If you detect at Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich, CT, be aware that detectorists are being singled out, harassed and discriminated against.
Unfortunately, there is a park employee (?), who I’ve dubbed “the crazy guy”, because he approached me yelling something about me detecting before I even left the parking lot, and apparently he considers his job of bothering detectorists very important. Of course, he never identifies himself, so he could really just be a “crazy guy”.
I don’t usually hunt above the high tide mark, however, after being charged, barked at, growled at & jumped on by some of the dozens of dogs running loose near the water, and to avoid another dog peeing on my machine event, I have on occasion moved away from the canine melee to hunt up in the sandy area. This is why I had my second run in with the “crazy guy”.
I was digging and looked up to see a truck, pointed at me with some guy yelling and motioning from inside, as if through the magical powers of osmosis I would know what he was saying, through his closed windows and my earphones. I shrugged my shoulders in a “what?” gesture, and the guy got out of his truck and approached me. It was then that I realized it was the “crazy guy”, and reached down for my pepper spray.
The pepper spray was not needed, and though he never identified himself, he just wanted to tell me I couldn’t hunt above the high tide mark. A conversation ensued in which I asked him “Why?”, his response was “Because it’s the law.” So, I asked him “Isn’t it also a law that dogs have to be leashed on the beach?”. His response was “Yes”, so I said “Why are those people allowed to break the law and I’m not?” He shrugged his shoulders and said “Call the police”. I then told him I had never been bothered anywhere I’ve detected except for at that beach, his response was “Well look where you are”. For those of you who are unaware, Greenwich is home to the rich folk, and his comment I’m sure was directed at that fact. I left him, telling him I would go relate to my girlfriend what he had told me.
After this conversation with him, he drove up and down the beach watching us detect, spying on us from behind the bushes, driving back and forth, back and forth, slowly driving by while staring, for over a half hour, keeping an eye on us as we were digging, making sure we didn’t cross the “tide-divide”. I did notice a circular logo on his truck, while he was stalking us, which might be a town seal, so he probably is a town employee.
This guy has singled me out twice. He never told any of the folks on the beach to leash their dogs, although he admitted they were breaking the law; yet he watched and followed me and my girlfriend as if we were criminals. If the town is going to hire people to harass us, they should at least give them a badge to whip out so they can say “I’m with detectorist enforcement, and you are violating the tide-divide code”.
I see groups of dogs running around unleashed, doing their business wherever, digging holes, jumping on people, scaring people, and occasionally becoming aggressive. There are so many dogs running free on a daily basis at Tod’s Point it makes it difficult for others to enjoy the beach
I have nothing against dogs, I love dogs, but if rules are going to be enforced, they should be enforced for everyone. I should not be singled out because I am not one of those people blatantly sticking my middle finger up to the town of Greenwich.
According to the towns discrimination policy:
It is the policy of the Town of Greenwich that all Town ordinances, regulations, policies and rules with respect to the Town’s park facilities, beaches and recreation areas are applied consistently without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, lawful source of income, mental retardation, mental disability or physical disability, including but not limited to blindness or deafness or any other legally protected classification.”
The word consistently needs to be removed from their policy, and the last line should read “Unless you own a metal detector, then we reserve the right to pick on you”.
The ridiculous part of all this, besides the discrimination, is that I could put my detector in the car, go back to the beach, say with a plastic shovel, sit anywhere above the high tide mark, dig a hole as big as I want, not even bother to fill it, walk away, and no one would bother me. Better yet, I could bring my dog and let him dig the hole for me!
I suggest that if you are detecting at Tod’s Point in the future, call the Selectmans office and the police department, immediately, every time you see a dog off leash. I know I will.
Movie Dogs at Greenwich