“I don’t care what the law says, you're getting a summons”Submitted by go213mph on Thu, 07/12/2012 - 21:33
As they often do, Andrew Rausa and a few friends spent the evening of July 4 lounging barefoot on the front stoop of a friend’s brownstone home in Brooklyn and enjoying a few beers. Escaping the indoor heat, Mr. Rausa and two friends sipped cans of Brooklyn Summer Ale; his girlfriend held an unopened bottle of a blueberry ale.
When an unmarked police car pulled up and two officers got out, Mr. Rausa and his friends worried that the charcoal grill that was set up nearby had gotten them in trouble.
“You’re all getting summonses for drinking in public,” Mr. Rausa recalls one of the officers announcing from the other side of the wrought-iron gate in front of the brownstone, on Douglass Street in Boerum Hill.
“We were all kind of stunned for a second,” Mr. Rausa said in an interview on Tuesday. “It happened over the gate. It was a very tangible physical divide — when they said the words ‘public property,’ it just didn’t make any sense.”
Besides, Mr. Rausa said, a fifth person on the stoop who received a summons wasn’t drinking alcohol at all. She was holding a red plastic cup filled with soda.