Crime
Crime

Man Arrested for Walking Around Naked in His Own Home

| by Reason Foundation

Springfield, Virginia resident Eric Williamson was arrested and charged with indecent exposure yesterday for failing to put on any clothes after getting up at 5:30 am to make some coffee. A woman and her 7-year-old daughter had cut across Williamson's front yard and saw him through his kitchen window.


If convicted, Williamson could be fined $2,000 and spend a year in jail. Fairfax police say Williamson wanted to be seen naked. Which I guess means Williamson's front yard is a pretty popular spot at 5:30 in the morning.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Some new developments in the story of Eric Williamson, the Virginia man arrested after a neighbor spotted him nude in his own home yesterday morning.

The woman who called the police says the time of the incident was 8:40 am, not 5:30 am as Williamson says. She also says Williamson was first standing in an open doorway, then moved in front of a window, still in her view. Given that she was apparently on his property (that part of the story hasn't yet been disputed), and he was in his home the entire time, I'm not sure his exact position in his own home matters, unless he was otherwise in plain view of someone using the public sidewalk.

Even then, it seems more like tacky behavior than behavior that should be criminal. And you'd think the guy would get a warning before you arrest him for nudity in his own house. Williamson told Fox News today (auto video play and browser resize warning) that after the report, 5-6 police officers came into his home unannounced, entered his bedroom, and arrested him.

The guy does seem strange. A roommate says he was acting oddly, walking around all morning wearing nothing but a construction hat. But again, strange behavior needn't be a crime punishable by a year in jail (if the roommate had reported unwanted nudity, that might be a different matter). Seems like a sensible policy would be that once you walk into someone's yard and look inside their home, you can't claim to be victimized by what you might see.

I'm sure more will come out in the coming days. In the meantime, enjoy the weird "random naked torso" graphic D.C.'s NBC affiliiate chose to run with the story.