From my local newspaper-
For him, the bell's toll was heavy: a $572 fine
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 08/2/07
BY ERIK LARSEN
COASTAL MONMOUTH BUREAU
BELMAR — Straddling his bicycle in front of a popular bar in town, Joseph Palermo gazed amorously at a beautiful young woman who had just asked him if she could ring his bell.
"Go ahead," he teased her.
"Ding, ding!" clanged the silver bell on his handlebars.
Shortly after, he said, Belmar police slapped him with two summonses, one for a noise violation and the other as a disorderly person.
Palermo — a 22-year-old surfer from Kapaa, Hawaii, who is spending his summer on a local scallop boat — suddenly faced a $2,000 fine and possible 90 days in jail for the post-midnight offense of violating Belmar's rigidly enforced peace and quiet.
"I think it's just funny that they can do that," Palermo said as he straddled his bike again, this time outside Municipal Court on Wednesday where he plea-bargained the two tickets down to just the one noise complaint.
"The diesel truck that just passed is louder than I was," he lamented, as a fuel tanker thundered by on Sixth Avenue in front of borough hall.
Nevertheless, Palermo has to shell out a $539 fine and court costs of $33. As a visitor to town on a shoestring budget — he is living either on the boat, docked in Brielle, or at a friend's house in Belmar — violating the borough's zero-tolerance policy against excessive noise after hours has all but bankrupted him, he said.
"I hope I can pay, otherwise Belmar's police, they're going to come looking for me," Palermo said after his hearing. "I guess money talks, and my money is saying goodbye."