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Youth Minister Cited, Threatened with Arrest for Building Illegal Sand Castle

A fun family outing turned ugly as police approached Rylee and his son on the beach to tell them that their sand castle was illegal.

At first, Rylee thought the officer was making a joke. The local law says it is illegal to build a sand castle while digging a hole deeper than two feet. Rylee claims the hole he and his son dug was only a foot deep.

But it was not the size of the hole that got Rylee in trouble. It was the “equipment” used to dig the hole and his asking for the proper ordinance.

According to the obscure ordinance, only plastic tools are allowed on the beach, and they [Rylee and son] had some metal ones. It is important to note that the officer explained to Rylee that she would let him off with a warning if he simply filled in the hole. But Rylee wasn’t buying it. He wanted to know what ordinance he was violating.”

That was the minister’s mistake though. By questioning the police officer’s authority, she then called for backup. within minutes, the family was surrounded by police arriving in four patrol cars.

It took the Panama City Beach police 20 minutes to produce the ordinance as Rylee requested, which was within his rights.

In the American legal system, there is a principle known as Mens rae, which is Latin for “guilty mind.”

This is a standard test of criminal liability that asks the state to consider whether or not a person has broken a law knowingly before guilt can even be assessed.”

As a devout Christian, Rylee says he supports law enforcement and prays “daily for their protection.” He just believes that in a nation of laws citizens have a right to know exactly which law they might be violating.

Meanwhile, Panama City Beach gains notoriety for adding illegal sand castles to the list of “victimless” crimes that keep cropping up on the books across America.

It’s hard to be the Land of the Free when the police spend time harassing families for having harmless fun.