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Thread: Got accused of Reckless Endangerment by an LEO...

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    Got accused of Reckless Endangerment by an LEO...

    Hey guys, was hoping to get some input on this. I considered myself pretty knowledgeable about my rights and responsibilities as an open carry advocate, but my first real interaction with a LEO made me realize I don't really know all that I need to. Before I begin, I know some of you guys will think I "wussed out" or didn't stand up for my rights, and maybe you're right, so I'm sorry in advance. I was on a date with my wife and I didn't want to mess up her evening, and like I said, some of the things that happened made me realize I don't know everything I should about carrying. Anyway, to the story...

    Last night I took my wife out on a date to Olive Garden, then skating at the Riverfront Park Ice Palace in Spokane. As always, I was open carrying my Kimber 1911 in a holster with a retention strap that feeds between the hammer and slide (This bit is important later). No trouble at dinner, and for the first 20 minutes or so of skating I notice a few looks at my piece, but nobody says anything. Then two official looking guys in security jackets and earpieces wave me off of the rink and ask to talk to me. One guy did most of the talking, let's call him "Jerry", and boy did he seem agitated.

    He asked why I was open carrying, as soon as I started with "It's my second amendment..." he cut me off with a dismissive wave of his hand and a "Yeah yeah, it's your damned right". Nice. He asked to see my ID. I took a long, obvious look at his "Security" badge on his jacket, and told him I wasn't required to let him see it, which seemed to piss him off even more. He informed me that he was a Spokane County Sheriff's deputy, and that I was required to show him my ID. Okay, so unless I'm operating a motor vehicle he still doesn't have the right to demand my ID, but I want to try to defuse the situation a little, so I let him see it. He hands it to his buddy, let's call him "Bobby", who walked a little distance away to run it over the radio, make sure I wasn't a dangerous criminal. (Who's ice skating with his wife. Right.)

    It's at this point that he gives me a passionate, profanity laced lecture on how open carrying is fine just when you're walking around, but when you're ice skating it's very dangerous and considered reckless endangerment. If I slipped and fell and my gun went off and killed somebody, I'd be held liable. Okay, now at no time did he ask if my gun was loaded (It was, I carry condition 1, but there's no way he could know that), and when I asked if he was familiar with the 1911 and how when there's a retention strap between the hammer and the slide there's no way in the world the gun is discharging, he was again very dismissive, he didn't care about that. He left me with the idea that it was less about public safety and more about people complaining, and him wanting to assert his authority.

    So Bobby comes back with a negative on my ID, I've never gotten so much as a parking ticket in my life. Jerry gives me an ultimatum, either take the gun off, or leave the rink. I ask point blank "You're telling me it's illegal to ice skate while open carrying?" to which he responds "Yes it damn well is illegal". Again, I believe he was in the wrong, but as the evening was supposed to be about my wife and I'd rather not end up in the back of a police car, I agree to remove the gun and put it in my car for the rest of the evening. I did ask for his card, which he had to go back to his office for, and he showed me his County Sheriff's ID which matched his name.

    So finally, here's what I'm unsure about:

    A) What is the definition of Reckless Endangerment, and is ice skating while open carrying considered so? Is there a good solid definition, or is it at the discretion of the LEO?

    B) Jerry was (seemingly) off duty at the time, working a second job as a security guard for the park. (Right? Or since he's working for the park, is that considered on duty? The card he gave me was for the Spokane City Parks and Recreation district) Can off duty LEOs require ID, make arrests, etc?

    (I know the "FREEEDOMMM" thing to do is ask if you're being detained, if not then walk away, if yes then give nothing but name and address). Depending on some answers I get here I'm totally going back some evening and making a stand when I don't have my wife or kids with me.

    I'll also be contacting the County Sheriff's office and filing a complaint, Jerry was extremely rude and vulgar, in no way acting like a public servant should.

    So do you guys have any words of wisdom, advice? I'd love to hear from some people with more experience than I have, because I'm not going to stop carrying, but I really would like to be prepared for this same situation. Thanks for sticking through the wall of text.

    TL: DR version: Ice Palace security who are also cops rudely told me I couldn't skate while open carrying because it was reckless endangerment.
    Last edited by country.hacker; 02-24-2011 at 02:39 AM.

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    Regular Member NavyMike's Avatar
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    Reckless Endangerment Definition

    Quote Originally Posted by country.hacker View Post

    A) What is the definition of Reckless Endangerment, and is ice skating while open carrying considered so? Is there a good solid definition, or is it at the discretion of the LEO?
    RCW 9A.36.050
    Reckless endangerment.

    (1) A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he or she recklessly engages in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.

    (2) Reckless endangerment is a gross misdemeanor.

    Somehow I don't think that OC while skating fits the "substantial risk of death etc" element. Maybe, if you actually had an ND.

    Apparently, the drive-by shooting part is a reference to the fact that a drive-by used to be called 'reckless endangerment in the first degree'.

    ETA: It is often used to accompany a DUI charge if children are in the car and as a domestic violence offense.
    Last edited by NavyMike; 02-24-2011 at 04:09 AM.
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    If your weapon is carried safely, i don't see how it could possibly be reckless endangerment. I ride my sport bike with a thigh rig. Before i started doing so i even checked with a local LEO and was assured I'd be fine. The guy you ran into obviously had something against OCers.

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    A) What is the definition of Reckless Endangerment, and is ice skating while open carrying considered so? Is there a good solid definition, or is it at the discretion of the LEO?
    Reckless endangerment RCW 9.A.36.050
    (1) A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he or she recklessly engages in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.
    (2) Reckless endangerment is a gross misdemeanor.

    B) Jerry was (seemingly) off duty at the time, working a second job as a security guard for the park. (Right? Or since he's working for the park, is that considered on duty? The card he gave me was for the Spokane City Parks and Recreation district) Can off duty LEOs require ID, make arrests, etc?
    In the State of Washington LEO enjoy all rights and privileges granted to them by their "commissioned status", regardless of weather or not they are "on the clock". (I dont have the cite for this right now but this is how I understand it to be.)



    .....Okay, so unless I'm operating a motor vehicle he still doesn't have the right to demand my ID.....
    You would also be required to identify yourself if the LEO was going to issue an infraction.


    As soon as he identified himself as LEO I would have asked if I was under arrest; when he said no, I would of asked if it was his intent to write an infraction for reckless endangerment.

    You were under no obligation to show ID, or to put your gun in the car. That being said you had other obligations that demanded your energy and attention that night. Sometimes we have to pick our battles, or at least postpone them to a more convenient time.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Regular Member NavyMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyMike View Post
    RCW 9A.36.050
    Reckless endangerment.

    (1) A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he or she recklessly engages in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.

    (2) Reckless endangerment is a gross misdemeanor.
    Adding a definition from Spokane City Code.

    10.11.020 Reckless Endangerment.
    A. A person is guilty of city reckless endangerment when he recklessly engages in conduct not amounting to felony reckless endangerment under RCW 9A.36.045 but which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.
    B. City reckless endangerment is a gross misdemeanor.
    [Ord. C31742; Passed: 9/30/1996]
    Cross Reference: RCW 9A.36.050.
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    a cop is never off duty not since the patriot act and leosa(law enforcement officer security act) and if people were complaining enough to where the cops had to get involved , then I would say that you used the best judgement taking it to the car or just getting it off the rink, besides , if someone started shooting then how good and controled are your shots gonna be while skating on ice. and yes the officers could have approched you in a better way. however , an arrest ( right or wrong ) is never to the good (unless you sue for big money and win) of the present cause. so i would have to say that skating with gun on ice could be looked at like running with scissors. and we are taught not to run with scissors cause that would be living dangerous. besides as for now.our goal is to get the public to feel a little safer and more relaxed around open carry, after all open carry is still skating on thin ice.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Am I being detained? Am I a under arrest?

    Skate away.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    I think you did fine considering your objectives for the evening. Have you spoken to your wife about a possible interaction, detainment, arrest? If not, now is a good time to do so....

    As to reckless endangerment, my opinion is that it would be quite a stretch as firearms are carried safely by thousands, hundreds of thousands everyday without a 'reckless discharge'. The 1911 is carried in combat, by police officers, by NRA instructors and by competition shooters under similar circumstances and without incident.

    There are certain circumstances in which I CC and will always CC... This might of been one of them. What would the off duty police officer have done had he not seen the firearm? How many CC'd firearms cause 'reckless endangerment'? Personally I may of gone to my car and either covered my firearm and gone back CC or switched to my BUG and gone back CC.

    After talking with your wife, I would recommend.... not talking to the police. "Am I being detained? Am I under arrest?" And then return to skating or walk away.
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    Regular Member John Hardin's Avatar
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    Important question: did you get a recording of the conversation?

    Regardless, file a complaint. Promptly.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Hardin View Post
    Important question: did you get a recording of the conversation?

    Regardless, file a complaint. Promptly.
    Yes, I forgot that in my post. If the officer was 'vulgar' then file a complaint.
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    Regular Member bennie1986's Avatar
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    Next spokane meet an ice skating event? Lmfao!

    Sorry you had to deal with that. I have never herd of a negative spokane sheriff interaction.
    Last edited by bennie1986; 02-24-2011 at 09:43 AM.

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    "You would also be required to identify yourself if the LEO was going to issue an infraction."


    Identify yourself, but not necessarily relinquish your ID,

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    Regular Member SnarlyWino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennie1986 View Post
    Next spokane meet an ice skating event? Lmfao!

    Sorry you had to deal with that. I have never herd of a negative spokane sheriff interaction.
    Indeed. File a complaint based on his verbal conduct. Having a recording would help substantiate a complaint like this in the future though.

    For what it's worth, I doubt I would have handled it any differently considering the circumstances. You were best not to make a scene in front of you wife unless she is prepared for that and has your back.

    Bennie is right, an OC skating party would be hilarious.
    Last edited by SnarlyWino; 02-24-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnarlyWino View Post
    Indeed. File a complaint based on his verbal conduct. Having a recording would help substantiate a complaint like this in the future though.

    For what it's worth, I doubt I would have handled it any differently considering the circumstances. You were best not to make a scene in front of you wife unless she is prepared for that and has your back.

    Bennie is right, an OC skating party would be hilarious.
    With all these picnics and skating events that are in our future we all ought to consider getting some good old fashioned "Texas Barbecue Guns" like one of these:



    And don't forget the rest of the "rig" to go with it. Fancier the better.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    With all these picnics and skating events that are in our future we all ought to consider getting some good old fashioned "Texas Barbecue Guns" like one of these:



    And don't forget the rest of the "rig" to go with it. Fancier the better.
    Hmmm.... I wonder if they would let me use the lasermark system at work...
    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    I think you did fine considering your objectives for the evening. Have you spoken to your wife about a possible interaction, detainment, arrest? If not, now is a good time to do so....
    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    I've done that. Her response is, "Just make sure I have keys to the car...."
    I have instructed family to get out their cell phones and record the interaction as well....
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    Based on the information from OP, there is a strong possibility that the security officers were employees of the parks department, and held a "Special Deputy" commission.
    As a "special deputy", normally they are only authorized to use that "authority" when accompanied by a fully commissioned officer.
    Could possibly be an "under color of law" violation as well.
    IANAL

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    Regular Member bennie1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnarlyWino View Post
    Bennie is right, an OC skating party would be hilarious.
    And we are calling it a party! Rotfl Omg I might die of laughter before the day is over! Quick someone start the spokane opencarry ice skating party meet sticky! Lol!

    BTW, I am in no way trying to minimize the seriousness of the situation or make fun of op's situation. I really do feel action is needed in this matter.
    Last edited by bennie1986; 02-24-2011 at 12:47 PM.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trigger Dr View Post
    Based on the information from OP, there is a strong possibility that the security officers were employees of the parks department, and held a "Special Deputy" commission.
    As a "special deputy", normally they are only authorized to use that "authority" when accompanied by a fully commissioned officer.
    Could possibly be an "under color of law" violation as well.
    IANAL
    You wouldn't be implying that they might be guilty of threatening someone with arrest if they continued to go about a legal activity would you? Kind of like "Coercion"? (also a violation of State Law)
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Am I being detained? Am I a under arrest?

    Skate away.
    If the "deputy" was acting as a security guard, could he still just walk/skate away? As a guard, he would have authority to eject the OP.
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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalhead47 View Post
    If the "deputy" was acting as a security guard, could he still just walk/skate away? As a guard, he would have authority to eject the OP.
    Yes, he could.

    The 'guard' would not have that authority. The IcePalace is a publicly owned facility.

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    Regular Member Thor80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by country.hacker View Post

    (I know the "FREEEDOMMM" thing to do is ask if you're being detained, if not then walk away, if yes then give nothing but name and address). Depending on some answers I get here I'm totally going back some evening and making a stand when I don't have my wife or kids with me.
    There's a few of us here in Spokane, I wouldn't call it a "stand" but if you wanna few guys to exercise your rights with I'm sure some of us could make it.

    TL: DR version: Ice Palace security who are also cops rudely told me I couldn't skate while open carrying because it was reckless endangerment.
    So with this train of thought you cant skate while CC'ing either because if you fell your gun still "MIGHT" go off.... That's some great logic on his part....

    -Torsten

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    You wouldn't be implying that they might be guilty of threatening someone with arrest if they continued to go about a legal activity would you? Kind of like "Coercion"? (also a violation of State Law)
    I don't think that I would ever "imply" that. I would rather just say it outright.

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    It may be a pain but file the complaint. It is very important this 'officer' be put on notice your action was lawful and his were not.
    irfner

  25. #25
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    To really understand your risk of an arrest for Reckless Endangerment, you need to read the standard jury instructions for the state RCW and the City code for the crime of Reckless Endangerment. It will explain all the elements of the crime the State would need to prove.

    Do the research. You can find this information.

    Your conduct leaves nothing to be desired. You were unsure, and you had your family with you. No big whoop.
    Last edited by deanf; 02-24-2011 at 01:43 PM.

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