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savafan
09-28-2005, 01:03 PM
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=local&id=3480711

(New York-AP, Sept. 27, 2005) - It's an only in New York story. A woman was given a ticket for sitting on a park bench because she doesn't have children.
The Rivington Playground on Manhattan's East Side has a small sign at the entrance that says adults are prohibited unless they are accompanied by a child.

Forty-seven-year-old Sandra Catena says she didn't see the sign when she sat down to wait for an arts festival to start. Two New York City police officers asked her if she was with a child. When she said no, they gave her a ticket that could bring a one thousand dollar fine and 90 days in jail.

The city parks department says the rule is designed to keep pedophiles out of city parks, but a parks spokesman told the Daily News that the department hoped police would use some common sense when enforcing the rule.

The spokesman told the paper that ticketing a woman in the park in the middle of the day is not the way you want to enforce the rule.

http://abclocal.go.com/images/wabc_092705_bench1.jpg

Johnny Footstool
09-28-2005, 01:10 PM
I'm sure the law is there to protect the park from littering and vandalism, and also as some form of protection (ineffectual as it may be) for the children. Parents don't want some stranger sitting on a bench watching their kids play.

TeamBoone
09-28-2005, 08:13 PM
The article clearly states the rule is to deter pedophiles, but gee.. they can watch from the sidewalk too... I wonder if there's a law covering that; somehow, I doubt a predator with evil intentions would let some little old law deter him/her.

And I also wonder if the park is maintained by the taxpayers of NY... seems like this country is becoming less and less "the home of the free".

Johnny Footstool
09-29-2005, 12:30 AM
I wonder if there's a law covering that; somehow, I doubt a predator with evil intentions would let some little old law deter him/her.

Yep. Just another example of ineffectual laws that give the public a false sense of security.

RedFanAlways1966
09-29-2005, 07:55 AM
So... we have only heard one side of the story. That side? The woman who was cited. Got to wonder...

Did the officers ask the lady to remove herself from that bench and point to the sign to show her why? Did the woman who was cited raise holy Hell with the officers before being cited? For example:

Police: Ma'am, did you have a child with you?
Lady: No, I do not. Why?
Police: If you look at the sign that is clearly displayed, no adults w/out kids are allowed in here or on this bench. Would you please move?
Lady: Look here... it is a free country and I can sit down on ANY park bench that I desire. I pay taxes and my taxes pay for this stinking place. Go catch some criminals and quit harassing innocent people. Evidently the Police Dept. needs to layoff some dead weight who have nothing better to do.
Police: Sorry, Ma'am, but we are going to write you a citation. We gave you a chance to get up and walk away, but you seem to think you are above the law.

What kind of a looney runs to a newspaper with this kind of story? Perhaps the kind of looney that would raise cain with the police over something like this. You had better bet your life on that, friends. I am sure a big ol' place like NYC and/or Manhattan has plenty of seats for her to park her tired rump on to rest.

Good for the police. Good for communities who do things to protect the kids of that area. Shame on people who do read or choose to not abide by certain laws. Shame on people who think they should run to the local paper when they are caught breaking the law and cited for it. Shame on the media for printing any crap that they think will make the police look bad... despite the fact that police were doing their job.

TeamCasey
09-29-2005, 08:14 AM
What kind of a looney runs to a newspaper with this kind of story? Perhaps the kind of looney that would raise cain with the police over something like this. You had better bet your life on that, friends. I am sure a big ol' place like NYC and/or Manhattan has plenty of seats for her to park her tired rump on to rest.

Good for the police. Good for communities who do things to protect the kids of that area. Shame on people who do read or choose to not abide by certain laws. Shame on people who think they should run to the local paper when they are caught breaking the law and cited for it. Shame on the media for printing any crap that they think will make the police look bad... despite the fact that police were doing their job.

Why do you assume she's a looney. I'd think nothing of sitting on a public park bench. I wouldn't give the police a hard time, nor does it say that she did. I understand the law, but I'd still question it. It isn't a privately owned facility. She certainly isn't due jailtime and a $1000 fine for sitting on a bench, unless she did create a disturbance with the cops.

RBA
09-29-2005, 08:21 AM
The city parks department says the rule is designed to keep pedophiles out of city parks, but a parks spokesman told the Daily News that the department hoped police would use some common sense when enforcing the rule.

The spokesman told the paper that ticketing a woman in the park in the middle of the day is not the way you want to enforce the rule.

How do police use common sense when choosing who to cite or "move along" ? Are pedophiles more likely to be men than women? Are they certain race or ethicity? Do they wear business suits or a Catholic Priest robe?

Well, looks like I'm getting into a political rant. Mods feel free to move this one over to the other board.

RedFanAlways1966
09-29-2005, 08:35 AM
Why do you assume she's a looney. I'd think nothing of sitting on a public park bench. I wouldn't give the police a hard time, nor does it say that she did. I understand the law, but I'd still question it. It isn't a privately owned facility. She certainly isn't due jailtime and a $1000 fine for sitting on a bench, unless she did create a disturbance with the cops.

You are correct, TC, and I respect that. But we have only heard her version. I have no idea what really happened, but I thought that there may be more to it than what we read in this article. I would say that most police are more lenient that the story above. Especially for something like this. Some may not be. However, she was violating the law and that law was clearly posted. She may think her right to sit is more important than efforts to keep kids safe. I disagree with her. Most laws have max. penalties that are never rendered in court. That part of the story is thrown in by this wonderful news source for shock value... nothing more. And as far as I am concerned this whole story is about shock value and nothing more.

There are certain types who like to be heard and look for a reason to PROTEST. I do not know this lady, but I'd venture a guess that she is one of them. But I will hold judgment on the officers until I have heard all sides of the story. My guess is this news source will never come forth with the whole story b/c there is no shock value in that.

I personally will sit on wet grass to rest if it helps keep kids safe (and I am sure that 99.9% of the RZ members would to!). I also read signs that are clearly posted so that I do not break any laws.

Jeremy Piergallini
09-29-2005, 08:56 AM
Here's my take: I certainly would have had my eye on her seeing that she had no kids. I try to be aware of my surroundings when I'm out in public with my kids. I probably would have steered my kids away from her for fear that she had a connection to a pedophile or she was weird. That would be certainly wrong for stereotyping someone who may not deserve it. But when it comes to kids, I don't think parents should mess around.

That being said, the police should have just asked her if she noticed the rules and ushered her on. There was no need for a fine.

RBA
09-29-2005, 09:01 AM
That being said, the police should have just asked her if she noticed the rules and ushered her on. There was no need for a fine.

That's why the story makes no sense. Most experience police officers would do that. Unless she "refuse" than a ticket would be warranted.

TeamCasey
09-29-2005, 09:14 AM
To be honest, I rarely read the signs in parks. They're usually - dog owners must pick up poo, park closes after dusk or parents should accompany children on playground equipment. I'd never dream that there would be sign in a public park saying that I couldn't be there or sit on a bench.

I am amazed that one would assume that someone without children at a park is a pedophile. I go to our park quite a bit. I walk the trails with my headphones on for exercise. Occasionally I stop and watch a ballgame.

That makes me weird?

TeamCasey
09-29-2005, 09:15 AM
Don't tell anyone, but I've *gasp* flown a kite in the park before.

Jeremy Piergallini
09-29-2005, 09:32 AM
No Casey, that does not make you weird. Maybe I misread the story, but I thought it was part of a park that was blocked off for just kids. If it is just a public park, then that would kind of be a violation of civil rights, would it not? But if it is specifically designed and roped off for children, then a rule like that would make sense. OR, parents keep an eye on their children and they have security in the park. I don't know the answers. I always have my eye on my kids and my surroundings. I am not always looking for peds, but I like to know what's around me. I don't need a sign. That's just me.

TeamCasey
09-29-2005, 09:51 AM
I always have my eye on my kids and my surroundings. I am not always looking for peds, but I like to know what's around me. I don't need a sign. That's just me.

True, if I was at the park with TG and I saw someone drinking or something, I'd steer clear. I'd steer clear of the playground equipment if I saw older kids rough-housing on it too. Our problem is that TG isn't afraid to talk to anyone even though we try to teach him about stranger danger and all that. We really have to be careful. He isn't shy at all.

Jeremy Piergallini
09-29-2005, 09:54 AM
I know how that is. My kids are shy, but all it takes is for them to talk about one thing that the kids are interested in and that is it. They become the anti-shy kids.

Unassisted
09-29-2005, 10:41 AM
The slippery slope aspect bothers me, but I think more than anything, this a great test case for the police to point to to prove they aren't profiling in enforcing this rule. If the police limited enforcement of this rule to individuals who fit the profile of most pedophiles (male), it would eventually be overturned in court as discriminatory.

At the park that I go to most often, the prime benches with the most shade (this is south Texas, after all) are nearest to the playground. If one were tired out from walking/jogging/running/biking around the park, those benches would be the best place to sit. This would be an unfair rule in that instance.

Dan
09-29-2005, 11:06 AM
To be honest, I rarely read the signs in parks. They're usually - dog owners must pick up poo, park closes after dusk or parents should accompany children on playground equipment. I'd never dream that there would be sign in a public park saying that I couldn't be there or sit on a bench.

I am amazed that one would assume that someone without children at a park is a pedophile. I go to our park quite a bit. I walk the trails with my headphones on for exercise. Occasionally I stop and watch a ballgame.

That makes me weird?

Well, it's not so much that... :evil:

savafan
09-29-2005, 11:11 AM
To be honest, I rarely read the signs in parks. They're usually - dog owners must pick up poo, park closes after dusk or parents should accompany children on playground equipment. I'd never dream that there would be sign in a public park saying that I couldn't be there or sit on a bench.

I am amazed that one would assume that someone without children at a park is a pedophile. I go to our park quite a bit. I walk the trails with my headphones on for exercise. Occasionally I stop and watch a ballgame.

That makes me weird?

I'm with you, I walk in parks a lot. Sometimes I even sit on a swing for a few minutes and try to feel like a kid again. Maybe that does make me weird, but I hope it never makes me a criminal.

OldRightHander
09-29-2005, 11:24 AM
She was on the news last night. I don't think she made a huge spectacle of it, but she did seem rather put out by it. Maybe she argued with the cop a wee bit, or maybe she didn't. The park did look like one mostly for kids, with some play equipment and the like. OTOH, I don't think we should rush to any kind of judgment without having all the facts, and we all know that giving all the facts isn't really high on the priority list for most media outlets.

RedFanAlways1966
09-29-2005, 12:47 PM
I'm with you, I walk in parks a lot. Sometimes I even sit on a swing for a few minutes and try to feel like a kid again. Maybe that does make me weird, but I hope it never makes me a criminal.

No, no... not at all, sava (and TC is not a criminal either!). It is great that adults can enjoy these parks too.

Unfortunately the criminals in society have caused the law-abiding citizens to have rules like this. Perhaps stricter punishments for sickos like child-molesters would help in these matters. Maybe the death penalty for these sickos would help? I don't know, but I too hate it when we have to make special laws/rules like this. However, if it helps protect kids, then I am fine with it. And I will find another place to park my adult butt.

Nice post, ORH.

Chip R
09-29-2005, 01:35 PM
No, no... not at all, sava (and TC is not a criminal either!).
That's what she'd like for you to believe. :evil:

TeamCasey
09-29-2005, 01:41 PM
Well, it's not so much that... :evil:

:laugh:

TeamCasey
09-29-2005, 01:42 PM
(and TC is not a criminal either!).

Not anymore ..... perhaps a bit in my youth. :)

That's when we were hanging out in the park drinking Miller ponies and smokin' doobs.

Now I'm old and boring.

There's irony there.

REDREAD
10-07-2005, 04:10 PM
That's why the story makes no sense. Most experience police officers would do that. Unless she "refuse" than a ticket would be warranted.

It all depends. Some police officers are not reasonable people.

smith288
10-07-2005, 04:18 PM
If I was in a park in New York, everyone is defaulted to a weirdo until proven otherwise, even myself. :D