Violator of `Scalp-Free Zone' agrees to community service

July 18, 2000|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

A New Jersey man who spent 20 hours in jail for trying to resell four baseball tickets has agreed to serve 40 hours of community service in exchange for having the charges dropped.

Brian J. Adams was arrested June 10 after police said he tried to sell four tickets at a discount outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He will perform the service hours in New Jersey; the agreement spares him the necessity of returning to Baltimore for a court hearing.

Adams' arrest prompted police Commissioner Edward T. Norris to change the department's arrest policy when it comes to enforcing the 6-year-old "Scalp-Free Zone" around Oriole Park. A department supervisor will now review each case before deciding whether to file charges.

Adams wrote to Mayor Martin O'Malley to complain about his arrest and his almost daylong stay at Central Booking and Intake Center. He wrote that he was "shuttled like human cattle, strip-searched, humiliated and ignored."

Adams, a New Jersey state employee who was on his first visit to Baltimore, began a word-of-mouth tourism boycott of Baltimore to protest his treatment.

Reselling tickets below their face value is a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum fine of $50. His incarceration outraged several officials, who said Adams should have been issued a summons or citation.

Although he said he considers 40 hours of community service too harsh a punishment, Adams said he accepted the agreement to avoid having to return to Baltimore.

His court hearing, which was scheduled for July 27, has been postponed, and will be cancelled if he completes his community service, said Joyce Daniels, a spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office.

Adams said he will continue to warn people not to visit Baltimore.

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