NATIONAL NEWS

This Virginia Town Will Fine You $250 For Trick-Or-Treating If You’re Older Than 14. But Here’s The Whole Story

Oct 25, 2019, 8:35 AM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:02 pm

In Chesapeake, Virginia, trick or treating is all about Halloween fun: candy, costumes, and -- if y...

In Chesapeake, Virginia, trick or treating is all about Halloween fun: candy, costumes, and -- if you're over 14 -- a spine-chilling possible $250 fine.

 (CNN) — In Chesapeake, Virginia, trick or treating is all about Halloween fun: candy, costumes, and — if you’re over 14 — a spine-chilling possible $250 fine.

According to the City of Chesapeake code of ordinances, anyone over the age of 14 who engages in trick or treating is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $250. Anyone who trick or treats after 8 p.m. is also guilty of the same charge.

While many might think this law is a pretty cruel trick, the ban on big kids is nothing new for Chesapeake. In fact, the penalty was only reduced in March 2019 when city officials loosened the original 1970 ordinance that said kids over 12 years old who were trick or treating could face jail time.

“All cities in the Hampton Roads region, which Chesapeake is a part of, passed an ordinance that said if you were older than 12, you can be subject to an arrest, a fine, and/or jail time,” Chesapeake spokesperson Heath Covey told CNN.

The ordinance was introduced after an especially violent Halloween in 1968 where a city in the Hampton Roads region witnessed several incidents, including people throwing firecrackers into trick or treaters’ Halloween bags.

The law was altered in March after Chesapeake’s ordinance went viral. Thousands of Halloween fans from all over the world caught wind of Chesapeake’s trick-or-treating ban and they weren’t happy. Even Jimmy Kimmel mocked the town’s law.

According to Covey, the backlash prompted officials to revisit the existing law and raise the maximum age to 14 while dropping the jail provision altogether.

While the ordinance seems to speak for itself, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Nobody gets arrested

In the past 49 years, since the original ordinance was put in place, Chesapeake has not arrested, fined, or jailed a single person for trick or treating.

“Anyone over 14 who trick or treats in Chesapeake will not receive anything but candy,” Covey said, as long as they’re not causing trouble.

According to Covey, the law’s single purpose is to give police the ability to take action if someone were to do “something malicious”, such as smashing pumpkins on the streets.

Police do not patrol neighborhoods or “card people” to confirm their ages. On Halloween, Chesapeake law enforcement focus on ensuring no one is speeding through the streets and doing what they can to protect wandering trick or treaters.

“Say for example a 17-year-old kid and his 12-year-old sister both go trick or treating,” said Covey. “The only problem that 17-year-old is going to have is deciding who’s going to get to keep the Snickers.”

For now, the City of Chesapeake is working on tracking down posts and stories that incorrectly explain the ordinance. So far, Covey says, when people hear the story and understand the ordinance is meant to “keep people safe,” the response has been positive.

“We want every person in Chesapeake to have a fun and safe Halloween. This ordinance will not prevent them from doing that.”

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Nikki Haley speaks with KSL TV during a campaign trip to Utah following a large trail of losses in ...

Gregory Krieg, CNN

Nikki Haley will win DC GOP primary, CNN projects

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will win the Republican presidential primary in Washington, DC, CNN projects, after three days of voting in the party’s only capital polling location – a downtown hotel.

45 minutes ago

The Supreme Court may hand down at least one opinion on Monday, according to a new post on the cour...

John Fritze, CNN

Supreme Court may announce at least one opinion Monday as US waits for word on Trump ballot case

The Supreme Court may hand down at least one opinion on Monday, according to a new post on the court’s website. The announcement is certain to drive speculation that the justices are prepared to decide whether former President Donald Trump is eligible to appear on Colorado’s presidential ballot.

4 hours ago

(From left) Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in 'Dune: Part Two.'
Mandatory Credit:	Niko Tavernise/Wa...

Lindsey Bahr, AP Film Writer

‘Dune: Part Two’ brings spice power to the box office with $81.5 million debut

Movie theaters were looking for a savior and “Dune: Part Two” is delivering on the promise.

8 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night ...

Eric Bradner and Daniel Strauss, CNN

Trump wins all delegates at stake in Michigan GOP convention amid leadership battle

Former President Donald Trump won all 39 delegates at stake at a Michigan Republican convention Saturday, as officials there sought to move past a leadership battle that has split the state party into rival factions.

23 hours ago

Workers clear snow in a residential neighborhood, Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Truckee, Calif. (AP P...

Brooke Hess and Ken Ritter, The Associated Press

A massive blizzard howls in the Sierra Nevada. High winds and heavy snow close roads and ski resorts

A powerful blizzard that a meteorologist termed “as bad as it gets” howled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, closing a long stretch of Interstate 80 in Northern California, forcing ski resorts to shut down, and leaving thousands of homes without power.

1 day ago

People inspect damage and recover items from their homes following Israeli air strikes on February ...

Waafa Shurafa and Samy Magdy

U.S. says Israel has agreed to the framework for a Gaza cease-fire. Hamas now must decide

A senior U.S. official says Israel has essentially endorsed a framework of a proposed Gaza cease-fire and hostage release deal, and it is now up to Hamas to agree to it.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

This Virginia Town Will Fine You $250 For Trick-Or-Treating If You’re Older Than 14. But Here’s The Whole Story