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Warwick Police Pass My Case Up to Bucks County District Attorney, No Charges Filed Against Me Yet

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I emailed Mr Mark Goldberg of Warwick police yesterday after our encounter with my questions and my specific complaints. Here is our correspondence.

[Mr Goldberg:]
Mr. Donnelly:

I received your e-mail regarding your specific complaint and questions. I have “cut and pasted” it into this document, and addressed your issues in blue.

[Me:]
I’d like to bring two things to your attention, if I may.

(1) I didn’t make my exact complaint clear this morning. It is this:

Jon Ogborn and Kathleen McGurney, ostensibly employees of Warwick township, are apparently unaware that open carry is legal in PA, that open carry does not rise to the standard of disorderly conduct and that a subject can not be detained simply for open carrying.

I was polite, calm and non-threatening at all times in my encounter with these folks and yet I was very rudely treated by Ogborn.

Ogborn bocked my exit from the restaurant without any RAS to detain me, without even showing me any police credentials.

This charge of disorderly conduct is entirely inappropriate and unjustified.

It’s trumped up because I did not show proper deference to Ogborn, apparently. However, this is not a crime.

Ogborn lied to me, saying that I was required by law to provide him my ID, when in fact I was not.

Ogborn searched me without my consent.

[Mr Goldberg:]
I have begun an internal investigation regarding the actions of Det. Ogborn and Ofc. McGurney at Randazzo’s on January 9, 2010. As of this writing, no charges have been filed against you. I have forwarded investigative materials to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office for review. I have asked the DA’s office to review the actions of all involved to determine if a crime was committed. When I receive the results of their review, I will be in a better position to complete my internal investigation.

It occurred to me that I never gave you the opportunity to present your description of the events at Randazzo’s. If you care to give a statement, I will forward it to the DA for review. As I explained yesterday, you will not be permitted to bring a firearm into the police station. If you would prefer, you may e-mail me a statement, or I can use the documentation you provided yesterday. Please let me know as soon as possible, as the case is already under review.

[Me:]
(2) Here are my written questions:

Were you aware of the Municipal Police Officers’ Education & Training Commission 2009 update on open carry before I gave it to you this morning? Have Warwick PD employees received this training? When? Were the employees in question trained on this? When?

[Mr Goldberg:]
You are correct, this was a component of the MPOETC curriculum for 2009. All Warwick officers received this training at various times throughout 2009.

[Me:]
Is this this excerpt from the MPOETC open carry training memo consistent with Warwick township PD general orders and/or standard operating procedure?

“Persons engaged in the lawful open carrying of a firearm are not subject to seizure of their person or property based solely on the fact that they are engaging in open carry, nor may they be required to produce identification or other documents.”

[Mr Goldberg:]
We do not have an SOP or general order addressing the specific topic of the MPOETC module.

Is it customary for Warwick PD to arrest people on trumped up charges, without RAS? Is this acceptable behavior in Warwick township?

[Mr Goldberg:]
No

[Me:]
Is it acceptable in Warwick township for a police officer to refuse to provide his business card upon polite request?

[Mr Goldberg:]
We do not issue business cards to our officers, and don’t require them to purchase business cards on their own. Officers are not required to carry business cards or provide them to citizens. They are required to identify themselves when asked.

[Me:]
Is it standard operating procedure in Warwick township to demand ID even when it is not required by PA law?

[Mr Goldberg:]
No

[Me:]
Is it standard operating procedure in Warwick township to empty someone’s pockets when they are arrested, and before arriving at the jail?

[Mr Goldberg:]
Yes

[Me:]
Is it standard operating procedure in Warwick township to arrest someone for summary disorderly conduct, instead of just giving them a citation? Under what conditions do you arrest someone for a charge of summary disorderly conduct in Warwick township?

[Mr Goldberg:]
It may be acceptable, depending on the circumstances. The circumstances during which it would be acceptable vary greatly.

[Me:]
Thank you for your attention to this matter.

[Mr Goldberg:]
Understand that I am cooperating with you not because I have to, but because it is the right thing to do. You will be treated with professionalism, respect and dignity, as we strive to do with everyone. I will answer all your requests in accordance with the law, the interests of the Police Department and the residents of Warwick Township, and the interest of justice. This can be a difficult task, but I promise you I will do my best.

If we fell short somewhere, it will be addressed and appropriate action will be taken. If the DA determines you fell short in your actions, appropriate action will be taken. Of course, that applies to the involved officers as well.

Mark Goldberg
Lieutenant
Warwick Police Department
Warwick Township Police Dept.
1733 Township Greene
Jamison, Pa 18929
phone: 215-343-6102
fax: 215-343-8165

Photo credit: pasukaru76. Photo license.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

15 replies on “Warwick Police Pass My Case Up to Bucks County District Attorney, No Charges Filed Against Me Yet”

Excellent. Taken at face value, Mr. Goldberg seems to be approaching this with an open mind. It’s best to treat him in good faith until you see evidence otherwise.

Good questions, the “conditions vary” regarding arrest for DC is an important data point. The “trumped up” question was a bit of a cheap shot, and doesn’t help you here, but it could probably be reworded in a more constructive way. Otherwise, good work. Don’t hold your breath, but there is a chance that the DA may decide to go after the cop and not you.

I’d make an effort to get witness statements preemptively. You can bet the cops who do interview them will be very manipulative in getting the answers they want, and getting those witnesses to believe those answers even if they are utterly false.

Since the DA has this, you want a lawyer. Now.

There was a crime committed in this interaction, BY THE COPS! That’s what they should be investigating and charging! We do not tolerate Jack-boots in the USA.

I’m certainly surprised that they would pass this on to the DA, and I’m not sure if it’s better that way or worse. On one hand, you have the appearance of authority from the police department; on the other hand, you haven’t yet been able to get all the info to the DA that they’d need (one of the most important things, I would think, is getting (notarized?) statements from the witnesses, starting with Mr. Instructor whom would hopefully be your best witness.) I suppose that if the DA fails to swiftly take action, you can put together the private criminal with the added investigative materials (and hopefully some fun supplemental things to aid in the prosecution, like court cases and such.)

Arrests for summary offenses must be specifically designated by law (IIRC) and the whole summary case system is supposed to be designed to avoid such things except where extremely necessary. See Committee Introduction to Chapter 4: (right under the table of contents on that page) and read Rule 441 of the PA Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Thanks O. It seemed positive but you’re right, anything could happen. They might even figure out how to charge me with something more serious, though I can’t figure out what that might be.

Not being a proper statist.

I just saw a charge on someone’s docket the other day: “Improp Sunscreening”. Is the nature of that charge “not applying a cream with an appropriate SPF rating?” Anything is possible.

It has further occurred to me that the officer did not follow Rule 441, which states that a citation must be issued following release from custody after arrest, or the defendant must be brought before a magistrate. If this officer somehow thought he was detaining instead of arresting, the officer needs a good reason not to issue the citation at the time of having probable cause of the summary offense, per Rule 410; otherwise, the citation should have been issued and the officer had to file the citations with the proper MDJ within 5 days, per Rule 406.

Hehe.

I noticed that about the citation, too. He told me I would get it in the mail.

That just makes me even more convinced he was trying to “break” me and when I didn’t break he felt he had to save face and follow it through with a visit to jail.

Alright George, I know I’ve been giving you a bunch of shit, but here’s a serious hypothetical situation for the readers.

George Donnelly vs Steven Seagal: Lawman in a no-holds-barred battle of stubbornness in the Warwick Diner

GO!

Has George been captured? Is he now a prisoner of war and a political dissident in the USA? Where is an update?

I will file a Habeas on his behalf if we can’t find him, since if he’s been whisked away, he probably has no avenue to reach the courts himself. Hopefully there is some judge around honest enough to demand his production.

LOL I’ve just been busy with other things. Had to travel for several days. Et cetera. Nothing new to report yet. I haven’t picked up the right-to-know response from Warwick yet and Plymouth seems to think they only owe me one right-to-know request per lifetime because they totally ignored my expanded one.

I’ve received nothing in the mail about any charges.

§ 5503. Disorderly conduct.

a.Offense defined. — A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:
1.engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;
2.makes unreasonable noise;
3.uses obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or
4.creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
Though this section does not deal with firearms, due to the nature of this code, this law has been cited by officers to suppress or discourage lawful open carry. Since a person who is not licensed per §6109 or exempted by §6106(b) MUST open carry their firearms on foot in order to avoid criminal charge, nor is there any duty for anyone licensed to conceal their handgun, open carry is not disorderly conduct. The open carrying of firearms is not by itself threatening, nor does it cause a hazardous or physically offensive condition. There are also two cases that that specifically state that a person may carry a firearm openly: Commonwealth v. Ortiz and Commonwealth v. Hawkins.

In summary, with case law to support, OC is legal and does “serve a legitimate purpose of the

Self defense is a legitimate reason to carry a gun. It says so right on my carry permit.

DC is a catchall that cops like to use when they know they can’t arrest you for any real reason.

By the sound of it if any Disorderly conduct charges should be applied it would be to the “officers” that harassed you

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