Society

'It's A Private Residence': Man Cannot Be Charged For Standing Naked In His Doorway, N.C. Police Say

| by Jared Keever
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Residents in a Charlotte, North Carolina, neighborhood say they are seeing too much of one of their neighbors and want police to do something about it. 

WBTV News reports residents of the Cardinal Glen neighborhood, on the city’s north side, say one of their neighbors likes to stand in the front doorway to his home completely naked. He has been doing it, off and on, for nearly 10 years.

They have asked police for help, but the police say the man is not technically doing anything illegal.

“I was out rolling the trash can on Friday and I just happened to look over there and he was standing there buck naked," Cardinal Glen resident Pecolia Threatt told WBTV News. "It's not good to have people walking around here naked like that a grown man like that with all these kids out here you know.”

Neighbors told the news station the man sometimes just opens his front door and stands there, naked, talking on his phone. 

Adrienna Harris, another neighbor, said the man’s disturbing habit means her kids have to spend more time than usual in the house. 

"I don't let them go outside and play," Harris said. "I have to keep them inside the house because that's really inappropriate for young kids to see stuff like that.”

Harris said she has called police to complain numerous times over the past 10 years but it hasn’t done much. 

That’s because state law says someone can only be charged with indecent exposure if that person were to “willfully expose the private parts of his or her person in any public place and in the presence of any other person or persons.”

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokeswoman said officers went to the man’s home just last week. After consulting with the magistrate, the officers determined the man couldn’t be charged, she said. 

Because the man is standing in the doorway of his own home, police say, he is not in a public place.

Miranda Mills, an attorney who spoke to WCNC News about the situation, said police can’t do much as long as the man stays in his doorway. 

“The question becomes whether or not it's private if he's standing at the front door and exposing himself to everyone," she said. “He's actually physically in his home and the home is a private property. It’s a private residence.”

If the man were to walk down his driveway, then, maybe, the police could do something, she explained. 

"Then potentially he is exposed to a charge, because your driveway is actually an area that is readily accessible to the public," Mills said.

But neighbors say they aren’t willing to wait for him to walk down his driveway, and are looking into other ways to curb the man’s behavior. A handful of residents are working to schedule a meeting of the neighborhood’s homeowners association to see if they can’t lodge some sort of nuisance complaint. 

City Councilman Greg Phipps said that may be their only recourse at this time.

"Because what's actually happening is this particular neighbor is making it difficult for people and adjoining neighbors to have the quiet enjoyment of their homes,” Phipps said. 

The man declined to be interviewed by WBTV News.

Sources: WBTV News, WCNC News / Photo Credit: WBTV News