USA vs One Eyed Dick

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USA vs One Eyed Dick

Postby Dustdevil » Sat May 21, 2011 12:20 pm

Shortly after the Temple Burn in 2010 One Eyed Dick was stopped and issued a citation for "negligent operation of a motor vehicle". The incident took place on the open Playa. One Eyed Dick discharged his propane poofer and apparently startled a BLM Ranger from Ohio. I also suspect the Ranger didn't care much for the huge green penis that was the fire cannon.

The court system lost the citation, but eventually the wheels of justice caught up with Dick. I accompanied him to the preliminary hearing last February where he entered a plea of Not Guilty. Pleading guilty would have resulted in a fine of $500 and three points on his Nevada driving record. After the plea was entered the prosecutor offered to reduce the charges to littering the Playa and a $25 fine in exchange for a guilty plea. I looked at him and asked if he was littering the Playa. I personally would never plead guilty to something I didn't do and I conveyed that thought to Dick. In fact, I wouldn't plead guilty to something I did do. A hearing was set for May 18th.

In a moment, the results of that hearing. :)

I went to the hearing as an expert witness and hoped to testify on behalf of Dick and the LLC. Dick was operating his vehicle in an approved manner and the Fire Art Safety Team has never had a safety problem with him in the past eight years that he has been bringing Mutant Vehicles to the Playa. My job with BM and in the default world makes me uniquely qualified to testify on this matter as I have given expert witness testimony on many occasions.

Five minutes before we were to go in front of the Judge, the clerk informed us that the Judge had dismissed the case and the charges were dropped. While I really wanted to butt heads with the BLM Ranger, I will take a win any way I can get it.

The point of this is let everyone know that if you believe you are right, stand up and say so. If you allow law enforcement to abuse your civil rights, you will only get what you deserve. Perhaps someday the Federal Judges in Reno will get tired of BS cases in front of them and say something to the officers that abuse the badge. Perhaps someday pigs will fly. I just know that I couldn't allow someone who was innocent to get stepped on by the legal justice system.

As a footnote there were obvious exagerations on the officers report. I would also like to commend Dick for not taking the easy road. I know it had to be tempting to pay $25 and walk away, especially not knowing how the outcome would be in front of a Federal Judge. Takes a lot of balls to place that bet.

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Postby ygmir » Sat May 21, 2011 12:25 pm

so very cool!!!!


And, for going the extra mile, to be there, in case it went to trial, I'm sure I speak for many, when I say:

"thanks for being there, to help Dick, get off, Jack".
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Postby Elderberry » Sat May 21, 2011 1:10 pm

Yes, I too am grateful that Jack is always there when Dick needs to get off!

All seriousness aside, CONGRATULATIONS!
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Postby Mojojita » Sat May 21, 2011 1:45 pm

Very, VERY happy news! The most obvious problem with tickets given at Burning Man is that most of us can't afford the time or money to travel back and forth to Reno or Fernley for repeated hearings. Of course, that's not to mention the cost of an attorney, etc..... It makes most just lie down and accept a hefty fine as the lesser cost. It also strikes me that many of the BLM cops are brought in from all over - so the prosecution has a big burden to produce the accuser as well. Of course, they get to use our tax money to do that but even that is running a bit short these days.

Congratulations guys, well done!
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Postby MyDearFriend » Sat May 21, 2011 1:51 pm

*happy dance*

What a wonderful story!!! Hooray for justice and for common sense.

Thank you Jack for posting this and for being there.

(((Dick)))

(((Jack)))

okay, back to dancing...


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Postby Dustdevil » Sat May 21, 2011 2:11 pm

We didn't use an attorney. I simply based our defense on common sense and my experience from participating in trials over the years. No doubt that Dick would have had to rethink this if we were paying hourly for advice. I had a feeling that they might drop the case as they never asked us for a witness list or discovery documents.
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Postby EspressoDude » Sat May 21, 2011 6:31 pm

I am not sure if this was taken at the exact time that led the blm ranger to issue a citation, but there is obviously much more distance between the blm white pick up trucks than the cited distance (2 feet) or even 20 feet.

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http://www.scottlondon.com/photo/burningman2010/095.html

photo by scott london
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Postby ibdave » Sat May 21, 2011 6:37 pm

jkisha wrote:Yes, I too am grateful that Jack is always there when Dick needs to get off!

All seriousness aside, CONGRATULATIONS!




what the masterjacker said... 8) 8) 8)
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Re: USA vs One Eyed Dick

Postby Mojori » Sat May 21, 2011 8:09 pm

Dustdevil wrote:
The point of this is let everyone know that if you believe you are right, stand up and say so. If you allow law enforcement to abuse your civil rights, you will only get what you deserve. Perhaps someday the Federal Judges in Reno will get tired of BS cases in front of them and say something to the officers that abuse the badge. Perhaps someday pigs will fly. I just know that I couldn't allow someone who was innocent to get stepped on by the legal justice system.


This is absolutely awesome. Congratulations. Both of you are an inspiration.
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Postby gyre » Sun May 22, 2011 12:17 am

Good going.


I can verify that it is possible for a prosecutor or officer to destroy their credibility, but only by going before a judge.
Judges really don't seem fond of being lied to, especially by the prosecution, even if they don't show it.

You did the right thing.

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Postby TomServo » Sun May 22, 2011 10:00 am

Unfortunately it's not always the same in criminal court. Especially, if it involves assault weapons in California. Congrats OED and Dustdevil! Sounds like BLM and other LEO's need a crash course in BM etiquette before volunteering for the gig.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..
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Postby gyre » Sun May 22, 2011 10:19 am

Every case is different.

When they screw up badly enough they will do anything to cover it up.
Looking bad is what they don't want.

Every case that is fought makes it less likely they will try it next time.
It's often possible to destroy their credibility with their own evidence.
Letters can be put in files.
There is always the press too.

I appealed a speeding ticket through four appeals once.
Very stubborn prosecutor.

I've seen judges yell at prosecutors for not dumping bad cases too.

I have had many ia complaints upheld too.
Even when they are whitewashed, it's a shot across the bow.
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Postby TomServo » Sun May 22, 2011 10:39 am

The prosecuters in my case were willing to drop the negligent discharge and firing at an inhabited residence, if I plead guilty to possession of an illegal assault weapon. It was legal, of course...and really pissed them off. So they went at me full force with the negligent charge...as a misdemeanor. It should have been a fine, but I got 3 months house arrest for it.
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Postby gyre » Sun May 22, 2011 10:43 am

It shouldn't have been a case at all.
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Postby TomServo » Sun May 22, 2011 10:46 am

I live in California


and..Im the one who reported the accident.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Sun May 22, 2011 7:48 pm

Thanks for all of your help, Jack.
Without you and the LLC backing me I would have been a nervous wreck leading up to the hearing date, you and your blessings from the legal dept kept my head high throughout this ordeal.

Just one more thing to add about my case.

Before my initial hearing in Feb where I intended putting in my "not guilty" plea, the prosecuting attourney(a 7 year burner himself) initially offered me a $75 littering charge as an plea-down offer.
Only when I said "but I didn't litter either" did he drop the offer to $25 littering fee.
They tried to lowball me on the spot.

Just a reminder to ANYONE who gets a violation/citation issued by:
-Federal Bureau of Land Management Rangers
-Pershing County Sheriff's Office
-Washoe County Sheriff's Office
-Nevada State Department of Investigations
-Nevada State Health Division
-Nevada Highway Patrol

It is important that you fill out a Law enforcement feeback form
either on playa (available at any of the Black Rock Ranger outposts), or afterwards, and send it in.
The link for the report is right here http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/le_feedback.html
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Postby Dustdevil » Sun May 22, 2011 8:14 pm

I wasn't aware they wanted to play "let's make a deal". That's priceless. Good thing I wasn't present for that conversation. I would have countered with something like, "drop all charges and you pay us for time lost from work". Hey, you never know......and if you don't ask, the answer is "no".

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Postby EspressoDude » Tue May 24, 2011 7:05 am

there's still time to ask for all that time being paid for. Find a burner friendly attorney and file a claim/suit for time off work, transportation costs, stress, etc.

probably won't get a dime, but might end up in better LEO training of what Burning Man is about.

Yea you can't squirt fire in downtown LA or New York (without a permit), but at Burning Man the Mutant Vehicle License and or Flame Effect stickers are the permit.
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Postby Savannah » Tue May 24, 2011 9:55 am

Thank you, Dick & Jack. Well done.
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Postby chris2010 » Tue May 24, 2011 10:56 am

Congrats Dick & Jack!

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Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue May 24, 2011 12:25 pm

Good job gentlemen. And Jack, as if I needed another reason to be thankful you're my friend.
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Postby Major Krash » Tue May 24, 2011 2:54 pm

...I have heard (anecdotally) that a huge number of BLM tickets that make it to court get thrown out/defeated (like 50-75%). However I have also heard that 90% of BLM tickets are paid without a trial (probably due to the out-of-town factor).

Do the math - 95-98% of all tickets written result in cash for the BLM general fund (regardless of merit)
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Postby EspressoDude » Tue May 24, 2011 4:43 pm

excellent documentation, Chris..thx for posting
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue May 24, 2011 8:50 pm

Savannah wrote:Thank you, Dick & Jack. Well done.

It's really disturbing to me that the first couple of times I read this, it said "Thank you, Dick & Jane."

My brain worries me sometimes.
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Postby FIGJAM » Tue May 24, 2011 9:34 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Savannah wrote:Thank you, Dick & Jack. Well done.

It's really disturbing to me that the first couple of times I read this, it said "Thank you, Dick & Jane."

My brain worries me sometimes.


Me too!
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Postby oneeyeddick » Tue May 24, 2011 9:38 pm

chris2010 wrote:Image


Hey!...that Kopper is trying to feel up my old lady!!!!


(I wonder if he realized that over a dozen eyeballs on the artcar were looking at his dick?)
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Postby chris2010 » Tue May 24, 2011 9:41 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:
chris2010 wrote:Image


Hey!...that Kopper is trying to feel up my old lady!!!!


(I wonder if he realized that over a dozen eyeballs on the artcar were looking at his dick?)



I am glad you stood up against them and won! :)
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Postby Savannah » Tue May 24, 2011 10:29 pm

It's really disturbing to me that the first couple of times I read this, it said "Thank you, Dick & Jane."

My brain worries me sometimes.


:mrgreen:
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Postby lucky.bastard » Wed May 25, 2011 5:36 pm

"littering" i guess there was no law on the books against making a LEO shit their tighty whiteys.....

standard operating procedure: trump up the charges, and get them to plea down......... if you show up at court and don't take the plea deal i think it throws them off <<< thoughts based on my limited personal experience , and may not hold true on violent crimes or flaming dick >>>
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Postby Foxfur » Sat May 28, 2011 7:52 am

EspressoDude wrote:I am not sure if this was taken at the exact time that led the blm ranger to issue a citation, but there is obviously much more distance between the blm white pick up trucks than the cited distance (2 feet) or even 20 feet.

Image

http://www.scottlondon.com/photo/burningman2010/095.html

photo by scott london


What a beautiful photo!
Look at the lights in the background,
it really does look like a real city.
With giant flame-shooting penises rolling around...

My kind of town, the playa is, my kind of town...

Congrats OED. Well played.
Thank you Jack.
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