Carlsbad Halloween Event Guide: San Diego 2018

Carlsbad Halloween Event Guide: San Diego 2018

Teens Could Actually Go to Jail for Trick-or-Treating in This Virginia Town

(WAVY) – The internet and other news outlets have taken a sudden interest in Hampton Roads' trick-or-treating laws thanks to an article posted to our lifestyle website, hrScene.com.

The article is updated on the website every year around Halloween with a list of trick-or-treating times, laws and guidelines for each city in the Hampton Roads region for citizens to use a guide. Within a couple days, it received over 20,000 views. 

In Philadelphia, theres no age limit to trick-or-treating but Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew says everyone should be aware of the citys curfew laws for those under 18.

The city ordinances regarding trick-or-treating do not change regularly. However, some of the punishments listed for trick-or-treating over a certain age in cities like Chesapeake, Newport News and Norfolk have people fired up.

City administrator Roy Spoltore tells CBS Philly that this has been in place for over 30 years, adding that “there has not been any enforcement of the suggested age.”

While we can't pinpoint exactly how it started, it appears that a few personal blogs came across the list of city laws on hrScene and became outraged. Local television stations across the country, including some of our sister stations, began to post about the laws, attributing hrScene.com.  

South Jersey Town Suggesting Trick-Or-Treaters Be Under 12 Years Old

Now, some local law enforcement agencies are responding to the nationwide scrutiny of their trick-or-treating laws. 

The City of Chesapeake’s Ordinance related to trick or treating on Halloween is more than 45 years old. In that time, no one has been arrested or charged with any crime under this Ordinance. Chesapeake Police officers will not impede persons who are clearly over the age of 12 from trick or treating, provided that they are doing so in an otherwise lawful, safe, and secure manner. For example, a teenager trick or treating with siblings or friends will be fine. If that same teenager were found to be stealing pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street, that would be a different matter and action would be taken. The Ordinance, which mirrors that of the other Hampton Roads cities and many communities around the country, was and is intended to promote a safe, secure, fun experience for all.

The Norfolk Police Department tweeted about the viral stories Wednesday night. Their tweet says "#NorfolkPD has been made aware of some media outlets implying that officers will arrest children who are Trick-or-Treating. This scary story is based on an old law." 

On Thursday, the City of Chesapeake released a statement regarding the old ordinance's new interest:

While we can't pinpoint exactly how it started, it appears that a few personal blogs came across the list of city laws on hrScene and became outraged. Local television stations across the country, including some of our sister stations, began to post about the laws, attributing hrScene.com.  

Trick-or-treat times for October 2018 around East Central Indiana

The City of Chesapeake’s Ordinance related to trick or treating on Halloween is more than 45 years old. In that time, no one has been arrested or charged with any crime under this Ordinance. Chesapeake Police officers will not impede persons who are clearly over the age of 12 from trick or treating, provided that they are doing so in an otherwise lawful, safe, and secure manner. For example, a teenager trick or treating with siblings or friends will be fine. If that same teenager were found to be stealing pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street, that would be a different matter and action would be taken. The Ordinance, which mirrors that of the other Hampton Roads cities and many communities around the country, was and is intended to promote a safe, secure, fun experience for all.

“If any person over the age of 12 years should engage in the activity commonly known as trick or treat or any activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of nott less than $25.00, nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both,” the Chesapeake ordinance reads.

An online petition with a goal of 10,000 supporters was started on Care2 Petitions, calling on the City of Chesapeake to change the trick-or-treating ordinance.

One woman argued the law would give white moms yet another excuse to call the cops on Black teens and wondered what could happen to “older children taking younger siblings trick or treating, or young teens who would rather trick or treat than get drunk at a party, or individuals with developmental delays?”

Halloween is nearly upon us, which means its about time for a bunch of tiny vampires and princesses and Donald Trumps to go trick-or-treating, and for you to go to some shitty party or something. Maybe a handful of Gen Z-ers are still planning on dressing up and going door-to-door for candy—they are, after all, pretty lame—but in one Virginia town, making the responsible, wholesome choice to go trick-or-treating could wind up landing them in the slammer.

In Chesapeake, anyone 13 and older who commits the grave, felonious offense of overage trick-or-treating could face up to six months in jail, HRScene reports. If they try, theyre liable to get slapped with a misdemeanor. Chesapeakes city code—section 46-8, “trick-or-treat activities”—makes putting on a costume and stuffing a bunch of candy in a pillowcase basically sound like a cardinal sin:

“If any person over the age of 12 years shall engage in the activity commonly known as trick or treat or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.”

And not just in Chesapeake. Eight other Virginia towns have made it illegal to trick-or-treat if youre over 12, along with a handful of cities across the county. To be fair, it sounds like the cops in most of these places arent going to be prowling for kids who look like theyve already graduated middle school and checking their IDs, HRScene reports. Theyre more concerned about teens egging houses and smashing pumpkins or whatever—though they should know the art of the Halloween prank has evolved far beyond that by now.

Let the countdown to Halloween begin! And by Halloween, we mean the actual night youre waiting for, your communitys trick-or-treat.

Sure, it kind of sucks when teens show up at your house without a costume and try to bilk you out of candy, and yes, theyre probably too old for that shit anyways. But maybe its a teensy bit of an overreaction to, you know, throw them in jail for six months for doing it. Probably better to just let the neighborhood curmudgeons publicly shame them?


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