Unlawful Arrest by YNP Rangers? You be the Judge...

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Mick K

climber
Northern Sierra
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 12, 2014 - 11:44am PT
http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/11/12/lawsuit-against-park-rangers-will-proceed.htm

SACRAMENTO (CN) - A visitor to Yosemite National Park can pursue a malicious prosecution claim against three park rangers who allegedly groped her breasts and crotch during an unwarranted search, a federal judge ruled.
Michelle Mazzetti was in a park campground with friends when Yosemite park rangers approached them to address complaints about a vehicle whose male occupants had been acting disrespectfully and driving too quickly through the campground, according to Mazzetti's complaint.
The rangers - including defendants Christopher Bellino, Brendan Bonner and David Sanchez - rounded up Mazzetti and her friends at a picnic table and questioned them.
Mazzetti says Bellino and Sanchez told them they were not free to leave and threatened to use handcuffs. After a few minutes, one of the male members of the group admitted that he had been driving the vehicle.
Mazzetti told the rangers that she had just walked up from the river, had not been in the vehicle, and did not want to be part of the investigation. The rangers ordered her to sit down, then asked for her identification. When Mazzetti got up to retrieve her identification, Bellino and Sanchez grabbed her, she says.
Mazzetti claims Bellino threatened her with a Taser, and that the rangers continued to physically and verbally threaten her, though they had no reason to believe she had been involved in any criminal activity.
An audio-video recording shows that after Bellino threatened Mazzetti with a Taser, he told Bonner that Mazzetti was being "uncooperative," but that she had begun being cooperative. However, Bellino and Bonner still agreed to arrest Mazzetti and take her to jail, the complaint states.
The rangers walked Mazzetti - who was wearing shorts, a bathing suit top, and a loose fitting T-shirt with its sleeves cut off -to one of their vehicles, where they handcuffed her, she says.
Ranger Michael Hastings was sent to watch the other members of Mazzetti's group at the campsite, while the other rangers decided to search Mazzetti. Although Bonner stated that a female ranger would be on duty soon, he and Bellino moved Mazzetti to the other side of the Ranger's video, out of the view of her friends, to search her, according to the complaint.
The two rangers allegedly taunted and touched Mazzetti and ran their hands through her hair. Bellino told Mazzetti he would have to search her breasts, at which point Mazzetti was placed in a stress hold and Bellino and Bonner groped her, Mazzetti says.
Mazzetti says she screamed at them to stop and that they were hurting her. Bellino told Mazzetti he had to search her groin area and the rangers forced her to the ground, the complaint states.
The video shows Bellino and Bonner grabbing Mazzetti's bare knees and prying her legs apart so that they could touch her groin, while Mazzetti screamed for them to stop, according to the complaint.
The two rangers removed Mazzetti's shoes and put her in the back of the ranger vehicle.
Mazzetti claims that Bellino, Bonner and Sanchez filed false reports, failed to provide exculpatory information and failed to identify witnesses who could support her version of events.
Mazzetti was charged and prosecuted for interference, failing to obey a lawful order, disorderly conduct and unreasonable noise. But a magistrate judge ruled that the rangers had no reason to stop Mazzetti and that she had been illegally arrested.
The judge acquitted Mazzetti of all charges except for unreasonable noise, based on Mazzetti's continued screaming after she had been placed in the rangers' vehicle. The U.S. attorney dismissed that charge on appeal.
The rangers claimed that Mazzetti's claim of malicious prosecution should be dismissed because it faults the rangers for not including a verbatim transcript of statements and actions that were recorded in videos, which were admitted in the criminal trials as joint exhibits.
The rangers' report disclosed the videos as evidence and no information was actually withheld from Mazzetti or the prosecutor, the rangers said.
Furthermore, they argued that people who participate in an investigation or file a report are generally precluded from liability for malicious prosecution claims under the presumption of prosecutorial independence.
But U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii didn't buy it.
"Despite the reference to the video in the rangers' reports, and the content of the video itself, the court cannot find that dismissal is appropriate at this time. The presumption may be rebutted in several ways, including omissions of key facts, improper pressure/influence by an officer, and misleading reports," Ishii wrote in the Nov. 5 ruling.
"Here, the events surrounding the prosecutor's decision to bring charges are entirely unknown. There is no indication of when the prosecutor saw the video, what contact the Rangers had with the prosecutor, what influence or role they had with respect to the prosecutor's decisions, what the prosecutor reviewed in deciding to pursue charges, which portions of the reports (if any) the prosecutor relied upon, or why the prosecutor decided to press charges at all."
Ishii also pointed out that not all parts of the video are clear, as faces are not always visible and some of the comments made by Mazzetti's group cannot be clearly heard. Nor does the video explain that the driver in the speeding vehicle was male and that the passenger was also male.
Nor does the video make clear whether Mazzetti kicked at the rangers before they told her that they were going to search her breasts.
"The rangers are attempting to obtain a dismissal based on what amounts to a defense. The defense is rebuttable, however, and there has not been adequate discovery surrounding the prosecutor's decision to prosecute. Without the benefit of discovery on this issue, the court will not dismiss the malicious prosecution claim at this time," Ishii wrote.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Aurora Colorado
Nov 12, 2014 - 11:51am PT
+1, I hope she kicks their asses.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 12, 2014 - 11:55am PT
Judge Ishii seems to think there is enough info, but what does he know?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 12, 2014 - 11:57am PT
Get the man in line. It's still our park, supposedly...
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:01pm PT
Too many cops. Not enough crime.

The County Sheriff should patrol Yosemite, just like they patrol the rest of the county.
dirtbag

climber
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:03pm PT
Kinda sounds like BS.
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:04pm PT
That was dirty Sanchez.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:07pm PT
A visitor to Yosemite National Park can pursue a malicious prosecution claim against three park rangers who allegedly groped her breasts and crotch during an unwarranted search, a federal judge ruled.

I'm gonna go with the federal judge's decision to tool the tools. I think
he knows more about the law than all of us combined. That said it sounds
like Manzetti deserved a good whoopin' for aggravating the situation.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Aurora Colorado
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:18pm PT
Dirty Sanchez?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:21pm PT
Regardless of the outcome of this case I do feel that the rangers are more aggressive and show less diplomacy in YNP than in other parks that i have visited.
While i am aware that YNP deals with issues more complex than many other NPs, i still feel that there is a culture within the ranger force in YNP that contributes to the many confrontations between rangers and visitors.
Around eight years ago i arrived with my partner in late afternoon at Camp 4. We were looking for a place to sleep before hiking up to the NW Face of Half Dome. Luckily, we ran into some Chilean climbers who had additional space in their campsite. I purchased a $5 permit as per camp regulations.....i was doing everything by the book.
It was perfect weather so i decided not to pitch my tent and slept out in the open instead. I attached my permit to my sleeping bag and fell asleep. At 4:00 am i was awakened by someone kicking my bag. I awoke in the pitch dark and was blinded by a bright light beam shone directly into my eyes. Surprised and confused i quickly started getting out of my bag to defend myself only to have the perpetrator identify himself as a ranger and threaten me. I calmed down when i realized i wasn't being assaulted and asked him what the problem was. He told me that he couldn't see my permit ( i had rolled over while sleeping) and thought that i was sleeping in Camp 4 illegally.
Why he had to confront me in such an aggressive way in the middle of the night is beyond me. Had he come by at first light i would have still been in my bag and he could have checked my permit. He would also have been able to find those persons, if any, that were there illegally.
I travel extensively to climb and always obey the rules set by land managers. Yosemite....by a large margin, is the most unenjoyable venue i use in regards to camping. Something should be done.
Culture....be it a corporation, small business, non profit, or National Park is set by those in charge.
Bargainhunter

climber
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:24pm PT
The Rangers wear video cams on their uniforms, and can selectively emphasize what they record based on how their direct their cam and it's ability to record audio. They can shout, "Please stop resisting", to someone selectively off cam, and their voice drowns out the the person off cam. They can then say a person was resisting arrest, when in fact they were not.

Perhaps the climbers should wear GoPros and have their iPhones in record mode clipped to their shirts to provide another perspective?

More cases like this need to come to light to instill needed change. Who hasn't been tooled in the Valley? It's a drag.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:31pm PT
Who hasn't been tooled in the Valley?

Uh, the vast majority of law-abiding people who don't drive around campgrounds
at high speed? Those people deserved a tooling but unfortunately it seems
it got out of hand.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:32pm PT
Check my post Reilly.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:43pm PT
Jim, I don't disagree with you that the Yose tools are straight outta Compton.
But it always takes two to tango, as you well know from years in Argentina.
It just goes wrong when the lead dancer is a klutz. In this case it seems
that both parties were klutzes, or worse.

This summer in SEKI I had a bum battery and wound up spending some serious
quality time with the resident 'tool'. First he picked up the wife and I
while we were hitching back to our car. Then he gave me another ride back
to the car where he jumped the batt. Super mellow dude. I actually brought
up the seeming differences between Yose and SEKI. He told me not to fool
myself in that SEKI is only 70 miles from Fresno and they get plenty of losers,
just not as many. But I am sure he goes strictly by the book.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:43pm PT
Just wait until they get their MRAP's... You don't know tooling yet....
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Aurora Colorado
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:44pm PT
Yosemite should be designated a wilderness area and handed over to the NFS. Failing that, I'd like to figure out some kind of legal challenge to the prohibition on (free) backcountry camping. Cramming people into campgrounds, not just in Yosemite but everywhere, really degrades the experience. For those who just love Camp 4, imagine if the same social scene was up in the talus below el Cap.
Mick K

climber
Northern Sierra
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 12, 2014 - 12:44pm PT
This is an excerpt from the Appellate Court's Ruling:

Rangers Bellino, Bonner, and Sanchez drafted false and misleading reports, failed to provide exculpatory information, and failed to identify witnesses who could support Mazzetti’s version of events, even though the rangers had such information. Bellino recommended charging
Mazzetti with violations of 36 C.F.R. 2.32(a)(1) (interference), 36 CFR 2.32(a)(2) (failing to obey a lawful order), 36 CFR 2.34(a)(2) (disorderly conduct), and 36 CFR 2.34(a)(3) (unreasonable noise). Based upon the rangers’ reports, Mazzetti was charged with and prosecuted for violations of the above Class B misdemeanors.

A bench trial was conducted before Magistrate Judge Seng. Magistrate Judge Seng ruled that the Rangers had no reasonable suspicion to stop Mazzetti and that Mazzetti was unlawfully arrested, that Mazzetti’s Fourth Amendment rights had been violated, that there was no grounds for threatening Mazzetti with force, and that Mazzetti had engaged in constitutionally protected speech. Magistrate Judge Seng acquitted Mazzetti of all charges except for a violation of 36 CFR 2.34(a)(3), based on Mazzetti’s continued screaming after she had been placed in the Rangers’ vehicle. However, on appeal, the U.S. Attorney dismissed the 2.34(a)(3) charge against Mazzetti.


John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Nov 12, 2014 - 01:04pm PT
I googled, oh my...

NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Nov 12, 2014 - 01:24pm PT
There is not enough context here, and either party or both may have acted in a manner to cause the situation.

For example, imagine that the lady was really obnoxious and obstinate (which is not too far of a stretch if she was associated with the people who were in the car acting in the manner described, if that part is also true). Imagine that her actions were reasonably interpreted as trying to escape/evade the LEOs when they asked her to stay. If she's kicking and screaming or pulling away when they touch her, then they escalate to maintain physical control, and are obliged to search her for weapons to ensure their own safety.

Now imagine another scenario where she is unlucky wrong place, wrong time... and the LEOs really are just power-drunk abusive jerks, and they act in a horrifying manner toward her and her screams are a consequence of her horror at being abused by the people who are supposed to protect her.

It could be some mix of both of these. Can't judge anything based on what is presented.
wheatBeer

Social climber
TheBronx
Nov 12, 2014 - 01:30pm PT
Wow, that is a wild story. And is happend 3.5 years ago.

Pretty clear that those boys should not have a gun, badge, authority. Hopefully that they are moved to garbageman duty soon.

Just google this stuff and you can find all the court records easy.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCOURTS-caed-1_12-cr-00288/USCOURTS-caed-1_12-cr-00288-7

The damning material starts about page 16. The judge simply says there was NO REASON for ANY of the people in the campsite to be suspected of a crime or detained. Bellino and his jack booted buddies were clearly outside the law. It is like they were never trained or taken a constitution class.

All these filthy rangers did was a BAD job and should be held accountable.

Michelle's rights as an American were certainly violated.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Nov 12, 2014 - 01:40pm PT
I know both Judge Seng and Judge Ishii, and their rulings don't surprise me. Judge Ishii's ruling simply says there is enough evidence to go to trial. The rangers were arguing, in essence, that the allegations of the complaint were insufficient to find them liable. Ishii, rightly in my opinion, disagreed.

If the plaintiff can prove the facts alleged, she shouild be entitled to substantial damages, but remember that she has the burden of proof.

At least the U.S. Attorney's office was smart enough to drop the one remaining criminal charge. Unless all of the other allegations of the plaintiff were made up, her screaming was both justified and protected speech.

Sounds like an interesting case.

John
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 12, 2014 - 01:43pm PT
Not so easy to sue law enforcement, but it can be done.

She should go for it. That guy should have sued Lobo too.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
Nov 12, 2014 - 01:44pm PT
1: Ask if you're under arrest. If the answer is no, ask if you're free to go (you are), then calmly leave.
2: You have the right to remain silent. You should.
3: If the police asks to search anything, politely refuse. If they search anyway, don't resist.
4: Do not resist or argue, even if you believe police actions to be illegal.
5: Record the badge and name of the officers involved.
6: If arrested, definitely remain silent and call your attorney. The police cannot listen in to this call.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 12, 2014 - 02:02pm PT
Recently I was "detained" for about 15 minutes. Frigging tool kept asking the same question over and over because he didn't like the truth.

I hate that.

Finally I offered him the telephone number of my attorney and asked to speak with him. The tool kept interrogating me even after I said "LAWYER, COUNSEL, ATTORNEY!"
Finally his senior partner pulled him aside.

I don't think all cops are tools, but I have had some pretty bad experiences.
One or two in YNP.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Nov 12, 2014 - 02:13pm PT
In my experience there are more good cops than bad cops. But I'm disgusted by the blue code where they let other cops break the law and cover up for them. Too many serve each other instead of justice. And when it's proved a bad cop did something and a big judgement is issued it comes out of the pocket of the taxpayers, it doesn't hurt them personally when sometimes it should.

Thank goodness for the proliferation of video cameras lately. More and more of the BS comes to light. I love it when the truth comes out and the guilty pay.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 12, 2014 - 02:17pm PT
So, Toker, what was the truth? That you weren't wearing burlap undies?
couchmaster

climber
Nov 12, 2014 - 02:38pm PT
Trash said:
"1: Ask if you're under arrest. If the answer is no, ask if you're free to go (you are), then calmly leave.
2: You have the right to remain silent. You should.
3: If the police asks to search anything, politely refuse. If they search anyway, don't resist.
4: Do not resist or argue, even if you believe police actions to be illegal.
5: Record the badge and name of the officers involved.
6: If arrested, definitely remain silent and call your attorney. The police cannot listen in to this call."

Great list. I don't see where this womans specific issue is addressed. That is, when you are dressed in a bikini top and hot looking shorts some animals dressed in uniforms put you in the headlock and then start groping your body. I run through 1-6 numbers and I guess #2 is the only one appropo to her which she ignored. Maybe 3 and 4.

2:......REMAIN SILENT. YOU SHOULD.
3:......DON'T RESIST
4.......DON'T RESIST

hmmm, she may have taken you up on #6. If charges (and video) are true, hope that serious jail time ensues for the perpatools.
"The video shows Bellino and Bonner grabbing Mazzetti's bare knees and prying her legs apart so that they could touch her groin, while Mazzetti screamed for them to stop,..."
I suppose the rangers will use the "Well you are damned hot lookin and we just couldn't control ourselves cause we are men in authority. Lets pretend we had to finger you to see if you might have had a weapon in your vagaina....after all, we have the right to do what we want" defense. Which is a surefire winner most of the time. "WE WUZ JUS BEING POLICMEN AND ALL DUEIN ARE JOBS BOSS..."
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Aurora Colorado
Nov 12, 2014 - 02:56pm PT
hope that serious jail time ensues for the perpatools

Fet got it right. Taxpayers will pay significant damages and the rangers will carry on as they like. (it doesnt appear to be a Bivens case)
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 12, 2014 - 06:16pm PT
Don't know the facts since I wasn't there. My philosophy w/ LEOS is the "yes sir", "no sir" direction. Say as little as possible and don't exacerbate the situation. It sounds like this lady got belligerent; LEOS don't like that and will take measures to demonstrate their authority.

Not saying their actions were justified. Just sounds like she pushed their buttons and paid the price. "I fought the law and the law won".
John M

climber
Nov 12, 2014 - 06:24pm PT
a question..

the original complaint says male occupants of a vehicle.

How can the rangers legally detain a female in a case where the suspects are supposedly male? On what grounds can they detain her? Just asking.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Nov 12, 2014 - 06:41pm PT
John M-

LEOS have the authority to request ID in the course of an investigation. Failure to provide the ID to the investigating officers upon demand is technically a crime, regardless of preceding events.

edit: re-reading the OP it appears she was trying to access the vehicle to provide the ID, so my above statement does not wash.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Nov 12, 2014 - 06:45pm PT
LEOS have the authority to request ID in the course of an investigation.

Not true, there has to be some level of probable cause before they start prying

How can the rangers legally detain a female in a case where the suspects are supposedly male? On what grounds can they detain her? Just asking.

The LEOs started playing judge and jury, improperly detained her, she resisted and the situation escalated. Under Federal law you have to submit to an unlawful detention. Under California law you are permitted to resist an unlawful detention. Of course deciding unilaterally that it is unlawful can be hazardous to your health.

This case sounds like classic D#@&%ebag vs. D#@&%ebag. having experienced this out of control law enforcement in YNP I can only hope those turds are held accountable.

jeez, D0uche is banned now?
okie

Trad climber
Nov 12, 2014 - 07:04pm PT
Unlawful arrest? Sounds more like sexual assault. These guys should have to register as sex offenders.

They still on the beat looking for fresh victims?
Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Nov 12, 2014 - 08:04pm PT
If we truly wish to be Free Citizens then use your goddamn cellphone for something other than checking Facebook.

Video EVERY Police encounter you see.

Become part of the Police Brutality Video Project or the Andre Lorde Project or the Peaceful Streets Project.

Film the SOBs and post it immediately.

When the watchers become the watched then we regain Freedom.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 12, 2014 - 08:33pm PT
Where did I put my road map to the police state?

Damn! I know I had it out yesterday.

Hey, I've heard some woeful tales of highway stops
By nice guys who were overzealous cops

None of which came out happily for either side.

I'm reserving judgement for later, after I've consulted my lawyer, Oddknee King. He's a climbing lawyer, so he's pretty hard up for clients.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Nov 12, 2014 - 08:44pm PT
sounds like aggravated sexual assault or rape.

Why am I the only one to say so?

It is an American right to be an entitled smug jerk.Some women make millions doing so.

Cops are not mostly good they are self serving gang members who we pay for.
(I tried working under the ranger hat)
Stop taking the side of these animals.

No means No.

Bad behavior in public by others should not subject a women to abuse.

A badge does not give you the right
to search the opposite sex...to touch rape or search. the detention was enough.

Wait for the female L.E.O.or be cool and bust the men.

WTF is wrong with many of you here?
Are these rangers your pals?
Phok them they should lose their jobs and do time.

I am
A concerned father and husband.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Nov 12, 2014 - 08:48pm PT
I'm reserving judgement for later, after I've consulted my lawyer, Oddknee King. He's a climbing lawyer, so he's pretty hard up for clients.

Get a second opinion from Jackie Chiles. Jackie Chiles made me rich (or was that Larry Parker?)

Subtitles are for Rong

[Click to View YouTube Video]
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Nov 12, 2014 - 08:58pm PT
I've been harassed by Ranger Bonner before and he was a complete di*k, both times. I hope he and the other two get a tooling in Federal court. They are so very deserving of the full weight of the law.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 12, 2014 - 09:04pm PT
Reilly,
the burlap is always on the outside, cashmere on the inside (it's almost like IIA protection).
Risk

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Nov 12, 2014 - 09:48pm PT
Sounds like quite a kerfuffle. I am so glad to be out of the YNP LEO business. I prefer to take the high road and let climbers be climbers. What’s so hard about that, especially in Yosemite Valley?
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Nov 12, 2014 - 09:58pm PT
Are these the alleged gropers?


We probably shouldn't forn any final conclusions until they have their day in court, but from the article they sound like d0uchebags, and it probably pays to be extra careful if you encounter one of them. Video record if possible.


Yosemite Ranger Christopher Bellino


Yosemite Ranger Brendan Bonner


Yosemite Ranger David Sanchez
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Nov 12, 2014 - 10:00pm PT
Failure to provide the ID to the investigating officers upon demand is technically a crime, regardless of preceding events.

**
This is not true, at least in CA (maybe in a federal jurisdiction but I doubt it.)

Unfortunately, many cops don't even know the law regarding ID:

http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-ra-daniele-watts-was-right-20140916-column.html#page=1
**

Hmm, the LA Times opinion piece doesn't really say what the law regarding the requirement to produce ID is--it presents an ACLU lawyer's view and a cop's view, and the opinion writer (who isn't a lawyer, or at least certainly doesn't employ any type of legal research or reasoning in the piece) decides she likes the ACLU guy's answer.

But is it correct? Not according to my reading of this case:
http://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/3d/189/77.html

I wouldn't say that case gives any clear cut rule, other than cops have some latitude to do what is "reasonable" to require the production of id under the facts of each case.
I have no idea if the cited case is still good law or has been overruled or modified by subsequent laws or cases, and to repeat the issue Dave identified, does California law even apply in Yosemite?
Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
Nov 12, 2014 - 10:05pm PT
Show your papers, or else?! We used to mock authoritarian countries for such practices
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Nov 12, 2014 - 10:06pm PT
String the abusive perverted sh#t-head cops up... then throw them in jail.

They abused their authority.
If they had any integrity before this incident.... they have none now in my view.

We can forget they ever existed. They are just scum!
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Nov 12, 2014 - 10:10pm PT
Nov 12, 2014 - 12:21pm PT
Regardless of the outcome of this case I do feel that the rangers are more aggressive and show less diplomacy in YNP than in other parks that i have visited.
While i am aware that YNP deals with issues more complex than many other NPs, i still feel that there is a culture within the ranger force in YNP that contributes to the many confrontations between rangers and visitors.

Around eight years ago i arrived with my partner in late afternoon at Camp 4. We were looking for a place to sleep before hiking up to the NW Face of Half Dome. Luckily, we ran into some Chilean climbers who had additional space in their campsite. I purchased a $5 permit as per camp regulations.....i was doing everything by the book.
It was perfect weather so i decided not to pitch my tent and slept out in the open instead. I attached my permit to my sleeping bag and fell asleep. At 4:00 am i was awakened by someone kicking my bag. I awoke in the pitch dark and was blinded by a bright light beam shone directly into my eyes. Surprised and confused i quickly started getting out of my bag to defend myself only to have the perpetrator identify himself as a ranger and threaten me. I calmed down when i realized i wasn't being assaulted and asked him what the problem was. He told me that he couldn't see my permit ( i had rolled over while sleeping) and thought that i was sleeping in Camp 4 illegally.
Why he had to confront me in such an aggressive way in the middle of the night is beyond me. Had he come by at first light i would have still been in my bag and he could have checked my permit. He would also have been able to find those persons, if any, that were there illegally.
I travel extensively to climb and always obey the rules set by land managers. Yosemite....by a large margin, is the most unenjoyable venue i use in regards to camping. Something should be done.
Culture....be it a corporation, small business, non profit, or National Park is set by those in charge.

Word!

I hope you read this and take it heart, Superintendent Don Neubacher. These are people YOU are responsible for supervising. The buck stops with you.

I've never been tooled in Yosemite. I've never even been cited. I think that's probably because I try to follow the rules and am very respectful to LEO's, even when they aren't acting in ways that earn respect. I have to agree with Jim Donini. I've met Yosemite rangers who are reasonable and professional, but from what I've seen, the majority are as#@&%es who shouldn't be working as LEO's, either in Yosemite or anywhere else. Worst group of LEO's in any park or city that I've visited.

Yosemite deserves better.



Don Neubacher,
Superintendent of Yosemite National Park

Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Nov 12, 2014 - 10:13pm PT
Thank You Graniteclimber & Jingy
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Nov 12, 2014 - 10:13pm PT
failure to provide the ID to the investigating officers upon demand is technically a crime, regardless of preceding events.
This is not true, at least in CA (maybe in a federal jurisdiction but I doubt it.)

This isn't a crime anywhere in the U.S. If you are driving a vehicle, for which you need a license, you need to produce the license. But otherwise, there is no required federal or state ID.

If you do NOT produce ID, the police have much greater latitude to detain you until they can ascertain who you are, but they cannot charge you for any crime for not having or producing an ID. (Again, not producing a driver's license if you've been driving a vehicle is different...)
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Nov 12, 2014 - 10:20pm PT
http://leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020140822827.xml/MAZZETTI%20v.%20BELLINO


FACTUAL BACKGROUND3

From the FAC, on July 26, 2011, Mazzetti was in a Yosemite National Park campground with friends. Yosemite National Park rangers approached Mazzetti's campground to address complaints that someone had been driving a vehicle too quickly through the campground and acting disrespectfully. The rangers had information that those who had been driving too quickly and acting disrespectfully were all males. Mazzetti is a female. When the rangers approached the campsite, there was no indication of criminal behavior or disorderly conduct, and Mazzetti and her friends were calm.

Ranger Defendants Christopher Bellino ("Bellino") and David Sanchez ("Sanchez") rounded up Mazzetti and her friends around a picnic table, questioned the group about the conduct being investigated, told the group that they were not free to leave and threatened to use handcuffs. Within minutes, a male member of the group admitted to being the driver of the vehicle. Mazzetti advised the rangers that she had just walked up from the river, she had not been in the vehicle, and that she did not wish to participate in the investigation. The rangers ordered her to sit down. Bellino then asked for identification, but when Mazzetti got up to go get her identification, she was grabbed by Bellino and Sanchez.4 Bellino threatened to handcuff Mazzetti, pulled a Taser, and threatened to use the Taser against her.

Other park rangers began to arrive on the scene, including Ranger Smith and Defendant Ranger Brendan Bonner ("Bonner"). The rangers spread out around the campsite to keep Mazzetti and her friends from leaving. The rangers physically and verbally threatened Mazzetti to keep her from leaving the picnic area. The rangers had no reasonable suspicion that Mazzetti had engaged in any criminal conduct, and the behavior that the rangers were investigating had ceased and was no longer a threat to anyone.

An audio-video recording of the incident made by a Park Ranger shows that Bellino conferenced with Bonner sometime after Bellino had threatened Mazzetti with a Taser. It can be heard that Bellino described Mazzetti as "uncooperative," and when asked if he was going to arrest her, Bellino responded that he was going to do something but that he did not yet know what. Bonner asked if Mazzetti had since been cooperative, and Bellino said that she had been "cooperative since." Bellino and Bonner then agreed to arrest Mazzetti and take her to jail.

The rangers reapproached Mazzetti and her friends, segregated Mazzetti, and walked her over near a ranger's vehicle. Bellino, Bonner, and Ranger Hastings physically restrained and handcuffed Mazzetti. Mazzetti verbally protested being handcuffed and asked "why are you arresting me?", but she did not physically resist. Mazzetti was wearing shorts, a bathing suit top, and a loose fitting t-shirt that had its sleeves cut off. Hastings was sent back to watch the other members of Mazzetti's group at the campsite. Bellino then asked Bonner if there was a female ranger on duty, and Bonner responded that one would be on duty shortly. Bellino and Bonner then moved Mazzetti again. According to the video, these rangers moved Mazzetti in order to "do a search behind the vehicle."

Mazzetti was walked to the other side of the ranger's vehicle so that she was out of view from her friends. Bellino and Bonner then began to taunt and touch Mazzetti. They began poking in her hair with a pen-like object, and running their hands through her hair. Bellino then told Mazzetti, "I have to search your breasts." Mazzetti told them not to search her breasts and complained that the rangers were hurting her. Mazzetti was placed in a stress-hold, and Bellino and Bonner then groped Mazzetti's breasts. Mazzetti screamed for assistance and to make the rangers stop, and also kept screaming "stop hurting me." Bellino told Mazzetti that he was going to search her groin area. Mazzetti was then taken to the ground. The video shows Bellino and Bonner grabbing Mazzetti's bare knees and prying her legs apart so that they could touch her groin. Mazzetti screamed in protest and pain. Bellino and Bonner removed Mazzetti's shoes, and then locked Mazzetti in the back of the ranger vehicle. Mazzetti screamed to be released. Bellino and Bonner had singled out Mazzetti, "attacked and humiliated her, groped on her breasts, groped on her groin, and sexually assaulted and battered [Mazzetti] . . . because of her gender." FAC ¶ 56.

While Mazzetti was screaming for help, Sanchez, Hastings, and Smith kept Mazzetti's friends away from her. Mazzetti's friends pleaded with the three rangers to help Mazzetti. The three rangers witnessed what was happening to Mazzetti, but did nothing reasonable to prevent the violation of Mazzetti's rights. The rangers also sent away potential witnesses.

Mazzetti was taken to jail, where she was forced to stay the night. Mazzetti was released the next day.

Bellino, Bonner, and Sanchez drafted false and misleading reports, failed to provide exculpatory information, and failed to identify witnesses who could support Mazzetti's version of events, even though the rangers had such information. Bellino recommended charging Mazzetti with violations of 36 C.F.R. 2.32(a)(1) (interference), 36 CFR 2.32(a)(2) (failing to obey a lawful order), 36 CFR 2.34(a)(2) (disorderly conduct), and 36 CFR 2.34(a)(3) (unreasonable noise). Based upon the rangers' reports, Mazzetti was charged with and prosecuted for violations of the above Class B misdemeanors.

A bench trial was conducted before Magistrate Judge Seng. Magistrate Judge Seng ruled that the rangers had no reasonable suspicion to stop Mazzetti and that Mazzetti was unlawfully arrested, that Mazzetti's Fourth Amendment rights had been violated, that there was no grounds for threatening Mazzetti with force, and that Mazzetti had engaged in constitutionally protected speech. Magistrate Judge Seng acquitted Mazzetti of all charges except for a violation of 36 CFR 2.34(a)(3), based on Mazzetti's continued screaming after she had been placed in the rangers' vehicle. However, on appeal, the U.S. Attorney dismissed the 2.34(a)(3) charge against Mazzetti.
bluegreyguy

climber
sf, ca
Nov 13, 2014 - 09:46am PT
I wonder if there's a way to reach out to the Secretary of the Interior and ask for additional attention/oversight for this issue. As a frequent user of National Parks, it seems like the current Secretary might be interested in improving the LEO-visitor dynamic than previous that may have come from an oil and gas background. I concur with others' experience and have had needlessly terrible interactions with LEOs that were so aggressive with me for no reason! I remember thinking that Rangers were so nice when I was a kid but in Yosemite its horrible!! http://www.doi.gov/whoweare/secretaryjewell.cfm

Edit: I wonder if someone at the Access Fund would be interested in helping with this. Maybe a class-action lawsuit of Vistors Vs. The National Park Service? I just read about one filed by a disability-focused non profit against the park service in SF.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 13, 2014 - 10:45am PT
well, did she have a gun in her vagina???

No kidding. What were they searching her groin and breasts for? Obviously not weapons. My guess is that they were looking for drugs. Then it would have gone down differently. What was their probable cause, though? It sounds like she was scantily dressed.

Cops have to interact constantly with the public, and when they get called out, there is usually some kind of drama going on. They have to remain disciplined. If they can't, then fire them.

In this case, if any of you were physically doing those things to that woman, you would be rapidly convicted of sexual assault, do 5 to 10 years in federal prison, and then have to inform your neighbors that you were a sex criminal for the rest of your lives.

They should have waited for a female ranger in that type of search, but they didn't have probable cause to search in the first place.

This is the number one problem that I hear of in Yosemite. The rangers invent probable cause out of thin air and then search you or your vehicle.

The 4th amendment is my pet peeve, and cops can't search you without probable cause. The constitution and 200 years of case law make that very clear.

I know guys who have been busted for weed stemming from bogus searches in Yosemite. Food looking something or Tupperware something (which ended up not containing food) bogus in their car. They use that law, intended to lower the car/bear problems, as a crack in probable cause problem; to get away from an unlawful search. Cops are always inventing probable cause, and they get away with it. Hopefully dash cams and other video will start to limit this.

That said, I was a very wanted man for much of a year in Yosemite for BASE jumping out of Camp 4 and the SAR site. They never knew my name, but they knew that I existed. I can admit it because the statute of limitations on that year ended decades ago. I have some great stories, though.

I was, and remain, totally paranoid of cops. I'm always very careful not to fall into their radar range. I've never been seriously hassled in Yosemite, but I did see a cop lie in traffic court when I was 16, and then again a few years ago. I never looked at cops the same after that. Of course, the federal prosecutor in Yosemite, or the DA where I live, try the cases that the cops bring them. They are often complicit.

I am lucky that my town has its own police academy, and they are high quality cops. I like our cops. They do a good job and I can't remember a problem with one.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Nov 13, 2014 - 11:31am PT
they didn't have probable cause to search in the first place.

Read the decision from the criminal trial. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-caed-1_12-cr-00288/pdf/USCOURTS-caed-1_12-cr-00288-0.pdf

They didn't need probable cause to search her because she'd already been arrested. After they arrest you they can search you--they don't need probably cause.

The judge determined that the arrest was "unlawful" and that is why she was not convicted of resisting arrest. The judge decided that there was a right to resist unlawful arrest.

What were they searching her groin and breasts for? Obviously not weapons. My guess is that they were looking for drugs. Then it would have gone down differently. What was their probable cause, though? It sounds like she was scantily dressed.

Cops have to interact constantly with the public, and when they get called out, there is usually some kind of drama going on. They have to remain disciplined. If they can't, then fire them.

In this case, if any of you were physically doing those things to that woman, you would be rapidly convicted of sexual assault, do 5 to 10 years in federal prison, and then have to inform your neighbors that you were a sex criminal for the rest of your lives.

They should have waited for a female ranger in that type of search, but they didn't have probable cause to search in the first place.


If you ask me, it was sexual assault pure and simple.
Phantom X

Trad climber
Honeycomb Hideout
Nov 13, 2014 - 01:07pm PT
On behalf of the horny rangers, their actions are accepted government procedure for dating she-bears. True.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Nov 13, 2014 - 03:01pm PT
so a video of the incident exists ? where is it ?
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Nov 13, 2014 - 03:18pm PT
2. Unreasonable Noise

Defendant was also charged with making unreasonable noise. The relevant subsection states:

(a) A person commits disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public alarm, nuisance, jeopardy or violence, or knowingly or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person commits any of the following prohibited acts:

(3) Makes noise that is unreasonable, considering the nature and purpose of the actor's conduct, location, time of day or night, and other factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances. 36 C.F.R. § 2.32(a)(3).

The briefing of neither party identifies the particular conduct giving rise to alleged violation of this regulation. The Court will assume the charge is leveled at Defendant's conduct during and following the search incident to arrest in which Defendant continuously screamed in protest.

The subsection appears to be a facially valid, content-neutral, time, place, and manner restriction. See Rosenbaum v. City & County of San Francisco, 484 F.3d 1142, 1158 (9th Cir. 2007). Defendant has not challenged its constitutional validity nor suggested that the Court should refuse to apply it to the facts of the case at hand.

With regard to location and time of day, one reasonably would expect relatively loud noise in a campsite during the day from, for example, music, singing, game playing, generators, etc. See e.g., 36 C.F.R. §§ 2.10, 2.12 (noise up to 60 decibels is acceptable, unless during quiet hours from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.). There is nothing about the location or time of day that would create a need for heightened restriction of noise.

It is significant here that noise was made at a time when Defendant was being subjected to an unlawful arrest. Also, as noted, Defendant testified to a not insignificant history of abuse and reacted to what she perceived as a sexual assault by a federal law enforcement agent. (RT 118-19.) It is difficult to determine how a reasonable person should react to such circumstances; screaming may well have been an appropriate response. On the other hand, the Court cannot rule out the possibility that the screams were designed solely to disrupt and/or discourage the search. The fact they continued long after the search ended is at least an indication of such a calculated objective. However, that possibility is insufficient to support a finding of guilt. Considering all of the circumstances, the Court cannot find beyond a reasonable doubt that Defendant's verbal response to the search was unreasonable or unlawful.

However, Defendant continues what might be described as blood-curdling screams for a significant period of time long after the search was completed. The screams continued at a time when she was isolated in a vehicle and no longer suffering the assault which initiated her vocal reaction. While the Court gives Defendant the benefit of the doubt in finding her initial reaction to have been spontaneous and perhaps irrepressible for her and not violative of the law, it cannot do the same to the continuation of the screaming. The circumstances and the audio recording convince the Court that the continued screaming had, and served, no purpose other than intentionally to disrupt. It was loud enough even from inside the Ranger's vehicle to accomplish such disruption and violate the regulation. Defendant is guilty of having violated 36 C.F.R. § 2.34(a)(3).

U.S. Magistrate Seng:

It's OK to scream really loud if you are a young woman being unlawfully arrested and having your breasts and vaginal area groped, and especially if it is during the daytime and you have been abused in the past.

But if you keep screaming after they do all of that, handcuff you and lock you in a patrol car and leave you there, then "beyond a reasonable doubt" you are committing a crime and deserve to be punished.

Really? That does not make any sense to me. It's a flaw in what is otherwise is a courageous opinion.

We need more judges like this man. I hope he remains in Yosemite for a long time.

U.S. Magistrate Michael J. Seng
Yosemite Courthouse




Federal Judicial Service:

U. S. District Court, Eastern District of California
Appointed United States Magistrate Judge on April 2, 2010

Education:
University of Tennessee School of Business, B.A., 1969
University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1975

Professional Career:

1971-1973
United States Army

1975-1978
Staff Attorney, U.S. DHEW, SSA, OHA, Fresno, CA

1978-2008
Civil Litigation (attorney/partner/director), Blumberg, Sherr & Kerkorian (and its successors); Farley, Seng, DeSantos & Green; and Seng & Stratton, Fresno, CA

2008-2010
U.S. Administrative Law Judge, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, Sacramento

Biography:

Michael J. Seng was appointed a Magistrate Judge on April 2, 2010, after having practiced as a civil litigator for thirty years and then as a Federal Administrative Law Judge for two years. In his four years on the Eastern District Court bench he has presided over multiple civil jury trials and several criminal court trials and decided many case-dispositive motions while also tackling and resolving complex constitutional and habeas corpus issues.

From 1978 until 2008 Judge Seng practiced as a partner in three successive Fresno firms bearing his name. He represented both plaintiffs and defendants. His practice focused on litigation and trial of complex business, banking, professional liability, crop loss and personal injury litigation. The “case-within-a-case” nature of his legal malpractice practice necessitated his gaining broadly diverse expertise in many different legal fields. He also served as a Judge Pro Temp, Mediator and Arbitrator for the Fresno County Superior Court.

While serving as an Administrative Law Judge with the Sacramento Office of Disability Adjudication and Review from early 2008 until spring 2010, Judge Seng adjudicated approximately 1000 medical/disability cases.

Judge Seng previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Professional Responsibility at the San Joaquin College of Law and taught Civil Procedure to paralegals at the College. He has lectured and written extensively on professional liability issues. He has served as a California State Bar Court Probation Monitor and as Special Counsel (Prosecutor) with the State Bar Court.

Judge Seng is a graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Business (1969) and the University of Tennessee College of Law (1975). He served in the United States Army from 1971 to 1973.

Parties are invited to present their motions and cases to Judge Seng in the Fresno courthouse or, at the litigants’ option, in our unique and very accommodating Yosemite Valley courthouse.

 See more at: http://www.caed.uscourts.gov/caednew/index.cfm/judges/all-judges/5023/united-states-magistrate-judge-michael-j-seng-mjs/#sthash.yZUJNErD.dpuf
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
Nov 13, 2014 - 04:55pm PT
U.S. Magistrate Seng:

It's OK to scream really loud if you are a young woman being unlawfully arrested and having your breasts and vaginal area groped, and especially if it is during the daytime and you have been abused in the past.

But if you keep screaming after they do all of that, handcuff you and lock you in a patrol car and leave you there, then "beyond a reasonable doubt" you are committing a crime and deserve to be punished.

Really? That does not make any sense to me. It's a flaw in what is otherwise is a courageous opinion.

We need more judges like this man. I hope he remains in Yosemite for a long time.

Yes, fascinating. It's hard to fault the judge too much since he seemed to, for the most part, do the right thing.
But the part of his decision about upholding the unreasonable noise seems more than just wrong, it seems outrageous. What can you say--some of these things are just weird personal idiosyncrasies.

Not to defend the US legal system too much, but at least we have various types of "checks and balances" (some combination of appellate review and prosecutorial discretion).

Here is what I what like to know:
Upon a judicial finding that the arrest was illegal, why weren't the LEOs charged with some sort of crime (assault, perhaps other things)?
Perhaps LEOs have immunity if their actions are "illegal," but not too illegal (I have no idea and am just making that up).

Has this been raised with the US Attorney by the press or any "concerned citizens"?
Our former AG Eric Holder apparently thinks it's a good idea to send swarms of federal investigators to Ferguson to "investigate" something that may not be a crime at all, and when there's no strong reason to believe that the local authorities weren't dealing with it.
It's possible there is a legitimate reason, but the failure to file criminal charges against the LEOs seems very troubling.
(Remember the current suit is a civil suit, which is fine, but isn't an entirely satisfactory substitute for criminal charges).
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Nov 13, 2014 - 06:03pm PT
Yes, fascinating. It's hard to fault the judge too much since he seemed to, for the most part, do the right thing.
But the part of his decision about upholding the unreasonable noise seems more than just wrong, it seems outrageous. What can you say--some of these things are just weird personal idiosyncrasies.

I'm in 100% agreement with you on this. The rest of the decision is very reasonable, but that one part seemed weird and outrageous. If before the trial, I'd had to bet on which count she was least likely to be convicted of, it would be this one.

Here is what I what like to know:
Upon a judicial finding that the arrest was illegal, why weren't the LEOs charged with some sort of crime (assault, perhaps other things)?
Perhaps LEOs have immunity if their actions are "illegal," but not too illegal (I have no idea and am just making that up).

Several reasons: 1. There must making an inadvertent mistake can make the arrest "illegal" so just the fact that they screwed up doesn't mean that they committed a crime. 2. Even if they did act maliciously and arrest her on illegally on purpose (not making a "mistake"), it's hard to prove what their intent is. 3. The prosecutors work very closely with the LEO agencies, see themselves as being on the "same team", and want to maintain a good relationship with them. So they are very reluctant to prosecute cops, unless they have to for political reasons. So even where it is obvious just about everyone else that a crime was committed, they will claim that there is insufficient evidence or whatever -- even if it's something that they would prosecute if it was anyone other then a cop.

Go to youtube and you can see lots of videos of cops blatantly violating the law. Almost none of them are ever prosecuted or even fired. It's usually only when the victims sue in civil court that there are any consequences, but there the LEO agencies just end up paying millions of dollars of the taxpayers' money to the victims in verdicts or settlements, and nothing else changes.
wheatBeer

Social climber
TheBronx
Nov 14, 2014 - 03:42pm PT
Rangers are just getting in to a heap of trouble with visitors in CA.

The good ol boy system is still alive and well. The judge, DA, cops, etc.

Michelle is "had to be charged and found guilty of something".

Dominic's arresting ranger was "From our review of the circumstances surrounding the detention of Mr. Esquibel, it appears that the officer’s actions were reasonable."

Riiiight, how are any of these arrests and actions reasonable.

wheatBeer

Social climber
TheBronx
Nov 15, 2016 - 07:32pm PT
Looks like the rangers got a break..... again. Michelle probably had to stop the case over money and time it takes to keep a lawsuit going.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-caed-1_13-cv-01123
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 15, 2016 - 07:56pm PT
It's tough to outwait the gubmint. They also don't have to play nice. In the US vs Me the puppet judge would not admit my evidence from Cornell University "because the defendant has not established the veracity of the evidence." Right, one of the world's leading ornithologists has to be 'OK'd' by some corrupt New Mexican judge?
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Nov 16, 2016 - 08:28am PT
Failing that, I'd like to figure out some kind of legal challenge to the prohibition on (free) backcountry camping.

There's a prohibition on backcountry camping? I've done a lot of free backcountry camping at Yosenmite.
c wilmot

climber
Nov 16, 2016 - 08:45am PT
Without a permit you will get in trouble. The rangers take the permits serious and they are out checking them
c wilmot

climber
Nov 16, 2016 - 09:05am PT
Jody- it's called a radio. They can easily cite you
Escopeta

Trad climber
Idaho
Nov 16, 2016 - 09:08am PT
+1 The Larry....lol
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Nov 16, 2016 - 09:13am PT
Jody!
So phookin' right!
When the chance that I'd be arriving well before dawn (or office hours). I used to carry 5-6
copies of previous permits , always with one or two that went back nearly a decade to show,when I got snagged that, if it had been possible to obtain a permit in a timely fashion, I had before & certainly would have.
Mostly I was not still cited,
but more than once
( one time I was cited when I was the 1st responder to a scalding victim at YellowStone)
Then a very stern letter, and or an (over the top) appearance
Dressed better than any one else and supported by others,
I was given a reprieve .( that cost more than the fine )
c wilmot

climber
Nov 16, 2016 - 09:15am PT
They call in your license info to check on warrants and such first. if you think you can hide from them then that's pretty funny. You were in LE?
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Nov 16, 2016 - 09:15am PT
I see YNP tools are already in compliance with "The Gestapo Policy"....

c wilmot

climber
Nov 16, 2016 - 09:25am PT
No I'd just means you for sure don't have a backcountry permit. And they can tell if it's a dayhike or not. And lying about who you are will bring an additional charge. I have listened to just such a bust over a ynp radio.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 16, 2016 - 09:26am PT
Jody, I 'ran into' a friend of yours recently. When he asked for my license I realized I had left it
in the Independence Inn. After instructing me on how to use the auto/manual gears on my
obviously new truck (I don't have to act to play dumb) to keep my speed down on the Sabrina Grade he sent us on our way. God bless that nice man!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 16, 2016 - 09:41am PT
Actually, I've always had a pretty positive attitude toward them. But there was that one who
cited me for rolling a freeway onramp light. It was a steep ramp and my truck then had a clutch.
I was rolling when the light turned green but it was even with cab, not
that he could see that 5 cars back. That was BS, just like those lights
are. ;-)
c wilmot

climber
Nov 16, 2016 - 10:18am PT
Sorry Jody. i was not trying to be a jerk. It's just been my experience that the rangers take those permits pretty serious. I dislike permits as well
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Nov 16, 2016 - 10:49am PT
I dunno Reilly, and it seems Judge Ishii doesn't either.

So how about you, dude? You be the judge... can you decide this issue based on what is written above?


"THIS ISSUE" is whether there is sufficient information to dismiss the claim.
I think it is clear that there is not, and that discovery is warranted.

DMT, you don't?
chainsaw

Trad climber
CA
Nov 16, 2016 - 11:18am PT
I witnessed a similar event some years ago at Pizmo beach. A ranger who had harrassed our group for three days crossed the line. Hed been watching us with a telescope from atop a sanddune all weekend. He kept entering our camp and checking IDs for people who were drinking. We justly named him Ranger Dick. At one point, he pulled over a vehicle and seriously groped the passenger, a woman who was not driving or drinking. He grabbed her by the hair and put his hand in her crotch from behind. The as#@&%e carried her around by her crotch as she squirmed and cried out to be left alone. The whole time he bellowed out "Oh yea, Ive got a live one" in front of everyone as if to demonstrate his authority and humilliate the young woman. I confronted him and demanded that he stop assaulting her at which point he dropped the girl and came at me with the billyclub. I said to his face very matter of factly that if he assaulted me unarmed in front of all these wittnesses that he would go to jail and that we would arrest him. There were ten of us encircled around this Jabba The Hut cop at this point. It seemed that we were about to unleash on him any second when he backed down. At that point he arrested the driver of the vehicle and left. Unfortunately for him, one of our friends was daughter of Anthony Riordan, then sheriff of Orange County. She reported the incident and several witnesses came forward with written statements. Although Ranger Dick was not criminally charged, he was fired. I hope he spends his time picking up trash along a road somewhere.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Nov 16, 2016 - 12:22pm PT
Looks like the rangers got a break..... again. Michelle probably had to stop the case over money and time it takes to keep a lawsuit going.

You can't really conclude anything from this Dismissal. It is entirely possible that there was a confidential settlement followed by the dismissal.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Nov 16, 2016 - 03:42pm PT
Damn, what is it with these ranger-LEO dixs? Freakin' amazing, and not in a good way.

BAd
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Nov 16, 2016 - 08:49pm PT
The Mass. Supreme Court made a ruling that one has the right to flee law enforcement, and that your flight does not imply guilt.

“We do not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an investigatory stop. However, in such circumstances, flight is not necessarily probative of a suspect’s state of mind or consciousness of guilt. Rather, the finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO [Field Interrogation and Observation] encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt. Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity. Given this reality for black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in appropriate cases, consider the report’s findings in weighing flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus.”

Although this ruling was made specifically in connection with regard to black males running away from city police, it can be applied more generally to cases where there is no overt evidence of crime. In other words, she could have taken off running.
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Nov 17, 2016 - 12:33pm PT
Jody, the correct spelling is actually Pismo Beach, with an "s" not a "z". Then you can GOOGLE and you will find it is a small beach town not far from San Luis Obispo.
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Nov 17, 2016 - 05:18pm PT
The law enforcement people in Yosemite react differently because it is such a crowded place. Generally speaking, in Sequoia, for example they are more mellow and laid back. It is like comparing Los Angeles with Santa Barbara. To some extent, the law enforcement culture is a product of the environment. The more people you have in a small space, the more frequent the serious law enforcement incidents, and then the people are more edgy. It seems that any sizeable law enforcement group always attracts a certain number of guys who are overly aggressive, but not all of them are like that.
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