View Full Version : Free enterprise is not always free!

11-15-2010, 03:14 PM
CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. — A politician in a New York suburb called police on two 13-year-old boys for selling cupcakes and other baked goods without a permit, according to a report Monday.

The Journal News in Westchester County said the boys, Andrew DeMarchis and Kevin Graff, had a brisk business selling cupcakes, cookies, brownies and Rice Krispie treats for $1 each in a Chappaqua park.

However, New Castle Councilman Michael Wolfensohn called the police after discovering the sale was not for charity, the newspaper said.

Kevin's mother, Laura Graff, said the teens were "good kids" who were scared by the police call.

"I am shocked and sad for the boys. It was such a great idea, and they worked hard at it," Laura Graff, Kevin's mother, told The Journal News. "But then some Town Board member decided to get on his high horse and wreck their dreams."

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..DeMarchis, Graff and two other friends, Zachary Bass and Daniel Katz, had hoped they would make enough money to open a restaurant, the paper said, adding that they made $120 on their first day.

However the police arrived on their second day in Gedney Park, on Oct. 9, the paper said.

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Suzanne DeMarchis, Andrew's mother, was called to the park and said the officer was "extremely pleasant."

"He said he was sorry to have to do this, but that he was following up on a report filed over the phone by a Town Board member," she told The Journal News. "Kevin was so upset, he was crying all the whole way home. He was worried if he was going to get arrested or have a criminal record."

Wolfensohn told the paper he had asked the boys if the sale was to raise money for a charity, before calling the police.

"All vendors selling on town property have to have a license, whether it's boys selling baked goods or a hot dog vendor," Wolfensohn said.

He said "in hindsight" he perhaps should have told the boys they needed a license rather than calling the cops. "The police are trained to deal with these sorts of issues," he told The Journal News.

A permit to sell things in the park costs $150 to $350 for two hours and a $1 million insurance certificate is also required, the paper said.

New Castle Recreation and Parks Superintendent Robert Snyder told The Journal News that they needed to know what went on in the park.

"What if there was work going on that was dangerous?" he told the paper. "But I do understand why parents would think they can do this."

Andrew DeMarchis told The Journal News of his disappointment.

"We were being entrepreneurs," he said, "but now I feel a little defeated."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.