Panama City Beach, FL — In the ostensible land of the Free, cops claim the legal authority to extort money from you, or even kidnap you for a slew of activities which have no victim. Window Tint, smoking a plant in you own home, not wearing your seatbelt, walking across the street, sagging your pants, and even juggling — can and will get you extorted, kidnapped, caged, or even killed. Now, as a recent case in Florida illustrates, we can add building a sand castle to that long list of victimless “crimes.”

Bryant Rylee and his family were at the beach last week building an awesome sand castle when they were confronted by police. The officer, who was ‘protecting society’ by patrolling the beach for illegal sand castles, told the Rylees that their sand castle was in violation of the law.

At first, Rylee thought the officer was joking. After all, he and his son were harming no one while building their most epic castle. In a Facebook post, Rylee explains that it is ‘illegal’ to build a sand castle with a hole deeper than two feet. However, he explained that their hole was only one foot deep, so there was no way it was in violation.


It wasn’t the hole from which the cop was protecting society, though — it was Rylee’s son’s equipment that was criminal. According to their obscure ordinance, only plastic tools are allowed on the beach, and they had some metal ones.

It is important to note that the officer explained to Rylee that she would let him off with a warning if he simply filled in the hole. But Rylee wasn’t buying it. He wanted to know what ordinance he was violating.

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It was Rylee’s questioning of authority which led to police escalating the call. When her authority was put into question, the officer brought in backup.

Before the officer could tell Rylee which ordinance he was violating, the family was surrounded by police. In fact, four patrol units would show up and sit there for 20 minutes before any of them could produce the law which said metal beach toys were illegal.

According to FEE:

While Rylee, a devout Christian, says he supports law enforcement and prays “daily for their protection,” he also said on his social media account that, “I do believe that ‘we the people’ have a right to ask what ordinance number or to see the ordinance.”


Rylee is absolutely correct. In the American legal system, there is a pillar of jurisprudence known as Mens rae, which is latin for “guilty mind.” The principle itself comes from the latin phrase actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which translates to, “the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty.”


This is a standard test of criminal liability that asks the state to consider whether or not a person has broken a law knowingly before guilt can even be assessed.

After it was all over, as Rylee explains, the construction of a sand castle cost him $25 and could’ve cost him $500 and up to 60 days in jail.

When building a sand castle becomes a criminal act, it is high time we question where this ostensible Land of the Free is headed.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.
  • Zaphod Braden

    Pathetic losers. These are the PIGS that make people hate PIGS.

  • MW MacKinnon

    You can actually look up the ordinance but I agree with you that it should be clearly posted which I am guessing it wasn’t.

  • Rob W

    Our institutions didn’t save us. Welcome to the post-constitutional USA.

  • Dan Dan

    Failure to use a seatbelt is NOT a victimless crime – your thick skull can do all sorts of damage flying around inside a crashing car:

  • sonoitabear

    It’s FloriDUH after all, the Southeastern stronghold of Fascist Republicanism…

  • Mark Wyatt

    They’ll shoot your dog if they catch it on the Tx beaches now . Its becoming damn near automatic . They’ll kill a Chihuahua and claim they feared attack which is the only way they can get away with it . After they’ve shot your dog they’ll ticket you . But then again this is Tx .

  • Bruce Hannah

    They were in Florida, they were lucky they didn’t get shot, the cop could have feared for his life and quoted the stand your ground laws. good thing they didn’t have skittles.

  • psphilip

    wow wow sick not funny sick

  • psphilip

    florida where WASTE is obivous the GOV corrupt and the state is sinking but denies climate change…BTW notice the number of officers? thousands spent invietagting a sand castle…..criminal should make asand castle and have their buddies ROB some one since AL LtheCOWARDs in blue are chasing castle builders

  • Phil Freda

    There are so many laws and ordinances against this or that, and I mean victim-less stuff, that every citizen breaks the law every day. We’ve allowed our liberty to be taken away one small spoonful at a time. None of this will ever change with the oligarchy of the Ds and Rs in power. Live free.

  • Leon

    better headline: “welcome to florida” has there ever been a sign of competence from that state?

  • lafler2000

    policed state….it’s bad when you have to worry about being confronted by a desperate criminal, but when the Government is desperate WATCH OUT! They can do anything they want to you, and get away with it. Read about “harvesting rain water” on your own property being illegal….another doozey!

  • 58thStreetSurfer

    Still looking for that three-ton vehicle, ain’t seen it yet.

    • Robert Ferguson

      my 1/2 ton pickup weighs 5600 hundred lbs smarten up

    • Robert Ferguson

      there are two trucks in the picture

      • 58thStreetSurfer

        Neither of which are three ton vehicles.

        • Robert Ferguson

          yes they do

    • Richard Cole

      According to google any one of those trucks weigh 5,380 to 5,625 lbs. (empty no fluids) add all fluids, emergency equipment, standard police equipment and 1-4 deputies and you have surpassed 3 tons!!!

      • 58thStreetSurfer

        I surrender! LOL

  • 58thStreetSurfer

    Bodies all over the streets and nobody notices or say anything? News media is blind to it? Get over your “blue hate”, you might actually need the police some day.

  • 58thStreetSurfer

    Sounds more like “city government” coming up with ridiculous rules and regulations. The cops just get caught in the middle. And yes, they over reacted. I remember a while back, some people built a sandcastle on Daytona Beach that was so big, a police car nearly wrecked on it. It was night and the sandcastle blended in with all the beach sand and made it difficult to see. Also, the issue of sea turtle nesting season. Large holes are a problem for them if the holes are not filled in before nightfall.

  • crissyfield

    good to know……..

  • Craig Cerney

    viscious, dictatorial, authoriatian….this is the new SS folks

  • Lee Fogarty


  • Alex Knight

    This society, frankly, isn’t even worth saving anymore. I’d be content with just disposing of it altogether.

  • Steve Dodge

    Fricking idiot law enforcement in that particular case.