Brickbat: This Bud's for You


Andrew Rausa and some friends were sitting on the steps of a New York City brownstone drinking beer and soda and celebrating July 4 when some cops pulled up. They cited the group for drinking in public. Rausa, a law student, quickly pulled up the state code on his iPhone and showed the cops that the law defines a public place as one in which "the public or a substantial group of persons has access." He argued that didn't cover a piece of gated private property. The cops still issued citations, which the group plans to fight.

Brickbat Archive

NEXT: Detroit Police Unions Seriously Wonder Why Their Officers Are Paid So Little

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Then a small bolt was released from Officer Tackleberry's standard issue tactical hand crossbow which pierced one of the alleged publicly consumed beverages.

  2. Since contesting his summons, Mr. VanRy has moved from Prospect Heights to a brownstone in Windsor Terrace, but he hasn't stopped enjoying his beers outside ? in parks, on beaches, and, yes, outside his home.

    But not necessarily on the stoop.

    "I have a private roof now,'' Mr. VanRy said, "so I do most of my public drinking on my own roof."

    Thank Gaia for Bloomberg drones. TICKET.

  3. Drinking in public is a violation in NYC? How very parochial.
    Yet they call us Southerners "hicks."

    1. FWIW, open container in public is against the law almost everywhere, not just NYC. But it might make you feel better to learn that marrying your first cousin is legal in NY state, but not Louisiana.

  4. How antithetical to the spirit of Independence Day.

  5. The cops still issued citations, which the group plans to fight.

    This is fortunate. If the kid's book-learnin' had gotten in the way of the cop dispensing some justice, the kid easily could have been brought up on obstruction of justice charges.

  6. drinking in public laws are generally lame, but drunk in public are way worse. my state doesn't have the latter. but what i think is lame is laws saying you can't drink in parks (beach parks, wooded parks) etc. which is the case for many parks here, but not all.

    by my reading of the statute the officer was wrong on the law. i've seen officers, and even prosecuting attorney get slapped down for wrongly applying laws MANY times.

    the big + is it was just a citation, not an arrest. incorrectly applying a law that results in arrest is way way way way way worse than one that simply results in you getting issued a piece of paper

    1. Maybe the group just wasn't polite enough to entice the cop to apply the law, not his feelings.

      1. This was obviously an instance of anti-cop bigots being rude to the polite officers.

        They're lucky they didn't get a beating for having the temerity to question the officer's understanding of the law.

        1. I wonder if, now that he's issued the piece of paper, the cop might get some overtime if the group fights it.

          1. I'm pretty sure that any time spent in court gets billed as overtime.

            1. Wow. Never realized this before. So basically, from the cop's perspective, heads they win, tails you lose.

        2. The little law smart-ass was lucky he didn't get shot reaching for his phone. Because only a moron gets a phone out of his pocket and morons get what they deserve.

          1. Hey officer safety is paramount. How do they know that phone wasn't loaded.

            1. iCopKilla app.

              The real reason cops are so afraid of being filmed? SCORPION STARE.

          2. My first thought was "how did this not end in a shooting".

    2. by my reading of the statute the officer was wrong on the law. i've seen officers, and even prosecuting attorney get slapped down for wrongly applying laws MANY times.

      Another anecdote from Buckaroo Banzai...color me surprised.

      Hey dipshit, what do you mean by "slapped down"? Do you mean being told by the judge that they were wrong? Were they forced to compensate the person they wrongly cited with lost wages for the time they had to spend challenging a wrongly enforced citation? Were they forced to do so when they wrongly arrested and/or prosecuted someone? Were they personally liable or did they enjoy immunity when they incorrectly wrongfully applied the law?

      This is for yesterday, because you seemed to disappear after I called you out yesterday for your disingenuous and downright disgusting attitude toward a man that had been shot in his own apartment: go fuck yourself and die in a fire you malignant piece of human excrement. I seriously hope you suffer a debilitating injury at the hands of another incompetent cop and are denied any taxpayer-funded disability because he plants something on you to save his own job. You don't deserve the reverence many uninformed citizens give the police out of fear or wrongheadedness. You are a scumbag that mocks those who are dead because of your fellow officers itchy trigger fingers. You're a scumbag because you go on and on about your past "achievements" yet hide behind a wall of secrecy when asked...

      1. substantiate any of them. You claim a new accomplishment every time someone claims to have seen/done/heard about nearly anything and go off the rails when we mock your little Walter Mitty made up after day.

        So seriously, go fuck yourself,* you lying, obfuscating fuck.

        *Which should be easy for you, since I'm sure you claimed at least once on HyR that you had a 14 inch penis and was either the leadoff man in the Houston 500 or that you told Jenna Jameson that you wouldn't fuck her because you only fucked porn actresses on their first videos.

    3. ...get slapped down for wrongly applying laws MANY times

      What form does that slap usually take? Anything meaningful enough to change attitudes?

      1. Hey now!
        Being hauled into a closed office and firmly told "You're really not supposed to do that, you know. Do it again and I'll be forced to give you another verbal reprimand" is a really meaningful punishment!
        It is!

      2. Soon, there will be some real slapping down.

      3. They are forced to *gasp* take paid leave for 2 weeks while the incident is investigated, and then sometimes even attend a 2 hour training.

        1. That 2-hour training will be done at time and a half as well. It's in the union contract, dammit!

          The real question is: does the union contract cover leaves of absence for when the band goes on tour? Or so one can attend the Olympic Games and watch their training partners work out? Or time off to tutor physics? Or to enter the Big Wave World Championships? Or to cure cancer? Or accept one's Nobel Prize combo-pack in Mathematics and Peace? Or to renew one's vows with their lovely wife...Morgan Fairchild?

          1. Nice.

            Did Morgan betroth a cop or former cop? Am I missing some cultural reference?

            1. Part of dunphy's schtick is to claim to have done almost everything in the world. He reminded many of us of the Jon Lovitz character on SNL, Tommy Flanagan (The Habitual Liar). I guess the whole "And my wife...Morgan Fairchild" meme stuck after a while.

              1. Have you watched any Flamingo Road re-runs? She had some rather nice gams.

              2. sloop, btw, how about mr. sullinger going to the celts?

                1. I was happy. We'll know if his body can hold together after one season.

                  Let's face it, after the Greg Oden fiasco, it was unlikely and Buckeye would be drafted high without some scrutiny. But Sully doesn't look and move like a 60-year old cigar store Indian. I predict that he ends up more like Durant than that old man Portland just let go.

          2. Only time and a half? Not double time? Those cruel bastards!

            1. Its that heartless, soul-killing austerity. Which the union accepted because its just so darn public-spirited.

    4. The problem is what happens to the cop when he gets slapped down by the courts?

      Basically nothing, for something like this.

      Instead it should be a civil rights violation, only citation level though. It would be one thing if it was a dispute about facts. Cops can make mistakes. If he was drinking on the sidewalk (in public), but was drinking coke from a Bud can (for whatever reason), he could win the court case, but the cop had reason to issue the ticket. But a mistake about the law? He is supposed to be a professional, ignorance of the law isnt an excuse. He violated the guys rights by issuing the citation.

      1. Cops can make mistakes.

        And the civilian "got off on a technicality."

  7. Last summer, here in Prague, my friend and I were playing chess at the playground while my five-year-old was cavorting. My (Swedish) friend suggested fetching a couple beers and I said that had to be illegal. As the afternoon wore on more parents arrived, many of them with beers and I felt embarrassed for forgetting that I lived in a free country.

    1. Drinking beer? Outside? NEAR CHILDREN?

      Someone fetch me my clutching pearls and fainting couch before I'm overtaken by the vapuhs!

  8. "I don't care what the law says, you're getting a summons," the officer said

    Oh, would that Rausa had recorded *that* on his iPhone.

    1. "Respect mah authoritah!"

    2. Ignorance is no excuse, unless you have a gun and badge...

      1. "DA LAW ISH DA LAW! Unless it doesn't say what I want. Then I AM DA LAW!

  9. What did Andy Rausa expect? Cops are not exactly mensa material.

    1. Clearly these New York police officers deserve pay raises. That will teach them not to say things like ""I don't care what the law says, you're getting a summons."

      1. I'd settle for some manners.

        1. Well, looks like you will be going to trial.

        2. Something more like this, Rhywun?

          "I appreciate your input, good sir, but I don't care what the law says, you're getting a summons. Have a nice day."

          1. Yes, and with a tilt of the cap.

  10. I never really thought about it like that dude. Wow.

  11. Wow, those cops had a perfect opportunity to beat or kill these scofflaws... and all they did was issue citations.

    I am amaze.

  12. "Rausa, a law student, quickly pulled up the state code on his iPhone"

    He pointed a shiny metal object at me...

  13. A couple of years ago I was pre-football tailgating in a church parking lot in Boulder, CO, when a cop drove up and informed me that I needed to drink my beer inside the church and not in "public". I informed her that the parking lot is church-owned and not public. She called for backup. Another squad car showed up. All the cops huddled up. Then they drove away. I continued enjoying my beer. A half hour later, cop #1 returned to tell me (pleasantly at least), "Uhhh, nevermind". I would've thought the whole public vs. private property thing would've been covered on the first day of cop school.

    1. In my state, "private" property or not, you can't consume in public. So ok to drink in the bar, or on the bar's patio, but NOT in the parking lot of the bar.

      Strangely, we have no open container law....but apparently the way the public consumption statue is worded, that's encompassed as well.

      But I am glad that they didn't harass you and that they seemed to be polite about it. If more cops would do that, they'd sure as hell have a better reputation.

    2. It was the Boulder police that turned me into what Dunphy would call a cop-hating bigot.
      I'm surprised they didn't arrest you for talking back.
      They take their authority very seriously.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.