Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lurking, Legislating, and Safety

Here is the sequence of events:

1. May 7 - Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on opposition to the ordinances in Minneapolis and St. Paul that prohibit "lurking."

2. May 8 - The Minnesota Lawyer weblog strongly opposes the lurking ordinances in the Twin Cities.

3. May 10 - A Roseville man is arrested for lurking near a day care. After police are called, it is discovered that he has a knife. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, as does the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Police find man with 16-inch knife lurking at Roseville daycare center
BY SHANNON PRATHER
Pioneer Press
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated:05/15/2007 01:49:40 PM CDT

A Roseville man found lurking at a church daycare center with a 16-inch knife tucked in his trench coat pocket now faces criminal charges.

Prosecutors charged Richard Christopher Petterson, 34, with one felony count of possessing a dangerous weapon on school property.

Petterson showed up at Lake Ridge Child Care at the Prince of Peace Church in Roseville around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, according to a Ramsey County criminal complaint. Petterson approached day care occupants while children were present. Petterson, dressed in a long trench coat and mumbling, appeared intoxicated, the complaint states.

Staff, fearing for the children's safety, called police. A Roseville officer found Petterson walking near the daycare. The officer ordered Petterson to stop but the suspect kept walking. The officer pulled his gun and ordered Petterson to the ground.

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To be fair, it is not clear that he was arrested specifically for lurking or whether Roseville even has such a law. But this story does add something to the discussion of lurking ordinances.

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