Juggler wants to fight arrest

Benjamin Prows charged with breaking municipal ordinance

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A juggling slackliner says he wasn't violating a municipal ordinance when he was arrested over the weekend at Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Benjamin Prows taught himself how to slackline. He demonstrated for Local 10 in his front yard, juggling as he walked across a 3-inch wide slackline.

"It's kind of like walking on air," said Prows.

But Prows said he'd rather be doing it on Fort Lauderdale Beach -- except he's been arrested there twice for violating a municipal ordinance. He would tie the slackline between two palm trees about 10 feet above the ground.

"There are rules that say you can't solicit, panhandle, or beg, and all of which I wasn't doing," he said.

Municipal ordinances make hammocks illegal on the beach.

"It's just entertainment," said spectator Robert Jolley. "It's really popular up north. I am surprised he's the first one here."

Prows said he has slacklined and juggled on the beach for two years -- but police began cracking down on him three weeks ago.

"He needs to comply with the rules," said Fort Lauderdale Mayor John "Jack" Seiler.

Seiler added police officers have tried talking to him about what he does but he continued.

"If he creates a distraction where somebody coming down the beach creates a, you know, we have an automobile accident, if he creates a situation where somebody wants to try that and gets injured, they're going to be suing the city of Fort Lauderdale," said Seiler.

"I just want to practice my skill and not get put in jail," said Prows.

Prows plans on bringing the issue up at the next city commission meeting.

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