Skip to comments.No law against topless, but ... Keene police arrest protesters [NH]
Posted on 07/20/2010 9:12:19 AM PDT by Daffynition
KEENE In the streets of Keene: Bare bosoms, yes; breast painting and booze, no.
Several people were arrested Sunday shortly after 6 p.m. when a bystander reported people were drinking alcohol and taking off their clothes in Central Square downtown, police said.
Keene Police Lt. Darryl Madden said no one was arrested for nakedness, which is not illegal in Keene.
"One woman was topless ... and she was getting her breasts painted by another woman," he said. "There's no law against being naked, but you can't be lewd or lascivious. And one person groping someone's breasts and saying lewd things certainly qualifies."
Madden identified many of those arrested as members of or associates of the Free Keene and Free State movements.
Sam Dodson, an activist who attends Free Keene protests, said that it was a man painting the woman, identified as Heika Courser, 26, of 3 Fitzwilliam Road, Richmond. The man, an artist who regularly does oil paintings in the park, was drawing a pattern on Courser's breast when he was stopped by police, Dodson said.
When police arrived, they also noticed people drinking in the park and started making arrests, Madden said. As they did, the crowd started yelling at and "getting in the officers' faces," Madden said.
Police made more arrests.
The whole episode took about 15 minutes Madden said, and it's not clear how many people were in the park at the time. As police were driving away, Madden said a few people jumped on the hoods of the police cars to try to stop them.
Dodson said one person, Richard Paul, 41, of 816 Elm St., Manchester, sat on a cruiser's bumper, leaned on the grill and sat on the hood, while others stood in front of the cruisers.
"(What police said) implies they were walking on top of police cars, but that just wasn't the case," Dodson said.
Paul and Ian "Freeman" Bernard, of Keene, were both arrested as a result.
Once at the police station, two protesters were in the lobby of the station. Madden said they started drinking alcohol in the lobby, and they were ticketed.
People from the Free Keene and Free State movements have met daily in Central Square since last summer, generally to publicly smoke marijuana. In recent months, the Free Keene group has instituted "Topless Tuesdays" which also takes place in the Square, across the street from Keene Middle School and city hall.
Police have largely left the groups alone; only a handful arrests have been made for disorderly conduct over the past several months.
Dodson said Sunday's gathering was part of a new event called "night cap," with people gathering in Central Square at 11 p.m. every night to drink openly in protest of laws prohibiting open containers of alcohol. Dodson said crowds of 30 or more have been gathering, with at least one entrepreneurial activist selling beer to the other protesters at $2 a can. The night cap is an offshoot of the daily 4:20 p.m. rallies held to smoke marijuana in protest of state and federal drug laws.
Among those arrested Sunday were Jonathan Ray, 33, of 176 Church St., Keene, for having an open container of alcohol; Wesley Gilreath, 20, of 60 School St., Marlborough, for obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct; Megan Steward, 26, who is listed as homeless in Keene, for obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct; Paul, for obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct; and, Courser for open container of alcohol and resisting arrest.
Arrested at the police station were David Dixon, 30, of 43 Gurnsey St., Keene, for having an open container of alcohol. Ray, 33, was issued a second ticket for having an open container of alcohol.
Losertarians? I can’t understand why they don’t win every election. Clearly they are abreast of the issues.
More of them were scheduled for this event but were too stoned to attend.
When the *FreeStaters* first organized I was intrigued with their *mission* and went to one of their meetings. I didn’t *fit* in but still support [from afar] much of their agenda. Guess that makes me a *luke-warm* losertarian. Drug use is where we part company fer sure. ;)
LOL .... the unwashed.
When I go to Keene for groceries, I try to stop at *Unbridled Chocolates* for a few decadent truffles w/ Serrano Pepper with Kiwi Fruit ... at least there is something good about Keene. LOL
I love Keene.
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