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  1. #1
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    Arrest for Refusing to Show Identification to a LEO

    I follow the blog of a guy who walked across the country (California to New York) last year. He was arrested in Greencastle, Indiana last summer, after a prison worker called the police to report him as a suspicious person after they exchanged words while he was walking past the prison complex. When the officer located him, he refused to show his identification, the officer attempted to put him in handcuffs, a struggle ensued, and he was ultimately arrested and charged with:

    FAILURE TO IDENTIFY
    DISORDERLY CONDUCT
    RESISTING LAW ENFORCEMENT
    POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA
    (a small marijuana pipe was subsequently found in his backpack)

    He still claims he did nothing wrong, and was not legally obligated to identify himself. Below is the police report. I would love to get a LEO's perspective on this. Did the officer handle the situation properly? Did he have a right to refuse to show his identification?

    PUTNAM COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
    CASE # 10074110 (7-24-2010)
    OFFENSE (S): FAILURE TO IDENTIFY
    DISORDERLY CONDUCT
    RESISTING LAW ENFORCEMENT
    POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA
    SUSPECT: RYAN M. POWELL
    CORPORAL JONATHAN D. CHADD

    On 7-24-2010 at approximately 7:37 p.m. I was dispatched to a suspicious person complaint on US-40 near the Putnamville Correctional Facility. I was advised by dispatch that the subject was walking eastbound near the prison and that DOC employees had attempted to make contact with the subject and he became belligerent and continued walking east. When I arrived in the area, I observed a male subject sitting in the grass on the north side of US 40, just east of the Lincoln Park Speedway entrance.

    At this time I exited my commission to make contact with the subject. Upon approaching the subject I asked if he was alright, to which he responded that he was. At this time I asked the subject if he had recently had contact with employees of the DOC to which he stated that he had. At this time I asked the subject for identification to which he responded he was a US citizen and that he did not have to tell me anything. I again asked the subject for identification to which he again stated he was not going to comply with my request and that I should leave him alone.

    At this time Sheriff Steve Fenwick arrived at my location at which time I again asked the subject for identification to which he again refused to provide. At this time Sheriff Fenwick asked the subject to provide identification to which he again refused.

    At this time I attempted to reason with the subject and asked for his name and birth date to which he again stated he did not have to provide.

    While speaking with the subject he continued to yell and tell us that he was a US citizen and did not have to provide us with any information and that he was aware of the Constitution. After numerous attempts to reason with the subject and asking him to quiet down and cooperate, he stated that he would not provide us with any information.

    At this time I told the subject to turn around and place his hands behind his back to which he stated that I better not touch him and that he was not going to comply. At this time I again asked the subject to place his hands behind his back to which he again stated he would not.

    At this time I attempted to gain control of the subjects arm to which he jerked away and took a few steps and again told me not to touch him. At this time I assisted the subject to the ground and placed him into handcuffs and advised him to stop resisting, to which he then complied. At this time I patted the subject down and located a wallet in his front pocket that contained an Ohio drivers license identifying the subject as Ryan Michael Powell.

    At this time I advised Mr. Powell of his Miranda Rights to which he stated he understood. At this time I contacted dispatch to have the jail van enroute to transport Mr. Powell to the Putnam County Jail. Upon arrival of the jail van Mr. Powell and his belongings were loaded and he was transported to the Putnam County Jail. After arriving at the jail and during the process of placing Mr. Powell's belongings into the property room, a glass smoking device was located in Mr. Powell's bag commonly used to smoke marijuana. At this time Mr. Powell was remanded to the jail staff on the above stated charges.

    Cpl. Jonathan D. Chadd
    [Jonathan D. Chadd's signature]

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyZ View Post
    Did the officer handle the situation properly?
    Yes. I would have hooked him up sooner.

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyZ View Post
    Did he have a right to refuse to show his identification?
    No. He was the subject of an investigation and legally detained as such. He confirmed that he was in fact the person who was reported by the DOC officials. As such, he had an obligation to identify himself to the officers. Failure to do so is a crime.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
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    Question. What is the reason for refusing to show an ID, other than being an $$$? I don't know if by law we have to show an ID but I know refusing to do so is not going to end well.
    It's not that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so. Ronald Reagan


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    Quote Originally Posted by Justsaying View Post
    Question. What is the reason for refusing to show an ID, other than being an $$$? I don't know if by law we have to show an ID but I know refusing to do so is not going to end well.
    In most places (not all), you don't have to ID yourself to an officer just because. For example, your walking down the street and I walk up and demand your ID. I've got no reason to demand it other then I want to know your name. Under those circumstances, you aren't legally required to present ID. However, if I've got a valid reason to demand your ID (like you were sniffing around a prison and acting suspicious), then you'd best pony up. The problem is that d-bags like this guy don't get that point and want to resist. The funny thing is that if he had ID'd himself, he'd have been free to move on...

    (Disclaimer: There are some states where you must ID yourself to officers when asked. Check your local laws to be sure.)
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRT936 View Post
    Yes. I would have hooked him up sooner.



    No. He was the subject of an investigation and legally detained as such. He confirmed that he was in fact the person who was reported by the DOC officials. As such, he had an obligation to identify himself to the officers. Failure to do so is a crime.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRT936 View Post
    In most places (not all), you don't have to ID yourself to an officer just because. For example, your walking down the street and I walk up and demand your ID. I've got no reason to demand it other then I want to know your name. Under those circumstances, you aren't legally required to present ID. However, if I've got a valid reason to demand your ID (like you were sniffing around a prison and acting suspicious), then you'd best pony up. The problem is that d-bags like this guy don't get that point and want to resist. The funny thing is that if he had ID'd himself, he'd have been free to move on...

    (Disclaimer: There are some states where you must ID yourself to officers when asked. Check your local laws to be sure.)
    +1......................
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyZ View Post
    I follow the blog of a guy who walked across the country (California to New York) last year. He was arrested in Greencastle, Indiana last summer, after a prison worker called the police to report him as a suspicious person after they exchanged words while he was walking past the prison complex. When the officer located him, he refused to show his identification, the officer attempted to put him in handcuffs, a struggle ensued, and he was ultimately arrested and charged with:

    FAILURE TO IDENTIFY
    DISORDERLY CONDUCT
    RESISTING LAW ENFORCEMENT
    POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA
    (a small marijuana pipe was subsequently found in his backpack)

    He still claims he did nothing wrong, and was not legally obligated to identify himself. Below is the police report. I would love to get a LEO's perspective on this. Did the officer handle the situation properly? Did he have a right to refuse to show his identification?
    You said it right there.. he was a SUSPICIOUS PERSON.. or the subject of a suspicous person report. So of course he has to show i.d. That's part of the investigation. Look at it like this.. what if it wasn't at a prison? What if you saw this guy outside your house?.. maybe in your bushes or something. You go tell him to take off and then you call the cops. Do you think he has a right to refuse to identify himself to a police officer?

    Clearly, the guy thought he knew his rights. Clearly he did not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justsaying View Post
    Question. What is the reason for refusing to show an ID, other than being an $$$? I don't know if by law we have to show an ID but I know refusing to do so is not going to end well.
    Actually, the guy who was arrested (Ryan M. Powel) posted his account of the incident. His contention is that he was minding his own business, walking down the road, when the prison guard started harassing him. The prison guard was the first to ask him for ID. When he refused, because he didn't want to be bothered and felt he was being screwed with, the guard called the police. So that set the stage for the whole attitude of not wanting to identify himself, since he felt he wasn't doing anything wrong. This is Mr. Powell's account of the situation:

    Edit: The rest of this post is a cut-n-paste from the guy's blog, but I changed two vulgar words in order to comply with forum rules. These minor changes don't alter the meaning or tone.

    It all began near the prison, as I walked east on the shoulder of westbound US 40. Minding my own business and wearing a reflective vest (as always), a prison guard stopped his vehicle in front of me and exited the vehicle to confront me.

    The guard quickly told me it is illegal to walk on US 40 near the prison. On the edge of the prison grounds, he said, there are signs posted to inform pedestrians that it is unlawful to walk in the area. However, as I suspected from the beginning, everything he said was a lie. First of all, as I found out later, there are no such signs. Furthermore, it's perfectly legal to walk near the prison on the road surface or shoulder.

    This guy wasn't trying to be helpful. Rather, he stopped specifically to mess with me. However, since I was not on prison property, nor had I ever been on prison property, he had no authority to confront me, which means I had no legal obligation to acknowledge his presence. Still, I cooperated with him for a few minutes, giving him a chance to figure out what should have been obvious to anyone with half a brain: that I was just walking through, and that I was no threat to anyone or anything. But he couldn't figure it out, and soon he demanded that I show him identification.

    I don't play that game. That is, I don't play that game unless the law enforcement officer has a valid reason to ask for my ID. For example, when I was caught riding a freight train, I totally cooperated with the railroad cop because I'd actually broken a law and he caught me. See how that works?

    When the prison guard demanded to see my ID, I stopped cooperating because this is the point at which an inquiry becomes harassment. As he tried to intimidate me, also stealing my valuable time from me, I quickly became defensive and raised my voice to assert my displeasure with his harassment. Not far into our exchange, I informed him that this is the United States of America, and in the United States of America I am free to walk down the street without being hassled by people like him.

    He then said, "Well, I fought for your freedom in Vietnam," to which I responded, "Yeah, you fought for my right to walk across this country without having to worry about being harassed by cops or prison guards."

    He didn't get it.

    For the record, I don't believe he fought for my freedom. Last I checked, my constitutional rights existed for almost 200 years before the Vietnam War began, and no Vietnamese ever tried to strip me of these rights. But hey, if it made him feel good to believe he went there to protect my freedom, then I thought this was an appropriate time to point out that he was currently trying really hard to strip me of my freedom. I figured maybe this would create some moral friction within him to make him realize it's a good time to stop being a jerk.

    He still didn't get it. The sad part is that he fancied himself a hero or a protector, even though he obviously enjoyed trying to create misery for others.

    After putting up with his harassment and arguing with him for several minutes, I simply walked away, against his wishes, resuming my walk east along US 40. And he didn't follow me, either on foot or in his vehicle, because he knew he had no authority to detain me. Instead, due to the fact that I'd so effectively hurt his feelings (which he deserved), he contacted the sheriff's department and lied yet again by reporting that there was a suspicious person walking near the prison.

    Now back to the arrest report.

    When I arrived in the area, I observed a male subject sitting in the grass on the north side of US 40, just east of the Lincoln Park Speedway entrance.

    At this time I exited my commission to make contact with the subject. Upon approaching the subject I asked if he was alright, to which he responded that he was. At this time I asked the subject if he had recently had contact with employees of the DOC to which he stated that he had. At this time I asked the subject for identification to which he responded he was a US citizen and that he did not have to tell me anything. I again asked the subject for identification to which he again stated he was not going to comply with my request and that I should leave him alone.


    This occurred about half an hour after the incident with the prison guard, more than a mile from the prison.

    To be clear, I actually said, "This is the United States of America," which has a much different meaning than "I am a US citizen." You may have noticed a trend here. Yes, when I get harassed by cops, I am very fond of reminding them what country we're in because they know exactly what I mean when I say it. And if they don't fully grasp my message, I make it clear that I know my rights and I don't plan to surrender my rights to someone who is paid to protect me.

    Anyway, if you think I was unnecessarily or unlawfully obstinate with the guard or the cop, here's where you get to start learning what freedom really means.

    In the United States of America, cops have more rules to follow than do civilians. The following is an Indiana statute that establishes what conditions must be met before a law enforcement officer may lawfully detain someone:

    IC 34-28-5-3
    Detention
    Sec. 3. Whenever a law enforcement officer believes in good faith that a person has committed an infraction or ordinance violation, the law enforcement officer may detain that person for a time sufficient to:
    (1) inform the person of the allegation;
    (2) obtain the person's:
    (A) name, address, and date of birth; or
    (B) driver's license, if in the person's possession; and(3) allow the person to execute a notice to appear.


    Nowhere in the arrest report does Corporal Chadd establish that anyone had committed an infraction or ordinance violation. Nowhere in the arrest report does Corporal Chadd establish that he witnessed or even suspected that anyone had committed an infraction or ordinance violation. Nowhere in the arrest report does Corporal Chadd establish that I seemed suspicious.

    According to the law, through this point of the arrest report, Corporal Chadd had satisfactorily investigated the report of the suspicious person. As a well-trained law enforcement officer, he should have concluded that he had either established contact with the wrong person or he had responded to a false alarm. With nothing more to investigate, Corporal Chadd was now obligated to cease contact with me and go back to doing his job. It really is that simple.

    Right?
    Last edited by TonyZ; 01-27-2011 at 08:01 PM.

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    I have a feeling this guy is the same kind of person that thinks the license plate cameras on police cars are in violation of his rights. And about that Arlington's finest found a man that was wanted from another state, don't remember the details but it was big enough to make the news.
    It's not that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so. Ronald Reagan


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    Gee, somehow I suspected that you wanted to argue the legal points. No thanks.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
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    Forgive my ignorance if incorrect, not yet in the field. But the only mistake I saw was that there was no reason to read Miranda at the time. Correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAL View Post
    Gee, somehow I suspected that you wanted to argue the legal points. No thanks.

    No no no. Just asking the question. I would never refuse to ID myself.
    It's not that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so. Ronald Reagan


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    Quote Originally Posted by adeutch View Post
    You said it right there.. he was a SUSPICIOUS PERSON.. or the subject of a suspicous person report. So of course he has to show i.d. That's part of the investigation. Look at it like this.. what if it wasn't at a prison? What if you saw this guy outside your house?.. maybe in your bushes or something. You go tell him to take off and then you call the cops. Do you think he has a right to refuse to identify himself to a police officer?

    Clearly, the guy thought he knew his rights. Clearly he did not.
    Got it.
    It's not that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so. Ronald Reagan


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    This guy wasn't trying to be helpful. Rather, he stopped specifically to **** with me. However, since I was not on prison property, nor had I ever been on prison property, he had no authority to confront me, which means I had no legal obligation to acknowledge his presence. Still, I cooperated with him for a few minutes, giving him a chance to figure out what should have been obvious to anyone with half a brain: that I was just walking through, and that I was no threat to anyone or anything. But he couldn't figure it out, and soon he demanded that I show him identification.


    No,the prison officer stopped you to tell you that you were violating the law and to investigate the situation. By refusing to comply, you escalated the incident to where law enforcement was called.

    Prison property isn't always well marked.....................which is why the officer contacted you to inform you ------------------as well as investigate the sitaiton.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyZ View Post
    I follow the blog of a guy who walked across the country (California to New York) last year. He was arrested in Greencastle, Indiana last summer, after a prison worker called the police to report him as a suspicious person after they exchanged words while he was walking past the prison complex. When the officer located him, he refused to show his identification, the officer attempted to put him in handcuffs, a struggle ensued, and he was ultimately arrested and charged with:

    FAILURE TO IDENTIFY
    DISORDERLY CONDUCT
    RESISTING LAW ENFORCEMENT
    POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA
    (a small marijuana pipe was subsequently found in his backpack)

    He still claims he did nothing wrong, and was not legally obligated to identify himself. Below is the police report. I would love to get a LEO's perspective on this. Did the officer handle the situation properly? Did he have a right to refuse to show his identification?

    PUTNAM COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
    CASE # 10074110 (7-24-2010)
    OFFENSE (S): FAILURE TO IDENTIFY
    DISORDERLY CONDUCT
    RESISTING LAW ENFORCEMENT
    POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA
    SUSPECT: RYAN M. POWELL
    CORPORAL JONATHAN D. CHADD

    On 7-24-2010 at approximately 7:37 p.m. I was dispatched to a suspicious person complaint on US-40 near the Putnamville Correctional Facility. I was advised by dispatch that the subject was walking eastbound near the prison and that DOC employees had attempted to make contact with the subject and he became belligerent and continued walking east. When I arrived in the area, I observed a male subject sitting in the grass on the north side of US 40, just east of the Lincoln Park Speedway entrance.

    At this time I exited my commission to make contact with the subject. Upon approaching the subject I asked if he was alright, to which he responded that he was. At this time I asked the subject if he had recently had contact with employees of the DOC to which he stated that he had. At this time I asked the subject for identification to which he responded he was a US citizen and that he did not have to tell me anything. I again asked the subject for identification to which he again stated he was not going to comply with my request and that I should leave him alone.

    At this time Sheriff Steve Fenwick arrived at my location at which time I again asked the subject for identification to which he again refused to provide. At this time Sheriff Fenwick asked the subject to provide identification to which he again refused.

    At this time I attempted to reason with the subject and asked for his name and birth date to which he again stated he did not have to provide.

    While speaking with the subject he continued to yell and tell us that he was a US citizen and did not have to provide us with any information and that he was aware of the Constitution. After numerous attempts to reason with the subject and asking him to quiet down and cooperate, he stated that he would not provide us with any information.

    At this time I told the subject to turn around and place his hands behind his back to which he stated that I better not touch him and that he was not going to comply. At this time I again asked the subject to place his hands behind his back to which he again stated he would not.

    At this time I attempted to gain control of the subjects arm to which he jerked away and took a few steps and again told me not to touch him. At this time I assisted the subject to the ground and placed him into handcuffs and advised him to stop resisting, to which he then complied. At this time I patted the subject down and located a wallet in his front pocket that contained an Ohio drivers license identifying the subject as Ryan Michael Powell.

    At this time I advised Mr. Powell of his Miranda Rights to which he stated he understood. At this time I contacted dispatch to have the jail van enroute to transport Mr. Powell to the Putnam County Jail. Upon arrival of the jail van Mr. Powell and his belongings were loaded and he was transported to the Putnam County Jail. After arriving at the jail and during the process of placing Mr. Powell's belongings into the property room, a glass smoking device was located in Mr. Powell's bag commonly used to smoke marijuana. At this time Mr. Powell was remanded to the jail staff on the above stated charges.

    Cpl. Jonathan D. Chadd
    [Jonathan D. Chadd's signature]
    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but somehow I suspect an agenda here. I'm not prepared to second guess or pass judgment on the decisions of another Officer. I wasn't there. Alabama Law requires that a person identify himself at the request of a Police Officer. Documentary ID is NOT required, but often helpful. If a person flatly refuses to identify himself as seems to be the case here, he would be subject to arrest on a charge of Failure to Identify. Where he to resist arrest again as seems to be the case here, he would be subject to a subsequent charge of Resisting Arrest. In a search subsequent to arrest,if any contraband was found, he would be charged as is appropriate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justsaying View Post
    No no no. Just asking the question. I would never refuse to ID myself.
    I think he was talking about Tonyz.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyZ View Post
    Actually, the guy who was arrested (Ryan M. Powel) posted his account of the incident. His contention is that he was minding his own business, walking down the road, when the prison guard started harassing him. The prison guard was the first to ask him for ID. When he refused, because he didn't want to be bothered and felt he was being screwed with, the guard called the police. So that set the stage for the whole attitude of not wanting to identify himself, since he felt he wasn't doing anything wrong. This is Mr. Powell's account of the situation:
    What he fails to understand is that it doesn't matter what he "FEELS." I could be walking down the street covered in blood with a bloody chainsaw and not FEEL like I was doing anything wrong. Maybe I had just butchered a deer that I legally hunted in my backyard. But if the neighbors see it and get concerned and call the cops, I can't refuse to show him i.d. during his investigation just because I don't FEEL like I should have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adeutch View Post
    What he fails to understand is that it doesn't matter what he "FEELS." I could be walking down the street covered in blood with a bloody chainsaw and not FEEL like I was doing anything wrong. Maybe I had just butchered a deer that I legally hunted in my backyard. But if the neighbors see it and get concerned and call the cops, I can't refuse to show him i.d. during his investigation just because I don't FEEL like I should have to.
    Hayyy, its Amurricah, I ain't got to show you squat if i don't wanna...



























    j/k of course
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    WTF?!?! Did Ask A Cop puke all over the rest of the forum again today? Where are these people coming from??

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJDave View Post
    WTF?!?! Did Ask A Cop puke all over the rest of the forum again today? Where are these people coming from??
    You betcha buddy.................
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



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    Quote Originally Posted by DAL View Post
    Gee, somehow I suspected that you wanted to argue the legal points. No thanks.
    I don't want to argue anything. I just wanted to get a LEO's perspective, since it wasn't clear to me if he was correct in assuming he didn't have to give his ID to the officer. My personal opinion is that he should have just handed over his DL in order to prevent the three days in jail that I understand he spent, and the hassle of traveling back to Indiana for court, no matter what he felt were his "rights." I mean, it's not like he had warrants, which I imagine is what the officer thought when he refused to ID himself (right?). He would have walked away!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyZ View Post
    I don't want to argue anything. I just wanted to get a LEO's perspective, since it wasn't clear to me if he was correct in assuming he didn't have to give his ID to the officer. My personal opinion is that he should have just handed over his DL in order to prevent the three days in jail that I understand he spent, and the hassle of traveling back to Indiana for court, no matter what he felt were his "rights." I mean, it's not like he had warrants, which I imagine is what the officer thought when he refused to ID himself (right?). He would have walked away!
    If he had just "walked away" he would have still been arrested. He was required to ID himself in order for the officer to complete his investigation.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
    If he had just "walked away" he would have still been arrested. He was required to ID himself in order for the officer to complete his investigation.
    I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. I meant he would have walked away from the situation if he had just turned over his ID, since he had no warrants or anything. I mean, he might have seemed suspicious to the prison guard and the officer, but he really was just walking down the road, as he had done since leaving California, and would continue to do until he reached New York City (after the few days he spend in jail). I'm still having a hard time understanding his refusal to ID himself. This wasn't the first time he had a similar encounter. There's a video of the same guy on Youtube from a couple of years prior where he was stopped by Collier County Sheriffs in Naples, Florida:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSgw1jRWZWs

    He walked away from that encounter, because he turned over his ID when asked. Seems like a much more convenient and reasonable decision.

  23. #23
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    Some people just pick the worst time to fight their battles...

  24. #24
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    He was walking next to a PRISON. For all the prison guard or the officer knew, he could have been a part of an escape plan. It is suspicious activity. Kind of like someone being parked on a street behind a closed business at 2AM. Yes, they have a "right" to be there, technically. However, the totiality of the circumstances gives cause to believe that criminal activity is eminent.
    I yell "PIKACHU" before I tase someone.

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    too bad he wasnt OC'ing...that would have been the icing on the "I know my rights" cake
    "Lighten da' cargo...Fer' a chick wid' big boobs...cause I like boobs, big boobs...."
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    "To the open-carry nut-rider, a firearm is his persona, a soap-box, and his reason for being. By strapping one on, he proclaims to the world, 'even though I didn't get hugs as a kid, somebody's going to By Golly pay attention to me now'."
    slamdunc

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