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Thread: Richmond City Hall: Hatchet Man & Panic buttons

  1. #1
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Richmond City Hall: Hatchet Man & Panic buttons

    Golly, city hall security guards are unarmed when on duty. But not to worry, there are plenty of 'panic buttons' available throughout the building:

    Trespasser at City Hall Raises Security Concerns
    Around 5 p.m. on Oct. 8, Nathaniel Burwell tried to enter Jones' second-floor office at City Hall. Richmond Police arrested him for trespassing when he refused to leave. Officers say they found a hatchet in a bag Burwell left at a guard's post on the first floor. Burwell frequents City Hall and has a lengthy criminal history that includes trespassing, disorderly conduct and a concealed weapons charge.

    This, naturally, brings up safety concerns.

    "[Visitors] can go anywhere they want here—anywhere, all over; they're not checked," she said.

    While there are security guards in the building, they sit at only one of four entrances. Trammel points out that they are not armed like the mayor's personal security detail is.

    "We don't have $400,000 worth of security like he does," she said. "I don't know what Mr. Mayor is thinking about it. I mean what about all of City Hall, all the employees that work here?"

    There used to be metal detectors in the building, but they were removed in 2005 under former Mayor Doug Wilder. Now there are panic buttons located sporadically throughout the building.
    Gee, Channel 8 makes him look really bad, huh? Sandra Jones from WTVR caught up with the accused:

    Man accused of bringing hatchet to city hall: ‘I didn’t threaten anybody’
    A Richmond man has been banned from city hall after he demanded to see Mayor Dwight Jones, allegedly refused to leave and officials found a hatchet inside his bag.

    Richmond police arrested Nathaniel Burwell Tuesday night and charged the 63-year-old with trespassing. Police said he never made any threatening actions or statements, but did leave a bag with a hatchet inside at the guard post after he entered city hall.

    CBS 6 News’ Sandra Jones caught up with Burwell Wednesday as he was walking to his Chamberlayne Avenue apartment.

    When asked about the trespassing charge, Burwell said that as a citizen and taxpayer, he can go to city hall anytime he wants.

    “I told them to call the police. I told them I can’t go anywhere, call the police,” he said when asked if he told officials he wouldn’t leave until he saw the major.

    Burwell said a woman in the Mayor’s office told him Mayor Jones was not there. That’s when security was called to the second floor where they discovered a hatchet and carpentry tools in his brown bag.

    Burwell, who said he is a retired carpenter, he did not threaten anyone.

    “Well, you can imagine how that would look right? I mean you have a bag in your hand with a hatchet in it, and you’re asking to see the mayor,” Sandra Jones asked Burwell.

    “No, it doesn’t look like anything…. I didn’t threaten anybody,” Burwell said.
    Well great, no 'specific intent' -- the Grapeshot Doctrine assures us there will be no prosecution for any weapons charge.

    As for trespass, well ....
    Last edited by Repeater; 10-18-2013 at 11:08 AM.

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    He may beat the rap but he will not beat the ride, the extra-legal harassment.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Hatchets aren't on the prohibited weapons to conceal list. Perfectly legal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    --snipped--

    Well great, no 'specific intent' -- the Grapeshot Doctrine assures us there will be no prosecution for any weapons charge.
    Deliberately misquoting, including misleading paraphrasing, and taking remarks out of context to make them seem to say something not intended is not nice.

    What I said was in the Scouser/Henrico/Brandishing thread and was limited to the content in that thread regarding the Brandishing law - not to "any weapons charge." Even at that, I only suggested that "specific intent" would make the CA decision whether to prosecute or not much easier. There was no assurance given, no promise made.

    The "Grapeshot Doctrine" is honesty, accuracy, and integrity. I demand that of myself - I expect no less from others.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Worried about security? Good!

    Start treating people nice is my suggestion.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    General observation

    See the reference to the hatchet as a red herring. The man did not have the hatchet with him when in the mayor's office - it was at the security desk (on the 1st floor?) where he intentionally left it. There is no connect to the hatchet and his desire to talk to the mayor.

    IMHO - the better way to have handled this after telling him the mayor was not in/not available was to offer to make an appointment for him to talk to the mayor by phone.......or he could sit, wait and take his chances that the mayor might have a few minutes free if/when he returned.

    Further thought on the hatchet: wasn't the man a contractor? If so are not his tools generally legal? If he had brought a boxed chain saw to the security desk for safe keeping, checked it in there, would he then have been described as "demanding to see the mayor with a chain saw"? - that is ridiculous.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    See the reference to the hatchet as a red herring. The man did not have the hatchet with him when in the mayor's office - it was at the security desk (on the 1st floor?) where he intentionally left it. There is no connect to the hatchet and his desire to talk to the mayor.

    IMHO - the better way to have handled this after telling him the mayor was not in/not available was to offer to make an appointment for him to talk to the mayor by phone.......or he could sit, wait and take his chances that the mayor might have a few minutes free if/when he returned.

    Further thought on the hatchet: wasn't the man a contractor? If so are not his tools generally legal? If he had brought a boxed chain saw to the security desk for safe keeping, checked it in there, would he then have been described as "demanding to see the mayor with a chain saw"? - that is ridiculous.
    I see why you do not work for the FBI/NSA/TSA ... you use LOGIC....you're very dangerous...

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I see why you do not work for the FBI/NSA/TSA ... you use LOGIC....you're very dangerous...
    Have worked in conjunction with various alphabet agencies in another lifetime.

    Then as now, I deal in FACTS.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Deliberately misquoting, including misleading paraphrasing, and taking remarks out of context to make them seem to say something not intended is not nice.

    What I said was in the Scouser/Henrico/Brandishing thread and was limited to the content in that thread regarding the Brandishing law - not to "any weapons charge." Even at that, I only suggested that "specific intent" would make the CA decision whether to prosecute or not much easier. There was no assurance given, no promise made.

    The "Grapeshot Doctrine" is honesty, accuracy, and integrity. I demand that of myself - I expect no less from others.
    What proof can you offer that I was "deliberately" misquoting? Please understand I assume no burden of proof; you do. Thank you.

    Within the context of the Sandra Jones interview, Mr. Burwell said "I didn’t threaten anybody" so there is no intent to commit any evil act. That's good; I believe Burwell. Trespass, when it's potentially defiant trespass, is a different matter. I do hope he's treated well.

    I would prefer "The Grapeshot Doctrine" (which was not meant as an offense, anymore than, say "The Redskins") as a welcome improvement over what we appear to have now. My concern is that the consequential reality of the Esteban opinion is contrary to what we would prefer.

    Judge Benton wrote an important dissent in the Court of Appeals opinion. He writes:
    As we have observed, "[t]he existence of a mens rea is the rule of, rather than the exception to, the principles of Anglo-American criminal jurisprudence." Id., at 436 (internal quotation marks omitted). See also Morissette v. United States, 342 U.S. 246, 250 (1952) ("The contention that an injury can amount to a crime only when inflicted by intention is no provincial or transient notion. It is as universal and persistent in mature systems of law as belief in freedom of the human will and a consequent ability and duty of the normal individual to choose between good and evil").
    That is quite profound. Now, one may suppose the infirmity imposed by our Supreme Court can be remembered with a legislative fix to code Section 18.2-308.1, but who do you suppose would turn up to testify against such a fix? Besides the police lobby?

    From Esteban, here is the mentality that poisons the reality:
    Clearly, the intent underlying Code § 18.2 308.1(B) is to assure that a safe environment exists on or about school grounds. Manifestly, the General Assembly recognized that the presence of a loaded revolver on school property creates great dangers for students, teachers, and other school personnel, either from the accidental or intentional discharge of the weapon. The fact that a person, under the circumstances of this case, innocently brings a loaded revolver onto school property does not diminish that danger.

    Thus, to insert a mens rea element into the offense, and to require proof thereof, would defeat the statutory purpose, which is to criminalize the introduction of firearms into a school environment. So we will not add, by implication, language to the statute that the legislature expressly has chosen not not to include.
    The "Better Safe than Sorry" Doctrine overrides what you and I might regard as Common Sense, Horse Sense, or anti-nonsense.

    I wonder if a "fix' can ever be achieved? An no, ObamaCare can never be fixed -- only scrapped.

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    Originally Posted by Grapeshot

    Deliberately misquoting, including misleading paraphrasing, and taking remarks out of context to make them seem to say something not intended is not nice.

    What I said was in the Scouser/Henrico/Brandishing thread and was limited to the content in that thread regarding the Brandishing law - not to "any weapons charge." Even at that, I only suggested that "specific intent" would make the CA decision whether to prosecute or not much easier. There was no assurance given, no promise made.

    The "Grapeshot Doctrine" is honesty, accuracy, and integrity. I demand that of myself - I expect no less from others.
    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    What proof can you offer that I was "deliberately" misquoting? Please understand I assume no burden of proof; you do. Thank you.
    -snipped--
    Yet you misquote again, selecting only the part of the whole you would seem to think makes your case.

    I do not need to prove anything, your words make my point. There was never a statement made referring to "any weapons charge" except by you.

    I had not previously called the rule. Perhaps that is in order.

    (16) NO FALSE ATTRIBUTIONS: Editing quoted posts by another member to make it appear as if they said something other than what they intended will NOT be tolerated!
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    I would LOVE to see the look on Kathy's face when I appear at the next council meeting with a holstered hatchet. Maybe a holstered saw or screwdriver. Hell, my entire loaded toolbelt with everything I might need on the job.
    Remember Peter Nap and Skidmark. Do them proud. Be active. Be well informed. ALL rights matter.

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    Hey NSA! *&$# you. Record this--- MOLON LABE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Yet you misquote again, selecting only the part of the whole you would seem to think makes your case.

    I do not need to prove anything, your words make my point. There was never a statement made referring to "any weapons charge" except by you.

    I had not previously called the rule. Perhaps that is in order.

    (16) NO FALSE ATTRIBUTIONS: Editing quoted posts by another member to make it appear as if they said something other than what they intended will NOT be tolerated!
    Regardless, there was nothing deliberate, as you seem to assert. In any case, you still assume the burden of proof.

    Since you apparently do not understand, the Doctrine was intended as a compliment. The competing doctrine, as promoted by the Statists (and Progressives), is the 'Better Safe Than Sorry' doctrine. While your doctrine promotes common sense; theirs promotes fear-mongering.

    A real problem with weapons charges, environmental charges, and a wider array of real and perceived ills, is prosecutorial discretion, especially at the federal level. See the ongoing persecution of the Reese Family.

    There are many vested interests committed to strict liability over specific intent laws. While I would prefer the rationale for specific intent you articulated in the other thread, many in the government would disagree. If you review the history of strict liability laws, going back to when Teddy Roosevelt was President, you would see the rationale they espouse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    Regardless, there was nothing deliberate, as you seem to assert. In any case, you still assume the burden of proof.

    Since you apparently do not understand, the Doctrine was intended as a compliment. The competing doctrine, as promoted by the Statists (and Progressives), is the 'Better Safe Than Sorry' doctrine. While your doctrine promotes common sense; theirs promotes fear-mongering.

    A real problem with weapons charges, environmental charges, and a wider array of real and perceived ills, is prosecutorial discretion, especially at the federal level. See the ongoing persecution of the Reese Family.

    There are many vested interests committed to strict liability over specific intent laws. While I would prefer the rationale for specific intent you articulated in the other thread, many in the government would disagree. If you review the history of strict liability laws, going back to when Teddy Roosevelt was President, you would see the rationale they espouse.
    I may have been 180 degree out on this - if so I apologize.

    The Reese Family thing is a travisty - been following it since the beginning.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    I may have been 180 degree out on this - if so I apologize.

    The Reese Family thing is a travisty - been following it since the beginning.
    I appreciate that.

    Thank You! for saying that you, among others, have been following the Reese case since the beginning. It's good that all of us care about what's happening (present tense) to them, not just was has already happened.

    Do you, or does anyone here remember the sad events of Donald E. Weiss, who used to operate the Virginia Police Equipment Company in Chesterfield? He and his whole family were persecuted by an aggressive U.S. prosecutor (bogus charges of gun trafficking and straw purchases). He couldn't take it anymore and committed suicide.

    I wonder if anyone knows who that Fed was[1]? The whole sordid mess, including publication of the suicide note, was published in the Richmond News-Leader.

    1. Hint: He later suggested OHGaM to Doug Wilder to deal with the fallout of the Batman comic book, Seduction of the Gun, propaganda alleging Virginia was the capital of gun trafficking into NYC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    I appreciate that.

    Thank You! for saying that you, among others, have been following the Reese case since the beginning. It's good that all of us care about what's happening (present tense) to them, not just was has already happened.

    Do you, or does anyone here remember the sad events of Donald E. Weiss, who used to operate the Virginia Police Equipment Company in Chesterfield? He and his whole family were persecuted by an aggressive U.S. prosecutor (bogus charges of gun trafficking and straw purchases). He couldn't take it anymore and committed suicide.

    I wonder if anyone knows who that Fed was[1]? The whole sordid mess, including publication of the suicide note, was published in the Richmond News-Leader.

    1. Hint: He later suggested OHGaM to Doug Wilder to deal with the fallout of the Batman comic book, Seduction of the Gun, propaganda alleging Virginia was the capital of gun trafficking into NYC.
    I knew Don Weiss, Hilda & their kids quite well. I taught classes there at the Firing Line and was not charged for personal range time. They were all very personable. Don was a wealth of knowlege and experience.

    The feds had an indepth case which collapsed with Don's death. Other than their prosecution being dropped, never heard more of his children - hope they succeeded in life. Hilda was independantly well off, had a great accent, and a way of making you feel special.

    No I don't remember who initiated the case, but that sure does bring back some memories, most of them extrememly good.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 10-23-2013 at 06:22 PM. Reason: added
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    I knew Don Weiss, Hilda & their kids quite well. I taught classes there at the Firing Line and was not charged for personal range time. They were all very personable. Don was a wealth of knowlege and experience.

    The feds had an indepth case which collapsed with Don's death. Other than their prosecution being dropped, never heard more of his children - hope they succeeded in life. Hilda was independantly well off, had a great accent, and a way of making you feel special.

    No I don't remember who initiated the case, but that sure does bring back some memories, most of them extrememly good.
    Richard Cullen, currently the Cuccinelli campaign spokesman.

    Although the News-Leader account is not available online, some libraries have it on microfilm. The Free Lance-Star has an account. This small article only scratches the surface.

    Neal Knox also wrote about it, An Outrage In Virginia.

    I remember where Mrs. Weiss lived, and I was sad when she had to sell her house and move. A terrible loss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    Richard Cullen, currently the Cuccinelli campaign spokesman.

    Although the News-Leader account is not available online, some libraries have it on microfilm. The Free Lance-Star has an account. This small article only scratches the surface.

    Neal Knox also wrote about it, An Outrage In Virginia.

    I remember where Mrs. Weiss lived, and I was sad when she had to sell her house and move. A terrible loss.
    Richard Cullen would be close to my last choice if I had a say.

    I didn't realize that Hilda had served any active time - thought that her charges had been nolle prossed.

    They had a very comfortable mini-estate right on the Chesterfield border - the driveway entered from Powhatan I think.

    Don once described how a person should commit suicide so as not to preclude an open casket - that was exactly the way he choose.

    Would like to see Hilda one more time - waxing nostalgic.......that was nearly 30 years ago, seems like yesterday.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Richard Cullen would be close to my last choice if I had a say.

    I didn't realize that Hilda had served any active time - thought that her charges had been nolle prossed.

    They had a very comfortable mini-estate right on the Chesterfield border - the driveway entered from Powhatan I think.

    Don once described how a person should commit suicide so as not to preclude an open casket - that was exactly the way he choose.

    Would like to see Hilda one more time - waxing nostalgic.......that was nearly 30 years ago, seems like yesterday.
    The Feds can do enormous damage if they choose. Why, almost anyone can be a ham sandwich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    The Feds can do enormous damage if they choose. Why, almost anyone can be a ham sandwich.
    This could be viewed as the precursor to Fast & Furious in many ways.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Found Guilty - will appeal

    Oh dear:

    Man who took hatchet, knife to mayor's office convicted of trespass
    A man who gained entrance to the mayor’s city hall office last month with a hatchet and a knife in his possession was convicted this morning of trespassing in Richmond General District Court.

    But Nathaniel C. Burwell, 65, noted an appeal of the 30-day suspended jail sentence imposed and the $100 fine and is due back in Circuit Court in December.

    Burwell, who lives in the 3900 block of Chamberlayne Avenue, said this morning that he uses the hatchet for small woodworking projects and did not intend to harm anyone.
    I'm sorry he was convicted. I wonder how the appeal will go?

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    The incident, though, has raised concerns about the extent to which visitors to City Hall should be checked for weapons. No such search is currently conducted.

    Live in fear is my motto mr. mayor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    The incident, though, has raised concerns about the extent to which visitors to City Hall should be checked for weapons. No such search is currently conducted.

    Live in fear is my motto mr. mayor.
    Weapons were not part of the issue. He had none available to him while in the mayor's office.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Weapons were not part of the issue. He had none available to him while in the mayor's office.
    Yes! That is 100% correct. From the news reports, he refused to leave.

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