The NYPD is still ticketing New York residents for drinking on their property, because apparently there is no other crime to be fought. Brooklyn law student Andrew Rausa received a $25 summons for drinking in public while sitting on the stoop of his building on the Fourth of July. Here’s how he explained the incident:
“You’re all getting summonses for drinking in public,” Mr. Rausa recalls one of the officers announcing from the other side of the wrought-iron gate in front of the brownstone on Douglass Street in Boerum Hill. “We were all kind of stunned for a second,” Mr. Rausa said in an interview on Tuesday. “It happened over the gate. It was a very tangible physical divide — when they said the words ‘public property,’ it just didn’t make any sense.”
The quick thinking law student looked up the actual statute on his smartphone and showed police where the law applies to areas “to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access.” A private stoop, of course, does not fall into that category. However, the last thing the cop wanted to hear was how the law actually works.
Rausa will fight the summons in court. And if a cop approaches you about this, repeat exactly what Rausa said.