Town of Elsmere, DE
New Castle County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Elsmere 4-10-1980 by Ord. No. 145. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Curfew — See Ch. 87.
A person or persons are guilty of loitering when:
They stand, sit idling or loiter upon any pavement, sidewalk or crosswalk, or stand or sit in a group or congregate with others, on any street or way open to the public in this county so as to obstruct or hinder the free and convenient passage of persons walking, riding or driving over or along such pavement, walk, street or way, and shall fail to make way, remove or pass, after reasonable request from any person;
They loiter or remain in or about a school building or grounds, not having reason or relationship involving custody of or responsibility for a pupil or any other specific or legitimate reason for being there, unless they have written permission from the principal;
They loiter or remain or wander about in a public place for the purpose of begging; or
They loiter or remain in a public place for the purpose of engaging or soliciting another person to engage in sexual intercourse or deviant sexual intercourse.
Unless flight by the person or persons in question or any other circumstances makes it impracticable, a peace officer, prior to any arrest for an offense under this section, shall afford the person or persons in question an opportunity to dispel any alarm which would otherwise be warranted, by requesting them to identify themselves and explain their presence and conduct. No person shall be convicted of an offense under this section if the peace officer did not comply with the preceding sentence, or if it appears that the explanation given to the person or persons in question was true, and, if believed by the peace officer at the time, would have dispelled the alarm.
If, after affording the person or persons in question an opportunity to identify themselves and to explain their presence or conduct, the peace officer has reason to believe the alarm which prompted him to approach the individuals in question has not been dispelled, he shall tell them to disperse or to move on. He shall also tell them how they have violated this chapter and shall warn them that if they continue to act in violation of this chapter they will be arrested and will be liable to the fines and/or other penalties described in § 135-5 below. This warning shall continue in effect for 45 days following the day on which it is given and shall be entered into a record, and within that time no additional warning shall be required in order to make an arrest under § 135-4 below.
Where a person or group of persons are ordered to move on or disperse for an offense under any preceding section, and thereafter where any police officer, in the exercise of reasonable judgment, shall determine that the person or group of persons are found loitering or congregating in violation of any preceding section, no further warning shall be required prior to an arrest.
[Amended 9-18-2003 by Ord. No. 420]
A person who is found in violation of this chapter shall for the first offense be punished by fine of not less than $100 nor more than $300. For each subsequent like offense, he shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned for a term not to exceed 90 days, or both. All other ordinances, particularity Ordinance No. 120, in conflict with the above are hereby repealed or amended as stated above. Such action shall not, however, abate a right of action already occurred under any repealed ordinance.