DON’T DANGLE. I repeat, DO NOT DANGLE! I was contacted by a man who nearly got tazed by law enforcement for hanging an air-freshener. The full story (as told by the citizen) is included at the end of this post. This man felt if he had his legally-obtained firearm at the time of his incident, this troublesome traffic stop could have had deadly repercussions. So…
THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU DANGLE SOMETHING FROM YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR. ALL IT DOES IS GIVE A DIRTY COP A REASON TO STOP YOU…. AND THEY DO.
It’s called an “obstruction of vision”. And the courts uphold the stop.
ONCE THE STOP IS MADE, THE OFFICER CAN CLAIM, WRONGFULLY OR OTHERWISE, THAT HE SMELLS MARIJUANA IN THE CAR, OR INTOXICANTS ON YOUR BREATH.
…Or whatever will provide the legal authority to order you out of your car and search it. If he finds a roach you didn’t know was there, you’re hauled to jail. Why?
If it’s your car or you’re the driver, it’s called “constructive possession.”
So never dangle baby shoes, high school tassels, and especially air fresheners from your rear view mirror.
ONLY BUSHAS WHO DANGLE ROSARIES CAN GET AWAY WITH IT WHEN IT COMES TO A DIRTY COP.
And the story of this man’s troublesome encounter is as follows:
At approximately 15:00 on Friday, June 30 I was travelling Northbound on River Road / Broadway. I observed Deputy Schabel make a right hand turn from Eastbound McGraw onto Northbound Broadway into the traffic overflow lane, despite a red light on his end and heavy traffic. I passed Deputy Schabel doing under 35mph in a 40mph speed zone. Deputy Schabel then followed me through traffic up Northbound Broadway while I was en route to 7-11. I signaled my intention to turn 100+ yards prior and then proceeded to turn into the 7-11 parking lot on the corner of Broadway and and Cass. I had removed my seatbelt, key from the ignition, and had one foot out of the door and on the ground before Deputy Schabel turned into the parking lot, only then activating his lights and positioning his vehicle directly behind me.
Fearing a negative impression, I then seated myself fully and erect in my seat, yet left my door slightly open, and prepared to speak with Deputy Schabel.
Deputy Schabel then asked for my license, registration and proof of insurance.
Knowing full well I had not committed a moving violation I asked Deputy Schabel for the reason of our interaction.
Deputy Schabel then stated that the air fresheners hanging less than 4″ below my rear-view mirror were an obstruction, and that was the cause of the stop. Baffled, I pointed out several other vehicles in the parking lot with multitudes of adornments draping their rear-view and GPS devices suction cupped to windshields. Deputy Schabel then replied, “Look, I’m not even going to you a ticket, but I need your I.D.”
I replied with, “You just admitted you’re not citing me, and have no cause to suspect me of a crime, so I am not going to give you my identification.”
Deputy Schabel replied with, “I just need to know who you are, so give me your I.D.,” starting to exhibit aggression.
Again, I stated, “You admitted you’re not citing me, so there’s no ticket here, no need to know me, there’s no probable cause, you pulled me over for air fresheners (and at this time I removed them from my mirror), you don’t have any probably cause, and I haven’t commited a crime. So why don’t you go your way and I’ll go mine.”
Deputy Schabel then increased his tone and said, “If you don’t give me your I.D. you’re going to jail.”
Deputy Schabel then ordered me out of my vehicle. Fearing for my safety due to his increasingly aggressive nature, I denied his request.
Deputy Schabel then forcefully opened my driver’s side door, damaging it in the process and began attempting to forcefully remove me from my vehicle, clawing grabbing and hitting at me.
Knowing that if I tried to protect myself against Deputy Schabel, he may kill me, I began the only defense reasonable – screaming to the onlookers gathered outside the storefront at this time, ” Help me! This cop is attacking me over air fresheners. This is wrong! I haven’t commited a crime! He is assaulting me!”
After several failed attempts and ragged of breath Deputy Schabel looked me dead in the eyes and reached for his Taser.
I yelled, “Seriously? What kind of cop are you? You’re going to keep escalating this!?”
Thankfully, at this time Deputy Schabel seemed to notice Deputy Darrow arrive on scene and began backing away from my vehicle.
I then removed my Driver’s License and handed it to Deputy Schabel, stating I was doing so under exteme duress.
Deputy Schabel then returned to his vehicle.
The C/O and another Deputy arrive shortly thereafter.
Deputy Schabel then attempted to nonchalantly explain and hand me citations like the encounter we just had never existed. Where is the accountability?
Mr. Czuprynski , I have a CPL – I fear if I had my weapon on me at the time, because of this officer’s unreasonable aggression, there’s a very high probability I wouldn’t be breathing.
And thank you for your time,