Rhode Island

Rhode Island homeowner arrested following argument over beach access

A Rhode Island beachfront homeowner is facing charges after beachgoers set up in an area where he thought was private access.

Beach goer Chris Brady told WJAR-TV he and his family set up two chairs and an umbrella behind a private home at the North Kingstown Town Beach on Sunday.

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According to Brady, an hour later, the homeowner, 61-year-old Andrew McClatchy, confronted them.

"He was pretty aggressive. And he started demanding that we leave. And I kept on refusing, saying you have no right to move us from here. This is not yours," Brady told WJAR-TV.

According to police, Brady's family was well within the state's new lateral public access line. According to the new Rhode Island legislation, the public has the right to use the shore up to 10 feet above the seaweed line.

Brady says the confrontation escalated when McClatchy ripped the family's umbrella out of the sand and threw it in the water.

Police were eventually called and McClatchy was arrested and charged with vandalism and disorderly conduct.

Brady says he hopes the state can clarify to beachgoers and waterfront homeowners what's considered private and public.

"They should preempt this, if we're going to sort it out. There could be a very bad sorting, there could be violence, it could be, you know, really bad violence," Brady told WJAR-TV.

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