Haverford, PA Police Bust Up Illegal Lemonade Ring

Haverford, Pennsylvania police had quite a little PR flap going on a few weeks ago, after they broke up a supposedly-illegal door-to-door lemonade ring.

According to the story in the Philadelphia Inquirier (official motto: No, you're thinking of the Enquirer), seven little kids, including 5-year-old triplets, were selling lemonade on their quiet suburban street, but one of their neighbors felt it was his duty to report the children to the police.

So the officer — whose name was blacked out in the official police report obtained by the Inquirer — visited Dana Kleinschmidt, mother of four of the lawbreakers (including the triplets), and told her the kids were violating the law because they were selling food without a permit.

So Kleinschmidt told the kids they had to stop, but told the officer that she had never heard of that law.

Mostly because there wasn't one.

"We all sold lemonade when we were kids," John F. Viola, deputy chief of police, told the Inquirer. "We all went, like, who calls [police] on kids?"

William Nickerson does, apparently. He called to complain when the kids showed up at his house, because he thought the kids weren't being properly supervised.

So when the unnamed officer rolled up, gun drawn, town statutes a-blazing, it turns out the law he cited — vending without a permit — doesn't apply to anyone younger than 16.

Viola found out about the incident after reading Kleinschmidt's heart-wrenching post on HaverfordBlog.com. And as news of the unnamed officer's misinterpretation of the law spread throughout the township, Viola asked Sargent Joe Hagan, a patrolman for that area, to meet with the family, which he did.

He explained to them all that they had done nothing wrong, and that they could sell all the lemonade they wanted. He said one of the triplets even hugged him.

Photo: Coach O.
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