Free-Range Kids

Cops Threaten Illegal Kickball Players With Child Abuse Charges

"The next step, after tickets, it goes to child abuse."

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What happens on a summer's eve when a couple dozen kids and parents spill into the street for a neighborhood game of kickball?

On a well-manicured street in Colorado Springs last week, this occasioned three cop cars, eight officers, and a citation for "obstructing passage or assembly."

The crime? Frolicking. More specifically: playing in the street without a permit.

The perpetrators, Ed Snyder and Joe Coleman, are hard-boiled recidivists. For four summers now, these men have brazenly organized weekly, 90-minute kickball games that bring out neighbors of all ages, from toddlers to teens to parents. Until recently, the games were not deemed a threat to public safety. But apparently a neighbor complained, and that was enough for the Colorado Springs Police Department to spring into action.

Some of the officers arriving on the scene were new recruits, Commander Tish Olszewski told the Colorado Springs Indy. "I looked at is as a great training opportunity for these new police officers," said Olszewski. "One of the things they have to learn is community engagement."

In response, Coleman quipped: "I wouldn't say this experience for most of the people here is community building."

When the cops arrived, they told the group they needed a permit to play in the street. But three weeks earlier, when the authorities first got involved after the neighbor's complaint, Snyder had actually tried to get a permit.

"The person got back to me and basically said there's a 14-day waiting period for this and we'd have to go and get signatures from everybody [on the block], every single time we had to do it, so it's not practical for a kickball game that lasts an hour and a half," said Snyder. "Plus you'd have to rent $300 worth of barricades each time, you can't put up your own barricades. It wasn't a practical solution."

An alternative solution, suggested the cops, was for the group to play at a local park, where they wouldn't be obstructing traffic.

But the group enjoyed the block party feel.

The alternative to that alternative was less pleasant.

"We have tried to reasonably come to a conclusion on how to settle this," said Olszewski. "We've given verbal warning after verbal warning. We've said, 'Hey, go the permit route. Go through the city and get a permit so you can block the street and play kickball.'"

By stubbornly insisting that it was their right to play in front of their homes, the locals were courting disaster.

"The next step, after tickets, it goes to child abuse," said Olszewski. "We get the District Attorney involved because you're putting them out there where a car could come by and plow into them. Then it goes to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which is a felony. I don't think anyone wants to get charged with a felony. We have really tried to work with all of you. We don't want it to come to this."

Most likely no one wanted it to come to this. The simplest thing seems like it would be for the cops to allow or erect a barricade once a week and let the game—a local tradition by now—continue. Alternatively, if there's a park close by, it doesn't seem like a crazy request that the group play there.

What is crazy is the amount of red tape involved in getting permission to play on your own street. It shouldn't be that tough to give that space back to people, not cars, for an hour or two a week.

Crazier still is that without a nearly impossible-to-procure permit, the government has the power to slam people with the charge of child abuse.

Let's save that charge for people who actually abuse children, not for people who organize summer games that bring the community together.

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  1. dafuq is the matter with you, Colorado Springs?

    >>Some of the officers arriving on the scene were new recruits

    no news yet on how many dogs were shot.

    1. What part of 80% white city don’t you understand?

      1. the “white” part for starters but even still no police were required … this reads like an “Outrageous 9-1-1” scene

        1. Qualified immunity protects city officials from People abuse. At least it didn’t turn into Protlandia or Seattle.

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    2. When I was a kid, we played street hockey, or whiffle ball (the street was the outfield) and if a car turned on the street, we yelled “car!” And moved. No parents constantly watching, a great learning experience. We learned cars could be dangerous, how to monitor ourselves, developed rules if play was interrupted, and learned respect for neighbors.

      No one died.

      1. exactly. did you use a lawn chair for the strike zone?

      2. Hasn’t anyone seen Wayne’s World? “Game Off!” and “Game On!” were just fine when we were kids, too.

        Not sure how that gets to Child Abuse. “We don’t want it to come to this” sure sounds like “Now look what you made me do.”

        1. Up through the turn of the millennium, we were still playing baseball (using a tennis ball) in the streets. Had to let this one family’s toddler get an at bat once a game and pretend like he hit a homer, because their house was in left field, and the only one that really ever got hit with homeruns.
          I aged out before it happened, so not sure when playing in the street became verboten.

      3. We played street hockey in the alley, same protocol. I had no idea I was abusing myself and contributing to my delinquency.

      4. And football – phone pole to phone pole were the 2 goal lines. Trying to angle your pass defender into a parked car to break free for a long pass was an art. Plus whiffle ball, stickball, and street and roller hockey.

        Fuck these cops, and fuck today’s shitbag society.

      5. We did the same thing. We would yell, “CAR”, pick up the nets and moved. After the car passed, we put the nets back and started playing again.

        People need to chill out, especially politicians.

    3. probably need better training

      1. The people, right? Not the cops or DA or burrocrats.

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    5. Dafuq wrong with the entire state is millions of people invading from states that they ruined with idiocy- with the intent of imposing the same idiocy on what used to be a nice place to live. Fuck all you immigrants. We’re leaving- to a state where housing isn’t insanely expensive, the biggest pussy doesn’t set policy, and the roads can handle the traffic. Thanks for ruining my home you assholes.

    6. The same thing that is wrong will ALL COPS EVERYWHERE! They are born fascists that think they can do anything everywhere without permission. Defund the Police action should be taken immediately.

      1. Defunding the cops is as stupid as letting them run amok. How about holding them accountable, teaching them how to be pros, and busting their asses when they fuck up.

  2. When I was living in Boulder some college kids had an impromptu concert in their driveway. It was pretty cool. Then a white van full of cops showed up. I stood aghast as the cops proceeded to smash the instruments and slam the kids’ faces against the now bloodied side of the white van. A cop running interference threatened to arrest me for loitering if I continued to watch. This was back before cell phones.

    So I say these people are lucky. The cops could have just started off by busting heads instead of talking.

    1. Some of the officers arriving on the scene were new recruits

      Give ’em time. A couple of months on the mean streets of Co Springs and they’ll be busting heads and shooting dogs with the best of ’em.

    2. Or they could live in Australia

    3. That may be true, I suppose…but it sure as fuck sounds made up. Maybe *something* happened, but the “smashing instruments” and “slamming faces against the now-bloodied side of the white van” sounds like bullshit.

      Just sayin’…

      1. If that sounds like bullshit to you, you’ve led a sheltered life.

      2. Did I mention that I was aghast? That’s defined as “filled with horror or shock.”

        Horror at the blood and shock at the destruction of property.

        I wish I was making this up. Just a couple years later the kids rioted against the cops because of the constant abuse. Look it up. Boulder Colorado, 1996 ish.

        1. About the same time the assholes prohibited Mall Crawl.

  3. They could just ignore all the red tape, put up a few BLM signs then play In the street as normal. If the last year has taught me anything it’s that laws don’t matter if you claim to be breaking them for “social justice”.

    1. Declare it an autonomous zone.

  4. Pretty sure kickball is de facto child abuse. Or is that dodgeball? Or wall dodgeball?

    1. Playing outside is child abuse. Indoor sedentary activities are the only things deemed to be safe.

      1. As long as they don’t involve screens, because screens are poison.

    2. Dodgeball…not kickball

      1. What about Dodge-kickball?

    3. Sounds like smear the queer is felony deliquency of a minor with hate crime charges to boot.

      1. Lol
        I think it was Tyreek Hill who posted a question about it on Twitter, asking if other people called it something else. Don’t remember other names, but some people had some. Smear the queer was by far what it was most commonly known by.
        Funny thing is that when I was a kid playing it, had no idea that queer was a gay slur or that there was any connotation to it besides “odd one out, thus has the ball and is target”

        1. Don’t remember other names

          “Kill the man with the ball” had the benefit of being needing little explanation.

          1. Ugh, really need an “edit” button.

            1. Need a game of “slap the app”.

        2. I remember playing Smear the Queer in phys ed class in the 1960s, and, yes, the teacher called it that, and, yes, we knew what a “queer” was.

  5. I have very mixed feelings about all of this.

    On the one hand, kids play in the street all the time. Playing catch and yelling “CAR!!!” when cars come by so everyone can get out of the way is a rite of passage as a youngster.

    On the other hand, these guys deciding to create a weekly game and just shut down the street completely for 90 minutes or so is not really cool.

    While I admit that the game sounds fun doing this regularly on the block can be quite the inconvenience to those who aren’t participating as well as any other thru-traffic.
    We do block parties all the time in my town, but we are limited to 2 a year because it is an inconvenience to close down streets and re-route traffic. We also have to get the signatures of the majority of the residents on the block. That seems like a fair thing to do since everyone on the block feels the effects of the block shutting down

    These dudes are acting quite entitled. if you are already organizing a weekly 90 minute game then do it at a park or playground or field.

    At the same time, I think threatening felonies is nonsense as well.
    Just keep ticketing and fining and breaking it up whenever people call to complain. Eventually the players won’t want to deal with the hassle just to play kickball. If they want to pay the fines as the price of playing so be it.

    Threatening to trump up child abuse charges because they aren’t stopping is crossing a line in my mind and winds up making the cops look like fucking tools.

    1. Good post. I agree 100%.

    2. Yeah, unsaid whether play gets interrupted for traffic. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that it does and the real issue is a cross-property-lines domestic squabble.

      Once again, we get the names of the “perpetrators”, but the only person to call in armed goons gets to enjoy their anonymity.

    3. This summarizes my feelings on this.

      At least one neighbor is sick of it. It’s loud, it blocks traffic, it damages their bushes.

      It’s an organized event.

      Would I call the cops? Probably not. But if we are going to play a game of “who is the asshole?” we need a LOT more information.

      1. You mean “Who are all the assholes?” I’ve got more than enough evidence that Olszewski is an asshole.

      2. But if we are going to play a game of “who is the asshole?” we need a LOT more information.

        I think there’s enough here to conclude that everyone in this story is an asshole. The people shutting to street for 90 minutes to play kick ball are assholes, the Karen who called the cops is an asshole, and the cops who are threatening felony charges over a kick ball game are assholes. I suppose one could still quibble over who’s the biggest asshole of the bunch, but it’s safe assume that it’s assholes all the down.

        1. How do we even know the Karen is a Karen in this case? Can it be a situation where she tried repeatedly to talk them into not doing this because it’s loud and disruptive, and she finally had to go nuclear with the police option? They’ve been doing this weekly.

          Go to a fucking park.

          1. >>loud and disruptive

            there are residential communities for people who hate children

            1. And there are parks for those who love them.

              1. queue Aqualung.

                1. sbp resembles that remark

                  1. ack no edit button, but y’all know who I mean.

                2. “watch the little panties run…”

          2. Yeah, she a fucking entitled Karen. She can’t put aside an hour-and-a-half disruption once a week, for the enjoyment of a couple dozen of her neighbors?? She’s a fucking Karen, and the actual source of the problem. Period.

            But it sounds like she’s got some support among the Karen-adjacent in the thread.

            1. See, many would say the actual Karen is the one who’s declining to play kickball in a park, like any normal human being does, including myself when I was younger. Why should anyone be inconvenienced for 1.5 hours weekly, on a street street which they contribute to funding as much as anyone else does? This is some entitled bullshit, the same kind of person who whos up an hour late for their reservation and whines, “What do you mean you don’t have a table for me??” That’s a Karen.

              1. Probably the park, being a city-controlled area, has rules and regulations that prevent people from actually playing kickball there. Because COVID or something.

      3. >>At least one neighbor is

        a dick.

      4. Where did it say it was loud and damaged bushes? It seems you are making assumptions unless you can point to another story, as it was not in the story referenced in the article.

        The game is in the street, not someone’s yard where bushes may be damaged. I looks like a wide street, so there is plenty of view to see when a vehicle approaches to get out of the way, so they are not blocking traffic.

        “At least one neighbor cannot stand others having fun.” Fixed it.

      5. The cop talking about elevating charges to Child Abuse and felonies. “We don’t want it to come to that”. There’s the asshole here.

        Petty crimes are petty. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t make it a felony. A neighborhood dispute? Sure, maybe a neighbor is annoyed and there’s blame to go around for that. But not for the government going nuclear on it.

    4. I don’t know the details, but as a kid growing up we played on the street all the time. we had two empty lots across the street so we played there a lot too. But on the street as well.

      For a cul-de-sac, absolutely nothing wrong with 90 minutes a month organizing a kickball game. For a residential thoroughfare, not so much. But I don’t have the details.

      Still the cops acted like dicks, and the process to get a “permit” is on the onerous side. Going to the park instead? You need a permit for that! So I’m going to side with the parents on this one.

      Heck, I remember a street in my home town that would close itself off to hold an annual street picnic. I was so jealous not living on that street.

      Nowadays I’m in the suburbs where the entire concept of “neighborhood” no longer exists.

      1. The concept of neighborhood doesn’t exist in the suburbs???

        Wtf kind of shithole do you live in?

        1. What do you think happens when someone moves into a new home and then goes around introducing themselves to the neighbors? They get treated like some kind of a fucking weirdo. That’s today’s America. Neighborhoods where everyone knows everyone are an anachronism.

          1. Your neighborhood sucks, then. Not everyone lives that way.

          2. Holy shit where do you live asshole.

            You fucking sock troll, you actually believe this bullshit?

        2. I remember a news story where Martha Stewart moved into a new apartment, and in Martha Stewart fashion started knocking on her neighbors’ doors bearing delicious treats. Every single person told her to get fucked. So she gave up. That’s today’s America.

    5. Yes exactly this.

      The fact of the matter is that these guys have appropriated common property for their own use- excluding others from using that same property. There needs to be rules and a process for mediating these disputes.

      In a wholly private world, such as my neighborhood HOA, there are ways to handle this, including signups and rules about what property can be used for such “exclusive” reasons. Failure to follow those rules would find the organizers held accountable through fines, and up to and including trespass charges.

      On the other hand, bringing in CPS is a total dick move, and an example of how the government will always ALWAYS go for the nut punch, because why negotiate when you can punch someone in the nuts?

      1. Because FYTW

    6. BLM shuts down freeways and don’t get cited or arrested.

      1. Exactly, if this game had some placards, smashed a few windows, set a random building on fire and called it a peaceful protest, there would be no issue. Sarcasm aside, I think there are assholes all around here, young cops, the dickhead who called the cops, the folks for opting for deciding to not play at a damned park because of the feel. A veritable cornufuckingcopia of stupid assholes, and in this case, the cops will likely win out if push comes to shove. Ugh.

    7. On the one hand, kids play in the street all the time. Playing catch and yelling “CAR!!!” when cars come by so everyone can get out of the way is a rite of passage as a youngster.

      I didn’t grow up playing in the streets (the road was further away than the yard, the barn lot, the pasture, the orchard, the fields, the woods, etc.) but, IMO, the “risk” is an intrinsic part of the experience. Like eating hot dogs at a baseball game.

    8. The big problem here is, people call the cops for EVERYTHING, which contributes to the militant cop situation we currently have: because suburbanites- usually white ladies- think it’s the cops’ job to come handle anything and everything that makes them uncomfortable.

    9. Its one block. Through traffic can go around and the people who live can just drive through to their homes.

      Modern life is too sanitized.

      1. We don’t know the layout of the neighborhood. There’s a lot we don’t know that could help us decide what the more reasonable solution to this “commons” problem is. Seems the only thing that makes this a story was the threat of child abuse charges, and we don’t even know how serious that threat is.

        I’m guessing it’s the sort of affair that some one of the participants could easily host in their own yard, but that they like the atmosphere of doing it in the street, maybe reminding them of when they were children living in a more densely built environment. Which might also explain why they’re playing kickball (which is like baseball) rather than soccer.

    10. Or do it in your back yard.

    11. The street isn’t shut down at all. They play on a street that ends not in a culdesac but a T, and the area they play sees maybe a car every 15-20 minutes at best (only people living there really), and the players do move for any car that comes by. I don’t think that’s much of an inconvenience for drivers. And since there’s no close park nearby, it just makes more sense with the number of neighbors that play.

      1. the players do move for any car that comes by

        If true, fuck Karen. If these kids decided to play in the street of their own volition, does Karen call the cops? If some handicapped kid is too slow crossing the sidewalk in front of Karen’s driveway does she just back over them? Fuck you Karen.

      2. To add some details to EllenMD’s comment, for those curious:
        * A news story in the Gazette (https://gazette.com/news/cspd-shuts-down-street-kickball-game-in-old-north-end-says-activity-could-lead-to/article_bd54b682-fa13-11eb-84ad-77b4e70cc7a7.html) includes a photo with a house number visible, so the location of the block was easy to find: https://www.google.com/maps/place/2027+Tejon+St,+Colorado+Springs,+CO+80907/@38.8628531,-104.8245203,738m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x871345609e4c137d:0x2232fabbd26371fc!8m2!3d38.862851!4d-104.8216423
        * It’s hard to tell if traffic on the block is “busy,” but while the street IS a throughway, there are much wider, busier streets two blocks in either direction, which seem to carry the lion’s share of traffic, so I’ll take EllenMD’s word for traffic being very light.
        * From the Gazette story: “North Tejon Street dead ends at Penrose Hospital, [more than] a block to the north, which Coleman said means it doesn’t get much traffic. ‘Some nights, not one car goes through,’ he said, adding the average vehicles per game is about six.
        * Officer Olszewski is quoted as complaining “What if a car comes screaming through here, trying to get to the hospital, and you can’t get a kid out of the street in time?” Um, why would a car come “screaming” down THAT street when there’s a MUCH better route to the hospital two blocks further west?
        * Walking to either of the two nearest parks (about 1/3 mile away) requires crossing four streets. including two MAJOR boulevards. Good luck getting the toddlers there conveniently! Also, the park space needs to be reserved EACH time, so it doesn’t sound logistically easy to schedule a weekly kickball game, but even if it were easy, I doubt the sense of block community would be maintained.
        * That Colorado Springs neighborhood DOES seem to be more urban (gridded streets, slightly more dense housing) than I’m used to for street play. I live on a one-block street in a suburb; when the kids play (there’s a basketball court set up widthwise on the street), someone usually parks a car at the nearest intersection, in order to slow down (NOT barricade!) any cars turning in from a much busier street. But the block in Colorado Springs still doesn’t look all that busy.

        1. “What if a car comes screaming through here, trying to get to the hospital, and you can’t get a kid out of the street in time?”

          Wouldn’t the only car screaming to the hospital be an ambulance? Otherwise, isn’t that why we have police officers? So pedestrians aren’t just abjectly fucked every time they cross a crosswalk within a mile of a hospital.

    12. “The person got back to me and basically said there’s a 14-day waiting period for this and we’d have to go and get signatures from everybody [on the block], every single time we had to do it, so it’s not practical for a kickball game that lasts an hour and a half,” said Snyder. “Plus you’d have to rent $300 worth of barricades each time, you can’t put up your own barricades. It wasn’t a practical solution.”

      I was all ready for my daily two minutes hate when I read this part. So they were barricading the street. I’m not really sure this is kosher in my book.

      1. Your reading comprehension needs work.

          1. No, you misunderstood. The city permit would require them to erect $300 barricades and block out the street. In contrast, they currently play with no barricade and simply move if a car comes by. Thus the city’s solution is the one that would barricade the street.

    13. I got the impression its been going on for some years now. Seems likey the one stick in the bud recetnly moved im. I’ll also bet the street goes nowhere, no thruough traffic, thus there really isn’t a [roblem “obstruving traffic” cause their ain’t none.

      Seems the idea of hollering CAR and clearing the street is less a real obstructioin than getting the uffishul barrydaydes from the city (a revenue generating racket) well blended with a big dose of “we’re in charge and you’re not, therefor we can and you can’t”.

      1. If you’re the guy in the car, you stop, smile and wave to the kids and parents, they wave you past. Everyone’s happy. Except the grinch peering out her window at people daring to have fun.

    14. This story doesn’t give all the details, like the fact that this was the third time the cops had been called. The first two times they responded, they handed out frisbees and ice cream. Neighbors had complained repeatedly about blocked driveways and cars being hit with the ball, and had asked the organizers to move the game to a nearby park (there are a few). The organizers refused. What were the police supposed to do at that point?

    15. That’s because cops are fucking tools.

      Well, I should let the 90% who are ruin it for all the rest, sorry.

  6. They needed BLM signs and no “obstructing passage or assembly” charges would be filed. Also, they apparently had a brouhaha in Portland over the wokend.

  7. The police will defend the system even if insane neo marxist democrats are running the joint. Never forget that.

    And in Colorado the trend is not toward freedom. Democrats dominate nearly all statewide offices and the local legislature.

    1. ++++

    2. This is something Republicans are too dumb to realize. As long as they get those sweet bennies and exemptions from all the rules, they could (no not) give a fuck about who is in charge.

    3. But that would favor the kickballers, since that political faction is anti-car. Wouldn’t they relish being able to close more streets to motor vehicles?

  8. On a well-manicured street in Colorado Springs last week, this occasioned three cop cars, eight officers, and a citation for “obstructing passage or assembly.”

    The perpetrators, Ed Snyder and Joe Coleman, are hard-boiled recidivists. For four summers now, these men have brazenly organized weekly, 90-minute kickball games that bring out neighbors of all ages, from toddlers to teens to parents.

    My God. Those Heroes in Blue are just lucky that they were able to go home to their families that night.

    1. Crime has gotten so bad in Colorado Springs that they have to train the newbies in civic engagement by breaking up a kickball game.

      It’s like a white parody of Training Day.

      1. MadTV sketch.

      2. What’s crazy is that there are bad areas of Colorado Springs and there have been several shootings per week here this summer, at least from what my news feed looks like.

        So there is actual crime, it appears that the cops would rather go fuck around with kickballers than deal with it though.

        1. >>bad areas of Colorado Springs

          Joe Kenda got a whole post-detective career on Investigation Discovery just talking about *his* cases there

      3. Oh that’s good!

      4. “Here, take some of this meth we confiscated. If you can’t harass kids when high on meth, you’re not cut out for the job rookie.”

        1. “Tommy Lasorda ain’t got shit on me!”

    2. Coroner: “It shouldn’t even be possible to get a kickball this far up a cop’s ass!”

  9. What is crazy is the amount of red tape involved in getting permission to play on your own street.

    *Whose* ‘own’ street?

    1. Isn’t he on third?

      1. I don’t know.

    2. Zhir’s own street.

  10. apparently a neighbor complained

    Can we please just start ignoring Karens now?

    1. Can we start charging them for the cost of sending out the police?

      1. Other than the people and the neighbors resolving the issue peacefully among themselves, that’s probably the best option. Fines/citations for public nuisance and filing a false report in both directions, repeat as necessary to train all the newbies/give veterans a break from more rigorous work or until the assholes figure out how not to be assholes.

  11. I’m pretty sure it’s very illegal to plow through a group of kids playing in the street.

    1. It’s very telling that *if* the kids were playing in the street and *if* they got hit by a car that the primary suspects these officers can identify up front is the parents. Who needs detectives? Every kid has
      a parent, case closed!

  12. The simplest thing seems like it would be for the cops to allow or erect a barricade once a week and let the game—a local tradition by now—continue.

    No, the simplest solution is to yell, “Car!”, move off to the side and then yell, “Play On” after the car passes. We figured that out without parents getting involved back in my day.

    1. Yep. And nobody in the neighborhood complained.

  13. But apparently a neighbor complained, and that was enough for the Colorado Springs Police Department to spring into action.

    The article doesn’t address this, but I wonder of the neighbor tried talking calmly to the organizers and seeing if some sort of compromise could be reached. Granted, it’s not a government solution so most people in the country would reject it.

    1. eh, if the neighbor

    2. Besides people having fun, what complaint would he have? Can you talk to someone that hates people enjoying themselves?

    3. I can promise you that the neighbor would never try talking, calmly or otherwise, when they can call in the troops.

    4. Yes, according to the local newspaper:

      “A woman who lives on the block said in a letter she left on doors that players were blocking her driveway, and she’s asked them to move away from her house.

      Requests to move the game to a park were ignored, she said, and the neighborhood association, neighborhood watch program and police “are frequently called.”

      Coleman said he had talked with neighbors who oppose the activity, but they were unable to have “an effective” conversation.

      “They view the street as their property,” he said, “and they don’t want anything in front of their house.”

      Also in the article: “Monday was the third time police had appeared during a game, in response to calls for service from neighbors. During previous visits, patrol officers had been understanding, parents said, giving the kids frisbees one time and sharing ice cream another.”

  14. I assumed the game stopped for traffic. No different than street hockey in “Wayne’s World.” Game off, game on.

    Other missing information how much traffic is on the street. In front of our home, outside of people coming home after 5:00, fewer than 10 cars per hour come by. With the 25mph residential speed limit, it just doesn’t seem like that big of deal except to the neighbor who hates people having fun.

    1. See my comment above but basically: yes they move for traffic and the amount of traffic is almost nonexistent.

  15. Were the kids properly masked? And were the adults carrying their vaccination papers?

    1. That’s the real crime here.

  16. “But apparently a neighbor complained, and that was enough for the Colorado Springs Police Department to spring into action.”

    I suspect the cops will be called several times next halloween. It can’t be that hard to figure out “where’s Karen?”

  17. How about they replace the kickball game with firearms training?
    (Not in the street of course)

    1. Why not in the street? It would solve a lot of problems.

      1. Just don’t mention the woodchippers.

        1. We could but preetend we are talking about something else.

  18. Fucking neighbors. I’d bet they know who it is. I would make their life interesting after this. Code enforcement would get to know them very well.

  19. Why don’t they just shout “car!” and move out of the way whenever a car comes by, like we used to do?

    1. They do! Apparently that’s not good enough

    2. “We?” You mean the cows in The Far Side cartoons?

  20. More “nanny state overcriminalizaton” aka do what we say or go to jail…..

  21. Couldn’t they just paint a Twitter-approved political slogan on the ball and call it a mostly peaceful mass protest?

  22. “An alternative solution, suggested the cops, was for the group to play at a local park, where they wouldn’t be obstructing traffic.
    But the group enjoyed the block party feel.”

    If they’d rather obstruct the street than just relocate to a nearby park, I say fuck ’em and the pendulum swings.

  23. So glad I was a kid in the 70’s.

    Fuck this shit now.

    1. Agree- in some neighborhoods the complaint is drive-by shootings.

      When the complaints are for a weekly community kickball game, some folks have to much time on their hands…

      1. And if they have more than one idle cop to go investigate a kickball game, too many cops.

  24. No more fun of any kind!

    Dean Wormer…

  25. Unless that street is busy this should never have been a story.

  26. It’s a very sick world !

  27. Interesting topic, and interesting article. But the variety of comments that follow the article are truly fascinating. I am refraining from taking a side about who is right, as good arguments can be made on both sides, and the right or wrong of playing stickball in the street is not my concern.
    There was a recent television show name “Homicide Hunter”, which featured the cases and exploits of one Lt. Joe Kenda, who as happenstance would have it, was on the Colorado Springs police force. His cases were interesting. His success rate was remarkable. He on-camera persona was likeable, and it was all-round, a good show. But it you listened to some of his asides it was apparent that he and his department held the notion of some civil liberties in rather light regard – he observed on more than one occasion “we have the power”. One of the things I learned watching the show was that you if you are speaking with a police officer other than an exchange of pleasantries on the street corner, engage a lawyer, because they will lie to you six ways from Sunday.
    As to the practical effect of the way the police handled the kickball situation, they (the police) should stop and reflect. Do they really want to teach white middle class, nominally law abiding citizens to hold them in the same contempt and regard them with the same distaste that some other demographics do? Where will the next raise come from? How will be budget be expanded to enlarge the department. Will BLMbnvm or AntiFa types vote increased taxes to pay the police more (unlikely)? Will white, middle class citizens vote increased taxes to pay the police more (probably not if they have been threatened with manufactured felony charges because of aggravated contempt of cop). Then who will vote increased taxes to pay the poor police more?

    1. Casting a vote for the Libertarian Party candidate outs an indelible mark on the record–a mark no looter kleptocracy can wish away or ignore. Shirking simply wastes the clout equivalent of roughly 2 dozen additional law-changing votes. –Libertariantranslator

  28. Where I grew up, the bags of flaming dog shit would pile up fast on the complaining neighbor’s porch. These are the kinds of neighborhood situations that should be left to work themselves out. What, is there no real crime in Colorado Springs? The cops have to spend their time on this? The whole thing is absurd. The cops should have responded by giving the complaining neighbor a beat down just for being a total ass. And I do not believe for a second that the local DA would actually bring a felony charge in a case like this because they know they would be very unlikely to get a conviction, both because child abuse laws are actually aimed at real child abuse AND because you’d never get a jury to convict. Also, what elected official wants to be on local TV everyday trying to justify such a nonsense prosecution?

  29. But apparently a neighbor complained, and that was enough for the Colorado Springs Police Department to spring into action.

    Former Californian?

    1. California, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Utah. The list goes on of the fuckers who inhabit this place after moving here in the last decade.

      1. I should add I moved further north shall we say, and don’t care what the stupid people in Colorado do.

  30. Waters suggested parents take their concerns to the municipal law-making body. “Here’s a thought,” he said. “If you don’t like the city ordinance, we are a society that lives by going and making and changing laws. You guys can go to City Council, as a group of parents, and say, ‘We have a problem with this ordinance. What do we need to do to change it? Modify it? Make it a little different?’”

    Democracy Now!

  31. America today: Enforce petty laws with grim-faced by-the-books inflexibility; allow serious violent and property crimes to slide; allow elites to flout laws that the peasants are expected to obey.

    1. Every law is a promise to send men with guns to murder as many peasants as it takes to cow the survivors into obeying without a why or a wherefore. This is a testable proposition; there are no exceptions.

  32. Amazing the havoc one neighborhood Karen can wreak.

  33. File a pettifoggery and harassment complaint with the State AG. If that fails, flip the chessboard and confess to violating the rights of the rubber ball by kicking it and et a public defender involved.

  34. “Let’s save that charge for people who actually abuse children”

    Like people who put muzzles on little kids.

  35. Having hosted the game with Joe Coleman over the last four years and being present for all but one of the six or so police visits, I know first had that in every case but July 26th, the police allowed the game to continue and most times, gave the kids toys or coupons for free treats. They never told us to stop, we’ve never obstructed traffic, and we’ve never had more then 30 kids/parents at a game.

    It’s a kids kickball game, it’s not Lollapalooza.

    We tried to get a permit that would work for a 90 min game, 12 days during the summer but the City refused to make any allowance and insisted we follow the block party permit process every week.

    Block party permits require a site plan, contract from a licensed barricade company (~$300 a pop), signatures from everyone on the block, an indemnity waiver, a permit fee and two weeks lead time. And just because you fill out all forms and jump through all the hoops doesn’t mean you’ll get the permit. They’ll consider it and get back to you.

    They also informed us we’d have to get a permit and pay a fee to use a park.

    We collected signatures of all the neighbors on the block and the two adjacent blocks; 53 were for continuing the game, two were against.

    I’ve posted all this information and details of our interaction with CSPD along with refutation of false statements they’ve made since the game was shut down. It’s all on our FB page, ONENKSK (Old North End Neighborhood, Kids Summer Kickball). http://www.facebook.com/ONENKSK

    1. So the police showed up, TWICE, and never told you to stop, but yet somehow you took it upon yourselves to try to get a permit? Why would you do that, unless you had been told it wasn’t okay to block the street every week for an hour and a half when your neighbors were complaining? I don’t buy it.

  36. At least it wasn’t dodge ball, which involves LITERAL PHYSICAL ASSAULT and sundry other micro aggressions and must therefore be BANNED, BANNED and BANNED! (Oh—and any adults caught facilitating it jailed)

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  40. “But apparently a neighbor complained…”

    And every neighborhood has at least one if not two; usually older people whose worlds have contracted around them and they do things like call the authorities about whatever bothers them that day or go an Facebook to pick fights about whatever is going on in town. Throughout my life there have always been these miserable fucks, and they were the ones who had firecrackers thrown under their steps on Halloween; best solution is, if you can, don’t live in a neighborhood because some people are assholes all of the time.

  41. In practice, the answer would be to have the street officially cordoned off for the official kickball games.

    If there’s an informal toleration of kickball games, then the next time some mostly peaceful crowd obstructs traffic – and in the unlikely event they’re actually charged for it – their lawyers will say, “Equal Protection! You let those white kids block the streets for their silly ball game, but when some black people march for racial justice, they get prosecuted!!!”

    Prosecute anyone who blocks the street, but make the request process super-easy to get a kickball game set up. As opposed to an orgy of mostly-peaceful activities.

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