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Thread: response to complaint against rangers at radnor lake

  1. #1
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    DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION
    TENNESSEE STATE PARKS

    CUSTOMER COMPLAINT

    NATURE OF COMPLAINT Mr. Embody requested to file a complaint about how he was treated during an incident at Radnor Lake State Natural Area. Mr. Embody stated that while he was visiting Radnor Lake on 12/20/2009, that he was stopped by a Ranger because he was carrying his handgun. Mr. Embody stated that he possessed a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit. Mr. Embody’s complaint was related to how he was stopped and detained and the amount of time that he was detained.

    Mr. Embody stated that he was walking a trail near the east end of the lake, when he was stopped by a Ranger, the Ranger stated that he needed to check his handgun carry permit. Mr. Embody showed the Ranger his handgun carry permit and was allowed to continue on his walk. When he got to the West end of the lake, Mr. Embody was approached by another ranger with a shotgun and was ordered to the ground. The Ranger, which he believed to be the Park Manager, removed his handgun and then detained him for two and a half hours, before returning his handgun and allowing him to leave the park. Mr. Embody wanted to know why the Ranger approached with a shotgun and ordered him to the ground and why he was detained for two and a half hours.

    Michael Robertson 12 / 21 / 2009 12:08 Hours

    Complaint Taken By Date Time


    Mike Carlton 12 / 21 / 2009 13:30 Hours

    Complaint Given To Date Time








    REVIEW OF COMPLAINT:


    Mr. Embody’s complaints were reviewed and the following was determined:

    Mr. Embody was on Radnor Lake State Park carrying an AK-47 Pistol, which was carried on a two point sling, with the handgun resting on Mr. Embody’s chest. Ranger Josh Walsh was the first Ranger to approach Mr. Embody. Ranger Walsh stated that he noticed that the weapon that Mr. Embody was carrying had an orange tip, and he initially thought it was an AirSoft “toy” gun. He asked Mr. Embody if he was carrying a AirSoft Gun. Mr. Embody stated that it was not an AirSoft gun, but a real AK-47 handgun, and that he had a Handgun Carry Permit. Ranger Walsh requested to see the permit. He stated that he did not think that the AK-47 was a legal handgun, and that he would have to check that out. Ranger Walsh called Park Manager Steve Ward by phone to inform him of the incident. Park Manager Ward, considering Public Safety and Ranger Safety decided that it was best not to continue the encounter with Mr. Embody at the current location. He instructed Ranger Walsh to allow Mr. Embody to continue on his walk to the West parking lot, and to follow Mr. Embody. Park Manager Ward would be at the West parking lot and they would address the incident at that location which was better from a public safety perspective. Ranger Walsh then requested assistance from Metro Nashville Police.

    Park Manager Ward took action, based on the information provided to him by Ranger Walsh and park visitors who had complained about Mr. Embody and the weapon he was carrying. He had concerns that the AK-47 weapon was not a legal weapon, that the weapon had been altered to resemble a toy (orange tip on firearm) for unknown reasons, and that Mr. Embody was in violation of TCA: 39-17-1307 Illegal possession of a weapon, which could be a felony offense. Park Manager Ward, based on his training and consideration of Public Safety and Officer Safety, made the decision, when he encountered Mr. Embody, to conduct a felony stop, in accordance with Departmental training. Park Manager Ward, detained Mr. Embody, secured the AK-47 weapon, and checked him for any other weapons. Metro Nashville Police provided assistance in the detention of Mr. Embody and the investigation of the incident. Initially officers involved were going to write Mr. Embody for violation of TCA: 39-17-1307 illegal possession of a weapon and to confiscate the weapon until a court date. Mr. Embody’s insisted that the AK-47 weapon was a legal handgun, and he requested to talk with a police supervisor. It was determined that the most appropriate action would be to further investigate the legality of the weapon before citing Mr. Embody and releasing him. After contact with a Metro Police Sergeant, the Night Court Judge, and finally an ATF agent, running serial numbers on the weapon, and checking with the manufacture, it was determined that the AK-47 weapon that Mr. Embody was indeed a legal handgun, and did meet the requirements of the Tennessee Handgun Carry permit. Mr. Embody was then released. The time to investigate and make the determination took approximately 2.5 hours.

    ************************************************** ************************************************** ****

    The internal review determined that Park Manger Steve Ward, had probable cause to believe that Mr. Embody was in violation of TCA: 39-17-1307 Illegal possession of a weapon, due to the fact that it appeared that he was carrying a AK-47 semi automatic rifle that had been altered to resemble a toy for unknown reasons. While not illegal, altering a weapon to resemble a toy gave officers reason to approach this incident with more caution. The weapon was carried on a shoulder sling on his chest which allowed Mr. Embody easy access to the weapon. The combined circumstances gave Park Manager Ward concern for public safety and officer safety. Park Manager Ward acted within his training and in accordance to TCA: 39-17-1351 section (t). Which states the following: (t) Any law enforcement officer of this state or of any county or municipality may, within the realm of the officer’s lawful jurisdiction and when the officer is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer’s official duties, disarm a permit holder at any time when the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the permit holder, officer or other individuals. The officer shall return the handgun to the permit holder before discharging the permit holder from the scene when the officer has determined that the permit holder is not a threat to the officer, to the permit holder, or other individuals provided that the permit holder has not violated any provision of this section and provided the permit holder has not committed any other violation that results in the arrest of the permit holder.

    As to Mr. Embody’s complaint concerning being detained for two and a half hours. It has been determined that Park Manager Ward was acting within Department guidelines and in accordance with TCA: 39-17-1351. Mr. Embody was detained until Park Manager Ward could determine that Mr. Embody was not a threat to the officer, to the permit holder, or the other individuals present at the park. Park Manager Ward was also acting in accordance with TCA: 39-17-1351 section (n) (2) by verifying that Mr. Embody was in possession of a firearm which was legal and which he legally owned, which is a requirement of the Handgun Carry Permit. The length of detention was also affected by Mr. Embody’s request to speak to a supervisor (which he was informed would extend the detention) and the immediate lack of information available to officers on the scene about the AK-47 Pistol and its’ qualification as a legal handgun.





    Shane Petty, Chief Ranger 12 / 29 / 2009 11:00 Hours

    Review Conducted By Date Time



    Michael Robertson, Park Area Manager 12 / 29 / 2009 11:00 Hours

    Review Conducted By Date Time



    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


    ACTION TAKEN TO CORRECT COMPLAINT:


    No action taken: Officers acted with reasonable caution and within the scope of their training.


    Complaint is determined to be unfounded


    Report Approved by:


    Mike Carlton, Assistant Commissioner01/07/2010

    Tennessee State Parks Date



  2. #2
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    Response to complaint to rangers behavior at Radnor lake



    1. After the first ranger let me go I lost sight of him and I passed several other hikers. If the first ranger thought I was a safety hazzard why didn’t he ask me to put down my weapon at that point instead of letting me walk past several other hikers?

    2. The color of a firearm is not regulated by federal, state, or any other law. I told the first ranger immediately that it was a real handgun.

    3. Interior pockets were searched by ranger ward not a mere frisk.

    4. I asked several times to be released they continued to detain me.

    5. At around 4:45 I called metro dispatch and requested to know why I was being detained.

    6. If the rangers and police had probable cause to hold me why didn’t they know the laws regarding barrel length? If they did not know the law how could they have had PC?

    7. Why did the police try and charge me with a crime when they didn’t know the definition of a handgun?

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    How long we gonna beat this horse?



    Me thinks painting up a gun to look like a toy and packing a weapon that is borderline pistol/machine gun is why you were detained.













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    Rugerp345 wrote:
    How long we gonna beat this horse?



    Me thinks painting up a gun to look like a toy and packing a weapon that is borderline pistol/machine gun is why you were detained.

    Youaren't interested in seeing the official reply to the complain that is fine. Maybe someone else may be interested.

    In the rangers own words, "He had concerns that the AK-47 weapon was not a legal weapon, that the weapon had been altered to resemble a toy (orange tip on firearm) for unknown reasons, and that Mr. Embody was in violation of TCA: 39-17-1307 Illegal possession of a weapon, which could be a felony offense."

    If they thought it was a felony why not measure the handgun and see if it meets the definition of ahandgun in TCA 39-11-106? Why keep me 2.5 hours? Don't they need to know the law before they detain me 2.5 hours for a felony?

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    kwikrnu wrote:
    Rugerp345 wrote:
    How long we gonna beat this horse?



    Me thinks painting up a gun to look like a toy and packing a weapon that is borderline pistol/machine gun is why you were detained.

    Youaren't interested in seeing the official reply to the complain that is fine. Maybe someone else may be interested.

    In the rangers own words, "He had concerns that the AK-47 weapon was not a legal weapon, that the weapon had been altered to resemble a toy (orange tip on firearm) for unknown reasons, and that Mr. Embody was in violation of TCA: 39-17-1307 Illegal possession of a weapon, which could be a felony offense."

    If they thought it was a felony why not measure the handgun and see if it meets the definition of ahandgun in TCA 39-11-106? Why keep me 2.5 hours? Don't they need to know the law before they detain me 2.5 hours for a felony?
    Nope. Just RS to believe that a crime was being committed.

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    brboyer wrote:
    Nope. Just RS to believe that a crime was being committed.

    If you say the reasonable suspicion is the carry of a rifle, don't you think the ranger needs to know the definition of a rifle? According to TCA 39-17-1301 a rifle has a shoulder stock.The definition of a handgun in TCA 39-11-106 is a weapon made to be fired with one hand and less than a 12" barrel. If you don't know the definitions you can't have RAS.

    My handgun didn't have a shoulder stock or any provision for a shoulder stock. My handgun was designed to be fired with one hand (no shoulder stock) and the barrel was 10.5 inches.

    It is my contention that the ranger did not know the definitions, did not attempt to measure the handgun, and did not attempt to look up the law. It could have been cleared up within 5 minutes if they simply looked up the law. They made a big deal and tried to "get me" when they had no basis for the stop. Other than to possibly check my carry permit which was done by the first ranger.



    In fact the report goes one step further and claims that, "The internal review determined that Park Manger Steve Ward, had probable cause to believe that Mr. Embody was in violation of TCA: 39-17-1307 Illegal possession of a weapon, due to the fact that it appeared that he was carrying a AK-47 semi automatic rifle that had been altered to resemble a toy for unknown reasons."

    So, these guys are claiming they had probable cause to believe I was carrying a rifle, because it didn't have a stock and it had a 10.5" barrel.

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    Youaren't interested in seeing the official reply to the complain that is fine. Maybe someone else may be interested.


    Nope. Not really. Anybody with a little common sense already knew what the reply would be. You were being detained while they figured out if your toy painted Rambo gun was legal or not.

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    Thats some B.S. dude

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    Why, becauseof this bozoadding fuel to the anti's fire by carrying his disquised chopped down rifle slung across his chest? Bet he even had the camo sweatband around his head like Rambo. Just because I "could" carry a AK with a 100 round drum mag and extended bayonet to the church picnic doesn't mean I should.

    And if I did, I surely wouldn't be confused when they called the police to check me out.

    Guess this says it all: It has been determined that Park Manager Ward was acting within Department guidelines and in accordance with TCA: 39-17-1351.

    Looks like the Rangers got the last word this time. NUFF SAID!







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    Rugerp345 wrote:
    Why, becauseof this bozoadding fuel to the anti's fire by carrying his disquised chopped down rifle slung across his chest? Bet he even had the camo sweatband around his head like Rambo. Just because I "could" carry a AK with a 100 round drum mag and extended bayonet to the church picnic doesn't mean I should.

    And if I did, I surely wouldn't be confused when they called the police to check me out.

    Guess this says it all: It has been determined that Park Manager Ward was acting within Department guidelines and in accordance with TCA: 39-17-1351.

    Looks like the Rangers got the last word this time. NUFF SAID!







    .
    What did you think the response to the complaint was going to be? Of course the cops do not criticize their own. Especially when they have a lawsuit coming their way.

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    see i don't care if he was in full tactical gear and had 6 of them. the park carry law was a big thing in the news everyone knew about and the park rangers should have taken it upon themselves to know what defines a pistol all types. yes they had a right to stop him and what they should have done has check # onthe gun, check his permit, and got a tape measure outto see if the barrel was under 16" if everything checked out then send him on his way. it should take maybe 15-20 minutes



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    Yeah, maybe you are right.

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    XD.45 wrote:
    see i don't care if he was in full tactical gear and had 6 of them. the park carry law was a big thing in the news everyone knew about and the park rangers should have taken it upon themselves to know what defines a pistol all types. yes they had a right to stop him and what they should have done has check # onthe gun, check his permit, and got a tape measure outto see if the barrel was under 16" if everything checked out then send him on his way. it should take maybe 15-20 minutes

    The first ranger saw my permit, he agreed on audio recording it was a handgun, he let me go and I walked freely past several hikers andI lost sight of the ranger. If he thought I was a safety hazard why didn't he pull his gun then? It is because they got together after and made up the story. He didn't have a conversation with the other ranger while I was with him. I have him on a recording. However, he had 20 minutes to get the story straight as we walked seperately to the west parking lot. At no time during the first hour from 4:30-5:30 or so did the rangers or police measure the ak pistol. They just filed out the arrest citation and tried to get me to sign it telling me it would be easier that way. It would have been easier if they knew the law they were trying to enforce. No shoulder stock=no rifle. Felony take down for what reason? They knew I had a permit. They knew I wasn't a threat, if I was I wouldn't of had a nice conversation with an armed ranger who let me go. There would of been at least one person hanging around who said I threatened them at gun point.

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    thats messed up big time

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    Those of you not being the slight bit constructive with your replies can seriously just not say anything. I am fairly sure it is against board rules to openly antagonize for no other purpose.


    Leonard. If there are significant discrepancies between what the ranger has filed, and he actual events as they occurred, and you have sustainable PROOF, then yeah, it is time to get an attorney.
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    I hope you were not expecting any other outcome from your detention complaint--it was a given that the police are going to side with their own--people vs police--police will be believed regardless.

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    It did seem like a waste of time filing the complaints. I would of thought they would have at least apologized for the detention and pointing a gun at meafter they knew I had a handgun carry permit.

    Case # 3:10-cv-00126 , Middle Tennessee District Court 6th Circuit







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