Transportation workers and state police came to her neighborhood in Wilmington Friday morning to remove several basketball goals that officials said were too close to the roadway.
Several residents were sent letters last year warning them that the state's "Clear Zone" law prohibits trees and other objects from being within seven feet of the pavement's edge in a residential subdivision.
Melissa, 39, parked her van underneath the goal, climbed the pole and perched herself behind the backboard, risking arrest. McCafferty said she could only think about how sad her 10-year-old daughter would be about the removal.
"To be honest with you, I really wasn't thinking. All I was seeing was my 10-year-old's face," said McCafferty, who also has two teenagers who like to shoot hoops. "They threatened to arrest me, and I told them that would be fine. I don't mind going to jail for my kids," she added.
John McCafferty, 46, said the pole has been on the property since the 1950s, long before the Clear Zone law was enacted, and that he believes it is exempted from the law. In any event, McCafferty said, the basketball hoop sits in a quiet cul-de-sac with little traffic and has never been a source of contention until now. "It's been there for 61 years, and it's created no problem until this year," he said.