I will start this Forum off by relating my “Story”. #1
As I awoke I heard noises (truck & voices) coming from in front of my house. I put on some walking shorts and went out my front door to retrieve my paper.
I saw a truck with a concrete pumping machine setting up at the curb, blocking my driveway. I went out to the person giving the orders and asked him to move his truck and machine so it wouldn’t block my driveway because I wanted to go grocery shopping shortly. His response was “When I get time” and he went back to work.
At this time some of the workers started talking in Spanish and pointing at me while 2 of them started giving me that “Gang Style” expression known as “Dogin” (wrinkling their brow and glaring) while calling me a “Puta”. Their actions seemed very threatening to me and I quickly went back into my house. I got partially dressed, just pants, shoes, no wallet, money, shirt or cell phone. The crew working next door continued to make gestures and comments in Spanish in my direction. This prompted me to put my .25 cal Beretta in my right rear pocket just in case I needed protection.
They continued to set up their equipment without unblocking my driveway. I went back outside and told the supervisor “if he didn’t move his truck I would call The Police”. He gave me the same answer as before “When I get time”.
I immediately came back into my house and called the Escondido Police Dept. and asked for an Officer to come out and make them move. Just moments before the Officer arrived they moved the truck and cleared my driveway.
I stayed inside until I saw Officer Johnny Martin come by and go around the block where he came down the alley across from my house and stopped. I stepped out my front door to tell him everything was OK now. The officer drove across the street and parked in front of my house.
Officer Johnny Martin rolled down his right front window indicating to me that he wanted to talk to me. I walked to the edge of my property to talk to him. I knew that I was not supposed to leave my property with a gun in my pocket and that was why I only went to the edge of my property and no further.
He couldn’t hear me because of the noise from the concrete pumping when I said everything was OK because they moved their truck. The officer shook his head and acted like he couldn’t hear me and did that little nod of his head that indicated I was to come closer. I stepped off of my property to comply with his request/demand.
I stepped off of my property, crossed the sidewalk (36”) and squatted down to talk to the officer. When we finished our conversation I stood up turned around and immediately went back to my property and was about 3 or 4 steps on it when I heard a voice SCREAM “FREEZE”. I turned around and the officer had his gun pointed at me. The officer was so agitated that his voice shook as he SCREAMED at me to “PUT YOUR HANDS UP” and get on the ground. I was afraid to move because he was so agitated, all I could think was he is going to shoot me. The officer again SCREAMED at me to get on the ground, which I promptly did. He cuffed me, searched me and took the gun from my right rear pocket.
I asked the officer what I had done and he said “carrying a gun in public”. I said I had only left my property at HIS request and came directly back to my property. The Officers response was “shut up you’re under arrest”. I shut up.
I spent 4 hours at Escondido Police Department then was transferred to the Vista Jail where I spent the next 13 ½ hours until I made bail.
I am a 65 year old male, retired U.S. Navy, retired San Diego County Employee, Disabled Veteran and 31 year resident of Escondido, CA and a NRA member with NO criminal history.
The “Judge”, Marshall York Hockett, Vista, CA Courthouse, in my Court case declared my front yard as “Public Property” and instructed the Jury that they MUST consider my front yard as “Public Property” in deciding my Guilt or Innocence, thereby insuring my being found “Guilty” of the Charge of “Carrying a loaded gun in public”.
I was found guilty of a misdemeanor and sentenced to a $900 fine, 50 hours of Community Service, 3 years Probation, NO guns in my possession during Probation (They are in storage at $600 A YEAR) and the Loss of my 4TH Amendment Rights during Probation, which allows the Police to enter my Home ANY TIME they wish..
I have since completed all requirements of my “Sentence” and am a Free Man again.
Contact me at Tink@escondido-open-carry.org