Easton Man Issued Trespass Infraction for Sign Incident

Easton police cited a local man for trespass after he put up a potentially hazardous homemade banner on the side of Sport Hill Road near Helen Keller Middle School.

Dana Benson, of Pond Road in Easton, was issued an infraction for simple trespass Sept. 19 in connection to a big, orange spray painted sign that read “10 Foot Sidewalk.”

An officer on patrol at about 5:44 p.m. observed the huge banner and recognized it was in response to the Town of Easton proposal to construct a sidewalk that would run from the middle school to the Easton Village Store.

The officer removed the sign and took it to the Easton Police Department. At around 9:25 p.m. the officer was called back to the area about a suspicious motor vehicle. He observed an identical sign in the same location as the first. The officer also noticed a large area of high brush had been cut in front of the sign. 

At roughly 9:29 p.m. the officer attempted to take a photo of the sign before removing it, when the passenger rear door of his patrol vehicle opened, according to the report.

“I immediately turned around and observed a male wearing all dark clothing, watch cap, and a mask,”  the officer stated. “After the male observed this officer he closed the door. I quickly exited my patrol vehicle and not knowing where this male went or his intentions, drew my sidearm. The male emerged from the passenger rear, carrying a dark-colored backpack at which point I began to give command to the male to stop and drop the bag. The male complied. I re-holstered my sidearm and placed the male in handcuffs. I patted the male down for any weapons. I did not locate any weapons on the male’s person.” 

Benson, a known opponent of the sidewalk initiative, was wearing a dark blue jacket, dark green pants, and one glove. He also had black knee pads on the exterior of his pants and was sweaty and his clothing was wet, according to the report.

When asked why he was trying to get into the patrol vehicle, Benson replied that he was sorry and thought it was his friend who was coming to pick him up, according to the report. When questioned what he was doing in the area dressed the way he was, Benson said that he was advised by his attorney not to speak to the police. The officer observed a wooden handle sticking out of Benson’s backpack in plain view. The officer found two hammers and two flashlights inside. All of the items are consistent with placing a sign and illuminating the area while doing so, the officer stated.

Benson was checked through NCIC COLLECT with no warrants. He was issued an Infraction for simple trespass with an answer date of Oct. 1.