Fred Koschara's Time Log
November 20, 1997 (excerpt)

This page and its contents are Copyright 1997-1999 by Fred Koschara.
All rights reserved.

Date:  Thursday November 20th, 1997
Time:   2:35:48 am
File:  C:\signoff\notes\19971120.nte
Title: Bandits with badges took my car
Category: Observations

11/20/97i02:36:25 The thieves have my car.  If I had gone to
11/20/97_02:36:54 Applebee's as I had planned, rather than meeting
11/20/97_02:37:09 Ed at Grand China, it wouldn't have happened this
11/20/97w02:37:25 night, but hindsight isn't going to change the
11/20/97_02:37:43 way things are...
11/20/97n02:37:47 When I came out of Grand China, I turned right to
11/20/97w02:38:08 cross Route 28 and head for Route 93 to go home.
11/20/97_02:38:28 My RADAR detector chirped a few times, and I saw
11/20/97_02:38:48 a police car cross the approach road at the light
11/20/97w02:39:09 by the entrance to the Rockingham dog track.  My
11/20/97_02:39:39 speed was 25-30 miles per hour, and since I
11/20/97_02:40:04 wasn't in a rush to get home, I didn't speed up
11/20/97_02:40:21 out of that range as I passed the light.  My
11/20/97_02:40:37 RADAR detector was still going off, and I saw
11/20/97_02:40:46 another police car was sitting in the entrance,
11/20/97_02:41:04 so I figured that's where the RADAR unit was
11/20/97_02:41:15 working from, not the police car I had seen make
11/20/97_02:41:24 a left turn, going in the opposite direction of
11/20/97_02:41:45 my travel.
11/20/97n02:41:55 Approaching the ramp to get on Interstate 93
11/20/97_02:42:17 northbound, I saw a car behind me, and a second
11/20/97_02:42:28 one coming up quickly behind it.  My RADAR
11/20/97_02:42:40 detector was making noise about a K band signal,
11/20/97_02:43:00 so I knew the police were using their RADAR.  I
11/20/97_02:43:16 had gotten up almost to 35 miles per hour as I
11/20/97_02:43:27 got to the entrance ramp, but was still traveling
11/20/97w02:43:37 at less than the maximum legal speed.  At that
11/20/97_02:44:00 time, I figured the police had clocked the car
11/20/97_02:44:10 behind me going faster than the posted limit, and
11/20/97w02:44:21 were therefore speeding to catch up to it, with
11/20/97_02:44:31 the intent of pulling it over.
11/20/97n02:44:37 In turning onto the ramp onto Interstate 93, I
11/20/97_02:44:54 noticed that the car immediately behind me seemed
11/20/97w02:45:03 to have a light bar on top.  In addition, the
11/20/97_02:45:20 arrangement of its headlights and marker lights
11/20/97_02:45:33 led me to believe there was probably a police car
11/20/97w02:45:41 right behind me.
11/20/97n02:45:56 I proceeded down the entrance ramp, allowing the
11/20/97_02:46:06 traffic on Interstate 93 to go by, and pulled in
11/20/97_02:46:19 behind the vehicles that had passed.  I looked at
11/20/97w02:46:29 my speedometer, and noticed it read 62 miles per
11/20/97_02:46:45 hour.  I was somewhat concerned, since I wasn't
11/20/97_02:46:55 sure whether I was in the 65 mph zone yet or not.
11/20/97w02:47:07 However, since the police car behind me didn't
11/20/97_02:47:20 take any action, I assumed there was no cause for
11/20/97w02:47:36 concern but that I should be appropriately
11/20/97_02:47:52 cautious.
11/20/97n02:47:58 Upon getting to the 65 mph sign, a few hundred
11/20/97_02:48:20 yards north of the entrance ramp, I was following
11/20/97w02:48:37 behind traffic where there was a car in each of
11/20/97_02:48:58 the two travel lanes.  Since the car in front of
11/20/97_02:49:16 me seemed to be going a little slower, I put on
11/20/97_02:49:28 my directional signal and moved into the left
11/20/97_02:49:36 lane, where I was able to get up to a speed of 65
11/20/97w02:49:47 miles per hour.
11/20/97n02:50:21 Since there wasn't anything eventful happening on
11/20/97w02:50:40 the highway, I expected the police cars to leave
11/20/97_02:50:54 Interstate 93 when we got to Exit 2.  However,
11/20/97_02:51:37 since they did not do so, I decided to set my
11/20/97_02:51:46 cruise control, to insure I did not accidentally
11/20/97_02:52:01 go faster than my current speed of 65 mph.
11/20/97n02:52:30 About the time that I got to the top of the
11/20/97_02:52:48 entrance ramp from Exit 2, the police car behind
11/20/97_02:53:06 me put on its emergency beacons.  I pulled into
11/20/97_02:53:17 the right lane to allow them to go by, since I
11/20/97_02:53:26 was obviously not doing anything that gave them
11/20/97_02:53:40 cause to pull me over.  Rather than going by,
11/20/97_02:53:53 however, the police car pulled in behind me, and
11/20/97_02:54:05 I think their siren came on.  I pulled onto the
11/20/97_02:54:16 right shoulder, and came to a reasonable stop.
11/20/97n02:54:47 Once stopped on the side of the road, I put my
11/20/97_02:55:02 car into park, turned on the interior light, and
11/20/97_02:55:12 ran the window down, expecting the imminent
11/20/97_02:56:05 arrival of the police officer.  When that didn't
11/20/97_02:56:18 happen, I turned on the heater fan and adjusted
11/20/97_02:56:44 the heater control to its warmest setting, since
11/20/97_02:56:54 it was quite a cold night out, then ran the
11/20/97_02:57:05 window back up to await the officer's approach.
11/20/97n02:57:20 Presently I noticed the officer's flashlight,
11/20/97_02:57:46 hovering well behind my door post.  I then ran
11/20/97_02:57:57 the window down once more.
11/20/97n02:58:38 The police officer, a woman, demanded my license
11/20/97_02:58:50 and registration.  I asked her what she wanted it
11/20/97w02:58:59 for.  She said she would tell me after I had
11/20/97_02:59:12 given them to her.  I advised her that I didn't
11/20/97_02:59:26 believe she had any grounds for asking for them,
11/20/97_02:59:36 and again asked why she wanted them.  She told me
11/20/97w02:59:55 that if I didn't produce the documents she was
11/20/97_03:00:04 going to arrest me for disobeying a police
11/20/97_03:00:13 officer.  Since she had not provided me with a
11/20/97_03:01:26 lawful reason why I had to produce the documents,
11/20/97w03:01:42 I do not believe it was necessary for me to do
11/20/97_03:01:57 so.  Her threat of arrest was also improper,
11/20/97_03:02:33 since it placed me under duress, fearing for my
11/20/97_03:03:28 personal liberty.  However, because of the depth
11/20/97_03:04:00 of my beliefs, I told her that I believed she was
11/20/97w03:04:14 exceeding her Constitutional authority, and asked
11/20/97w03:04:28 why I had been stopped.  She said something about
11/20/97w03:04:55 weaving and something else that was
11/20/97_03:05:12 unintelligible, so I asked her to repeat what she
11/20/97w03:05:23 had said.
11/20/97n03:05:27 At that point, she asked me to step out of the
11/20/97_03:05:37 car.  Since that would place us in a face-to-face
11/20/97w03:05:54 situation, which seemed to be a more workable
11/20/97_03:06:05 arrangement, I agreed to do so.  I then noticed
11/20/97_03:06:20 another police officer standing by the right rear
11/20/97w03:06:28 corner of my car.  The two of them directed me to
11/20/97w03:06:38 the space behind my car and the front of the
11/20/97_03:06:53 police cruiser, where I moved since it would be
11/20/97_03:07:06 out of the travel lanes:  I could see no point in
11/20/97w03:07:35 obstructing traffic with this event.
11/20/97n03:07:56 I again asked the female officer why it was she
11/20/97_03:08:11 had pulled me over.  She said I had been weaving,
11/20/97w03:08:25 and that I had crossed the yellow line (at the
11/20/97_03:08:34 left edge of the travel lanes).  I personally
11/20/97_03:08:46 know that I did _not_ cross the yellow line -
11/20/97_03:08:58 there was more than enough room to safely travel
11/20/97_03:09:07 within the marked lanes - but I couldn't see any
11/20/97_03:09:35 point in arguing about it with her.
11/20/97n03:09:56 She again asked me for my license and
11/20/97_03:10:07 registration, and again I said she didn't have
11/20/97_03:10:24 any grounds for asking for them.  I was then
11/20/97_03:10:44 instructed to place my hands behind my back,
11/20/97_03:10:53 since I was being arrested for disobeying a
11/20/97_03:11:01 police officer.  I started to comply, since I
11/20/97_03:11:51 couldn't see any point in resisting two armed
11/20/97_03:12:02 individuals determined to take me into custody,
11/20/97_03:12:17 whether they had grounds or authority, or not.
11/20/97_03:12:31 It occurred to me that I should secure my car,
11/20/97_03:12:42 however, since it was sitting there with the
11/20/97_03:12:49 engine running, the window open, and both the
11/20/97_03:13:04 interior and headlights illuminated.  As I turned
11/20/97w03:13:27 to go to the car, I told them I wanted to secure
11/20/97_03:13:40 my car, but they grabbed me, with their handcuffs
11/20/97w03:13:57 in their other hands (I didn't see which one had
11/20/97_03:14:07 the handcuffs, so I can't be sure), and said they
11/20/97w03:14:21 would take care of that.  Now, not only was I
11/20/97_03:14:50 being unlawfully taken into custody, but my
11/20/97_03:15:04 property was being left unsecure, and I could no
11/20/97_03:15:44 longer assume responsibility that the car would
11/20/97_03:16:03 not be used to commit a crime.
11/20/97n03:16:21 Once the two officers had me in handcuffs, they
11/20/97_03:16:31 took me to the back seat of the lead patrol car
11/20/97_03:16:43 (the second officer had apparently arrived in his
11/20/97w03:16:52 own vehicle) and had me sit down inside.  The
11/20/97_03:17:15 second officer made an attempt to put the seat
11/20/97_03:17:30 belt around my waist, but couldn't find the
11/20/97_03:17:40 receptacle and gave up on the effort.  When he
11/20/97_03:17:59 had backed up, I had to change the position of my
11/20/97w03:18:20 arms, since the cuffs were biting uncomfortably
11/20/97_03:18:43 into my skin.  The officer told me to relax, even
11/20/97w03:18:58 though I wasn't making any attempt to get away:
11/20/97_03:19:08 I was merely trying to find a position that would
11/20/97w03:19:18 be somewhat comfortable for the duration of my
11/20/97_03:19:41 time in the back seat of the patrol car.
11/20/97n03:19:49 The female officer went around, and got into the
11/20/97_03:20:12 driver's seat of the patrol car.  She then pulled
11/20/97w03:20:31 out, crossing the travel lanes to the median
11/20/97_03:21:02 crossing, a few yards ahead, and started south on
11/20/97w03:21:36 Interstate 93.  I was looking out the window at
11/20/97_03:21:53 the passing scenery, not taking particular note
11/20/97_03:22:03 of anything, but happened to turn my eyes forward
11/20/97w03:22:23 to the road ahead.  At that point, I noticed that
11/20/97w03:22:34 the RADAR unit was still active, and its display
11/20/97_03:22:45 was decreasing from 78 (mph).  During the ride to
11/20/97w03:23:06 Exit 1, the officer was driving at an average
11/20/97_03:23:23 speed over 75 miles per hour, CLOCKED BY RADAR.
11/20/97n03:23:53 When the officer turned onto the exit ramp, she
11/20/97_03:24:11 did not slow to a sedate pace, as is customary
11/20/97_03:24:31 for most people, but rather drove around the loop
11/20/97w03:24:46 at a speed of approximately 45 miles per hour.  I
11/20/97w03:25:13 didn't make a particular note of the speed we
11/20/97_03:25:23 were traveling after that, going back to the
11/20/97_03:25:33 police station, because I was too busy thinking
11/20/97_03:25:40 about how the police are constantly harassing me
11/20/97_03:26:25 about _my_ speed, yet they have no respect for
11/20/97_03:26:38 the laws they claim to be enforcing.  I'm quite
11/20/97_03:26:49 sure, however, that we traveled the length of the
11/20/97w03:26:57 mall access road above the posted speed limit of
11/20/97w03:27:13 35 miles per hour.
11/20/97n03:27:46 At the police station, I was taken into a holding
11/20/97w03:28:01 area where 4 other police officers had already
11/20/97_03:28:13 gathered.  The female officer then asked me if I
11/20/97_03:28:35 was going to tell her who I was.  I didn't say it
11/20/97w03:28:48 at the time, but up until that point, she had not
11/20/97w03:28:59 asked me, once, who I was - she had just demanded
11/20/97w03:29:12 to see paperwork.  I took a business card out of
11/20/97_03:29:23 my pocket and handed it to her, and said I had no
11/20/97w03:29:35 problem telling them who I was.  I was then
11/20/97_03:30:05 badgered by the group to provide some
11/20/97_03:30:16 identification with a picture, being told, among
11/20/97_03:30:30 other things, that they weren't going to let me
11/20/97_03:30:37 leave until I did.  Since I had a license
11/20/97_03:31:01 document in my walette, and it is the only thing
11/20/97_03:31:14 I could readily think of that *does* have a
11/20/97_03:31:24 picture on it, I took it out and gave it to them,
11/20/97w03:31:44 against my better judgement, merely for the
11/20/97_03:32:01 purpose of identifying myself.
11/20/97n03:32:23 Once she had the license document in her hand,
11/20/97_03:32:59 the officer that had brought me in started
11/20/97_03:33:11 filling out the paperwork for booking me.  Among
11/20/97_03:33:31 other questions, she wanted to know my Social
11/20/97_03:33:43 Security number, but did not give a reason for
11/20/97_03:33:54 asking for it, or state whether it was voluntary
11/20/97_03:34:05 or mandatory.  I told her it was on my license,
11/20/97_03:35:12 but she still insisted that I repeat it from
11/20/97_03:35:22 memory, and recorded my answer on her papers.
11/20/97_03:35:39 She also asked for my mother's maiden name, and
11/20/97_03:35:49 when I challenged her, asking why she wanted to
11/20/97_03:36:01 know, one of the other officers said it's part of
11/20/97w03:36:13 the paperwork.  We eventually settled on my
11/20/97_03:36:34 response that I didn't recall the answer, since I
11/20/97w03:36:48 don't think that's anything they have a right or
11/20/97_03:36:58 need to ask.
11/20/97r03:37:42 After being photographed for their records, I was
11/20/97w03:38:00 told I had to sign the fingerprint cards they
11/20/97_03:38:15 were going to be using.  I asked what would
11/20/97_03:38:26 happen if I _didn't_ sign the cards, since it
11/20/97_03:38:38 seemed to me they needed my voluntary cooperation
11/20/97w03:38:49 to fill out their paperwork - which I didn't feel
11/20/97w03:39:04 they had any business filling in the first place.
11/20/97w03:39:14 I was told I'd have to sign the cards, or I would
11/20/97w03:39:31 not be allowed to leave.  I read the front and
11/20/97_03:39:46 back of all of the cards I was asked to sign, and
11/20/97w03:39:57 since I didn't see anything that appeared to be a
11/20/97w03:40:11 violation of my rights, other than the fact they
11/20/97_03:40:20 were not filled out before I had signed them, I
11/20/97_03:40:32 did sign the cards, once again under duress.
11/20/97n03:41:03 Once the booking procedure had been completed,
11/20/97_03:41:14 one of the police officers got into a discussion
11/20/97_03:41:26 with me about whether they have a right to ask
11/20/97_03:41:37 for a license or not.  His position is that once
11/20/97_03:41:48 a person has been stopped for a traffic
11/20/97_03:42:00 infraction, they have a legal right.  He also
11/20/97_03:42:14 pointed out that, since the document is owned by
11/20/97_03:42:25 the state, the state can ask for it any time they
11/20/97w03:42:34 want to, an argument I actually have no problem
11/20/97_03:42:47 with.  I tried to point out that the definition
11/20/97_03:42:59 of "driving" includes the words "for hire," but
11/20/97_03:43:15 he didn't accept the idea, and said that had
11/20/97_03:43:25 changed 50 years ago.  Since I have not actually
11/20/97_03:43:34 looked into the law books or Blacks' Legal
11/20/97_03:43:47 Dictionary, the authority that has been quoted to
11/20/97w03:43:56 me, I cannot say for certain whether his position
11/20/97w03:44:07 or mine is the correct one.  However, I have been
11/20/97w03:44:17 operating, in good faith, on information supplied
11/20/97w03:44:27 to me, and do not believe I was in violation of
11/20/97_03:44:41 any laws at the time I was stopped.
11/20/97n03:45:20 With their booking procedure complete, I was
11/20/97_03:45:31 afforded ample time and access to a telephone to
11/20/97_03:45:42 try and make arrangements for someone to come and
11/20/97w03:45:50 get me.  I tried calling Ed Burie, but the phone
11/20/97_03:46:00 at his house was busy, so I left a message on his
11/20/97w03:46:15 pager.  I also tried calling his cell phone, but
11/20/97_03:46:26 there was no response.  The officers wanted to
11/20/97_03:46:39 know if there was anyone else I could call, since
11/20/97w03:46:50 they would have to put me into a cell if no one
11/20/97_03:47:00 was on the way to get me.  After thinking about
11/20/97_03:47:20 who I could call, I finally decided to try
11/20/97_03:47:29 calling Applebee's and see if Jack was still
11/20/97_03:47:40 there.  He was, and agreed to come get me, saying
11/20/97w03:47:49 he would be there in 15 minutes.  I was then
11/20/97_03:48:15 escorted to the conference room in the Chief of
11/20/97_03:48:26 Police' office to wait for the bail commissioner
11/20/97_03:48:39 and my ride.
11/20/97n03:49:09 Even after I'd told the bail commissioner that I
11/20/97_03:49:29 have been living in the same place for 3 1/2 years,
11/20/97_03:49:44 and working for myself for five, she still wanted
11/20/97w03:49:57 to know previous addresses and employment.  I
11/20/97_03:50:14 told her my resume would go on for pages, since I
11/20/97w03:50:27 do contract computer programming, but gave her
11/20/97_03:50:39 short enough answers to fill the paperwork.  I
11/20/97_03:51:28 signed a statement that the answers I had
11/20/97_03:51:38 supplied were true, and a form saying I will be
11/20/97_03:51:47 in court on December 17, and was released to the
11/20/97_03:51:58 custody of my friends.
11/20/97n03:52:05 We had started to leave when Ed asked where my
11/20/97_03:52:17 car was.  I went back in the police station, and
11/20/97_03:52:29 was given the phone number of the towing company.
11/20/97w03:52:39 They told me I would have to call first, since
11/20/97_03:52:48 there is no one there, and I'd have to have a
11/20/97_03:52:57 driver with me, since my license has been
11/20/97_03:53:06 suspended, to get the car.
11/20/97n03:53:22 Ed gave me a ride home, and I decided to sit down
11/20/97w03:53:34 and write this account while the events were
11/20/97_03:53:49 still fresh in my mind.  I wasn't planning on
11/20/97_03:54:06 writing such an extensive piece when I first sat
11/20/97_03:54:16 down, but as I thought about it, and the words
11/20/97_03:54:28 flowed, it occurred to me that having notes taken
11/20/97w03:54:37 more or less at the scene of the crime would be
11/20/97_03:54:46 my best evidence when these matters go to court.
11/20/97w03:55:05 I therefore wrote all of these lines, for the
11/20/97_03:55:18 record.
11/20/97i04:18:57 There are a couple of things I have to add to
11/20/97_04:19:10 this account, things I thought of while writing,
11/20/97_04:19:21 along the way, or since:
11/20/97n04:19:31 Ed tells me that the local police do not have
11/20/97_04:19:48 jurisdiction on state highways, even when said
11/20/97_04:20:02 state highways pass through areas that are
11/20/97_04:20:18 otherwise under their jurisdiction.  If that is
11/20/97_04:20:30 true, then the officer didn't have any
11/20/97_04:20:45 jurisdiction at the time I was pulled over.  Even
11/20/97w04:20:59 if she claims she was in pursuit, because of any
11/20/97_04:21:16 alleged offenses committed _within_ her
11/20/97_04:21:34 jurisdiction, that argument cannot hold, since
11/20/97_04:21:45 she would have had to have her emergency beacons
11/20/97_04:21:54 operating while she was in pursuit, which was
11/20/97_04:22:04 definitely _not_ the case when we entered the
11/20/97_04:22:20 traffic on Interstate 93.
11/20/97n04:22:26 Writing that brings to mind another point:  The
11/20/97_04:22:40 officer turned _off_ her beacons while traveling
11/20/97_04:22:54 south on Interstate 93, at speeds in excess of
11/20/97_04:23:06 the posted limit, so that she had no cloak of
11/20/97_04:23:33 office, real or imagined, to travel under while
11/20/97_04:23:45 violating the law.
11/20/97n04:23:49 I have not received any ticket, summons, citation
11/20/97w04:24:05 or notice to appear related to any of the charges
11/20/97w04:24:15 that are allegedly being brought against me.
11/20/97_04:24:24 Indeed, the only documentation I have of what the
11/20/97w04:24:33 charges are is the "Bond In Criminal Case" form I
11/20/97w04:24:49 received from the bail commissioner, stating the
11/20/97_04:25:00 offenses charged are "Disobeying P/O, Oper after
11/20/97_04:25:26 Susp. + Resisting Arrest" - disobeying a police
11/20/97_04:25:49 officer, operating after suspension, and
11/20/97_04:26:00 resisting arrest.
11/20/97n04:26:14 What law gives the police officer the right to
11/20/97_04:26:26 issue an order that I have to obey, which made it
11/20/97w04:26:36 allegedly possible for her to arrest me in the
11/20/97_04:26:50 first case?  If she had no legal grounds to issue
11/20/97w04:27:15 an order, as I believe, how could she have found
11/20/97_04:27:31 out whether I was allegedly operating after
11/20/97_04:27:42 suspension?  If she had no legal grounds to
11/20/97_04:28:02 arrest me, since she didn't have the authority to
11/20/97w04:28:10 issue an order that I didn't obey, how could I
11/20/97_04:28:20 have been charged with resisting arrest, when no
11/20/97_04:28:32 lawful arrest was being made?
11/20/97n04:28:42 I believe I have ample grounds for filing charges
11/20/97w04:28:52 of harassment against the Salem police department
11/20/97w04:29:06 in general, and the officers involved in
11/20/97_04:29:16 particular, since they were obviously lying in
11/20/97_04:29:30 wait for me to go by:  Ed told me he had gone
11/20/97_04:29:42 through their RADAR trap a few moments earlier,
11/20/97_04:29:55 on _his_ way home, at a speed of at least 45 mph,
11/20/97w04:30:09 and they had done nothing about it.
11/20/97n04:30:26 I also believe I have grounds for a civil suit to
11/20/97w04:30:44 recover damages, real, perceived, and punitive,
11/20/97_04:30:55 for this false arrest, and the consequences it is
11/20/97w04:31:08 going to lead to - among others, additional
11/20/97_04:31:24 expense at retrieving my car from the tow yard,
11/20/97_04:31:36 and transporting myself until such time as I'm
11/20/97_04:31:59 able to get these matters resolved.
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Fred Koschara's Time Log for January 28, 1998 (excerpt)
Motion For Dismissal And Other Actions

Fred Koschara's Time Log for November 20, 1997 (excerpt) / Webmaster / Last modified June 24, 2014 @ 12:33 pm
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