CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) – A man tried to enter the New Hampshire Supreme Court building wearing his Bigfoot costume on Thursday, but was initially denied entry.
Guards at the door of the building asked Jonathan Doyle to take off the costume and put on a suit coat.
Doyle complied and entered the court with his attorney to fight for his right to finish his film on Mt. Monadnock.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports.
“I just wanna go back up the mountain, and finish my silly little film and have a good time, as usual. And so, hopefully in doing that, other people will be able to share that same joy,” said Doyle.
The state, though, argues not only are permits required to ensure public safety on the mountain, but the permit is needed because Doyle was bothering people when he was filming on the mountain two years ago. Doyle disagrees.
“We were not aggressive, and we were very polite and we were enjoying ourselves,” said Doyle, who believes the state trying to repress his right to free speech. “Bigfoot wasn’t a scary creature. He wasn’t… something to be afraid of.”
His attorney, Barbra Keshen, argued that Doyle doesn’t need a permit.
“It’s important to look at the activity. The activity of creating art is to protect it,” said Keshen.
But, artists draw crowds, and crowds can create a danger on top of a mountain. One justice asked: What if Lady Gaga wanted to perform on Mt. Manadnock?
“The thing about Lady Gaga is there should be a permitting requirement, and we don’t dispute that there should be a permitting requirement that regulates large groups, and how large groups get to use the state property,” said Keshen. “But, there should not be a permitting requirement when it comes to small, expressive activity.”
The state requires permits for anything outside normal, recreational activity. The attorney argued that the law is too broad, and some of the justices seem sympathetic to that argument.
One justice, for example, asked the state’s attorney Matthew Mavrogeorge: What if someone wants to take wedding pictures up on the mountain? That’s not really “normal, recreational activity.” Mavrogeorge replied that he didn’t know whether wedding pictures would require a permit.
A ruling on the Bigfoot case is expected in a couple months.