Can I stop someone from taking my picture without permission?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I just found out from my friends that a guy I went to school with last year has been taking pictures of me with his cell phone over the last few weeks without my permission. There were several photos of me at the parade and fireworks and one at the beach. None of these pictures were indecent, but it just creeps me out. Can I do something about this?

A: You should ask this person to stop, however there is no expectation of privacy when you are in public. Individuals can take pictures or video in a public setting without any permission. The line gets crossed if they begin using the pictures for wrong purposes or it becomes harassing or stalking.

Q: I have been throwing away my personal garbage, and unused stuff in the open dumpsters at a local apartment complex for years. Just last week I was yelled at by an employee as I was throwing some old carpet out. He told me I wasn’t allowed to do this and he was going to call the police. What is so wrong about using an open dumpster for the right reasons?

A: Throwing trash, building materials or carpet in privately owned or contracted dumpsters can be considered “theft of services.” The apartment complex pays a fee for this service and extends it to their tenants as a part of their rental agreement. Please utilize city services for garbage pickup and any oversized or special pickups can be called into the refuge department. If you live in the county or unincorporated areas you must contract your own services through a private company.

Q: My ex-boyfriend is a jerk and has a suspended license and drives drunk all the time. If I call the police and let them know when he is driving will you look for him?

A: I sure hope you are not trying to use the police to stop him because you’re mad. If a call of an intoxicated or suspended driver is reported officers will attempt to locate. In this type of report it depends on the circumstances. For example if you are just assuming the person is intoxicated or you are just going by the rumor that they are suspended there is quite a difference than actually observing them intoxicated or recklessly driving. No matter what occurs the officer must witness the violation to take action.

Q: I saw the police impounding an old Chevy from my neighbor’s property. I always wanted to buy it and he would never sell it to me. I was wondering when and how the police auction off impounded vehicles?

A: The police do not auction off impounded vehicles. We contract local towing agencies to impound vehicles for us in which they take full possession. If the vehicle is not claimed by the owner after notice is given, there is a lien placed by the towing company for towing and storage charges. The towing agency then files for a Mechanic’s Lien. The vehicle is then published in the newspaper and an auction is held.

The winner of the $30 gas card sponsored by Larson Danielson of La Porte was Judy Galligan of Valparaiso. Last column’s riddle of how did Mark enter one room, turn around, sing a song, and walk out the same door and end up in another room? Well of course the answer was he was in an elevator!

The sponsor for this week’s riddle are our friends at Flanigan Tire in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30 Gas Card.

Annette, Judy, Meredith, Emily and Amanda were waiting for service and decided to guess the number of different brands of tires that they sell at Flanigan Tires. Annette guessed 21, Judy guessed 25, Amanda guessed 23, Emily guessed 20, and Meredith guessed 24. One was correct. Two were off by 2, one was off by 3 and one by 1. How many different tires do they sell at Flanigan and who was right?

The 9th correct answer by phone or email at exactly 1 p.m. today wins.

To answer a question or ask one, contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski at 873-1461, Ext #1020, or e-mail askacop@emichigancity.com

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