From: Gary Gevisser
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 4:25 PM PT
Cc: rest; Devin_standard@comcast.net
Subject: Incident involving Don Riley and Corporal Matt McClendon and Co.
At 11:15 AM
on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 I received a call from Don Riley’s son-in-law who
is married to Don’s daughter
I was aware of certain interactions between this Corporal and Don although all I had heard was Don’s side relating to a very alarming incident that apparently took place back on August 1st at the local deli/gas station in Pine Valley where according to Don, the Corporal had threatened Don as he was eating a pizza and in front of two teenage witnesses around 17 years of age,
“Don, what is it going to take to run you out of my town?”
It took me about 10 minutes to meet up with Don and the 2 officers driving their own SUVs.
Deputy Sheriff Cuevas was walking behind the camper as the Corporal sat halfway in his SUV.
Upon parking my vehicle I walked over to the camper and saw Don who I believe is 60 years of age, inside talking on his cell phone to his daughter in Las Vegas and asked what was going on that had caused these 2 patrol officers to venture so far in to the Cleveland National Forest given how in the 4 years we have owned our cabin I have never once seen such vehicles this far in to the forest, causing Don to be so frightened that he would not leave his vehicle until someone he trusted more than these officers of the law showed up.
Don seemed as confused as me.
Don and the Corporal who had now got out of his vehicle and was walking towards me, let me know at about the same time that a Forest Ranger was now on her way.
While it was quite obvious that I was there at the behest of Don I was quite taken aback by the inappropriate and very aggressive tone of the questions that the corporal began throwing at me in an attempt in my humble, but seasoned opinion to achieve nothing more than to intimidate me to leave, starting with, “Why do you think I have a problem with Don?” which was then followed up some 5 minutes later with, “Do you have identification?”
Let me explain the gap that took place between the two questions.
The fact that I was dumbfounded by such a question explains most of it.
Second, without knowing anything about me this corporal thought either I was a mind reader or more likely very dumb to be even thinking that I could know what he was thinking.
Third, the balance of the gap had me thinking why but to distract would a rouge law enforcement officer ask the opinion of a stranger on a subject matter that would even baffle Einstein which is not funny especially when we are talking about someone trying to make himself look like Dirty Harry with a badge and what I assumed was a loaded gun and had very possibly violated someone else’s civil rights just 15 odd days previously.
Once I saw the green truck of the Forest Ranger approaching I informed the corporal, “Sorry, I am not a mind reader but I do on occasion coach lawyers, specifically Shareholder Class Action Litigators how to respond to fast balls thrown at or near head”.
The corporal then went silent preventing me from repeating the words of Mr. Jeffrey R. Krinsk of the enormously successful SCAL law firm of Finkelstein & Krinsk,
“I detest those who derive great satisfaction in exceeding the limits of their small authority, i.e. evil doesn’t come in the form of a pitched fork or pointed tail!”
The Forest Ranger who I have met once before was now approaching Don’s camper, appearing to be in a rather happy mood.
Michelle immediately informed Don that he was illegally parked on private property and that he had exceeded the limit of days he could be camped in this National Forest and instructed Don to move but in no way did she even intimate that she felt the need to have the San Diego Sheriffs Department local law enforcement officers intervene in order for her to do her job.
While Don sought clarification from Michele including finding out whether the owner of the property had complained the not-so-little corporal then summoned me over to where he was standing about 15 meters away which is when he asked me the second question.
And when I handed him my American Passport he questioned me, “Are you an American citizen?” as he paged through my passport containing a number of interesting spots my wife and I recently visited in China and at the same time making notes including writing down the number of my wife’s car’s license plate eventually asking if I minded him looking at my outdated California drivers license that I keep inside my passport at all times, not in the least bit happy with my answer, “I only know of American citizens with a United States passport”.
Then Deputy Sheriff Cuevas felt the need to reinforce the corporal’s follow up question, “It is either a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’! Are you an American Citizen?” not to mention Cuevas also confirmed that Don had to be doing something “wrong” when I eventually raised the point with the corporal why he would be so bold some 15 days prior, on private property, in front of two witnesses, to use threatening language, “What is it going to take to run you out of my town?”.
The Corporal while making the point that his gun was not stuck in his holster shot back,
“There were more than two witnesses”.
The question is no longer, in my humble but seasoned opinion, whether I found the Corporal hanging deep inside the Cleveland National Forest on a “bad hair day” but in light of what appears to have been a very real event taking place on August 1st where again in front of at least two witnesses the Corporal with both badge and gun very possibly violated Don Riley’s civil rights, BUT RATHER the question should be:
What was the corporal doing going to Don’s camper deep inside the Cleveland National Forest other than to further intimidate him and very possibly much worse had I not shown up, following, in all likelihood, having violated the law himself 15 days earlier and was now looking to cover his tracks, versus waiting for Don to drive through SIGNIFICANTLY less isolated Pine Valley as Don does daily?
I believe another thing which should concern the department is how the corporal might react as well as overreact as he begins to feel the “long reach of the law” that may not prove in the least bit intimidating to someone who in all likelihood has previously usurped his limited authority, emboldened as time has ticked on without any retribution from his superiors who appear to be supportive at least as it pertains to the Corporal’s lack of “probable cause” in the pursuit of Don Riley and in the process again trampling on all our Civil Rights.
Moreover, one safeguard for all of us trying to do the right thing and the smart thing which is also the right thing is to bring Public International Attention to this rather unfortunate incident.
Gary S. Gevisser
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