Thursday, July 17, 2008

Officer McBreakfast Taco: Game On!


Several of you have written me to the effect of "whatever happened with that constable who harassed you in Montgomery County?" Well, just about the time you conclude that you're getting the silent treatment in response to your latest letter, the other side makes a mistake.

Yesterday, I received in the mail the citation that Officer McBreakfast Taco was too chicken to write at the time of the incident, backdated to April 19. As it turns out, Officer McBreakfast Taco is Deputy Constable M. Williams (full name to come when I know it), Badge Number 5440, with precinct number 5 of the Montgomery County Constable's office. So, Deputy M. Williams wants to drop gloves in a court room, does he?

Game.
On.

Now we get to play on my field.

A letter to the good deputy and all his bosses went out this morning stating:

Chief Deputy Wood:

I was disappointed, although not surprised, when only yesterday I received your letter dated July 9, 2008. Given its contents, I can only conclude that your office is not prepared to take seriously my initial complaint about a deputy that (1) neither knew nor accurately enforced the Texas Transportation Code; and (2) physically endangered a cyclist through his abusive conduct. To wit:

· Your choice to backdate a non-existent citation for a non-existent violation, the facts of which are not only demonstrably inaccurate, but also physically impossible; and

· Your choice not to address Deputy Williams’ conduct, which was completely out of line, even if the violation had occurred.

This is one instance in which your department cannot shield itself or its deputies from criticism by attempting to characterize this incident as a groundless complaint by someone in violation of the law. Not only was I within the law, my complaint against Deputy Williams is valid even if I was not. Indeed, a motorist in Los Angeles is facing felony charges for doing essentially what Deputy Williams did and injuring two cyclists. (See Enclosure).

As a result, you can be assured that I will appear before Judge Masden, where Deputy Williams will have to justify his conduct. Likewise, since the department was unwilling to address the conduct of its deputies in a collaborative and informal fashion, I will file and pursue a formal, disciplinary complaint against Deputy Williams to the fullest extent possible. Having found the performance of this precinct’s constable unsatisfactory in its enforcement of the laws for the protection of cyclists, I will likewise be working along with the Texas Bicycle Coalition and local cycling groups for Constable Hill’s defeat at the ballot box.

I remain open to addressing this situation in a more constructive fashion, but given your letter, I am not optimistic that the department will choose to do so.

Very truly yours,

Real Lawyer Name

cc: (Deputy M. Williams and Constable Hill)


As I referenced in my letter, the Precinct 5 Constable, an elected official, is named David Hill, and his Chief Deputy is David Wood. Their office addresses are:

31350 Friendship Drive
Magnolia, TX 77355

and

31350 Industrial Lane
Magnolia, Texas 77355


Their office phone numbers are:

281-356-3883
or
936-539-7807

So, uhm, yeah. If you're a cyclist that is just looking to exercise your rights under the First Amendment, you might drop this elected official and his underlings a little note about the manner in which law enforcement fails to protect cyclists, especially at the expense of protecting their own. Be polite, use your own words, but make it clear that:

1. Cyclists are vehicles under the transportation code.
2. Cyclists have the right to the road, and are not required under the Transportation Code to ride on a dangerous shoulder or near the edge when it is dangerous to do so.
3. Cyclists have are entitled to expect law enforcement to protect their rights to the road.
4. There is no place for an officer to endanger a cyclist, no matter how the officer believes that cyclist ought to be riding.


The case is assigned to a JP judge, the court contact information of which I will post if and when I think it would be helpful. Although I am quite confident that neither the baby DA nor officer McBreakffff----, . .. er, Williams has ever seen cross examination in connection with a traffic ticket quite as thorough as I have planned, I have no expectation of actually winning the traffic case unless this JP Judge is very brave indeed. There is always a tendency of the courts to believe law enforcement. The court is in the same building as the Constable's office, for crying out loud. That said, win or lose, I will make my point, and I will make them regret their actions.

30 comments:

Spokane Al said...

Pity the person who finds him/herself with the Greyhound's teeth clamped deeply and solidly onto his/her butt.

Amy said...

You'll have to rename yourself TriPitbull (yes I know Pit Bulls are not vicious dogs... unless threatened as you are here and then they will fight for their own protection or that of those they love). Go TriPit.. er Greyhound! I say if you lose (and I sincerely hope that the judge doesn't have his head up his ass THAT far) take it further. If the judge won't uphold the law then what the hell is he good for?

Jane said...

'Sic em Greyhound!

IM Able said...

Normally when I say "alert the media!" I'm being snarky and somebody (Mighty M) smacks me upside the back of my head.

Not this time.

Alert the media. Find a local reporter who -- best case scenario -- has done a cycling sympathetic article in the past and encourage them to attend. If you're involving the local riding groups and can estimate a sizable attendance it would help. Is this an election year?

(rubbing hands together with glee)

stronger said...

Could it be more obvious they are covering their tracks by backdating a citation??? Infuriating! Why do they get to be so pigheaded in defending a position that does not exist...all because they can't say "we're sorry"??

Kick their butts

21stCenturyMom said...

I was just thinking of you and Officer Taco this morning on my ride as I saw a cop pull over a car. There was no endangerment involved - it just sparked a memory.

You so bad. I love it!

Brent Buckner said...

Oooo, I think I'll get me some popcorn for this one play out!

Sarah said...

My jaw dropped when I read you received a backdated citation in the mail. UNbelievable.

kerrie said...

thank you so much for pursuing this and educating others! we have been having so much trouble with the cops in larimer county, just north of boulder county. they harass, drive at and pull over cyclists for no reason at all! it is creating an unhealthy environment and a type of 'open season on cyclists' culture in that (red) neck of the woods!!!

Liam O'Connell said...

you are the man

can i come to court with you in spandex, ill be exhibit a.

serious

Fe-lady said...

I think you may have to change your name to "Rotweiller"-go get em!

Pharmie said...

Let 'em have it! Seriously, I hope you really give it to them. It's totally uncalled for - that this thing happened in the first place is ludicrous. And of course, keep us updated!

Ana said...

A quick googling suggests his name is Marshall Williams. Looks like he gets paid over the top range of salary, too.

http://www.mctx.org/comcrt/minutes/03212005.pdf

I hope the case in CA will result in a conviction with prison time. That should end a message to motorists in all states.

TriShannon said...

Such a shame that this is what it has come to. And I will indeed file it away - do not mess with TriGreyhound. :-)

My uncle fought a similar battle in OH several years ago. He does not own a car - rides everywhere. He was repeatedly pulled over on the same road and told he was not allowed to be riding on the road. Knowing this was not the case and just being threatened and never cited he continued riding that route until finally one day a ticket. He refused to pay it and fought it with the help of a local cycling club. In the end things were dropped, but I'm sure no lessons were learned.

Makes me so mad!!

Kevin said...

Keep up the good fight!! Im with IM Able on this. See if you can find a sympathetic reporter.

Maybe even look to plan a large group ride to the courthouse on the day of the case

triguyjt said...

I think its a slam dunk case for you and I just regret you have to go through the anguish and bs and crap that goes with dealing with those who take the law into their own hands....

a group protest ride is a good idea

Alili said...

Hats off to you!

Lisa said...

Unfreaking believable. I'm sure the JP has no idea what is coming his way either. Go get 'em Greyhound.

Tim said...

A very close friend suffered a broken vertebrae (C6) when an a**hole in a pickup passed him going down a hill and into a blind curve and then immediately cut in front of him and hit his brakes.

Thank God my buddy wasn't killed.

I hope you nail the s.o.b. ... for yourself, for my friend and for all who have suffered from this type of assault.

Jill (& Bob) said...

What about demanding a jury trial? You have every right to do that and that will eliminate the possibility of the judge siding on the law enforcement's side by default...just a thought from the peanut gallery.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

well, I guess you found something to pass the time post-ironman, no?

I find it distressing that you don't see a chance in winning in court - it seems so wrong that it's already so unbalanced. I look forward to hear about it nonetheless, and I'm hopeful that your point will be firmly made.

Surely, in a State where Lancie-Poo is a local hero, there are others who are bicycle sympathetic? Media to be alerted?

CoachLiz said...

Remember, I got your back. Let me know how else I can help you out.

Supalinds said...

You rock!!

Steve Stenzel said...

Sweet. Game on! GO GET EM!!!!

BuckeyeRunner said...

Trigreyhound....you are my hero. I REALLY hope you get to unleash on this a-hole. I think everyone who cycles has had numerous encounters with this 'type' of person....make an example of him. Please keep us posted...

Fight the power!!! I hope you humilate this guy...and the entire crooked organization.

IronJenny said...

Thanks Greyhound. Pharmie was with me the day TriNick got right hooked and was sent off in an ambulance.
People DON'T know the law protects us. Not even those paid to know the law, know the law. This is a great opportunity to educate drivers that yes, we do have a right to be there. 30 years ago we were taught that we must ride single file and we rode on sidewalks. A lot of people still believe that.

In truth, drivers are supposed to treat us like farm-implements -- we may be slower than automobiles, but we are allowed to use the road. We stay right as best as the conditions allow us. And no, that doesn't mean we have to ride in the gravel or the grass on the side of the road.
And with everybody going green, more and more cyclists will be on the road, so best to educate the drivers ASAP before more backs get broken, or more kids lose a parent.
Do alert the media.
It's important.
Thanks, dude.
p.s. I was just telling 21st that we should all volunteer to be guest speakers at Drivers Ed classes. Seriously. New drivers also don't know cyclists do belong on the road.

roman said...

I missed you on the 3X bypass this year. I though of you as I struggled up to the Loveland ski area.

Anyway, at least in Colorado, the tide is changing when it comes bike vs. car confrontations.

As more and more people get on a bike to commute to work here they expect to be safe and afforded the same legal rights as when they get behind the steering wheel.

I'm grateful that you are taking this one to the mat, with a bit of healthy publicity you could do a great deal of good in getting law enforcement on top of the curve instead of behind the curve.

It is a sad fact that police too often view cyclist as a nuisance to be swatted instead of citizens to be protected.

Ironically they tend focus on property rights (the car) instead of human beings.

What's really worrisome is that I have yet to see a police officer, ever ticket, warn, or acknowledge, any driver that has almost killed me with their three thousand pound weapon (the car).

When a car runs a red light most likely; horns will sound, plastic will break, iron will crunch, personal information will be exchanged, and insurance agents will be called.

On the other hand when a bike runs a red light most likely; the cyclist will die.

Because instead of three thousand pounds of rubber and steel traveling at 50-miles an hour, a cyclist only has twenty pounds of carbon fiber and perhaps 170 pounds of flesh and bone traveling at 20-miles an hour.

You don't have to be a physics teacher to figure out what happens when the two collide.

I think that drivers, cyclist, and especially police officers would be well advised to remember this basic physics lesson.

I recall it every time I mount my bike and it really scares me to think that others, especially the police who are meant to enforce the rules of the road, don't!

Lana said...

Go gett'em Greyhound! I wish I was close enough to come sit in the courtroom!

Judi said...

They always side with the cops. Always.

Nytro said...

Dude.... I will be girding my loins for you in Utah.

Lawsuit Up!