The Hamptons Police Department has entered the third day of a standoff with militiamen occupying a public restroom in Beach Hampton.
As many as 15 armed militants took over the bathroom at Dunehampton Beach over the weekend and have vowed to stay there “for as long as it takes.” A sign now hangs from the door that reads “Occupied.”
John Tremain, who identifies himself as the leader of the Hamptons Patriot Rump Militia (HPRM), tweeted from inside the bathroom Sunday, “We are reclaiming this tool of tyranny and returning it to the people of the Hamptons! #2ndAmendment #OccupyDunehampton”.
Hamptons Police Department spokesman Larry Hirsch said that while police officers are monitoring the situation, they expect the militiamen will lose interest and leave on their own once their cellphone batteries die.
“Those bathrooms were closed for the season on Labor Day and were expected to remain closed through Memorial Day,” Hirsch said. “I told them, ‘If you really want to stay there, be my guest. But the water and electricity will remain off until the end of May.’”
Hirsch added that while the HPRM claims to have more than a dozen members taking part in the occupation, police officers who have been to the scene “are fairly certain it’s just one guy.”
In a phone interview Tuesday, Tremain said the HPRM planned for a long stay and has food and water supplies that will last several years, if need be.
“We have no plans to be violent, but we will defend ourselves,” Tremain added. “We will only shoot if the authorities shoot first—or if anyone tries to use this bathroom.”
Asked what concessions he is seeking from the government in order to end the occupation, the militia leader said he will not be satisfied until the Hamptons Municipal Board agrees to turn the public property back over to the citizenry. “These lands belong to We the People, not the government!” Tremain exclaimed. “The Constitution says Uncle Sam has no place here.”
In a rebuttal, Hirsch points out that the bathroom actually was never privately owned, and was in fact built under the direction and funding of the Municipal Board. “Look, Tremain can argue that this bathroom doesn’t belong to the government, but the facts just don’t support that,” Hirsch said. “Now, if he’s talking about the land where the bathroom now stands—I welcome him and his supposed cohorts to find another patch and go squat.”