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October 21, 2009

The Nanny State Jumps the Shark

This is insane:

Eric Williamson faces an indecent exposure charge after a passerby saw him in the buff in his own home making coffee.

It happened at 5:30 a.m. Monday.

Channel 5 reports the woman and 7-year-old boy who saw him naked apparently had cut through Williamson's front yard from a nearby path.

Williamson, 29, says he didn't know anyone could see him.

"If I stood and seemed comfortable in my kitchen, it's natural. It's my kitchen," Williamson tells Channel 5.

Williamson says his roommates were not home when he came into the kitchen and made his coffee.

Do the words, "trespassing" and "assumption of the risk" have any meaning any more?

These folks had no right to be in Williamson's yard, but somehow I'm supposed to feel sorry for them for seeing something they wouldn't have seen if they'd obeyed the law? Give me a break.

In the spirit of solidarity with our nekkid, coffee loving friend in Virginia, one of the best things about having our grown children move out of our house was the glorious freedom to relax in our own home. If I want to lure the spousal unit away from the TV during halftime or he wants to entice me away from work after 5 pm with a better offer, I sure as hell don't want to have to worry that some moron who doesn't understand the concept of private property will be "offended".

Everyone's a victim these days.

Boundaries, people. If we're just willing to respect a few boundaries, it's a lot easier to get along.

Posted by Cassandra at October 21, 2009 04:28 PM

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I know, right? These are the assholes you bump into while you're trying to catch a few shots of a nude unawares. People. They're the worst.

Seriously though, to break the law by being naked in your own house really is insane. What's private property again?

Posted by: GS at October 21, 2009 05:24 PM

Just wait till you realize that had the genders been reversed the it would have been the man being charged with "Peeping Tom".

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 21, 2009 05:30 PM

I read this to MH last night. We both just couldn't believe the stupidity. Of course, it goes hand-in-hand with those who would prosecute parents who smoke in their home or car with their children nearby.

Posted by: DL Sly at October 21, 2009 05:30 PM

Kelo vs. New London all over again. Eminent domain is what the Supremes say it is.

They admit to trespassing. I would countersue.

However, I can't understand why people drink coffee anyway, so to each his own.

Posted by: Cricket at October 21, 2009 06:57 PM

Kelo indeed.

If the java buff escapes the Reaper, he ought to consider a counter suit and posting his property.

Regarding drinking hot coffee sans protective garments at 05:30 a.m., call me the OSHA cowboy if you must, but that, in my scald-free carcass of an opinion, is equally insane.

Posted by: bthun at October 21, 2009 08:23 PM

Heh. Java buff? I nearly lost my ginger tea over that one.

We have some really strange neighbors...sometimes it seems like it is getting better, and other times, the sherriff's department doesn't get paid enough, in my opinion.

I wish they would stick to drumming for empowerment and baying at the moon. That I can understand.

Posted by: Cricket at October 21, 2009 09:47 PM

Next...it also begs the question of what-in-the-helk mama was doing, taking a kid for a walk at 5:30 a.m.? Does CPS know about this? I would, at the very least, think the mother was a few bricks shy of a load.

They have admitted to trespassing; but I think taking a child out, and skirting a path to trespass argues for closer investigation than the coffee-making habits of Mr. Williams, who thought he was safe from peeping Thomasinas and their offspring.

Posted by: Cricket at October 21, 2009 10:25 PM

Oh c'mon people! The Tresspassin' Peepin' Thomasina is probably a God-fearing Christian woman with a strong sense of morality and is just trying to protect her little progeny from the filthy obscenity of the naked human body (she probably bathes him in the dark and wearing rubber gloves).

Posted by: I Cal BS at October 22, 2009 12:13 AM

In the People's Democratic Republic of New Jersey, your driveway, on your property, on which you pay property taxes, is not your property.

The state declared driveways to be "semi-public access roads" -- which means anybody, at any time, can pull into your driveway, park his car, and walk off. Then never come back.

You can't have it towed, because it's "not your property" -- but after two weeks, *you* get a summons for having an abandoned (and usually stolen) car on "your" property.

A *lot* of cars previously abandoned in my neighborhood mysteriously wind up in the local Congresscritter's driveway...

...and the mayor's.

Posted by: BillT at October 22, 2009 01:11 AM

Push it into the street and set fire to it.

Not your problem anymore.

Posted by: Curtis at October 22, 2009 02:07 AM

It will be if the overhanging tree limbs catch.

Besides, it's *fun* driving a "capture" type tow truck. I can hook and hoist a car in five seconds without ever leaving the cab.

No, I don't own a tow truck -- but people who own tow trucks owe me favors...

Posted by: BillT at October 22, 2009 03:33 AM

Another plus about living at the end of a dead-end road...nobody should come down my driveway and see things they oughtn't.

In a related story, a former co-worker who was incarcerated for exposing himself (while sitting in his car) to passing school girls just went back to jail a couple of years ago for exposing himself at a window facing the pavement in his house. Repeat offender. I think justice was served in his case. I'll bet he's popular with the other inmates, too..

Posted by: camojack at October 22, 2009 04:06 AM

Isn't this what they invented razor wire and Claymores for?

Posted by: ruralcounsel at October 22, 2009 07:42 AM

I seriously doubt she is a Christian, God-fearing woman. If she were, she would not be out in the wee hours of the morning and she wouldn't need to trespass; that would be breaking the law. It is why she had to trespass and expose her offspring to the seamier side of life that needs to be explored; not the joys of nude coffee making.

Would he have been cited for indecent exposure if she happened to see him getting into the shower or tub, or taking a spit bath in his kitchen because the water was off?

As to bathing her little darling in the dark with rubber gloves, that is hyperbole and totally irrelevant.

I have to dash. I am forecasting the future value of money, and am late for my Divination class. We will be using calculators instead of crystal balls.

Posted by: Cricket at October 22, 2009 09:26 AM

"I am forecasting the future value of money, and am late for my Divination class. We will be using calculators instead of crystal balls."
Best of luck! Although at the moment, an auto-decrement recursion function will, most likely, suffice. Nailing the rate to decrement is the wild-card. Maybe Soros, Geither, or I WON can provide the key, being the adults what's in charge and all...

Posted by: bthun at October 22, 2009 09:41 AM

There really is no 'left/right' on this issue. There is only 'smart/dumb'. Dude is in his house naked. Shocker time, I walk around naked in my house from time to time. I also happen to live next to a school. For that reason, every blind or curtain in my house is drawn at all times. Now, let's propose a hypothetical. Let's say one day, my wife pull up the blind on the living room window while I'm asleep. I get out of bed and decide to go to the kitchen. Some middleschooler who is walking through my yard (as happens from time to time as they jump my fence and cut through my yard to get to school) happens to see me. Am I at fault?

According to the stupid police chief in this story, I'm a child predator and "probably wanted to be seen". According to any ounce of common sense, of course not. This dude lives with roommates. It's 5:30am and these folks cut through his yard. For all we know, those blinds are normally closed and one of his roommates opened them. WE DO NOT KNOW. And last time I checked, there's a presumption of innocence in this country.

As mentioned in this story, they'd need to prove he WANTED to be seen, beyond a reasonable doubt. Lessee... 5:30am, not reasonable for people to be outside his house... check. They cut through his yard (probably only way to actually see him... not reasonable expectation... check. We cannot assume he opened those blinds himself (presumption of innocence you know)... check. Yeah, any juror who says there's no reasonable doubt here is an idiot.

Posted by: MikeD at October 22, 2009 09:47 AM

Well, Mike, given the direction courts have been drifting lately -- remember the thread about the guy in Florida who is being forced to pay child support for a kid that's he's proven is not his? -- I'll bet the guy gets convicted.

Posted by: DL Sly at October 22, 2009 11:45 AM

Oh I didn't say it would be hard to find 12 idiots to put on a jury. But the difference is, I'll bet the child support directive came from a judge, and not a jury.

Posted by: MikeD at October 22, 2009 12:30 PM

We need a whole lot more chlorine in the gene pool.

Posted by: John at October 22, 2009 01:08 PM

Gene pool chlorine?
*starts digging through corner cabinet*
Let's see.....beer, rum, chips....*bottles clinking*.....beer, rum, chips....*more bottles clinking*.....beer, industrial strength brain bleach....*pushes boxes aside*....*n's*.....*more boxes pushed aside*....Nope, sorry, no gene pool chlorine. And brain bleach only works on those who have them.

Posted by: DL Sly at October 22, 2009 07:41 PM