Firstly: every time I land off-field in a populated area, bunches of people call in to law enforcement to report a crashed aircraft. They love adrenalin. The cops are duty bound to take these reports seriously (and they love adrenalin too), so off they go, red light and siren, to the crash scene.
And you're over in the restaurant, unhurt. Makes them look a little foolish, no? So they start trying to find a reason to make you suffer for interrupting their coffee--natural human reaction.
REMEDY: TELEPHONE them (the cops) in advance so they know you're coming. Give them a chance to object, if there is a law; make the dispatcher aware that all those crashed-aircraft calls are overreactions, and the dispatcher can sooth the callers without having to send out the police car, ambulance, and fire engines.
Better yet, don't land where bored people can see you. Remote highway truck stops are great, they love the business (but stay away from the highway right-of-way!) I have never been hassled by a remote truck stop. But in towns, even with advance permission from the pizza parlor, and telephone check with the town P.D. for regulations, I've been surrounded by the town's police cars because the neighbors reported a crash. Makes for cold pizza.
A related question is: DOES Midland have an ordinance against landing?
My finding has been that highway rights-of-way are owned by the States, and that there is almost universally a state law saying no landings there. (Because otherwise the f/w crowd would be landing on all those thousands of miles of airstrip day in and day out!)
But the article says 'highway median' and then there's a debate about 'landowner's permission,' so where was it, really, that he touched down?
And with regard to landowner's permission: that's a civil matter (trespassing, but not worthy of a ticket), and usually the first offense with any offended, angry landowner is remediable by saying "Oh, sorry, I'll go away and never come back!"
We do it with gliders every day. And in paragliders and hang-gliders, the motto is "'Tis far more blessed to beg forgiveness than it is to ask permission."