At least one resident in Taneytown, Maryland appears to be taking their coronavirus quarantine casual to a whole new level, and authorities are taking notice. The Taneytown Police Department had residents looking for a half-naked neighbor after sharing last week a joking warning to a possibly fictional person who had been feeling a little too comfortable in their own yard.
"Please remember to put pants on before leaving the house to check your mailbox," the department posted to its official Facebook page April 14. "You know who you are. This is your final warning." The post quickly went viral, with some commenters comically responding, "My lawn. My rules," and "OK, but the bra stays off."
It was initially unclear if the Carroll County town of about 7,000 people has actually been suffering from a recent rash of pants-free residents or if the department was simply trying to lighten the mood, but local news station WMAR made sure to investigate the possible allegation in seriousness. In the end, reporters were unable to effectively determine if the resident in question was a real person, but got plenty of input from locals reeling from the news.
"I know a friend that used to do that, and he lives in Taneytown," resident McKenzie Carter told a reporter. Another resident named Tiffany Robertson told the outlet, "It's really funny to me. It's funny how men can go in their underwear and just have a good old day. It's really nice. Hey, you have to have a breeze somehow, you know?" Robertson joked of being on the lookout for the possible culprit, "Probably get his number too. See what size boxers he's wearing or something."
After the post went viral, Taneytown Mayor Bradley Wantz revealed that the post was intended to be humorous after people began accusing the town of infringing on personal freedoms. "When it spreads beyond that initial context you know people understand what the department does, that's where people take it out of context, and they start making accusations of taking away freedoms, taking away rights," Wantz told The Evening Sun. "Our police department Facebook page is a mix of information and entertainment, our residents appreciate some of the light-hearted things that are put out on there and that was the inspiration of the post. ...It was simply humor."