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Article posted Jun 20 2007, 3:57 PM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: Stephan Orsak Print

Man Arrested for Riding His Bike Home From an Airport

by Stephan Orsak

Here are the salient facts of this case:
I was leaving MSP airport by bicycle after a flight from California. I was legally operating my bicycle completely in accord with MN statutes and MAC airport ordinances. I was following all posted signs. There were NO signs at that time prohibiting bicycles. I was rudely accosted by an officer in a passing squad car, came to a stop, and was immediately threatened with mace and taser if I didn't get off the bike and up on the curb. I did not understand the reason for this outrage.
I calmly yet firmly protested the threats, and said that I was happy to abide by all laws that applied, but asked what I had done wrong and why the process was so immediately belligerent. Officer Wingate said 'You can't ride here'.
I asked where that was posted. Officer Wingate made a vague gesture in the direction of the Lindbergh terminal and angrily said 'back there'. I asked for specifics of where it was and what the sign said, and tried to explain that I had been to the airport many times and had never seen such a sign. Officer Wingate became more angry at this questioning of his authority, and burst out 'I'm *telling* you you can't ride here'. I never raised my voice, used profanity or made threatening gestures yet I was threatened again: 'I'm going to mace you, I'm going to tase you!'.

I told Officer Wingate that he was being rude to me, and as I said that, I read his name clearly aloud off his shirt and asked to speak with his supervisor. At this, he took a step back and changed his tone for the better. He asked if I worked at the airport. I answered 'no' and explained that I had just come in on a NW flight from California. He asked where I was going. I said I was on my way to St Paul to see my family. He asked how I planned to get there. I explained my planned route out of the airport that completely avoids the highway, using the service roads, connecting to Post Road and then the bike trails in Fort Snelling State Park. Officer Wingate said, 'Well, I see you've done your homework. *Just this once* I'll let you ride out along here', referring to the one-way service road that parallels the main airport egress, but traveling against the marked flow of traffic, and that connects to Post Road, Fort Snelling, and so forth.

I replied 'OK, that's fine, but what do I do the next time I come to the airport, because I don't want to go through this again?'
The notion that I was even thinking of ever operating my bicycle again at the airport brought back Officer Wingate's anger in full force. He vehemently replied, 'NO, you're going to *WALK* your bike to Post Road'. I asked what had changed all of a sudden. The one way service road is rarely traveled, a walking cyclist is twice the width of a riding one and with more limited control and you would be on the road 10 times longer. I stated that I saw no problem with doing what he had just said, as there was no traffic at all on the road. Officer Wingate then blurted, 'NO, you're going to *walk your bike back to the terminal and take public transportation*'.
This last order was clearly not in the interests of my safety, but was delivered in a vindictive and punitive way. I would have become a pedestrian (illegal), double the width of a normal cyclist, walking back against 2 to 3 lanes of oncoming traffic on the main airport egress road with no sidewalks, blind walled curves allowing no margin of safe retreat from the road, and regular posts and pillars along the small curb that is there. I stated what was obvious: 'that's ridiculous, that would put me at risk'. Officer Wingate then ordered me to 'get on my knees'.

I replied that that was absurd, that there was no basis for that as I wasn't doing anything threatening to him. I stated again, 'You are being rude to me and I want to speak to your supervisor'. Officer Wingate then said, 'Look, you're wasting our time. We were on a call to the Humphrey Terminal for a runaway teenage girl, and we would have been there by now.' I completely agreed that it was a waste of time for everybody. I noted that I was not being cited for any violation, nor told any statute that I had violated. I explained that I would follow the first and most reasonable, safety-wise, of the conflicting orders given to me, and then said 'I'm going to wish you both a good evening, and hope the rest of it goes better than this has gone.' I then got on my bike and began to leave.

I was instantly and with absolutely no verbal warning whatsoever attacked from behind and thrown to the ground. I received wounds to chin and arm. The impact put a new casing crack on my helmet. My glasses were thrown off by the impact and bounced several feet away. The bicycle continued to roll forwards a few feet, coming to a stop in the center of the road. (A gold van would later have to stop, because the bike was crumpled in the middle of the one lane road.) Officer Wingate then came up behind me and jerked me up into a standing position. I then heard him yell an order to Officer Bryant- 'Shoot him!'. Officer Bryant then shot me with the taser. I fell uncontrolled to the pavement for the second time, experiencing the full force of a weapon that can only be considered barbaric. (There are many documented deaths by taser. For this reason police departments do not consider it a 'non' lethal weapon, but a 'less' lethal weapon. It was developed to be used in lieu of a gun, as a weapon of last resort when a person is seriously threatened. Needless to say, I did not give permission for this to be used on me as part of the exercise, nor was I asked in advance if I had any medical history that could have led to my death. Only after the fact, in the hospital, was I asked my medical history.)

As I lay still on the pavement, Officer Wingate walked over to my glasses and smashed them into the ground with his boot. I was handcuffed, body searched and baggage searched. Reinforcements were called in, a total of (4) squad cars and a paramedic unit.

Officer Wingate said, 'Well, you wanted to speak to my supervisor, here he is'. I then asked Sergeant Karsnia 'What in the world is going on here?' He also wanted to know from me what had happened but said 'first, I'd like to speak to my officer, and then I'll get back to you'. He had a private conversation with Officer Wingate, came back, asked what had happened but immediately interrupted me and said 'Look, I'll do the talking here because you tried to take a swing at my officer'. At this point the collusion was clear. I then had no reason to believe that the brutality was over. As I stood on Outbound Rd next to the squad car, handcuffed, I called out 'Help!' to all passing traffic, hoping to draw attention to the situation, and in hope of a witness. No cars would stop. When ironically asked to 'calm down' I explained to Sergeant Karsnia that I wanted a third party present, as I no longer had reason to trust the police. At no time did I physically resist arrest.

After being taken to the hospital, I was again in the squad car. At this point Officer Wingate was calm. I asked him if he *really* thought that I was going to take a swing at him. I think this caught him off-guard, and he replied, a bit hesitatingly and somewhat sheepishly, that in police work any gesture has to be interpreted as potentially aggressive. In demonstration he put his fist to his chest, and said 'you never know when someone could put their hand like this, and then suddenly strike out'.

My California driver's license passed with flying colors- I have no criminal record, and no recent moving violations. The Minnesota test also passed with no violations or adverse history of any kind.
I was put in Hennepin County jail, and on the entry form the box was checked that I should be detained WITHOUT bail, because I was 'likely to commit another crime'.
I was thus held without charges and without bail. The admission process was intentionally made to take over 8 hours, so I could legally be held through the long weekend to an arraignment on Monday. Everything was taken from me. I could only make collect calls to numbers I had remembered. It was impossible with this arrangement to even leave a message on a message machine.
Police photographs were made that night of a series of 'NO PED XING' signs and a lone 'AUTHORIZED VEHICLES ONLY' sign that is buried in the transit hub, and not even visible from the road. That is the photo 'evidence' against me.
24 hours later I was released on a negotiated $2000 bail, reduced from an intermediate $10,000. (note- Vikings player Travis Taylor in an incident earlier this year, was released in 45 minutes on a $50 bail.)

Sergeant Karsnia had by now reviewed the CCTV video evidence and made a margin note ordering the video evidence from 5 cameras burned to disc. My personal request for video evidence was never answered by Airport Police. There are over 800 CCTV cameras at MSP Airport. The system was substantially upgraded after 9-11. Police are now claiming through the prosecution that I didn't show up on any camera.

I was kept in limbo for one month, then finally charged with (6) counts, including a Gross Misdemeanor of Obstructing Legal Process 'with force or violence or threat thereof'. (see the CASE SUMMARY link for details on all the counts).

Four months later, new signs prohibiting bicycles are installed by police without the knowledge of the Metropolitan Airports Council.

I think the underlying circumstance of the incident is clear. I later learned that the threatening officer, Officer Wingate, had taken his oath of office less than 3 years previously. The squad car driver, Officer Bryant, had taken his oath of office less than 3 weeks before. To begin with, Officer Wingate probably doesn't like cyclists. He was also likely showing off to the younger recruit, using me as ready educational fodder, demonstrating how immediate threats of violence can quickly force the compliance of a suspicious person. He became angry when I legally questioned the legitimacy of it all. Is this what his education taught him? Is this courtesy, respect and professionalism? Hubris and unchecked authority are a volatile combination, and should have no place in a peace officer who has taken an oath to 'serve and protect'.

An altogether illegitimate police stop cannot trump our Constitutional Rights. If this is not the case, then any officer for any whim whatsoever could blurt out (4) warnings to anybody's grandmother that they 'will be tased', and then do it if they don't like being disagreed with. It would be hard to imagine a clearer definition of a police state.

At the very least MSP Airport Police are in violation of the U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights Amendments IV and VIII, Metropolitan Airport Council Ordinance 58, discrimination and profiling of a cyclist, flagrant violation of the MN police policy manual's stated force continuum policy, collusion and embroidery of police narratives to support a Complaint against an innocent person supported by spurious and irrelevant evidence, posting of new signs without due notification of the appropriate authorities and the likely destruction of key CCTV video evidence that would make the truth of what happened clear to all.

I remain committed to the peaceful and lawful resolution of these issues. For whatever reason I am truly glad to have no anger over the matter, but this is fully replaced by a heightened concern for everybody of what the precedent could be from the outcome of this case. On one level this is a personal case for me, and an important test of cycling civil rights, but at an even deeper and more profound level it is about the Constitutional Rights of all of us and whether we will allow them to be trod upon.

With thanks to the many voices of support,

Peace and best wishes to all,

Stephan Orsak

More complete details may be read in the CASE SUMMARY.

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Comments 41 - 52 of 52 Add Comment < Page of 3

Posted: Nov 14 2008, 11:59 AM

7667 Do Unto Others as You Would have Done Unto You. Your case is quite clear. You were infringed upon for NO Reason! You acted Peaceably & were forth coming. Court action should be applied here to teach them a good lesson & make them pay for it. You did ! Your Fee Schedule (if you have one)can be applied here from the minute he stopped you. You are under obligation to inform the officer of your Fee Schedule,and to let him determine if he so wishes to pursue it further,after all "He" stopped You !!!. We are Above the Law , it is what we Stand on & Enforce as Our Duty for Equality for all. I Answer to No One but my Father ! No One is going to Determine for Me What I Do.I Break No Law ....and i will have No Law Break Me ! I Honour the One Law , My Father's Law , Honour Thy Father. I See my Father in all thing's and i honour all those thing's he has given unto me for my use. When Good Intention is shown forth right in honouring all thing's there is Never any dishonour....but when Dishonour is shown ,I shall Do My Duty in submitting it down to my Father's Law ! God's Speed & May Peace Be Within You & within Us All . tY******

Posted: Dec 02 2008, 8:24 PM

71251 This is rediculous but why not just walk your bike until officer A-hole leaves. "Yes, officer I'll walk from now on". Cop leaves, "Fugg off officer I'll ride". You can not beat the law, you can not question the law, you can not correct the law. You are a citizen of the law.
However stupid these police officers are, they are going to win by law.

Posted: Dec 07 2008, 5:05 PM

7187 if one wishes to operate in a more or less disobedient manner towards law enforcers or peace officers in the U.S. i believe it is very important to go through all of the proper private and public procedures to notify your legal/lawful/ and commercial position with any persons you intend to have interaction with.

Then in the actual event give the agent who is questioning you notice that you have these things on file with his/her superiors. If they still insist on detaining you or demanding further performance or compliance, warn them that they will be held personally liable for any actions found to be unwarranted. Be polite, and if they still insist, i would comply with their demands and warn them again that you are doing so under duress. Then follow up with your action and let them find remedy for their actions!! :P

if one doesn't wish to do all this work then i see no LEGAL reason why these agents are being in dishonor to your rights or their duties.

Posted: Dec 07 2008, 5:48 PM

7187 why was my post deleted? hmmmmm..

what is so peculiar about it is that there were zero swear words, and it more or less explained that the officers are working within their limits because the "victims" have not properly notified the agencies who employ these officers that they reserve their rights then the proof of acknowledgment which should be in existence in the private, and that fact publicly recorded.

that's all i will say here lest this one be deleted also...

Posted: Dec 07 2008, 10:50 PM

Nothing was deleted on my end. We have a policy and I'm the only one who deletes stuff, post whatever you want, like we say in our policy copy what you write just in case some error occurs.

Posted: Feb 23 2009, 10:35 PM

7610 Don't Talk to Cops

Part 1:
Mr. James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School and a former defense attorney.

Part 2:
George Bruch from the Virginia Beach police department responds to Professor James Duane's presentation on why innocent people should never talk to the police.

Posted: Mar 11 2009, 1:34 PM

205188 Me and my 8 year old son were taking one of our nightly walks around the immidiate area where we live (in Florida) the other night. We went to the local convinience store for a gallon of milk and some candy. We sat on the curb next to the store for about 10 minutes and gnawed on the candy we got. My son got a sugar rush and started acting out scenes from the movie, "Friday The 13th" in the grassy area next to us. He never saw this movie before, just previews on TV. Well, I thought this was amusing and decided to get a couple of video clips of him doing this. I take lots of video clips of adventures that me and my son go on. After about 10 minutes we left and started walking along the side walk towards our home. Out of no where.. a police man pulled up, stopped his cruiser, got out and called us over to him for questioning. Right away I could see that my son got scared. My son already doesn't like the cops cause his mother gets pulled over a lot and is always bitching about the cops saying their out to get her... The pig, I mean cop... started asking my son who I was and where he lived. I was pissed off at this point. He then asked me to produce some identification. I told him I didn't have it on me and said, "what are you doing this for anyway?" He claimed that someone came up to him and said that I was taking inappropriate pictures of the minor that was with me and with all that's going on... ya never know ?", he said. I should have said, 'No.. what's going on that I should know about ?" Instead I agreed with him and said, 'ya I guess ya never know' I was kind of nervous myself. He then said, " You still haven't told me your name." "Well, you never asked you fucking doush bag !" (just kiddin) I told him my name and he then started to get into his lecture about why I should carry my I.D. on me at all times. I interupped him and said, "Well, if ya get your pen ready I'll tell ya my DL# and you can look it up." He looked shocked that I had my DL# memorized and said, "go ahead" I read it off to him real quick and he ran off to check it. I bet he was hoping it was wrong so he could come back and arrest me for giving false information. When he got to his cruiser I turned to my son and said, 'let's get away from this loser before he starts shootin at us.'... and we walked off and never saw him again. I almost went to the police station the next day to complain about him but I just blew it off.
I still might do it and bring my kid with me. I don't want my kid growing up scared of the cops, it's just gonna cause trouble for him.
Anonymous gunman

Posted: Jun 15 2009, 7:06 PM

8642 [Post Deleted: Read out comments policy, no threats]
a Son's of God filledwithstarz

Posted: Aug 25 2009, 2:16 AM

24102 /<now where of what tho Speak.....for it shall be Your Word
...and Your Word is Your BOND by Birth Right of The Father
I Live within my God Given Right !
"//() one" has AUTHORITY over me , except my Father !
I am my Brother's Keeper
I stay my hand against him.
I Honour First LAW
I Live by Golden Rule.
As God witnesses me thru Your Eye's.....
God also witnesses You thru mine.
"Get Behind Me satan(ego) you have //() PO//ER ]-[ERE ! "

****][//***God's***BLeSSings ***&***SPeeD****to You All****

Posted: Dec 20 2009, 7:57 PM

7665 dont worry about it , they will be killed but first we will fuk there dauthers in the ass in front of them so they can feel the love they have . But like i said first they need to see there dauthers get fuked then a bullet in thier head to finish off thier contamintated minds , hey authority figures r forgetting the second law , so its ok to kill em.

Posted: Jun 19 2012, 12:03 AM

68168 I have had two encounters with the Mpls Police department, both were exaggerated responses to minimal offenses. My first encounter was a random check, off of airport property mind you, near super target in Richfiled. I was on my way to pick up supplies for my kids schools staff appreciation breakfast the next morning. My trip didnt end with berries and bagels instead my vehicle was towed because the officer did not understand my temporary permit nor did he bother to listen me or read the document. My license checked out, my insurance checked out, I could not understand where his hostility was coming from but I recall that he was overly aggitated. The prick had no compassion, no remorse, he was completed convicted in his so called duty and would not be reasoned with. He told me i could get out of the car or get arrested. I forced to walk away, left to find my own way home In the dark on the highway carrying my grandsons car seat. The prick had no compassion, no remorse, he was completed convicted in his so called duty and would not be reasoned with.

When I heard about the story with the bicyclist I was appalled and at the same time justified with my own experience. I can totally see this happening and these so called Peace officers are I. Compete contradiction of thier positions. They do Indeed fit the profile of what the commenter Urrelles describes. These guys and females get off on playing super cop at the airport. They are poor excuses for enforcement and the worst examples for abuse of power. There is a definite buddy system prevalent and the checks n balances are obviously corrupt so there is no one watching.

My other incident involves helping my daughter and grandson to the door with heavy bags, they were moving out of the country for good and we were saying goodbye, I turned away from my vehicle only momentarily in the drop zone, other cars were parked there as well, when I turned to get back in my vehicle there was a foot officer radioing my plate into his walking talkie and he ordered me to get in my car and wait. I was again accosted and rudely treated,white they had me wait 20 mins for "back up" which came in the form of one suv, an undercover and two other officers gathering at the scene. I wa treated like some kind of threat, far from it. I was a tearful mother in house clothes saying goodbye to my loved ones. There were many witnesses shaking thier heads at the unjust behavior of the officers. They had observed my family and me parting ways at the door. Most were employees and staff who agreed that my situation did not call for such aggression but they too seemed oppressed and helpless to speak out. It was pointless and when I asked to speak to a supervisor I too was denied that right. I'm now curious to know if there are other stories like ours. I'm certain ther are. Do you ever wonder why they asked you if you worked at the airport Stephan? Do they treat the various airport employees badly too? I sense there is much more to uncover there. The sytstem calls for a closer authoritive inspection and they should all be tested for drugs because they are way too jacked up on adrenaline to be straight. I hope,sue the shit out of them Stephen!

Posted: Sep 28 2013, 3:21 PM

6687 Try listening next time.
Comments 41 - 52 of 52 < Page of 3

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