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Opelousas La no OC

deepdiver

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
5,831
Location
Southeast, Missouri, USA
Thank you all for your responses. First, I am no troll, this arrest really did happen. I have absolutely no money to start a defense of this. I need a lawyer that will get the charges dropped and then take his cut from the lawsuit. I will start contacting lawyers about it from the list provided but if anyone here knows someone personally please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for coming back and replying further. I'm sure you understand that over the years we have had numerous 1-2 post members who post something concerning, get people all worked up about it and then disappear into the interwebz never to be heard from again. It was not intended as a personal comment towards you, but rather just a wait and see reminder.

I hope you find the assistance you require to sue the pants off 'em and give them some new perspective on citizen rights. Good luck!
 

Quinn Meche

Newbie
Joined
May 19, 2015
Messages
5
Location
arnaudville
No personal offense taken. I understand the concept of a troll and a shill. I will let everyone here know what happens as well as how I defend myself.
 

HeroHog

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Messages
628
Location
Shreveport, LA
Looks like Quinn has decided he can't afford a lawyer, closed his donation site, asked to resign from LOCAL and have his dues returned (which I did as soon as I got the message) and decided to represent himself. I told him about LOCA if he wanted a second opinion and that's where we stand.

Oh yeah, check this out; he sent me messages that included this (emphasis mine):
...because you chose to put it out there I will now have to represent myself instead of having a decent lawyer.

Here is my article in its entirety:
Did This City Unlawfully Arrest a Man for Exercising his Rights?
http://buzzpo.com/gun-rights-update-did-this-city-unlawfully-arrests-a-man-for-exercising-his-rights/
In short, yes BUT there is more to the story. I was initially made aware of this case over on the OC Dot Org (OCDO) forum: http://forum.

The poster stated that he was “arrested for Open Carrying” which is kinda true. I offered LOCAL’s help and contacted him by phone. To verify the guy’s background before we committed to help, we ran a background check which came back squeaky clean and this was a VERY thorough check that even included Social media data.

Here’s the bad news, he was at a movie theater and apparently asked to take his Openly Carried gun to his car. He refused and stayed in the belief that he was within his rights.to do so. At this point the manager called the police. Our advice to everyone is: “When asked to leave or to take your gun to your car, politely LEAVE right then! Do NOT stay, argue, or quote the law, just leave otherwise you open yourself up to a trespassing charge.”

Here is why we got involved; Opelousas has this law which predated preemption and which they claim makes Open Carry illegal and we disagree.

§ 18-8.1 OPELOUSAS CODE § 18.10
Sec. 18-10. Weapons-Carrying concealed.
Whoever shall carry within the corporate limits of the city, a weapon or weapons concealed on or about the person, such as pistols, bowie knives, dirks, razors, or any other dangerous weapons, shall on conviction thereof, suffer fine or imprisonment, the fine not to be less than fifty dollars ($50.00), nor more than one hundred dollars ($100.00), and imprisonment not to be less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the city judge, provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to sheriffs, and their deputies, constables, city police officers and the city marshal, when in the actual discharge of their official duties. (Ord. No. 1, § 1,1-19-23)

Please note the word Concealed right there in the law. We believe that that restricts this law to ONLY those weapons that are carried Concealed and that it has no effect on Open Carry in the least.
Here’s another issue with this case, the police arrested him for “failing to leave when asked” AND “Carrying a Concealed Weapon” when he was asked to leave for Open Carrying and, according to all reports we can find, never concealed his gun!

The guy is seeking an area lawyer and has deleted his initial posts of the event at the urging of the members of OCDO. He is, like most of us, broke and could use some assistance. To that end, he has set up a donation page at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/defending-the-rights-of-citizens#/story if you would like to help him fight the bogus charge that Opelousas is using to harass him for “having the gall to carry a gun in their city.”

Yes, he had the part where they asked him to take his gun to the car wrong (IMHO) but he was 100% legally Openly Carrying his gun and the city of Opelousas needs to learn a hard lesson about hassling people who are acting within their rights! What are YOUR thoughts on helping him?
I STILL support him on the BS "Illegal Concealed Carry" charge and at least one LOCAL member donated to his cause. LOCAL was working on donating to him as well until he broke ties with us and expressed... "ill will" between us.

This is where we (LOCAL) are. Form your own opinions.
 

sraacke

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2008
Messages
1,217
Location
Saint Gabriel, Louisiana, USA
I received an email from him saying that he would be refunding the donation I made to his legal defense.
I told him to keep the money and to not get discouraged.
I offered what encouragement I could. I tried to let him know that even though he made a mistake by not leaving when asked he can use this to educate other gun owners how important to know the laws and to learn by seeing what he is going through. I used the example of Tex Grubner shooting himself in the leg on YouTube and all of the hate and personal attacks he dealt with. But Tex stood up, admitted his mistake and took responsibility and used it as a teaching moment for others.

He replied that as soon as the theater manager is put on the stand he will win his case.
They were so interested in arresting me for the firearm they didn't speak to him until after I was in the car. I was not refused service, I was not offered my money back to leave. My money was taken. I was sold tickets then asked to disarm. The manager doesn't have the right to make me disarm he has the right to refuse me service.
Uhhh, no. At anytime they can walk up, tap you on the shoulder and say "take it out to your car". Yes he bought a ticket but that does not make him immune to company policies or the whims of the management.

We (LOCAL), and I in particular, offered encouragement and even sent money to assist him. Our advice was not welcomed. So, since we are not the people he wants help from we recommended that he try the "I will not comply" guys over at LOCA. Maybe the "I will not lie down" guys there can tell him what he wants to hear.

Tomorrow is payday and I was going to send another small donation. Since he has stopped taking our donations I will support someone else who made a mistake and needs help.
I've already donated to
http://www.gofundme.com/pardonsteffonjosey
and will do so again.
Steffon was working as an armed courier and was in line to be hired as a police officer when he was pulled over and realized he had his loaded pistol in his glove box. He notified the police officer, his gun was confiscated and he was told to pick it up the next day. When he showed up to get his gun he was slapped with a felony and is facing 5 years in prison. His first lawyer screwed him and told him to take a plea deal even thought there was a moratorium on arrests for this exact crime. He got another lawyer and is appealing and trying to get a pardon from Gov Cristie.
 

cjbiv

New member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
23
Location
Republic of West Florida (the Louisiana part)
You did NOTHING wrong, HeroHog.
Mr. Meche came on this site, told part, not all, of his story and ASKED for help. His lack of candor is what sunk his ship.

I, myself, had put almost everything else in my life on hold in an attempt to help this guy. I was racking my brains with ways to bring meaningful attention to what I thought was his plight; only to learn that what I believed to be the situation was not the situation. (Thus, my consternation when I learned the truth of the matter.)

Mr. Meche, I'll give you some advice, and I think it is pretty good advice.
If you can't afford a private lawyer, go with the public defenders office.
What I suspect is going to happen is the following: the DA will offer to drop the ICC charge if you plead guilty to the trespassing/remaining after being forbidden, or whatever it is that they charged you with for being in that movie theater. (The judge will probably give you probation, assuming you don't have a record.)
IF NOT, when it comes to the illegal CC charge, simply DO NOT plead guilty. If the DA does not drop it, make him take it to trial. You will win on that count. You will NOT win on the trespass/remaining after being forbidden charge. You are guilty of that.

One caveat: I do NOT know if there are any laws dealing with being armed while trespassing/remaining after being forbidden. But, if there are, you certainly don't want the DA to amend the charge to a more serious offense (the DA can amend a charge if the facts justify it.) I would suggest you get your attorney as soon as you can and jump on this matter. Get ahead of the curve on this. Don't do nothing and hope it will just go away. (It won't.)

Best of luck to you; I truly hope things work out as well as they can for you.
 

Quinn Meche

Newbie
Joined
May 19, 2015
Messages
5
Location
arnaudville
Stop assuming you know.

Both charges dropped.
District attorney determined Opelousas Ordinance 18-10 DOSE NOT forbid open carry.
District attorney determined, BASED ON FACTS, that I WAS NOT remaining after forbidden.
There was a reason I didn't post everything and that is because I could not explain everything.
I was asked to put the gun in the car. I told the manager I would not be disarmed. He stated that if I did not put the gun in the car he would call the police. I demanded my money back so I could leave. He called the police. He did not include that part on the statement issued to the police.
 

HeroHog

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Messages
628
Location
Shreveport, LA
I'm very glad it worked out for you and that the DA used a little (un)common sense. This will help the next time these idiots try this. Where do you go from here? Any plans for a lawsuit?
 

cjbiv

New member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
23
Location
Republic of West Florida (the Louisiana part)
Both charges dropped.
District attorney determined Opelousas Ordinance 18-10 DOSE NOT forbid open carry.
District attorney determined, BASED ON FACTS, that I WAS NOT remaining after forbidden.
There was a reason I didn't post everything and that is because I could not explain everything.
I was asked to put the gun in the car. I told the manager I would not be disarmed. He stated that if I did not put the gun in the car he would call the police. I demanded my money back so I could leave. He called the police. He did not include that part on the statement issued to the police.

Good for you; I am glad it worked to your advantaged.
Even considering this new information, you are lucky you had a seemingly reasonable DA/ADA working your case. There are those who are not reasonable and who would have not hesitated to try and convict you of something. You may think there was no way you could possibly have been convicted of anything; but, it happens.
As an aside, if I were to ask for assistance by telling a narrative, but left out detail, I'd indicate such. But, to each his own. As I said, good for you.
p.s. Going to expunge your arrest record?
 

cjbiv

New member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
23
Location
Republic of West Florida (the Louisiana part)
"stop assuming you know"(?)

Both charges dropped.
District attorney determined Opelousas Ordinance 18-10 DOSE NOT forbid open carry.
District attorney determined, BASED ON FACTS, that I WAS NOT remaining after forbidden.
There was a reason I didn't post everything and that is because I could not explain everything.
I was asked to put the gun in the car. I told the manager I would not be disarmed. He stated that if I did not put the gun in the car he would call the police. I demanded my money back so I could leave. He called the police. He did not include that part on the statement issued to the police.


I didn't assume anything; I analyzed your situation based upon the facts you provided; if you left out pertinent facts, then you left out pertinent facts.
Best of luck to you.
 

cjbiv

New member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
23
Location
Republic of West Florida (the Louisiana part)
Final thought

I am very happy Mr. Meche's case went the way it did; although I am surprised it went the way it did.
Although the "Illegal Carrying of a Weapon" charge (or whatever Opelousas titles it) was a bogus charge, because the elements of the crime did not exist on the face of the ordinance, the same cannot be said for the "Remaining After Being Forbidden" charge. Those elements did exist. (I am going by the facts recounted in the statements made by Mr. Meche in his earlier posts; if salient point or details were omitted, I cannot help that.)

This brings me to my point of concern (and why I stated Meche was lucky to have that particular DA/ADA working his case.) We (OCers) should not have a false understanding of the law. When we are told to leave, we have a legal obligation to leave. There is no exception in the law for people to remain because "they want a refund", or they want to finish lunch, or get something, or go to the bathroom or whatever. If you are told to leave, and you don't, you face lawful arrest, lawful prosecution and lawful conviction; even if you have a claim to something on the property that you are told to leave.

I am not saying that you loose you claim to "a refund" or whatever the claim is; you still have that. But, your claim to remain on the property does not trump the demand that you remove yourself. Ocers should understand this. Yes, it sucks to be over a barrel like that, but that is the current state of affairs. Maybe it will change one day(?)


As far as to why the DA dropped the "Remaining ..." charges against Mr. Meche, I cannot say. But, unless there are still unrevealed pertinent details, it is not because the elements of the crime didn't exist. DA/ADAs can drop charges for a host of reasons: elements don't exist; elements exist, but conviction unlikely; political considerations/ PR considerations; low priority case, given the DA's overall case load; DA is sympathetic to the defendant's plight etc., etc., etc.
You get the idea.

I would love to know what the reaction of the OPD is to the DA dropping the "Illegal Carrying Charge", especially Sgt Jody White's thoughts. Also, is there anyone in the Opelousas area who is willing to go to the courthouse and read the record for the purpose of providing additional info for our benefit? I am busy all the time, but when I get a chance I will call the Clerk of Court to see if the case is available online (probably not).

All in all, except for the arrest, this case went well for the OCer.
 
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cjbiv

New member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
23
Location
Republic of West Florida (the Louisiana part)
"Diversion" or "Dismissed Outright"?

Hello Mr. Meche.

I was wondering, was your "Remaining After Being Forbidden" charge dismissed outright (for instance, because of lack of evidence or lack of probable cause?), OR were you placed on "Diversion" with the charge TO BE dismissed only upon successful completion of the "Diversion program"?
I ask, because those are two very different things. In one, the DA doesn't have a case; in the other, the DA has a case, he's just giving you a bit of a break, throwing you a bone, so to speak.

Just wondering; I guess I'll try to get a copy of the case record.

Either way, good luck.
 

davidmcbeth

Banned
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
16,170
Location
earth's crust
Hello Mr. Meche.

I was wondering, was your "Remaining After Being Forbidden" charge dismissed outright (for instance, because of lack of evidence or lack of probable cause?), OR were you placed on "Diversion" with the charge TO BE dismissed only upon successful completion of the "Diversion program"?
I ask, because those are two very different things. In one, the DA doesn't have a case; in the other, the DA has a case, he's just giving you a bit of a break, throwing you a bone, so to speak.

Just wondering; I guess I'll try to get a copy of the case record.

Either way, good luck.
More accurate: judge's approve diversion programs, not DA's. One can get a diversion with a prosecutor jumping up and down for a trial. Sometimes a DA with think he has a case but a judge will approve a diversion program to save him embarrassment of going to trial (and save the citizen some $$$).
 

cjbiv

New member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
23
Location
Republic of West Florida (the Louisiana part)
Fallschirmjager-
I received an email saying you had posted a response to my last post, and it listed the post. But when I came to this page there was no post? Something happen?

DAs, not judges, offer "diversion" to defendants. Judges can sometimes monitor a diversion program, but "diversion" is under the control of the prosecuting authority. (It comes from the DA, not the judge.)

And yes, DAs can force judges to sit for trial, that is how it works. It is the DAs that brings a criminal matter to trial, not the judge (nor the defendant), but the DA. The DA doesn't have to offer "diversion", the DA doesn't have to offer a "plea deal". A DA can take a matter to trial if he/she wants. And yes, the judge has to sit there.
 

HeroHog

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Messages
628
Location
Shreveport, LA
There IS a way to pull up the actual trial results for free and review them. I did that back when this went down and the "remaining" charge was NOT fully dismissed as I recall. I am looking for the records now. If anyone finds them, PLEASE post a link to them here.
 

Fallschirjmäger

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
3,826
Location
Cumming, Georgia, USA
Fallschirmjager-
I received an email saying you had posted a response to my last post, and it listed the post. But when I came to this page there was no post? Something happen?
Yes, something happened. I did my due diligence and found that my post was incorrect, all within about 10 seconds. I deleted same (without knowing you had notifications, of course.)
 
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Grapeshot

Legendary Warrior
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
35,347
Location
Valhalla
Yes, something happened. I did my due diligence and found that my post was incorrect, all within about 10 seconds. I deleted same (without knowing you had notifications, of course.)
Once you click "Submit Reply" the email notification will go out - you will never be fast enough to stop it. You may want to edit these in the future to avoid confusion.

BTW - the reply is still there, just not publicly viewable.
 
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