A New Jersey newspaper columnist said he and his wife found themselves on the wrong side of the law after they rinsed off their young children at a public beach shower.
A beach supervisor in Spring Lake called police after he caught Jeff Edelstein and his wife hosing off their two-year-old and four-year old.
“We took off their bathing suits and hosed down their sandy butts under the boardwalk shower,” Edelstein wrote in The Trentonian. “To be clear: We ripped the bathing suit off my boy, stuck him under the shower, put a towel around him. Same thing with my daughter.”
The supervisor interrupted the brief shower and informed the family that “You can’t do that.”
“Spring Lake is not that kind of place,” he reportedly told the Edelsteins.
“So what did we do?” Edelstein wrote, “What any other decent parent of small children with sand up their respective wazoos would do: Ignored the guy and finished what we started.”
Instead, the supervisor called police and stopped the family as they were preparing to leave.
It turned out Spring Lake has an ordinance prohibiting any kind of public nudity.
“No person or persons shall disrobe or dress or undress on the beachfront or in the water adjacent thereto or on public streets or in public places or motor vehicles or any other vehicles on the streets of the Borough or on or under the boardwalk immediately adjacent to the beachfront,” the ordinance read.
In other words, Edelstein wrote, a baby can’t even get his diaper changed on the Spring Lake beach or in his mother’s car.
The maximum penalty for the crime is 90 days in the slammer and a $2,000 fine.
Edelstein said the police officer was slightly confused when he arrived at the scene of the alleged crime. The officer thought his wife had gotten naked. But after she pointed out the offenders were toddlers the officer had a change of heart.
He gave the children a verbal warning, Edelstein wrote – pointing out that onlookers cheered his decision.
But the ordeal has taken its toll on the young family.
“You can be sure Spring Lake got their last beach fee out of me,” he wrote.