Wisconsin town has outlawed throwing snowballs

"A lot of it is common sense. You don't throw stuff at people."

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By Callie Patteson

One town in Wisconsin has outlawed throwing snowballs.

According to a 1962 municipal ordinance, any person who throws a snowball in a public place in the city of Wausau, including sidewalks, streets, parks, schools or against a building, could face a fine.

"No person shall throw or shoot any object, arrow, stone, snowball or other missile or projectile, by hand or by any other means, at any other person or at, in or into any building, street, sidewalk, alley, highway, park, playground or other public place within the city," the full ordinance reads.

Snowballs fall in the same category as rocks, other projectiles and weapons in the central Wisconsin town with a population of about 40,000.

Wausau Police Patrol Captain Todd Baeten told TODAY Parents that people have received citations under the ordinance as recently as 2017, but he was unsure if they went to court or were fined as a result.

Tara Alfonso, who has acted as the Assistant City Attorney since 2012, said that she has "never prosecuted anyone on the 'throwing a snowball' part of the ordinance."

“It’s really in the interest of public safety. A lot of it is just consideration and common sense. You don’t throw stuff at people, period,” Wausau Mayor Robert B. Mielke told WCCO in Minneapolis. TODAY reached out to Mielke for further comment, but did not receive a reply.

The Wausau Police Department released a video on December 5th in response to the national and regional media attention toward the ordinance, featuring officers and Mayor Mielke engaged in a snowball fight.

Read next: It's winter, and boys just want to wear shorts: Should you let them?

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