$300 fine for 6-year-old who colored on sidewalk with chalk

Filed under: Weird But True

How many days did you spend making chalk drawings as child -- using the closest sidewalk as a canvas for your temporary art? Apparently with every scribble you were vandalizing public property.

At least that's the opinion of one of Natalie Shea's neighbors. The 6-year-old used sidewalk chalk to leaves a blue splotch on her front stoop, and some grumpy curmudgeon called the city to complain. Subsequently, Natalie's mom received a form letter, which read: "Please remove the graffiti from your property. Failure to comply...may result in enforcement action against you." That "enforcement action" is a $300 dollar fine.

Sounds crazy, right? But technically, the sidewalk art is illegal -- at least according to a law passed by the City Council in 2005, that broadly defines what constitutes graffiti. However, the only way Natalie could be charged, is if the markings were made without the building owner's (Natalie's mother's) consent -- which obviously isn't the case.

Natalie's father, meanwhile -- obviously recognizing the severity of the issue at hand -- told reporters: "I do love that kid, but I wish she would stop capping my tags."

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.