[HISTORY: Adopted by Town Meeting of the Town of Bethel 12-1-1969. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any person to idly assemble, loiter, lounge or sleep in or upon any street, sidewalk or public place or in any public buildings or in a park during those hours when it is closed to the public, or to obstruct the access to any public building or any part thereof, or to obstruct passage through or upon any public street or park.
It shall be unlawful for any person to idly assemble, loiter, lounge or sleep in other public places, as hereinafter defined, if the owner thereof has posted a sign in such a place and in such a manner as is reasonably calculated to afford notice of the prohibition to all interested parties.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Shall encompass, but shall not be necessarily limited to, one or more of the following acts:
- A. Obstruction of the free, unhampered passage of pedestrians or vehicles.
- B. Obstructing, molesting or interfering with any person lawfully upon any street, park or other public place.
- C. Remaining idle in essentially one location without being able to establish having a legitimate purpose in so remaining idle or, by general conduct, exhibiting the absence of a lawful purpose in so remaining idle. In determining whether or not a legitimate or lawful purpose for remaining idle has been established, consideration shall be given to the fact that the person takes flight upon appearance of a law enforcement officer, refuses to identify himself or manifestly endeavors to conceal himself or any object. Unless flight by the person or other circumstances makes it impracticable, a law enforcement officer shall, prior to any arrest for an offense under this section, afford the person an opportunity to dispel any alarm or immediate concern which would otherwise be warranted by requesting him to identify himself and explain his presence and conduct. No person shall be convicted of an offense under this section if the law enforcement officer did not comply with this procedure or if it appears at trial that the explanation given by the person is true and, if believed by the officer at the time, would have dispelled the alarm or immediate concern.
- D. Refusing to move on when so requested by a peace officer or other officer having the power of arrest, provided that such officer has reasonably exercised his discretion under the circumstances in order to preserve or promote public peace and order.
- OTHER PUBLIC PLACE
- Includes the quasi-public area in front of or adjacent to any store, shop, restaurant, luncheonette or other place of business and shall include also any parking lots or other vacant property not owned or under the dominion of the person charged with a violation of this chapter.
Enforcement of this chapter as it relates to other public places, as herein defined, shall be conditioned upon a request for such enforcement by the owner or agent of said other public place, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the attention of the Chief of Police of the Town of Bethel. In addition to the name of the owner and a description of the property involved, said request shall include a certification stating that the provisions of this chapter relating to posting of notice have been complied with.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be fined in an amount not exceeding $100.