And stay out of the park

August 27, 2008

That Jeffersonville sex offender is still trying to get into a park to watch his son play ball:

The American Civil Liberties Union argued in court Monday that an ordinance prohibiting sex offenders from entering public property owned by Jeffersonville is unconstitutional.

Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, said it is not rational to ban someone from going to a park when he or she has not committed an offense there.

“The ban applies whether you’ve done anything wrong in the park or not,” Falk said.

I’ll leave it to the lawyers to argue whether there is a “fundamental right” to go to a certain park. But a park is a public facility, and we should be at least a little worried when they start banning whole groups of people. The Jeffersonville offender doesn’t seem like a nice guy — he’s had recent battery charges — but he doesn’t seem like a special threat to children. His sex offense was having sex with a 13-year-old girl when he was 20. He isn’t required to be on the sex-offender registry.

I’d be much more worried about safety — everyone’s — with this guy around:

 A man who is fighting the city of South Bend’s efforts to ban him from city offices saw a judge today deny several motions he had filed in an unrelated criminal case against him.

Stephan Range, 25, formerly of South Bend, faces a Class C felony intimidation charge, along with misdemeanor trespassing and resisting law enforcement, in connection with a July 2 incident at the Portage Avenue Wal-Mart store.

[. . .]

Prosecutors say he threatened to harm a store security guard after the security guard had confronted him about openly carrying a handgun in a holster on his hip, a violation of store policy.

City officials say Range, who has argued with them over his rights to raise and breed pit bull dogs, should be limited to written contact with the city’s legal department because he has so intimidated staff and disrupted daily business.

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One Response to “And stay out of the park”

  1. Bob G. Says:

    (*note to South Bend city staff – get a BIGGER STICK and creep up from BEHIND)

    Works every time.

    B.G.


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