By Steve Tawa
MARGATE, N.J. (CBS) — High-profile Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Jimmy Binns didn’t like the feel of handcuffs when he was arrested in Margate last December, after he disabled a neighbor’s air conditioning units that may have been encroaching on his property.
Now, Binns is about to file a lawsuit against Margate.
The loud air conditioning condensers had Binns tossing and turning last summer. He says he tried to reason with his neighbor, but nothing was done. So, he had contractors come out in mid-December to disconnect them.
“Jim Binns, in doing this, exercised his common-law right to remove property from his home,” says Stephen Hankin, who represents Binns.
But Margate police arrested Binns, 72 (right), on criminal mischief charges the next day (see related story).
“They handcuffed him, they fingerprinted him, they took his mug shot and put him in a jail cell like he was a bank robber about to flee,” Hankin says.
Although the Atlantic County prosecutor, Ted Housel, has now dropped the charges, Hankin says Binns will file a civil rights lawsuit against Margate.
In recognition of his philanthropic activities, Binns holds a title of “honorary police chief” in Margate.