Electroshock Education

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Man gets the stun gun treatment for walking his dogs off-leash.

A Montara man walking two lapdogs off leash was hit with an electric-shock gun by a National Park Service ranger after allegedly giving a false name and trying to walk away, authorities said Monday.

The park ranger encountered Gary Hesterberg with his two small dogs Sunday afternoon at Rancho Corral de Tierra, which was recently incorporated into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, said Howard Levitt, a spokesman for the park service.

Hesterberg, who said he didn’t have identification with him, allegedly gave the ranger a false name, Levitt said.

The ranger, who wasn’t identified, asked Hesterberg to remain at the scene, Levitt said. He tried several times to leave, and finally the ranger “pursued him a little bit and she did deploy her” electric-shock weapon, Levitt said. “That did stop him.” . . .

Witnesses said the use of a stun gun and the arrest seemed excessive for someone walking two small dogs off leash.

“It was really scary,” said Michelle Babcock, who said she had seen the incident as she and her husband were walking their two border collies. “I just felt so bad for him.”

Babcock said Hesterberg had repeatedly asked the ranger why he was being detained. She didn’t answer him, Babcock said.

After shocking him, the ranger did at least call paramedics. Then she arrested him. The park only recently started requiring dogs to be on a leash. Apparently, the ranger was merely trying to provide the man a service.

The ranger was trying to educate residents of the rule, Levitt said.

Lesson learned, I guess. Note too that the ranger is the only person in the story not mentioned by name.

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71 Responses to “Electroshock Education”

  1. #1 |  picachu | 

    We live in a police state-lesson learned.

  2. #2 |  Anthony | 

    How did she know it was a false name if the man didn’t have ID on him?

  3. #3 |  John P. | 

    They never published the names of Gestapo Agents either…

  4. #4 |  Chuchundra | 

    I just want to say that I fully support tasering a-holes who walk their dogs off leash.

  5. #5 |  Difster | 

    And she didn’t taze/shoot the dogs? Incompetence!!

  6. #6 |  (B)oscoH | 

    @#4: Lapdogs, a real threat to… other lapdogs.

    @#5: You try tazing a Maltese from more than 6 feet away.

  7. #7 |  Whim | 

    “The ranger, who wasn’t identified, asked Hesterberg to remain at the scene.”

    The scene of WHAT, may I ask?

    Walking a dog without a leash?

    How is not using a leash a Federal Offense? It may be a violation of a park rule, but something that leads to 50,000 watts run through Hesterberg’s body?

    The ranger will be identified in Mr. Hesterberg’s Excessive Force civil suit that will in all likelihood follow…..

  8. #8 |  Dave | 

    Equally disturbing are some of the comments defending the ranger and praising the electro shock, because of Hesterberg’s non violent refusal to participate in an insane situation.

  9. #9 |  Steamed McQueen | 

    Do not question us citizen. Comply or suffer the consequences.

    Every time something like this happens and there is no accountability on the part of LE, they become bolder and more arrogant.

    At what point do we the people finally say ‘enough’?

  10. #10 |  Cynical in New York | 

    #8

    After reading so many police abuse cases here on this site, comments like those are of no shock to me. In the minds of authoritarians, the word of a blue clad badge wearing thug is on par with the word of God and those who question it are labeled as terrorist loving, liberal, communist, illegals and so on.

  11. #11 |  Aresen | 

    So, parks are now “re-education facilities”.

  12. #12 |  tim | 

    Why does a ranger even have a stun gun? Unruly deer?

  13. #13 |  Chuchundra | 

    Park Rangers in a national park are law enforcement officers, empowered to detain and arrest people who violate the law on park grounds.

    When an LEO catches you breaking the law, even a minor one like jaywalking or walking your dogs off-leash, and you proceed to:

    1) Act in beligerant manner
    2) Give a false name
    3) Walk away when the LEO when they inform you you are being detained

    It’s going to end badly for you every time.

  14. #14 |  Mike T | 

    Situations like this are why I could never say unconditionally that it is wrong to hit a woman.

  15. #15 |  nigmalg | 

    Chuchundra,

    The end result doesn’t jive with the “non-criminal” infraction here. The man walked his ankle biters without a leash and was shot with a less-lethal device for allegedly breaking his detainment.

    On paper, this is justified. In reality, this is insane.

    It was more important to solidify the absolute police state than apply a dose of reasonableness to the individual infraction. We have hundreds of thousands of federal and local laws. On paper, I could be detained several hours per day with accidental violations on a regular basis.

  16. #16 |  Robert | 

    People who walk their dogs off leash are assholes! Sure, you’re dog may be sweet and well behaved, but that doesn’t mean your dog knows how to get out of the way of an oncoming biker, or that you will be able to control them when someone else’s dog comes by. Also just because you know you’re dog is harmless, doesn’t mean I do. I have no way of knowing how your dog will react, and how you will react to your dog.

    So keep your fucking dogs on leashes!

    That said, trying to detain the guy, not telling him why he was being detained, and tasering the guy. Way beyond appropriate.

    Though walking away from a LEO who is telling you to stay is plain retarded.

  17. #17 |  Robert | 

    damn it… preview your post! People who say you’re when they mean your are assholes!

  18. #18 |  Radley Balko | 

    Chuchundra:

    So in short: Just shut up and submit. Or get a sometimes-lethal dose of electricity shot into your body. For walking your dogs off-leash.

    Sure. Sounds perfectly reasonable.

  19. #19 |  Chuchundra | 

    Yes Radley, when an LEO says, “Sir, you’re being detained. Please stay right here” and you then ignore their legal order and simply walk away, the Officer can use force to compel you to comply. This is true even if the original infraction is very very minor.

    I can’t of any jurisdiction in the world where this is not the case.

  20. #20 |  primus | 

    Shadow was a Dachshund cross who went for our evening walk without need for a leash. We met numerous dogs on leashes who were not under their owner’s control. When we met these unruly beasts, I would merely say ‘heel’ and she fell in right where she should, and stayed there until I released her. She was totally under control at all times. Control is what is required. If the animals are under control without a leash, then no leash should be required. If the animals are not under control, then the rule should be invoked. There are protocols to follow if the ‘perp’ lacks identification documents, they do not appear to have been followed. LEO must state the charge if one is detained. No charge equals no legal detention. If the LEO did not answer him, he was exercising his rights in walking away. To state that the LEO was there to educate the public is about as bald faced a lie as I have ever heard. I hope it costs lots to settle this one.

  21. #21 |  Craig | 

    I love dogs. Have grown up with a couple. I’ve been approached by unleashed dogs that just want to say hi and by dogs that were menacing me. I’ve seen it happen to other people & to other dogs. I’ve seen dog owners unleash their dogs in parks that have leash laws, let their dogs roam far beyond the owners ability to reign them in or restrain them, lifted them up to lap water from drinking fountains for use by people visiting the park & then get angry with anyone that challenged them. Every owner says “my dog would never do that” so how do all these bites happen? http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/stop-animal-abuse/fact-sheets/dog-bites.html Do dog owners really feel an “oops, my bad, sorry” is adequate for a parent who’s child has been scared or bitten? I don’t recall any owner ever asking me if I was “ok” with their unleashing their dog.

    If you want to question the ranger’s use of force, fine, do that, but don’t defend the dog owner. They have dog parks where by mutual agreement between owners dogs can roam unleashed. If he wasn’t willing to do that then clearly he doesn’t feel the rules apply to him.

  22. #22 |  blankslate | 

    This country is going to the dogs.

    “I would merely say ‘heel’ (“Sir, you’re being detained. Please stay right here”) and she fell in right where she should, and stayed there until I released her. She was totally under control at all times. Control is what is required. If the animals (citizens) are under control without a leash, then no leash should be required. If the animals (citizens) are not under control, then the rule (electric-shock) should be invoked.”

    Obedience training, indeed!

  23. #23 |  JOR | 

    “Though walking away from a LEO who is telling you to stay is plain retarded.”

    It’s only a foolish decision because most people worship LEOs and the broader culture stands for this sort of thing. In a saner world, a bystander would have put a bullet in this ranger’s skull and suffered no consequences for it.

    In any case, the predictability of an outcome has nothing to do with the justice of an outcome. Wonder why nobody uses excuses like this when it’s the pigs who get shot while doing something risky.

  24. #24 |  CSD | 

    This area has just become part of the national park system. I am curious from the witnesses how this “education” was presented to Mr Hesterberg and how long he has been walking his dogs in this area prior to this law changing.

    “Rancho Corral de Tierra has long been an off-leash walking spot for local dog owners. In December, the area became part of the national park system, which requires that all dogs be on a leash, Levitt said.”

  25. #25 |  derfel cadarn | 

    #16 Robert you are a moron,no excuse can justify this use of force. It is folks like you and the un-named ranger that give humanity a bad name.

  26. #26 |  jb | 

    #16 Robert

    When I walk my dog off leash I expect bikers to yield to me and my dog just as if my dog were a one year old toddler walking on the trail with me, many don’t. Just because you don’t know my dog is harmless doesn’t mean you get to decide whether I’ll walk my dog on leash. Just because you think I should obey the law doesn’t mean I will. I don’t obey the law because I don’t have to. Just like I sometimes drink and drive, roll through stop signs, fail to pay my fair share of taxes, smoke a little weed when it suits me, and do hundreds other things that would get me in trouble with the law if I were found out.

    For the record, I have my dog on and off the leash at various times on our walk because I do recognize some people are fearful of animals. Sometimes the leash doesn’t get placed in time before another walker, runner or biker cross our path. Every once in a while I get to hear fuckers like you tell me there is a leash law. In every such case I tell them to fuck off, or words to that effect. That’s just the way I am. I don’t mind exercising a little curtesy toward other people on the path, but I bristle at having fucking mother fucking fucks like you tell me what to do. I have authority issues.

    By the way, do you ride a lime green mountain bike? I think we’ve met.

  27. #27 |  Marty | 

    well-said, JB. I was gonna tell him to go fuck himself myself, but your ‘…fucking mother fucking fucks like you…’ works much better!

  28. #28 |  30 year lawyer | 

    This, and yesterday’s incident in DC, are good examples of why females should not be police officers. They don’t have enough “presence” to control a middle-aged dog walker so they HAVE to go to weapons long before a male officer would do so. In this case, she turned a “no big deal” into national news. You can read about this sort of incident every day.

    Changed rules are best enforced by telling the citizen about the change and letting them go on their way. There will be plenty of time to arrest him when he reoffends (IF he does). BTW, she couldn’t have had PC to believe he used a false name unless he choose something like Bozo the Clown.

    As I learned in the military, the bars get their attention, YOU get their cooperation. I think badges work the same way.

  29. #29 |  Robert | 

    Shorter JB:

    Sometimes I do things that endanger or otherwise unnecessarily inconvenience other people because I’m selfish and I don’t like it when people point out that my actions have consequences.

    Derfel: Walking your dog without a leash is wrong. Like littering is wrong. Or peeing in the middle of the street is wrong. None of these things should ever get you tasered or shot or even arrested. Walking away from an LEO who is telling you to stay is retarded in the same way that jumping in front of a train is retarded. Stating this doesn’t mean I support trains over people.

  30. #30 |  Radley Balko | 

    This, and yesterday’s incident in DC, are good examples of why females should not be police officers.

    This would also explain why we never see any stories about male police officers using excessive force.

  31. #31 |  Jay | 

    Penis or no penis, a metric fuckton of LE these days are simply LAZY. It’s easier to use a so-called non-lethal weapon to obtain compliance on the Citizen than to actually use logic, assess the situation and act like a civilized peace officer as opposed to an overlord.

  32. #32 |  PeeDub | 

    Incongruity: a bikerider lecturing someone on park courtesy.

  33. #33 |  PogueMahone | 

    @Chuchu et al.
    No matter how you slice it, a man was pumped full of electricity for walking a toy dog without a lead.

    Does that sound right to you?

  34. #34 |  xysmith | 

    #12 Tim – Rangers have weapons because of crap like this:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017143109_apusmountrainiershooting21stldwritethru.html

    #20 Primus – The police do not have to tell you why you are being arrested that’s what arraignment is for.

  35. #35 |  xysmith | 

    #33 PogueMahone – A little tase for unleashed dogs makes you angry?

    How about the death penalty for a breaking and entering?

    http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/crime/formal-sentencing-for-komisarjevsky

  36. #36 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    xysmith,

    My understanding may be faulty, but I don’t see that the Ranger actually used the words “Under arrest”. As I understand it, if a LEO is asked why you are being detained, and he doesn’t say he (or she) is arresting you, then you have the right to go about your business.

    And if LEOs don’t have to tell you why they are arresting you, they should.

    In a perfect world the agency this authoritarian twit works for would take her dangerous toy away from her until she displays at least the amount of judgement one expects of a hall monitor in a high school. I find myself hoping that the next thing she uses that stun gun on is a bear, and they have to bury her in a sponge.

  37. #37 |  EBL | 

    I know it is supposed to be fiction, but I do not think the Hunger Games are that far away in our future.

  38. #38 |  Kevin Rulokowski | 

    Aside from the military, look at the caliber of people that the government hires at all levels. These are bottom dwellers who cannot function in the private sector. If you expect normal behavior and reactions from them, you are deranged. Especially from any LE types, who have to compensate for mommy issues, bully issues, and sexual dysfunction issues.

  39. #39 |  JSL | 

    A perfect example of why they are law enforcement officers and not peace officers these days. If you want a another headache #8, read the Fark thread on this story.

  40. #40 |  Rules of engagement and the force continuum « Blunt Object | 

    […] Electroshock education (The Agitator) […]

  41. #41 |  jb | 

    Shorter Robert:

    IT’S THE LAW!

  42. #42 |  MassHole | 

    Dear jb:

    Keeping your dog on a leash is not only courteous, but also safer for you and your dog. Here’s a personal example: I skateboard and dogs love to chase skateboards. This past summer, a woman did not have control of her dog and it chased me. Usually they give up or realize they’re not going to know what to do with me if they catch me, so it’s not a big deal. This time however the dog managed to catch me and latch onto my foot. I figured he would let go and leave once I came to a stop. Not so in this case. The dog continued to attack me. I had to kick the dog three times, harder each time, to keep it from injuring me because it kept coming after me after each kick. Finally the woman arrived upon the scene and restrained the dog. Had she not arrived when she did, I would have likely had to seriously injure the dog to keep it from biting me more. So the owners carelessness could have easily resulted in me and her dog being injured. In addition to that, if your dog attacks me and then you act like an asshole, the adrenaline surge I’m experiencing could easily get directed towards you, for better or worse. So don’t be a dick, leash your fucking dog in public.

  43. #43 |  mike | 

    Purely a hypothetical (I understand it’s not a realistic scenario): This guy files suit, wins, and they’re talking about judgment. The judge says you can either get a couple hundred grand or you get to tase the officer that tased you. What do you take?

    Personally, I know I should take the money, but I haven’t been tased for something stupid. Depending on how much time had passed, I might find it very difficult to pass on the tasing.

  44. #44 |  marco73 | 

    Until Contempt of Cop becomes a net negative for the State, these sorts of incidents will keep happening. It doesn’t sound like the offense was the dogs off leash, it was Hesterberg not bowing to the power of a Park Ranger. So he gets shocked, and gets a fun ambulance ride. Surprised they didn’t shoot the dogs.
    Since the Park Ranger will now be backed up by the full power of the State and her Union, there is no penalty. Sure, probably a couple weeks paid vacation disguised as a suspension, then right back to enforcing dog laws.
    Now if the Park Ranger were to have to pay for the man’s injuries, and possibly pay out of pocket for the injury settlement, or, be still my heart, actually get FIRED, maybe things would change.
    Most Park Rangers I’ve run into have been pretty nice people, and are just trying to keep people safe in the parks. But now that they are armed, you know these incidents will increase.

  45. #45 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @42
    I’d taze the park ranger while naked. I mean I’d be naked. That would punish anyone wanting to see that kind of violence.

    Cops don’t want to give an inch. They fear the peasants will take an 1″ 1/4.

  46. #46 |  Sinchy | 

    JB-
    Do you only clean up after your dog when you feel like it?

  47. #47 |  T. Hunt | 

    Well, a LEO asks you to stop, it’s a good idea to stop. At least to find out what they want. You walk away at your peril. And I don’t think that has anything to do with a coming police state or gum’mit coercion. And once informed of the leash requirement, any action other than an immediate return to his camper/site/motorhome was breaking the law.

    We have had dogs all my life. They stay in a fenced yard or on a leash. I expect no less from anyone else. And I don’t care how big or little or how well behaved you think your dog is, keep it on a fuckin’ leash.

    Is this a small law in the overall scheme of things? Sure. But it’s another of those laws that tries to enforce a common courtesy that people seem to have forgotten or ignored. If we had responsible dog owners, none of this would be necessary. When you take your dog out without a leash, you put that dog in jeopardy. You will not be ABLE to protect it if the situation arises.

    Radley, I like that you blog about police abuse and I think everything the police do should be open to inspection and criticism. But this is one of those cases that throws everything you do into question. It moves you from the realm of valid criticism to heckler. Unless you think that there is absolutely NO situation that would require the use of a tazer. I don’t see a problem here.

  48. #48 |  Radley Balko | 

    Radley, I like that you blog about police abuse and I think everything the police do should be open to inspection and criticism. But this is one of those cases that throws everything you do into question. It moves you from the realm of valid criticism to heckler. Unless you think that there is absolutely NO situation that would require the use of a tazer. I don’t see a problem here.

    Well, I guess you’ll have to start questioning everything I do, then. Have to say that I’m absolutely baffled that people are defending this. This is absurd. It was a leash law violation. And in a park that a week earlier allowed dogs to be off-leash. And for that, she shot a Taser into the guy’s back.

    Not every violation needs to be enforced to the point of violence. If a kid spits his gum on the ground, and a cop tells him to stop, because he just littered, but kid keeps walking, that shouldn’t merit shooting a Taser into the kids’ back. It is okay, even appropriate sometimes, to just walk away.

    Unless you think that there is absolutely NO situation that would require the use of a tazer. I don’t see a problem here.

    Are you kidding? Tasers were initially intended to be used as a less-lethal option to firearms. They are not “non-lethal.” There is a chance of death when you send 50,000 volts of electricity into someone’s body. Hell, the guy could have had a heart condition. Or been an epileptic. If you’re okay with using Tasers to enforce leash laws, you’re okay with the government killing someone for walking his dogs off-leash.

    Yes, I have a problem with that.

  49. #49 |  Radley Balko | 

    One other thing…

    And I don’t care how big or little or how well behaved you think your dog is, keep it on a fuckin’ leash.

    Really? There are two off-leash dog parks in Nashville. I take my dogs to them all the time. I let them run around with other dogs. It’s actually bad for the dog to keep it on the least at an off-leash park. Are you telling me I should keep my dogs on-leash at these parks too, and if I don’t, the government should have the power to use force that could possibly kill me?

    I’m not being flip here. This park was an off-leash park not long before this incident. It’s entirely possible that the guy wasn’t aware of the change. Which would explain why he was annoyed with the cop. Point is, it’s it’s not as simple as “keep it on a fuckin’ leash.”

    It’s amazing how quickly people become okay with disproportionate government violence when it comes to enforcing laws against their own personal peeves, or when they find the person on the receiving end of the violence annoying or undesirable. You should keep your dog on a leash when it’s necessary to do so. There are times when isn’t necessary. You shouldn’t be shocked with 50,000 volts of electricity for showing bad judgment about when it’s necessary.

  50. #50 |  John Nance | 

    Radley, you mad bro? It’s so funny to watch libertarians get so worked up about something like a leash law.

    First world problems, lol.

  51. #51 |  MassHole | 

    Radley,

    “There are two off-leash dog parks in Nashville.”

    Those are appropriate places for your dog to be unleashed. I don’t think the poster at #47 or any other would argue with that, much less agree you should be tazed for doing so. He is right that many laws are necessary because most people tend to be self-absorbed and don’t take others into consideration. I’m surrounded by dog owners and unfortunately I have to scan the sidewalk ahead of me to avoid stepping in dog shit every day and repeatedly ask my condo-mates to refrain from turning our outdoor common area into a dog latrine.

    Regardless, the tasing seems to have been a response to the guy walking away, not his leash law infraction. I agree with you 100% that the tasing was way out of proportion to the situation and put the mans health at risk. The officer was in no danger and certainly had a myriad of solutions available to her over using the taser. It does sound to me that the poster at #42 feels the taser use was appropriate, and I’m with you in thinking that is absurd.

  52. #52 |  Woog | 

    Radley, thanks to countless articles like this one of yours, I gradually became aware that my perception of America, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, did not meet the reality.

    You are, of course, absolutely correct about the cop worship being commonplace when there are in fact vicious criminals who wear badges and in some cases act in a manner in which they should indeed be shot dead before their acts of criminal violence can be completed (legal example: Bad Elk vs United States).

    In this case, your logic is again spot on regarding Tazers being “less-lethal”, meaning “occasionally lethal”, weapons and that the use of such an “occasionally lethal” weapon on a man for no other reason than possibly being in violation of a recently changed rule with no visible criminal intent nor actual victim is, indeed a very big problem in need of immediate correction.

    It will take a while to get through some of the thick-skulled readers out there, but it is possible as evidenced by myself.

  53. #53 |  Woog | 

    Additionally, the use of an “occasionally-lethal” weapon on a person for merely attempting to go about his business after an apparent disagreement over a trifle by any account is indeed an outrage.

    When a cop acts outside the scope of law, to include disproportionate force, such behavior is by definition criminal. The catch-all categories used to attempt to justify the criminal cop behavior after the fact (i.e. resisting arrest, failure to obey) does not negate criminal actions on the part of the cop regardless of what the cop shops want others to believe.

  54. #54 |  Radley Balko | 

    It’s so funny to watch libertarians get so worked up about something like a leash law.

    Go back and read again. No one is worked up over a leash law. People are worked up over the Tasing of a man who violated it.

    Bro.

  55. #55 |  marco73 | 

    The story really isn’t about dogs on leashes. It’s about using excessive force on a citizen over a civil infraction.
    If you walked past a trash can in that park, an instead threw your trash on the ground, you could get a civil citation for littering. If you don’t want to stand around and wait for the ranger to dig up her ticket book, and you started to leave the park, would a Tazing be a legitimate response from the ranger?
    In a civil society, the answer is NO. But in a Police State, the answer is Hell Yes.
    You already know the Park Service understands that this is a black mark, since they haven’t released the name of the ranger. If the Park Service really wanted to back up their ranger, they’d have already held a press conference and really pounded the table that this guy was a menace to society.
    A predicted follow up – charges will be dropped, and a an undisclosed financial settlement will be offered. The ranger will not have any disciplinary actions taken against her.

  56. #56 |  Les | 

    Yeah, suggesting that the first thing a cop should do is to use sometimes-lethal force when someone walks away from them is to display not only a fascinatingly limited degree of problem-solving skills, but also a bizarre authoritarian streak seen more in visitors of Free Republic or Democratic Underground.

  57. #57 |  Robert | 

    Ok, this is a serious question. What is the appropriate response to someone’s refusal to cooperate with an LEO over a minor infraction. I agree that using a “sometimes lethal” device is totally inappropriate, but I’m not sure what the alternative should be.

    I am uncomfortable with just saying they should be let go if they walk away, it doesn’t seem like refusal to cooperate with reasonable requests from an LEO means a freebie. (note: I’m not saying the ranger in this case was being reasonable).

  58. #58 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    Wow, I’m stunned by how many commenters here think that the ranger acted appropriately. I’m used to that kind of badge-licking in most forums, but not here.

  59. #59 |  Miranda | 

    The whole Taser thing has gotten out of hand, best illustrated here by people who think the park ranger was acting appropriately. Tasers were sold to the public as an alternative to deadly force. They are supposed to be used in place of firearms. So, when evaluating when Tasers are appropriate, ask “would using a gun be appropriate in this situation?” If the answer is no, then most likely using a Taser is also inappropriate. Would the park ranger be justified in shooting this man? No? Then she’s not justified in Tasering him.

  60. #60 |  John Nance | 

    @Robert: “Ok, this is a serious question. What is the appropriate response to someone’s refusal to cooperate with an LEO over a minor infraction. I agree that using a “sometimes lethal” device is totally inappropriate, but I’m not sure what the alternative should be.”

    According to Radley, “It is okay, even appropriate sometimes, to just walk away.”

    There you have it, the libertarian’s solution to minor infractions that you don’t agree with — just walk away when they tell you to stop.

  61. #61 |  EBL | 

    There is nothing wrong with parks that have leash rules and ones that do not. The issue here was this guy arrested or not and is shooting him with a stun gun warranted under these circumstances. If he was not arrested, then she is flat out wrong and he should get a sizable settlement (and she reprimanded). If he was under arrest and fled, then is it justified to use a stun gun for minor infraction. I think the answer to that is no, it is not justified.

  62. #62 |  Radley Balko | 

    According to Radley, “It is okay, even appropriate sometimes, to just walk away.”

    There you have it, the libertarian’s solution to minor infractions that you don’t agree with — just walk away when they tell you to stop.

    I was referring to the law enforcement officer.

  63. #63 |  StrangeOne | 

    To summarize:

    – dog park recently changes rules.
    – guy doesn’t know rules.
    – guy doesn’t bring his wallet to just walk his dogs.
    – ranger informs him of violation.
    – demands ID and tries to detain him.
    – ranger refuses to tell guy if he is being detained or not.
    – guy walks off. (can’t blame him the whole thing is ridiculous)
    – ranger tazes him.
    – other park goers are horrified.
    – guy takes an ambulance ride.
    – ranger is covered for and everyone else is identified.

    Some people think this is appropriate because they personally dislike dogs off leashes. Some people think this is appropriate because walking away from an officer, even when they refuse to fully inform you of the situation or even if, or why, you are being detained is a dangerous activity. The fact that it’s only dangerous because cops can easily get away with psychotic violence consequence free, is completely lost on the badge-worshipers. The right of cops to beat you takes supremacy over any reasonable expectation of what activities justify a violent response.

    Fuck this stupid country, the petty tyrants in the citizenry deserve their police state. It’s a pity everyone else has to suffer through their bullshit, though.

  64. #64 |  jb | 

    #62 Balko

    I got that. However I think it isn’t in most (any) LEO’s make-up to shrug off being disregarded by an individual they have contacted, regardless of the infraction, crime or order (lawful or otherwise). Once authority has been exericesed there simply is no room for anything less than complete compliance. A scary situation in a world where park rangers carry tasers.

    I do pick up my own dog’s mess, even while walking on the horse trail, where all manner of horses, coyote, rabbits, birds, squirrels, cats, other dogs (and yes, mountain bikers!) do not.

  65. #65 |  Robert | 

    Strangeone

    I think you need to go back and reread the comments. Despite many claims to the contrary, no one is saying that the use of the taser was justified. Dogs off of leashes are a side note. Annoying as they are, it does not mean the ranger was right, and no one has said so. (note, I went back through and reread, no one other than Chuchandra, who is either being silly, or stupid…)

    SO let’s agree, using a taser on someone for an offense which you would not be arrested for is unjustifiable and wrong.

    So, walking along, you litter in a park. An officer sees you, and is going to write you a ticket. You turn and walk away before they can give it to you.

    What should the officer do? Should you just be able to get out of a ticket by running away? That seems absurd. So what’s the alternative?

  66. #66 |  Les | 

    Robert, you follow the guy. You follow him to his car or his home and mail him his fine (increased, maybe even, for walking away). If you can’t follow him, you call in back up and they follow him. It’s less expensive than a lawsuit, but more importantly, it’s a rational, practical reaction to a non-violent refusal to acknowledge an extremely minor infraction.

  67. #67 |  Les | 

    There you have it, the libertarian’s solution to minor infractions that you don’t agree with — just walk away when they tell you to stop.

    There you have it. An anti-libertarian’s solution to disagreements on the proper role of government – misrepresent your opponent’s position.

  68. #68 |  StrangeOne | 

    What Les said, follow him to his car and get the license plate, or follow him to his home for the address if he is within walking distance. If he won’t respect a female ranger (a possibility) or she cant follow him; call in other cops to issue the citation or possibly defuse the situation the ranger created by escalating a confrontation over a freaking dog leash violation.

    But all that aside a very real possibility, one that far to many law enforcement “professionals” refuse to consider, is to just let it go. The only justification for a dog leash law is to prevent them from harassing or attacking people or destroying property. If the dogs weren’t doing those things, then there is no damn reason to arrest anyone. Just politely remind him of the new park policy and go about your day without electrocuting someone. Is that really such a complicated idea? That you don’t enforce these petty misdemeanor infractions with violence unless some actual harm is caused by violating them?

  69. #69 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I was watching Megyn Kelly (like I do every day) and even FOX News thought this was a ridiculous use of force. So, I put on my pants and came up with about 100 ways a park ranger could handle this better.

  70. #70 |  Militant Libertarian » Electroshock Education | 

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