The City of Belleville is getting national attention again for having restrictions on trick-or-treaters. The story was even featured on the Today Show this week. But in the last two years of banning anyone over the age of 14 from trick-or-treating, is it really working?
Imagine a gory, scary mask showing up at your door! On a pint sized body: not so scary. But someone bigger...
Belleville parent Ken Walker said, "He wants to be a gangster, wants to carry a mask and a gun, and told him he probably won't be able to do that."
Not for much longer anyway, Walker's son Daniel is 12-years old. His parents tell him he only has a couple of trick-or-treating years left. In Belleville, it's the law.
"Sometimes you got the late, 9pm, 9:30, 10 o'clock knocks at the door. The high school kids, the college-age kids, going out terrorizing people," said Belleville Police Captain Don Sax.
So as Sax explains: as of three years ago, it's against the law for anyone over the age of 14 to trick-or-treat in Belleville. But in that time, police have never issued even one citation.
"We haven't had any complaints or any violations that have come up, so there have not been any reason to enforce it or make an arrest," said Captain Sax.
17-year old Nathan and buddy Codie aren't complaining about that. As long as no one complains, they're going to go trick-or-treating in Belleville, just as they've done every year since the law said no.
"Who says you have to be a certain age to go trick-or-treating. It's just stupid," said Nathan.
"I like dressing up, like having fun one day out of the year," said Codie.
They both say they don't wear scary costumes, and they're in charge of taking their little brothers and sisters trick-or-treating
"One's eight and the other one's five," said Nathan.
Belleville Police say they don't patrol looking for over-aged trick-or-treaters. But they will respond and enforce the law if anyone calls complaining. They believe having the law keeps many families from allowing their high schoolers to go trick-or-treating.