In the end, Sacramento's self-appointed seduction specialist "Double B" couldn't get himself picked up by a cop at the mall.
Bryan Barton seemingly had a grand plan to defend his First Amendment right to talk to strangers at the Arden Fair mall and to boost his business of teaching other men how to pick up women.
In April, Barton had received a written notice from the mall telling him to stay off the premises. Since he often used the mall as a training ground for his students, he came up with a plan to fight back, including contacting a lawyer.
"If it's OK in the park it's OK in a mall," attorney Daniel Watts said Thursday morning, standing at Barton's side before the pair entered the mall to fight for the "Freedom of Flirt."
The problem for Barton: the mall had no interest in participating in his media stunt.
Through a website, sacpickup.com, Barton charges men $225 for 15 hours of instruction in how to pick up women. After talking about the principles, he said, he takes two to six men into the field the mall, coffee shops and bars to put what they've learned into practice.
On April 11, Barton and his group were asked to leave Arden Fair when some women complained after being contacted by his students, said Steve Reed, chief of mall security.
"The line is crossed when there is a complaint," Reed said.
With a modest media contingent in tow Thursday, Barton walked to the second-floor food court, where he bought ice cream then went to a table of three women in their 60s.
Barton seemed to strike an affable tone. The women laughed and within minutes Barton was sitting at their table and got a hug from one of the ladies before leaving.
After he left the table, the women told The Bee that while Barton did intrude and sat down uninvited, he was very friendly and they didn't want to be rude. They said he spoke about First Amendment rights.
"I see no problem with him (bringing students to the mall), so long as he teaches them to back off if they're not interested," said Teresa Greenlee, 64.
Satisfied he had sufficiently violated Arden Fair's order, Barton presented himself to a Sacramento police officer who had been monitoring the situation from 40 yards away.
The officer had no interest in arresting Barton, who waved a carbon copy of his banishment form. Barton then went downstairs to the security desk, where he was met with similar indifference.
His final stop was at the mall's basement administration office. He arrived shortly before noon to find a darkened, locked office.
"My intention was to go down there and get arrested," said Barton, 33. He said he was disappointed that he got no clear concession from the mall that he could bring his students there. "You're allowed to interact with strangers at the mall," he said.
Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269. Follow him on Twitter @newsfletch.