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Thread: First LEO encounter

  1. #1
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    Went out Geocaching last night with a friend, as was OCing as usual. We ended up in a woodsy area behind Chinn (which turned out to be a PWC Park), entrance to the park had only a sign saying clean up after your pets. After wandering the woods for a while, we came out on a different path, ending up in the neighborhood behind Crown on the parkway. Long story short, there was a PWC LEO parked there, and I think we kinda spooked him, he through the spot on us. I turned back to look at the path and see the huge sign with rules... last one being Closed at Dusk. Seeing as it was about 2am... figured this could not be good. We approached the LEO, he didn't ask, but since we were in the wrong, figured we could be the good guys.

    LEO: What are you guys doing out here?
    Me: We are out Geocaching, have you heard of it?
    LEO: No.
    Me: Explained geocaching a bit, and explained the path we started on did not list the park as being closed at dusk. We just assumed it was a bike path.
    LEO: I see, you have your permit for that? (motions at my S&W)
    Me: Yes sir, I do, however, it is being openly carried, and I do not need a permit for that. <I handed him my ID and permit>
    LEO: Thank you very much, you guys get home safe.
    Me: Have a safe night.

    Now I know, I'll hear from some who disagree with presenting ID and such, but, I figured since we were in the wrong, by being the park after dark, it was much easier to just be polite and offer up. Overall, pleasant experience, he didn't exit his car, and didn't follow us on our long walk back up the parkway to Chinn where the car was parked. :-)

  2. #2
    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    I'll bet you "got off easy" because you had the permit; even though you didn't need it. I wonder what the reaction would have been if you did not have the permit. But it is nice to see the LEO didn't giveyou any hassles.

  3. #3
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    Forgot to mention, he did ask if we were out shooting stuff in the woods... i wanted to ask if he heard any gunshots... but figured that might not be the best thing... maybe he meant drugs. lol. :what:

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    I had my first encounter this week with LEO as well. Coincidentally, it was also with the Prince William PD, but I live on the west end of the county. I think many of the local departments in the area (PWC, MCPD, Fairfax as examples) are very much aware of OC these days and are trained, as best I can tell, to respond appropriately. Glad you had a pleasant encounter.

    I would not question you handing over your ID and permit to the office. Afterall, park rules say "closed at dusk". Therefore, you could have been trespassing, technically. The LEO saw the trespass and has reasonable suspicion that a trespass law was violated. So, I think he had the authority to request the ID.

    I could be totally off base here, though, since I did not specifically look up any laws or case law on the scenario, but that's how I see it.

  5. #5
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    vrwmiller wrote:
    snip...

    I would not question you handing over your ID and permit to the office. Afterall, park rules say "closed at dusk". Therefore, you could have been trespassing, technically. The LEO saw the trespass and has reasonable suspicion that a trespass law was violated. So, I think he had the authority to request the ID.
    My thoughts exactly... I mean, I could have fought a tresspass charge, my car was parked at the path where my hike started, and there was no sign saying closed at dusk.... but.... playing polite works just as well.

  6. #6
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    I think he did the right thing under the circumstances which were stacked a little against him.

    Reading this reminds me of plinking times in my youth in Woodbridge. In the late 60's, I and some friends used to travel to Woodbridge just over the Occuaquan bridge on route 1 to acounty dump (now a marina). We would take .22's, .357's, and .45ACP's and just have at it at that dump, shooting old refrigerators, TV's, you name it. Occasionally the county police would drive down the road and just "make sure" we were shoting safely, then he'd leave. Never had a problem or a complaint.

    There were a few places in Fairfax where we would do this as well, usually some wooded area with a few dumped items. Again, never a problem.


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    being that the park was closed at night ther should be signs at every entrance to the park so there would not be any missunderstanding. but the leo seems to one of the good guys.

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    robertnmjr wrote:
    being that the park was closed at night ther should be signs at every entrance to the park so there would not be any missunderstanding. but the leo seems to one of the good guys.
    Good Guy... yeah, I suppose, even though, he DID ask me for my CHP, even though I was OCing... If he was a super good guy, he wouldnt have asked. :shock:

  9. #9
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    JustACitizen wrote:
    vrwmiller wrote:
    snip...

    I would not question you handing over your ID and permit to the office. Afterall, park rules say "closed at dusk". Therefore, you could have been trespassing, technically. The LEO saw the trespass and has reasonable suspicion that a trespass law was violated. So, I think he had the authority to request the ID.
    My thoughts exactly... I mean, I could have fought a tresspass charge, my car was parked at the path where my hike started, and there was no sign saying closed at dusk.... but.... playing polite works just as well.
    Seems like a good decision to show the ID and CHP in this case. Good situational judgment.

    Some might criticize that ("your papers!") but I wouldn't. Good work.



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