Chalk this up to one of the most outlandish reasons a group of people can be arrested. A family standing in their own front yard is approached by police officers and placed under arrest. The charge? Loitering – in their own yard. Ironically, the area of town that the family was arrested in no longer even recognizes loitering as a crime.
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On October 1, a New Jersey family was playing with their sons and nephews when Officer Pasquale Storace III and another Chester Police Department officer approached them. The boys were all arrested which left Rachel Brigg, the mother of the family, scrambling to obtain bail money for her family members.
People were left scratching their heads at the charge. How can one be arrested for being on their own property? Briggs was able to obtain the bail money needed the following day, and in celebration of having all the family back home, she had a small welcome home party.
Unbelievably, the same men who were just released on bail were approached by Officer Storace a second time and arrested again for loitering and resisting arrest — in the same yard as before.
It’s currently unclear if the family members know Officer Storace or have had run-ins with him in the past.
Kevin Mincey, the family’s attorney, lambasted the police officer as well as the department, especially considering that the loitering charge that the men were arrested for was deemed unconstitutional in the area since 2012, KYW Newsradio reported.
“It essentially says there are to be well-posted areas of no loitering signs up that say ‘no loitering.’ There are no ‘no loitering’ signs in this particular neighborhood,'” Mincey said at a press conference.
The Briggs family is now afraid to leave their house as they fear they will be arrested once more. “It’s a terrifying thing. It makes me feel as though the police can knock down your door, and drag you out of your home at any time,” she said. “This is an incident that made me feel like I’m a prisoner in my own home.”