Judges on the 3rd District Court of Appeal last week ruled that the Westfield Galleria in Roseville’s ban on a visitor “approaching patrons with whom he or she was not previously acquainted for the purpose of communicating with them on a topic unrelated to the business interests [of the mall and its tenants]” was, on the face of it, unconstitutional.
The ban on strangers speaking to each other emerged when security staff felt the collar of Matthew Snatchko, a youth pastor who had gone there to spread the good news to strangers, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Snatchko apparently found three young women who were happy to discuss his beliefs in a common area of the mall. However, a store employee was troubled by Snatchko’s demagoguery and called security.
Well i can agree that the inside of a store is not meant to preach “the word of (insert diety here)”. But a common ground? It’s called a common ground for a reason!
When Snatchko refused to stop talking to the women or leave the mall, the security team put him under “citizen’s arrest”, slapped on the cuffs, and handed him over to local cops. They apparently released him, and the charges were dropped.
Duh… they couldn’t change some amendments on the spot i guess?
Snatchko then, unsurprisingly, sued the mall and the security firm, and as the Bee puts it, is seeking “damages in an unspecified amount for false imprisonment, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, malicious prosecution, and a general violation of his rights under California’s Civil Rights Act”.
Oh lordy lord… there goes the word of the lord by its preacher…