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Thread: Anonymous 911 call leads to innocent man held at gun point

  1. #1
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    Generally, the UHP does a pretty good job. But I think they way over-reacted to an anonymous call. Glad nobody had an ND while pointing a gun at an innocent man. But unless the caller is tracked down and punished if this was intentional, looks like a convenient way to get the State to make life miserable for anyone you think cuts you off or otherwise offends you in traffic. Don't call in a DUI. Call in a "man with a gun". And in that regard, a little scarey for all the legal gun carriers.

    Charles




    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=9231042


    NEPHI -- A Nephi man is speaking out after he was stopped by police on the freeway in Utah County, ordered out of his truck at gunpoint and handcuffed on the ground. In the end, it turned out he had done nothing wrong and troopers were only following up on a 911 call.

    The Utah Highway Patrol says it was only responding to the 911 caller who told dispatchers a man was armed with a gun and was fighting with a woman in the truck. He even gave the license plate number and gave troopers updates on their current location on I-15.

    The caller, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the 911 dispatcher, "He's been waving it. It looks to be a .45-caliber. He's been waving it around the last couple of miles." [CLICK HERE to listen to portions of the 911 calls released to KSL. The license plate information has been cut out per UHP policy.]

    As it turned out, it was an unarmed man with his parents. Brent Boswell said they were frightened to be stopped by armed troopers in what, until then, had been a peaceful Christmas night.

    Boswell said he cooperated with the troopers, who at gunpoint, had him drop his keys out of the truck, then walk backward in the dark and get on the ground. He was then handcuffed and kept on the ground for several minutes, until troopers determined there was no threat.

    "I kept saying I know they were only doing their job and they were professional," recalled Boswell. "I have some questions about as to why they put so much credibility into what seems to be an anonymous phone call, and I have some questions about why I was lying on the ground for as long as I was."

    Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Nigbur said, "We're not going to apologize for what we did. We have to respond that way, and there's no other way to respond to that, we just have to do it that way. But we also feel for him and his inconvenience and the things he had to go through. It's not fun to be pulled out by gunpoint, and it's not fun to be handcuffed."

    The highway patrol declined our request for the dash-camera video of the traffic stop until the investigation is finished. So far, investigators have not been able to determine who made the 911 call.

    The Boswells say they aren't planning any lawsuits against the highway patrol but do want to see a statewide policy change in how these mistaken felony stops are handled after the fact.
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
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    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    I hope they find the caller and punish him, if not this could be the next way to get back at someone who cuts you off, takes your parking space, etc...

    "it looks like a .45 caliber"??? I sure wish that I could see good enough to determine the barrel size of a gun that someone is holding in a car 30 feet infront of me in the dark, with the barrel not even pointing in my direction. :?the guy was obviously spouting bs

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    Anonymous police reports ought to be ignored. No legitimate complainant ever has a reason to remain anonymous.

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    marshaul wrote:
    Anonymous police reports ought to be ignored. No legitimate complainant ever has a reason to remain anonymous.
    I don't know that they need to be completely ignored. But they need to be treated as being far less reliable than a report where a caller gives his full name and contact or even one where the complaintant is willing to swear to the truthfullness of his report under penalties of perjury.

    A stop to make sure someone wasn't being held against her will may have been in order. But it should have been handled differently.

    In any event, just imagine if this poor guy had actually been in legal possession of a gun, much less any firearm that looked like a .45 such as a standard 1911.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    marshaul wrote:
    Anonymous police reports ought to be ignored. No legitimate complainant ever has a reason to remain anonymous.
    How will Sixth Amendment provisions be upheld against an anonymous accuser?

    "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

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    utbagpiper wrote:
    Generally, the UHP does a pretty good job. But I think they way over-reacted to an anonymous call. Glad nobody had an ND while pointing a gun at an innocent man. But unless the caller is tracked down and punished if this was intentional, looks like a convenient way to get the State to make life miserable for anyone you think cuts you off or otherwise offends you in traffic. Don't call in a DUI. Call in a "man with a gun". And in that regard, a little scarey for all the legal gun carriers.

    Charles




    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=9231042


    NEPHI -- A Nephi man is speaking out after he was stopped by police on the freeway in Utah County, ordered out of his truck at gunpoint and handcuffed on the ground. In the end, it turned out he had done nothing wrong and troopers were only following up on a 911 call.

    The Utah Highway Patrol says it was only responding to the 911 caller who told dispatchers a man was armed with a gun and was fighting with a woman in the truck. He even gave the license plate number and gave troopers updates on their current location on I-15.

    The caller, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the 911 dispatcher, "He's been waving it. It looks to be a .45-caliber. He's been waving it around the last couple of miles." [CLICK HERE to listen to portions of the 911 calls released to KSL. The license plate information has been cut out per UHP policy.]

    As it turned out, it was an unarmed man with his parents. Brent Boswell said they were frightened to be stopped by armed troopers in what, until then, had been a peaceful Christmas night.

    Boswell said he cooperated with the troopers, who at gunpoint, had him drop his keys out of the truck, then walk backward in the dark and get on the ground. He was then handcuffed and kept on the ground for several minutes, until troopers determined there was no threat.

    "I kept saying I know they were only doing their job and they were professional," recalled Boswell. "I have some questions about as to why they put so much credibility into what seems to be an anonymous phone call, and I have some questions about why I was lying on the ground for as long as I was."

    Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Nigbur said, "We're not going to apologize for what we did. We have to respond that way, and there's no other way to respond to that, we just have to do it that way. But we also feel for him and his inconvenience and the things he had to go through. It's not fun to be pulled out by gunpoint, and it's not fun to be handcuffed."

    The highway patrol declined our request for the dash-camera video of the traffic stop until the investigation is finished. So far, investigators have not been able to determine who made the 911 call.

    The Boswells say they aren't planning any lawsuits against the highway patrol but do want to see a statewide policy change in how these mistaken felony stops are handled after the fact.
    What a pity they wouldn't sue---I would have no problems suing the police--none whatsoever.

    The police have far far too much authority. ANON 911 calls should never be answered.

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    When I call in a homeless guy begging for money on a freeway exit (which by the way UHP) told me it is fine for someone to sit out there and beg for money.

    Anyways, I give a description and I always give my phone number, they always ask for a phone number, and I give my name with out them asking first, so they know i am serious.

    Ever go into a gun store and look at a gun and even though you are only 2' way from the gun in the light of the store and you have to ask the clerk, what caliber is that gun?

    The dispatchers must get trained and feel out hoax like this.

    Dispatcher training 101

    Caller: Man has a gun .45 cal., and he isbeating his wife!

    Dispatcher: Gets car, make, model, LP# etc. What is your phone # and name? How do you know it is a .45 caliber gun? Why did you pull that out of your ?

    Caller: I rather not give my name or phone #

    Dispatcher: Why because you are full of

    Caller: hangs up!

    This students is how we handle BS hoax phone calls as a dispatcher! We do not want to make the Police chase crap calls like that, but instead chase after drunks and drug runners, and big trucks with bad brakes. It is our job to make sure the public is safe and tax payers dollars are not wasted, and innocent people do not get the scared out of them when some COP puts a gun in their face.

    I am going to get a 9mm 9x18 P64 Radom, I would like to see someone driving 70 miles an hour place that size barrel.

    What if that was you or I and we did have a gun, I would say it is not true my gun is a .40 Caliber thus the caller was mistaken!

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    utbagpiper wrote:
    marshaul wrote:
    Anonymous police reports ought to be ignored. No legitimate complainant ever has a reason to remain anonymous.
    I don't know that they need to be completely ignored. But they need to be treated as being far less reliable than a report where a caller gives his full name and contact or even one where the complaintant is willing to swear to the truthfullness of his report under penalties of perjury.

    A stop to make sure someone wasn't being held against her will may have been in order. But it should have been handled differently.

    In any event, just imagine if this poor guy had actually been in legal possession of a gun, much less any firearm that looked like a .45 such as a standard 1911.

    Charles
    I agree. What I don't understand is why they didn't have the caller's phone number via Caller ID. Caller ID is pervasive everywhere, including on cell phones. If the caller blocked their number, then one more reason to suspect a bogus call.

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    I was wondering the same thing...

    If it was a "go phone" or prepaid phone, then it couldn't be traced back to anyone that easily.

    Cell phones that aren't activated can still call 911, but they don't have a phone number attached to them.

    I hear that if you have TMobile or AT&T, you can take out the sim card, and call 911 (pretty much the same as not having an activated cell phone where they cannot trace it) I don't know if this one is true or not...

    But yeah, If someone was making claims like someone is waving a gun around fora couple of miles and the caller "can tell" what caliber of gun it is, and won't give his info and has a blocked number/no number, I would call BS

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    Contrast the article that's the subject of this thread with this one from today as well: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=9235186

    Folks, there's a balance point in there somewhere. How to find it is the big key.

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    Don't know why they wouldn't take action against the Utah Highway Patrol. See Florida v. J.L. (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...;invol=98-1993). "Held : An anonymous tip that a person is carrying a gun is not, without more, sufficient to justify a police officer's stop and frisk of that person."

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    Statkowski wrote:
    Don't know why they wouldn't take action against the Utah Highway Patrol. See Florida v. J.L. (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=000&invol=98-1993). "Held : An anonymous tip that a person is carrying a gun is not, without more, sufficient to justify a police officer's stop and frisk of that person."
    They did have more than that. They had a tip that a person was fighting with someone and waving a gun around.

    Still anonymous, though. Supposing he did have a gun in the truck, what then? The presence of the gun would make the caller's story plausible, but what are they going to do about it? How can they charge and prosecute him with no evidence? In court, an anonymous tip would be treated as hearsay. To make that "testimony" admissible, they'd have to have the caller come in and testify.

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    marshaul wrote:
    Anonymous police reports ought to be ignored. No legitimate complainant ever has a reason to remain anonymous.
    Every law-enforcement agency that I can think of has an anonymous method for citizens to provide information regarding crimes. There are some legitimate reasons for this. Some people live in gang-controlled neighborhoods where the repercussions for being a "snitch" can literally be deadly. I support these people being able to anonymously tip the police to crime taking place in their neighborhoods.

    Like you, I am also angered by the people who call in when there is no danger of repercussion to them and report what seem to be violent crimes and refuse to give their name and contact information. The whole "I don't want to get involved"mentality is ridiculous since they have already involved themselves by making the phone call. It also makes it more likely that the criminal will get away with the act since, as another member so wisely pointed out, the criminal has the right to confront witnesses against them. Failure to be willing to take part in the justice system is to me as un-American as not supporting any other of our Constitutional rights. I am with you on this one, if you witness a crime report it, give your name and contact information, and be willing to testify in court as to what you saw, if it comes to that. That is what a patriotic American does in my eyes.

    However, there are still people out there who do not want to get involved and just want to report what they see and let someone else deal with it. I strongly disagree with them, but if there were a violent crime in progress in that vehicle and these were the only people who saw it and reported it, at least they did part of their patriotic duty.
    I am reminded of a case that took place in Florida. A young mother was kidnapped from her home at gunpoint, taken to the kidnapper’s home, repeatedly raped and sodomized, transported to one of the kidnapper’s relative’s homes in order to retrieve a shovel, and driven deep into the woods. She was then made to watch while her own grave was dug, raped again as punishment for screaming to alert other vehicles of her plight, executed with a gunshot wound to the eye in order to make sure she saw it coming, and then buried. During the time she was being transported she had already been reported missing and there were citizens who were reporting that they had seen a vehicle going down the road with a woman who appeared to be trying to escape and was screaming for help. These people were kind enough to give their contact information. However, what if they had not been and the police would have been able to get there in time to save this young woman based on an anonymous tip?

    I think if the police are responding to a good faith report of a crime where someone's life may be in danger, they have to respond, whether the report was anonymous or not. We cannot let people who do not want to get involved risk the lives of other citizens. In fact, we must require our police to respond to such calls.

    Imagine the outrage if the police had received an anonymous call, such as this one, had deemed it to be a bogus report, decided not to respond, and it had been a young woman taken against her will, assaulted, and perhaps even murdered. I can assure you that I would be far more upset about that scenario than this one.
    The person who made this call was clearly a knucklehead. However, if I were stopped, apprehended, and detained by the State Troopers, treated professionally, and released after the investigation and proved fruitless, I’d be far less offended than that nothing were done at all. Law enforcement is not my enemy provided they respect my Constitutional rights.
    To sum this all up, and I feel that I need to since I tend to ramble, the problem lies with the person making the report and failing to be willing to give their contact information and not with what the police response was. It sounds like they had reason to believe that there was a violent, armed man inside the vehicle and they took the appropriate steps to make sure that no one got hurt. Let us not forget, nobody was hurt. I hate to see any of these cases happen as much as anyone, but this was by far the lesser of the two evils. I do not want a dispatcher deciding which calls are worth responding to and which ones are not. Now that would be dangerous!

    WOW! I have just given everyone something to pick apart. This should be interesting.:celebrate

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    The cops get a call about a man using a gun in a threatening manner. Had they reacted any other way, they'd have been way behind the curve had it been a legitimate complaint. This type of false report is becoming a new tactic of certain low lifes.

    Rather than making the cops risk life and limb by screaming at them about gestapo tactics, until they respond with no show of force on "man weilding gun in a dangerous manner" calls, it looks like it's time to make the penalty for calling one like this in a straight up bad news proposition.

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    The anonymous caller committed assault with a deadly weapon using a cop as proxy and should be charged with the crime and not just with submitting a false report. Now they just have to identify the real perp.

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    Francis- BINGO!! Right there.

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    Good Points, but other than telling on your nieghbor for his dog barking all night, why not give your name?

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    Francis has hit the nail on the head. +1. Assault with a deadly weapon by proxy unless the report was an honest, good faith mistake.

    Let me offer a counter perspective to the false dichotomy presented by kirk and 41mag. Both argue (at least implicitly) that the only choice is for police to either ignore anonymous calls, OR to make a full up felony stop every time someone anonymously reports a driver threatening with a gun.

    There is a third option (and maybe a fourth or fifth). Make a stop to investigate but do so without automatically pointing loaded guns at people who may well have done nothing wrong.

    Some years ago while driving to work a police officer pulled in behind me and turned on his lights. I knew I'd done nothing wrong so was a little surprised. I pulled over and as is my habit, had my license, registration, and insurance card ready as he walked up to my window.

    Only then did I notice he had his hand on his holstered firearm and had stopped in a defensive position slightly behind me. He said, "Please keep your hands on the wheel where I can see them for a few moments." I complied and he proceeded to walk up to the front of my car where he quickly examined the front of my car all while keeping a close eye on me and his hand on his firearm.

    He then relaxed, took his hand off his gun, walked back to my window and explained, "I'm sorry for the problem. We've had a hit and run and from the back, your car matched the description. However, from the front end it is obvious this is not the car that was involved. Thank you for your cooperation. Have a nice day." And with that he was back in his cruiser and headed out, I presume, to look for the hit and run car.

    Now I recognize that a hit and run is not exactly the same as someone being armed and dangerous. My point is simply that it looks to me like a police officer can make a stop where the person may be dangerous and do so in such a way that protects the officer without needlessly subjecting the suspect to the danger, trauma, or invasion of being drawn down on and handcuffed.

    I'd have been pretty upset had I been handcuffed, had a gun pointed at me, or forced to lie down in the street in any but my worst work-in-the-yard clothing. As it was, the entire stop lasted less than 2 minutes and I continue to hold in my mind an image of a consummate professional, doing his job while both protecting himself and respecting the public.

    The stop in this news story did not happen on some rural road where back up was 30 minutes or more away. There were not multiple, independent calls about a mad man waving a gun around or shooting at people. The one caller refused to give his name despite following the guy for several miles.

    Yes, an investigatory stop should have been made. NO, it was not justified to do so as a full felony stop, guns drawn, and forcing a man face down on the ground.

    Charles



    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    See JL v Florida. Anonymous tips have NO predictive value where firearms are concerned.

    Also Harlow v Fitzgerald 457 U.S. 800. ALL public officials are required as a matter of law to be aware of the law which governs their individual actions.

    The person stopped here probably has a good case for 1983 action.

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    Francis Marion wrote:
    The anonymous caller committed assault with a deadly weapon using a cop as proxy and should be charged with the crime and not just with submitting a false report.* Now they just have to identify the real perp.
    I agree

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    4sooth wrote:
    See JL v Florida. Anonymous tips have NO predictive value where firearms are concerned.

    Also Harlow v Fitzgerald 457 U.S. 800. ALL public officials are required as a matter of law to be aware of the law which governs their individual actions.

    The person stopped here probably has a good case for 1983 action.
    I agree. See http://virginiaduilawyer.clarislaw.c...en-driving.php(reporting that the US S. Ct. declined to review decision of the S. Ct. of Va. to suppress evidence of anonymous tip that a driver was drunk).

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    This is intresting..... Around this same time a few days before or after. We were driving on Redwood Road No toward Eagle Mount, Lehi cross roads and there was a Mustang Red, from Cali. Driving erratically and almost hit a snow bank he was infront of us, when I decided I had better do something I called 911 and told of the car, they knew who I was because I had called long time ago on some one drinking a beer in there car. Anyway gave them all info and that I saw a patrol car right before Smiths had someone pulled over the 911 dispatch said "Are you willing to sign a complaint?" I said "Are you kidding me I'm on my way out to Herriman for x-mas celebrations" she said they could not do anything about it unless I wanted to sign a complaint. The Drunk kept driving about his biusness. I'm just glad he went in a different direction.Hope noone died because of him,,,,,:X

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    mymokie wrote:
    This is intresting..... Around this same time a few days before or after. We were driving on Redwood Road No toward Eagle Mount, Lehi cross roads and there was a Mustang Red, from Cali. Driving erratically and almost hit a snow bank he was infront of us, when I decided I had better do something I called 911 and told of the car, they knew who I was because I had called long time ago on some one drinking a beer in there car. Anyway gave them all info and that I saw a patrol car right before Smiths had someone pulled over the 911 dispatch said "Are you willing to sign a complaint?" I said "Are you kidding me I'm on my way out to Herriman for x-mas celebrations" she said they could not do anything about it unless I wanted to sign a complaint. The Drunk kept driving about his biusness. I'm just glad he went in a different direction.Hope noone died because of him,,,,,:X
    Dispatch typically would be asking if you were willing to sign a complaint in the event that LEO located the vehicle but did not see anything that justified THEM stopping the driver.
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

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    41 Magnum wrote:
    The cops get a call about a man using a gun in a threatening manner. Had they reacted any other way, they'd have been way behind the curve had it been a legitimate complaint. This type of false report is becoming a new tactic of certain low lifes.

    Rather than making the cops risk life and limb by screaming at them about gestapo tactics, until they respond with no show of force on "man weilding gun in a dangerous manner" calls, it looks like it's time to make the penalty for calling one like this in a straight up bad news proposition.

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    caverat wrote:
    Francis Marion wrote:
    The anonymous caller committed assault with a deadly weapon using a cop as proxy and should be charged with the crime and not just with submitting a false report. Now they just have to identify the real perp.
    I agree
    I am not familiar with that law. Does it actually exist? Doesn't the cop actually have to shoot the person for it to be an assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, murder, or is just pointing a gun at someone assault with a deadly weapon. I guess I don't know the law on this one.

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