Tribune Recorder Leader

Your locally owned newspaper

Down Main Street – 5-1-24 Edition

A pair of individuals armed with video recording devices caused some fright and angst in Sandusky’s downtown last Tuesday. Numerous reports from local business people described the duo as recording employees and business owners through front and side windows along South Elk Street. Many locked their doors, closed window blinds and phoned law enforcement to report the suspicious activity.
This type of activity is commonly known as “first amendment auditors”. Although a strange occurrence in our small town, it’s quite common in other parts of the country.
Many times these “auditors” attempt to invoke some kind of physical or verbal response from the person(s) that are being recorded. They’re just waiting for someone to knock the camera out of their hands or to offer an expletive laced opinion. The recording is then put up online, posted to one or many social media sites and used to seek criminal charges and civil lawsuits.
The Sandusky City Police were summoned downtown after a complaint was made about the camera crew.
As it turns out, as long as the “auditors” are recording a business from the public sidewalk, their actions are permissible under the law. Recording video inside the business is a different situation. You can ask them to leave the premises immediately if it is discovered that the they are not present to patronize the establishment.
If they do not leave, notify the authorities.
Several of the downtown business doors remained locked following Tuesday’s incident. Some are considering office hours by appointment only.
“It was creepy how they went from window to window to try and record me.” Said a Tribune Recorder Leader staffer. “It felt like they were doing it for a long time, I just kept turning my back on them, hoping they would go away.” she continued. Mark the Barber estimated that he was being recorded for about 5-10 minutes through his front window. He too, kept his back to the camera.

A trip to the Sandusky’s East Side Car Wash proved to be quite costly. The man attempted to navigate from the DQ Grill and Chill to the Sandusky Car Wash on a recent Saturday morning. Despite the fact that there was no traffic in the construction zone, he was still issued a citation for impeding traffic by a Sheriff Deputy that had observed his vehicle traveling eastbound. The construction zone on M-46 is allowing only westbound traffic.
The cost of the ticket was $120.00. Dollar amount breakdown; State costs: $40, Statute Cost: $54, Statute Fine: $26. The infraction does not appear to have any consequence of adding points to his license.

Sandusky’s M-46 construction got a little more painful for both DQ Grill & Chill and Firebird Theater last weekend when a road crew struck the buried cable that supplies both site with electrical power.
DQ was without power for around three hours. The Theater was restored after about five hours.

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