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
Comments on “Detectorists harassed & discriminated against at Tod’s Point”
Allyson, sure sounds like you are being the brunt of discrimination, and that the guy watching you needs to know his bounds. I would tell him that in no uncertain terms, and would also ask the Task Force to look into this….
The Task Force is aware, and next time I won’t be so sweet.
A club member suggested a group hunt. Wonder if he would bother a bunch of guys or is he one of those who pick on women…hmmmm? Was told one of the guys who works there is a big time detectorist, maybe it’s him and he’s trying to cut his competition. Either way, I’m bringing my video camera next time.
Well i finally got back at the crazy guy. I use my old park pass to get in all the time and have found some awesome stuff there. I must mention that I consider myself VERY respectful of peoples property, i always follow the rules, never leave a plug unfilled and always ask for permission unless its public (even then i will occasionally ask). I really pride myself on my hole filling capabilities My two best finds at this location? a 1774 half real and a 1 pounder cannon ball! The best of it all was when i was on my way back to my car one day and the crazy guy came up to me to out of no where to tell me about how much of an issue metal detectors are (this was the first time I had met him, after that encounter i googled the issue and here i am!) . He went on for minutes about how damaging they are (even though I’m pretty sure its kind of hard to damage sand) and how much trouble i would get into if i came back. he then asked if i had been “above the tide line” , I rolled my eyes and said “OH YES, NEVER WENT NEAR THE GRASS” (meanwhile, my disk has dirt all over it and i have a garden trowel in my hand). He also had no idea i was carrying a half real i just plucked from his precious little “beach”. I don’t want to be a Debbie downer here but i was stopped at the park across from the church (don’t want to name the location but it is on the way to the park) for digging after a couple police officers approached me and said “someones going to break there leg on those holes your digging everywhere!”. After ten minutes of searching on there hands an knees, they could not locate a single hole out of 19 that i had dug that day (see, I do know how to fill a hole!). the sad thing is that they told me that it is OFFICIALLY ILLEGAL TO METAL DETECT IN ALL OF GREENWICH!!! that really brought me down because i was just starting to find some awesome stuff, i don’t know if it was just to scare me off and whether the legal part is true or not but they told me they would take my detector if they see me again. I haven’t been able to detect since :(. I want to enjoy my hobby,and i especially do not want to break any laws ;). Really too bad considering the history of “Elizabeth’s neck” as it was previously named.
Aha–so “The Crazy Guy” is still at it?? I haven’t seen him in a while, and was hoping he got fired. Problem is that not enough people are complaining about him. We are not the only one’s who have had dealings with him.
There is another guy who works down there now, I think his name is Mike and he detects too. He has made it a much more pleasant experience, and is very friendly.
I guess we have to find out what days “The Crazy Guy” is working and attempt to avoid him.
Also, last time I was there, the dogs were out in huge numbers–hundreds of them, all off leash, their owners all breaking the rules. And if their owners use a “poop bag” they just pile them at the end of the entrance, not even in a trash container–the stench is overpowering.
The dogs have more rights than people on that beach!
I should also mention that he is a terrible groundskeeper. There is dog crap EVERYWHERE, people letting them off their leashes and quite a bit of trash around the park. I wish i could sit this guy down and let him know the facts about metal detecting and how it would be beneficial to the park to have someone picking up the trash he should be worrying about!
Also, I have not heard that it is illegal to metal detect in all of Greenwich. I would get some clarification on that.
I know the frustration you been thru, I been thru it for years an I live here. There is a rule in the code of Greenwich, CT parks and recreation book,Sec.7-50 Prohibited Activities, rule F) use any mechanical, magnetic, electrical or other device constructed or designed for the purpose of locating or discovering any lost, abandoned or mislaid articles or goods in, under or upon said areas, except as authorized by the Director.
I tried for years to get a permit, but they would not here of it, so I wrote to the State and got rules on the high water mark, before that I was chased from the wet sand.
By the way there are new men at the beach and they all detect.
I just read this letter of yours today or I would have answered you sooner.
Hey Rich-I haven’t been to Greenwich lately, but I heard it’s still the same. I also heard that the parks employees detect too, and that’s why they are so keen on harassing folks. They want all the good stuff for themselves!
Still doesn’t make sense why they enforce some rules, and ignore others. It should be the same for everyone. Thanks for the comment, and Happy Hunting!
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