North Carolina man arrested for attending county fair

By Matt . . . A Greenville man was arrested Monday, September 26th, by the Pitt County Sherriff’s Major Crimes Unit after they discovered he had visited the Pitt County American Legion Fair the previous Friday night for an hour and a half. He is a registrant, and the sheriff’s office asserts he should not have been there under North Carolina law.  This arrest comes after a two-month-long public dispute between the Sherriff’s department and the fair organizers over the security contract for the fair.

In a press release obtained by NARSOL, the Pitt County Sherriff’s Office (PCSO) claims that the registrant in question entered the American Legion Fair for about an hour and a half on September 23, 2022. He was arrested by the PCSO Major Crimes Unit three days later on Monday, September 26. The press release does not give a specific reason they were alerted to his presence. However, officials have intimated that it may have been a “concerned citizen” that made the call to the unit. The man who was placed on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry for an alleged 2005 crime out-of-state was ultimately released on a $5000 secured bond and charged with a felony under North Carolina’s ambiguous “Sex Offender on Premises Law.”

The Sherriff’s Department’s public statement on the incident indicated that there was no threat to the public and it was an isolated incident.

This arrest follows a contentious and public argument between the Sherriff, Paula S. Dance, and the fair’s organizers. The fair has been held annually for the past 102 years, and the PCSO has enjoyed a contract from the organizers to provide security for as long as local people can remember until this year’s fair. One of the organizers mentioned to a local media outlet that Sherriff Dance had told him the deputies are afraid to provide security after the fair was shut down early last year over a firearm-related incident. Sherriff Dance denies that she told the organizer this and claims she never heard back from them after she proposed an increased security scheme for the fair this year. Instead, organizers engaged with a private security firm for this year’s security but later fired the firm due to licensing issues and opted for an all-volunteer security force. This disagreement set off a social media response from the Sherriff. Last year, the PCSO billed fair organizers for over $15,500 for the six-day-long event.

According to deputies, the Sherriff authorized plain-clothed officers to attend the fair to provide security despite the wishes of the organizers. Over the course of the fair, the PCSO made two unrelated arrests, one dealing with a non-lethal stabbing and the other the arrest of the registrant.

These ambiguous laws, unfortunately, pepper our country and allow law enforcement to arrest a registrant “At any place where minors frequently congregate, including, but not limited to, libraries, arcades, amusement parks, recreation parks, and swimming pools, when minors are present” (SC statute14-208.18.). These arrests are normally unaccompanied by any form of danger or threat to the public and are not prompted by a complaint filed with the police for any wrongdoing but instead rely totally on law enforcement’s ability to arrest a person just for being in a public place.

These laws that continue to punish people many years after all legal punishment for their crimes has been satisfied are intricately woven into the fabric of sex offender registries. It is all too often that registrants are unjustly punished for crimes that happened decades ago. It is not uncommon for the new charges to be considered a reoffense, bringing with them new convictions and prison time.

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13 Thoughts to “North Carolina man arrested for attending county fair”

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  1. Tim in WI

    Question: SOR Agent X “Am I, as a WI registrant, at liberty to attend a NC County Fair or walk my mother in laws’ dog in an Illinois Park?”
    I have indeed put a similar question to an actual Agent in a real courtroom and in the context of felony FTR. To be sure it is in the record. I may have another opportunity soon. That conversation with the people will be crafted and focused upon the correct target: The database rather than the vile human.

    1. vincent

      Manufacturing the disease so they can sell the cure!

  2. A Mistake They Made

    This person cannot go where everyone else can. This is not supported by the constitution in any way yet it continues. I am so sick of watching these unconstitutional wrongs take place. You can make an argument literally for anything under the giant umbrella of public safety. This guy needs to get a good lawyer. No way could this stand up through the entire justice system. Take it all the way to SCOTUS if you have too! Then sue the crap out of NC. There must be a price for this, and it must be enough for NC to regret their decision, and change it.

    1. Tim in WI

      No different than the “white only” water fountain, restroom or school. People tend to compartmentalize that kind of segregation as irrational because it is (was) based solely upon skin color and not behavior. (as sex offenders are) However, that is merely a convenient cognitive half truth. Black behavior was part of the equation used to justify Authority action contrary to liberty of blacks, like their use as slaves.. It was no different for the 1930s Jew or Gypsy, who comes in many shades verge 1930s Europe. Jews & Gypsys behaved differently than Germans and other European people and Hitler himself lamented about their ” socially destructive jews” in public speeches. The persecution of each group was justified based upon behavior as much as race, especially considering how God was properly acknowledged.
      I see Alabama just upheld registration, While MI had another opinion. This mirrors the historical battle of North v South does it not? NARSOL confronts “the sex offender registry” as a people’s use of a database in a socially segregation tool and destructive use. The people believe the database driven infrastructure can protect them from interpersonal violence and\or attack. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Internet has enabled far more predation than it has circumvented.

      1. Facts should matter

        That’s exactly why I keep saying that the registry IS a form of racism. It’s actually worse given the context. Normal racism is a social disease of bias and indifference.

        SORNA actually promotes and encourages systemic racism (banishment, exclusion, shunning and harassment) under a regulatory law.

        The registry is a barely legal run plantation held together by hate and lies.

  3. Mike

    This was all about the sheriff’s department losing there contract with the county fair and they got mad and sent plain clothed officers to the fairgrounds and arrested two people to try to show the fair organizers that without the sheriffs dept providing security the fair isn’t safe. Talk about dishonest, this sounds like what criminals do, like the mafia, cartel and gang banger thugs and yet we pay there salaries?

  4. Ed

    Great stuff. So, PCSO got a “tip” from a “concerned citizen” after the fact. There were, apparently. no reported incidents relating to this person at the fair, so no crime, no victim. PCSO then, apparently, initiates an investigation that took 3 days – at what cost to Pitt County taxpayers? How many “victims” were spared in this undertaking? How many taxpayers in Pitt Co benefited from this expenditure of their funds?

    I would also note that the “major crimes” unit undertook this effort. It is, apparently, a major crime to attend a fair and not harm anyone.

  5. lawrence

    bill of pains and penalties

  6. Max Freeman

    The Federal Courts helped to initiate these unjust laws and need to take another very serious look into those laws that are now not only affecting the citizens that served his/her obligated sentence but all their family members as well. Men women and children are being affected by these unjust laws and Most are victims of circumstance.
    They use Safety as the main reason for this law but it’s easy enough to see that the real reason is they now have another great way to create revenue for each county in every state. Bottom line is Greed, Taxpayer funding bringing in Millions as well as the fines paid by persons arrested. It serves no other justifiable purpose.

  7. H n H

    My PO also told me I wasn’t allowed to attend the state fair. The only reason given was that it was too much of a risk to the public. Nothing else was said other than, don’t go. The registry didn’t have anything to do with it and I know other registrants who attended the fair with no problem. The issue here is there needs to be a perceived threat to the public. And thus anyone labeled an SO is worthy of being “managed” by the parole office, probation officers or more useless yet, the registry. I see more kids at Walmart than u would at the fair, but the powers to be control my life, not me. I’m still trying to figure out how I made it all these years with no problem in public and yet now I’m this horrible monster that needs to be restricted in any way shape or form possible.

  8. Maestro

    “The fair has been held annually for the past 102 years,”

    And they seriously think that there have never been people with sexual offenses attending that fair over the 102 yrs it’s been around?
    Creating problems where problems don’t exist.
    I suppose it’s ok to have an armed robbery conviction and attend the fairgrounds because no way would that person POTENTIALLY try to rob anyone. Oh no, no, no! Never that!

  9. Capt Charles 'Bob' Munsey Jr. USN Ret

    How do such clueless people get into positions of authority? With all the real crime we have today in this country it is almost as though law enforcement doesn’t want to risk itself with a real criminal but instead go after ‘low hanging fruit’ that offers no threat to their next cup of coffee.

    1. Tim in WI

      The electronic registry is in fact that in play here. The NC registration database is the sifter through which offenders are screened out. It’s no different than Facebook TOS utilizing data contained there in by algorithms that match known e-mail address contained & compiled in state & federal databases for convenience. Both feds and state surveillance saints are engaged with facial recognition strategies which are completely database driven.