed or booked and he didn't go to jail," Balla said. "An officer took him downtown and he paid the fine and was released. It probably cost him an hour."

Not to mention the small fine for the 21-year-old bike light infraction.

Columbus has recently been updating its records, resulting in a number of old warrants turning up, Balla said.

"Sometimes they may find a partially paid fine or one that went unpaid," he said. "It's kind of humorous when it's for such a minor equipment violation like this one."

This incident wasn't the first time Grandview police have uncovered a vintage Columbus warrant, Balla said.

"I recently arrested a guy for an old warrant where the fine was only $28," he said.

When the background check reveals an outstanding warrant, the officer "generally knows whether it's a traffic warrant or a criminal warrant," Balla said.

The man involved in the May 22 incident "was kind of surprised," he said. "I doubt he was aware he had a warrant."

The man told police he had a vague memory of getting a ticket, Balla said.

"Whether he thought he had paid it or forgot to pay it, I don't know," he said.

"The lesson here is to always pay your fines and keep your receipt," Balla said. "An unpaid fine will follow you, you just don't know when (it will pop up).

"If you pay your fine and keep your receipt, life is good," he said.