The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) took a way a family’s basketball hoop pole after clearly stating moments before that the McCafferty family can keep it.
DelDOT previously stated that several basketball poles in a Delaware neighborhood violated the state’s “Clear Zone” law. It then sent letters to the families who owned the poles, including the McCaffertys, to warn them that the poles will be removed, reported the Associated Press.
When DelDOT officials, accompanied by state police, came to remove the McCafferty basketball pole, the family tried to resist. However, they eventually relented.
Before allowing DelDOT to remove the pole, John McCafferty asked the DelDOT official in charge:
“Am I still going to be allowed to keep the pole?”
Two DelDOT officials responded:
“They’re not taking the pole.”
“They’ve asked people if they want it, they’ll lay it in your driveway. “
John McCafferty responded:
“I would like my pole, yes.”
DelDOT officials said:
“They let everybody keep it.”
“They offer you the courtesy of letting you keep it.”
After the pole was removed, John McCafferty said: “That pole is staying please.”
However, DelDOT proceeded to take it away.
John McCafferty said: “You lied. You said we have the option of keeping the pole.”
A DelDOT official said: “You can come and pick it up.”
While DelDOT did seem to have the authority to remove the pole from its current location, it’s not clear if they had the right to take it away from the owners. Moreover, it is not clear if DelDOT officials are allowed to blatantly lie (i.e., saying they'll lay it on your driveway) in order to more smoothly carry out their task. (Police officers can lie to obtain evidence, but that’s a separate issue.)
DelDOT and legal professionals could not be reached on the weekend for comments.
Below is the video from Daniel Sato of DelawareonlineTV:
Update2: The woman, identified in the article as the main DelDOT official, is probably a police personnel. John McCafferty told IBTimes that she only idenfified herself as “the lieutenant in charge.”
Update3: IBTimes spoke with John McCafferty on Monday. Click here to read further allegations he made against the police in this incident.