October 21, 2009

"Naked Coffee Guy Update."

Think about when it really should be a crime to be naked in your own house.

52 comments:

Slow Joe said...

'places you can be naked'

'home'

same thing.

I see the shrew's POV on this, if this has happened many times and she asked him to stop. And she wasn't in his property when peeping. So I don't get her POV at all.

Slow Joe said...

I hope this man fights this, to the point where he presses trespassing charges and sues for false arrest. He did not intend anyone to see him, and the police keep saying they know otherwise, based on absolutely nothing but their aggressive prosecution.

Intent really, really matters on this kind of crime. Men have penises, and there's nothing inherently wrong with children seeing one if it's not sexual.

This man's going to have to deal with this for the rest of his life. The woman could have just left a note in his mailbox asking him for discretion. Or ignored it. Why can't people just ignore this kind of thing? It's just a naked man making coffee, minding his own damn business.

Ann Althouse said...

Wait. Did you read the update? He's standing in the open doorway, then moves to the window as the woman and child pass by...

If that's not enough, picture a greater exaggeration and eliminate the factor of the viewer's trespassing.

At some point it's got to be enough.

Children wait for the school bus on the sidewalk in front of my house. What if a man deliberately stood at the open front door naked every morning specifically because the kids were there? At some point it must be a crime to be naked in your own house.

blake said...

No one should ever really be naked.

You know, for kids?

A child might accidentally parachute into the bathroom through skylight at any moment.

kentuckyliz said...

It's dangerous to handle hot vessels of coffee while nekkid.

And don't fry bacon, either.

Slow Joe said...

Althouse, I read the update, but it's Balko... the facts are always in flux with him (though I am on his side of this argument, and he's a smart guy, he tends to get details wrong).

OK, the man moved around the house naked, and the time was reported inaccurately (no idea which time is right).

did anyone inform him to use discretion? He's just a naked man wandering around. I know a lot of people think most strange men are perverts, but they aren't. The guy was making his morning coffee and hadn't showered yet. A lot of homes can be seen into if you REALLY REALLY try, which to me, is what it sounds like when someone has to enter your yard and look in several of your windows to see you.

Regardless of the intent (though that's the central issue), someone should have asked him to stop before calling the police. The Police should have asked him to stop before arresting him. This level of enforcement is horrible for this poor man.

Yes, there is a limit to what we should tolerate. If this has happened before, or if efforts to ask him to stop were ignored, I think it would have been reported. If this man just likes being naked, and a couple of his windows were easy to see by an interloper, I just can't muster outrage. I've seen many people naked in gym class and in barracks. I've seen a couple of undressed people through windows. It's just not a big deal. Yeah, even if he's a scary man who is unattractive. The hypos of a man who shows up to the bus stop are not relevant, and I can't trust the word of the witness, either.

The nudity is not the story. That's not the point. The point is that an arrest occurred. That's the offensive behavior.

From Inwood said...

Bernie Kerik, NYC "Top C--k": beware.

Slow Joe said...

I had a disclaimer to forgive me if I missed sarcasm. Don't know where that went, but anyway...

I just can't imagine hauling this guy away, even if you assume all the facts from the witness are true (which they probably are not).

former law student said...

We need to see a reenactment. Where were the complainants standing and where was the resident standing? I want to know about bush placement, etc. (tee-hee) For example, not that I ever would, but I could go out naked on to my porch without being seen by any casual passerby. Is there a hedge between the sidewalk and the house? Is the house built on a slab, with windows at the head height of a child? Or over a basement, with windows too high to be looked into?

People can see into my house only

1. At night
2. When the lights are on, and
3. The curtains/blinds are open. None of these conditions would obtain this time of year at 8:40 am

bagoh20 said...

1) Man walks around naked in his house.

2) Woman walks onto his property and looks in window at naked man and calls police on him.

3) Police break into house without warning and arrest man for being naked in his house.

Only one of these things is not offensive.

Only one of these things is something we all have done.

Only one of these things is being a decent fellow citizens.

IMHO

Synova said...

When the story was 5:30 it made more sense that he was visible. It's *hard* to see inside a house from a distance unless it is brighter in the house than outside.

At 8:30, unless it is very overcast, it ought to be brighter outdoors than in, making it hard to see someone inside unless they are standing in the light from outside... ie... *very* close to the window.

The woman and her child were trespassing. It *matters* if he could be seen from a public place or not. The first report said "cutting across his lawn". If he went to the door to see who was in his yard or to tell whoever it was to get off his lawn, or went close to a window to see who was in his yard... I don't blame him. Even if he wagged his thing at her. If she's trespassing it's *her* behavior that is aggressive.

And if he's just off his meds, or going a little crazy or even just doesn't realize how visible he is... then a warning and request is in order before an arrest.

It's his home... ought to be some "castle" law that applies.

Lockestep said...

Some fun facts:

Fairfax County elementary schools start classes at 9AM (from the website of one of the schools).
Monday (the day of the incident) was sunny and clear in the area, and very, very bright at 830 AM.

So, one can assume the woman's version of the time was correct (no way was she meeting the school bus three hours before school time). She also had to be darned close to the windows to see clearly into the home.

Do we really have a duty to act in a way so that a hypothetical intruder would not be offended?

edutcher said...

Bottom line (make up your own comeback), in the Brave New World, a man's home isn't his castle and he has no right to say, "keep your eyes off my body, especially if you're trespassing".

WV "prograb" A groper's politics.

Michael Hasenstab said...

There are some pieces of information missing from the story, information necessary for third parties to reach a conclusion about who is right in this case.

First, how big was his property? Was it six acres, or was it a postage-stamp property with the house set back 20 feet from the sidewalk?

Second what does "on his property" mean? Did the grandma and her grandchild take a shortcut substantially onto the nude guy's property, or did they step a couple of feet off the sidewalk?

Third, did the naked guy do this before, cavort in front of windows while grade school children were nearby?

Fourth, did the house have blinds or shades that were purposely left open?

I'm all for being nude in one's home. But reasonable conduct is to close the shades so others who are not in your home, especially children, can't see you.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

In the US, a man can now be found guilty of three felonies a day if the prosecutor sees fit.

A reporter who aggressively pursued a congresswoman had the cops called on her.

A woman who bought Claritin with Sudafed was arrested for buying just a few more pills than she was allowed, even though she was in fact taking them for a stuffy nose.

Intent no longer matters; prosecutors identify citizens to go after instead of finding a law was broken and solving the crime (e.g. Martha Stewart).

When everyone is guilty of something, everyone can be controlled. It's very Soviet, not surprisingly.

Shanna said...

When everyone is guilty of something, everyone can be controlled. It's very Soviet, not surprisingly.

Indeed. The details are different from when I read the story yestserday, so I'm not sure what his intent was, but if it's morning you should be able to putter around your house.

MadisonMan said...

It's hard to comment on something when the facts aren't there. I suspect I'd have to see the layout to understand. I'm inclined to think this is overreach on the part of the Police.

One thing for sure: This woman has made sure that her kid is going to think nudity is something to be avoided at all costs. I wonder if that is her intent.

t-man said...

This story would give Philip Johnson nightmares if he were still alive.

tim maguire said...

Did you read the update? He's standing in the open doorway, then moves to the window

Prof. this is the second place I've seen the woman's story portrayed as a correction to the man's false story.

No, it's not a correction, it's he said / she said.

What we do know is that he was in his house and she saw him because she was trespassing.

As to your initial question, we as a society worry far too much about the human body and how much of it you might get to see.

Jimmy said...

I heard on the radio this morning that naked coffee guy was drinking "Chock full o'Nuts" ...

bada-bing

Salamandyr said...

Dude.

in his house.

He can be bloody naked if he wants to be.

campy said...

I was actually born naked. In a public hospital, no less.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I can see this both ways. Two stories.

Children wait for the school bus on the sidewalk in front of my house. What if a man deliberately stood at the open front door naked every morning specifically because the kids were there? At some point it must be a crime to be naked in your own house.

#1)When I was in third grade the field where the kids would play ball and other games was adjacent to the back yards of some tract homes and separated by a cyclone/wire fence. There was a man who would get naked, open his curtains on the patio glass door and stand inside behind the glass, and stare at us girls playing kick ball. We reported it to the teachers and the man was ultimately arrested.

#2)On the other hand. There used to be a lady in the neighborhood at the same time who like to sunbathe nude in her yard near her swimming pool. The yard was heavily fenced and had screening and lots of plants. Nevertheless, we kids would peek through the fence and irritate the heck out of the poor lady. When she complained to our parents, we got spanked, told to mind our own business and were grounded.

My hubby and I often lounge in the nude on our deck at the back of the house in the summer during cocktail hour, enjoying the afternoon sun. The deck is on a cliff overlooking a river at the very back of our property (2 acres). You would have to go to great lengths to see us naked and I would certain press trespassing charges if someone were to complain about our undressed state. (To be on the safe side, just in case we have unexpected friends drop by, we keep at close hand some shorts and t shirts to quickly slip into.)

Disclosure, my parents were nudists and we often as children went with them to some of the 'colonies' resorts that they belonged to...so naked people really were no novelty and were not sexual in the least to us as children. There are some really pretty unattractive naked people....seriously.

wow. Verification word: unudidsm

traditionalguy said...

Qurey: If he had been wearing jockey shorts only, would he also have violated her child's rights to not be sexualized by a sloppy neighbor's conduct visable thru a window and door in the daytime? Where does the line get drawn? Then, what about equiptment malfunction?

class-factotum said...

At some point it must be a crime to be naked in your own house.

No. At some point, it must be a crime to expose yourself with the intention of being seen by somebody else. That can happen in your own house or out of your own house.

Robert Cook said...

Pogo said,
"When everyone is guilty of something, everyone can be controlled. It's very Soviet, not surprisingly."

Pogo, it's heartening to see you coming around to what I've said here on more than one occasion: we're living in a nascent, if not fully established, police state.

froggyprager said...

two points - if this is accurate, it seems really wrong that the police would send 5 officers over and break into the guys house to arrest him. Did they knock first? Why so many officers? it is not an imminent danger situation (insert gun man part joke here). Wouldn’t 2 police be enough, I’d be upset if I were a tax payer, aren’t there real crimes going on that they should look for? Even if the guy did not answer the door bell couldn’t they have announced themselves loudly when they walked in the house, “hello sir, we would like to speak with you, it is the police”

Second point, I find it surprising that the Fox report would take such a liberal/libertarian stance on this. I thought they were more sympathetic to the religious conservative think of the needs of the children point of view.

swag said...

Not worth my time discussing

Pogo said...

"we're living in a nascent, if not fully established, police state"

Statism always fosters the growth of the police state.

Limit the state, and you limit this possibility.

Leftism demands statism (see the USSR, Mao, Cuba), so I never understood the hypocrisy of leftists who decry the police state on one hand, while opening the door to it with the other.

It suggests they want authoritarianism, as long as they are the authority.

Fred4Pres said...

These cases are totally fact specific aren't they? If the guy's house is situated so he would have a reasonable expectation of privacy this is a gross abuse of police power.

If the window is situated so neighbors walk by all the time, well then standing there naked may be an issue.

Fred4Pres said...

swag, I want to steal your atvar/daemon.

Fred4Pres said...

Hmmm. The cops may have a point on this one.

Oligonicella said...

"Think about when it really should be a crime to be naked in your own house."

Step one: create a far-fetched hypthetical.
Step two: enact a law, 'just in case'.

Oligonicella said...

Fred4Pres beat my post. At his link.

"On Wednesday, investigators told FOX 5 they have reason to believe there may have been another incident in which someone saw Williamson naked in front of his window. They’re asking anyone who may have seen Williamson in the nude through his windows to come forward, even if it was at a different time."

Someone who obviously thought nothing of it, since it wasn't reported to the police. Now they want them to "come forward" so they cay crucify him so harassment charges won't stick.

Pogo said...

If a prosecutor wants to get you, for whatever reason, they can.

Robert Cook said...

Pogo, you're confused. In America, we the people are the state. We govern ourselves, if we're willing to do the work that requires. As Benjamin Franklin reportedly replied to a woman who asked what kind of government we had established, "A Republic, if you can keep it."

If the people are the state, then our deciding, as a people, to implement certain policies does not equate to state tyranny.

UNLESS...the people become disinterested and fail to particpate in the democratic process, thereby giving leave to those we elect to serve us to operate without our close oversight, which allows them to serve, instead, those who pay them with money instead of votes, (i.e., the big corporate interests and their lobbying firms), or by permitting them to flout the laws, even as we cheer them on or make excuses for them, (see Bush, George W., among most recent examples).

Any group of persons living together in a society must have government to greater or lesser degree; every family is a small society, and the parental figures are the governors of that society. Government, per se, is not the problem. Government unchecked by the people and unbeholden to the law is the problem.

Joan said...

swag: Not worth my time discussing.

I'm thinking way too much about this. My first reaction was laughter, but then I thought that was cruel. Obviously, swag's mental processes aren't quite right. Then I realized that perhaps swag feels we would be deprived without his opinion on this thread, and just knowing that he doesn't feel it's worth his time to discuss was important enough to post. Thank you, kind swag, for giving us, the plebes unimportant enough to discuss this topic, the news that it is not important enough for you to discuss! Now we are free to disengage from the discussion, having realized how unimportant it truly is.

Synova said...

"If the people are the state, then our deciding, as a people, to implement certain policies does not equate to state tyranny."

Two wolves and a sheep voting on dinner does not equate to state tyranny on account that the sheep got a vote.

Gotcha.

Looks the same, smells the same, has the same result... but it's TOTALLY different.

Pogo said...

Cook, that's a lengthy way of saying that democracy can lead to statism.

Yeah, so?
Now the US, UK and Canada are authoritarian.

Leftism simply uses democracy to promote statism. It's how democracies die (as Revel predicted). In other nations they use force (USSR, Mao, Pol Pot).

Pogo said...

""If the people are the state, then our deciding, as a people, to implement certain policies does not equate to state tyranny.""

Yes, it does.

Ann Althouse said...

If he didn't want to be seen... if he wasn't putting on a show... why was he wearing a hard hat?

Robert Cook said...

So, Pogo, you're an anarchist. That's fine for you to espouse, but it's unworkable as a form of government.

former law student said...

If he didn't want to be seen... if he wasn't putting on a show... why was he wearing a hard hat?

Well, if it's like my house, it would go like this:

"If I trip over this thing one more time I'm gonna smash it to bits."

"-OK, OK." [Claps hard hat on head.]

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If he didn't want to be seen... if he wasn't putting on a show... why was he wearing a hard hat

And a carpenter's tool belt????

Now we're talking!

Synova said...

"If he didn't want to be seen... if he wasn't putting on a show... why was he wearing a hard hat?"

Because he's eccentric? (Or in other words, a crazy old coot.) Which shouldn't be a crime, but is.

Synova said...

"So, Pogo, you're an anarchist. That's fine for you to espouse, but it's unworkable as a form of government."

Cook, there is a whole lot of space between anarchy and tyranny.

The mistake you made was in saying that one form of government, with the same restrictive laws, is different from the other, bad, sort of government with the same restrictive laws on account of how those restrictions came into being.

That may not have been the argument you intended, but it's the one you made.

You insist that we live in a fully expressed police state and yet you insist that we would be freer with the government running our health care as well? You're irrational. Trying to justify this philosophical incompatibility in your mind with the rationalization that somehow this other sort of government control isn't going to be oppressive because it was freely voted for and wanted by "the people" requires self-delusion.

The laws that have a gaggle of police officers entering a home and arresting a man in his bed for the crime of being naked were enacted by *exactly* the same *the people* out of the goodness of their hearts to protect the children as those pushing for a public health care option out of the goodness of their hearts to protect the children.

Same - same.

From Inwood said...

C4 wants to know if the naked guy was circumcised, which would be indicate that he might be a Joo &, well you know the rest.

Actually, I'm suspicious; I think that this guy is looking for a Reality Show. Or a Viagra Ad Spot.

t-man 8:22 AM:

Cleverest comment on this thread!

From Inwood said...

Ann A

"why was he wearing a hard hat?"

Auditioning for a post-porn 21st Century version of The Village People?

To the tine of "YMCA: Why not see me....

traditionalguy said...

I wonder if he will submit himself to a measured punishment...the longer the length of his penis, the longer the hard time he must do. Unless the Judge is Gay, and then he can beat off the charges. However this case comes for the defendant, he will be breaking into virgin territory.

From Inwood said...

Balgefor

Morbid prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
Should I die before I waketh,
I pray the Lord that I'm not naketh.

JC said...

I would like to just say one thing. Im not sure if it was said before so sorry if this is a repeat. What if the tables were turned? what if it was the man "cutting across the yard" who saw the women naked?? Who do you think would get in trouble? thats right, the man still would. If he would have called the police to complain about a naked women they would have charged him with admitting to being a peeping tom.