Friday, September 18, 2009

Woodstock P.D.: "No crime"

Yesterday I wrote about being parked in the Jewel-Osco parking lot, well out from the front of the store, to make a cell phone call, when a large white SUV slowly pulled in next to my car. The driver, a large man and known to carry a gun, stared at me for about 30 seconds and then backed out of the angled parking space and drove away.

A Woodstock police officer was called, somewhat reluctantly took my report (but did not write down anything that I told him while we were talking) and gave me a Report Number, because I insisted on it.

Today I contacted Jewel-Osco and Golden Eagle Community Bank to ask if their surveillance cameras covered the parking lot; they do. I sent emails to Chief Lowen and requested that the recordings be viewed.

Here's the answer to those requests: "No further investigation is necessary. No crime took place."

I guess the Chief doesn't consider it unusual that a sheriff would unnecessarily pull in and park next to a car driven by a person known to publicly question many activities and incidents of the Sheriff's Department, stare at that driver for 30 seconds, then back out and drive away.

What about intimidation? Attempted intimidation? Under the color of the law/badge? I'll bet I can find a statute that prohibits such actions by police officers.

Or maybe Disorderly Conduct? Was I alarmed? Disturbed? Was my peace breached? Did I rush home and check my life insurance policies to make certain the beneficiary designations were up-to-date?

Or maybe the "Check Engine" light on that SUV had just come on and the audio warning system had said to him, "Pull over immediately. Stop for 30 seconds and look out the right window while you are waiting. Then continue driving."

I'm sure glad that I went ahead this morning and followed advice that was provided to me by half a dozen readers. You were right.

I can't wait to read Ofc. Branum's report. He said that, if I made a report, he would have to call Sheriff Nygren and ask him what had happened. I asked him to include the Sheriff's response in his report or in a supplementary report. I wonder if he did.


ILoveDirtyKeith said...

Nygren violate at least 6 general orders. Gus he did drive away didn't he? He didn't swim away like a big fat WALRUS! Probably thought you were a school of fish.

Gus said...

How about listing the six General Orders?

I could FOIA them, but a list from someone in-the-know would save time. Thanks!

whatmeworry? said...

"Attempted intimidation"? You're just making this crap up now aren't you!

Maybe he was attempting to turn you to stone.

Frank said...

I asked this in your last post about this and you never answered!!Why are you involving Officer Branum or the Woodstock police department? Why don't you call the state police or states attorneys office?

The real question should be why are you wasteing anyones time with this?

Gus said...

Frank, you're kidding; right?

Why involve Ofc. Branum? Because the call for service was assigned to him.

Why the Woodstock Police Department? Because the Jewel-Osco parking lot is in Woodstock!

Ofc. Branum said he would have to contact Nygren, if I made a report. OK, so I made the report. Did he contact Nygren?

And, if he didn't, why not? There would be only one reason. If he didn't, he was told not to.

So the next question is, Who told him not to?

Obviously, that would be his supervisor? Who was his supervisor yesterday?

And, did someone tell his supervisor that Nygren was not to be contacted? I cannot imagine that the supervisor would make that call on his own.

Frank said...

Sorry, I guess I didn't explain fully what I was asking. Why involve a patrol officer from a municipal police department to investigate the county sheriff himself? Why would you not request the investigation be handled by the state police.

Pitor said...

Gussie your not living by your own words.

"I start at the top and work my way down, unlike others who may think they must follow the chain-of-command. Years ago I learned that you should only complain to someone who can do something about a problem."

If you want to complain about the Sheriff call the State Police or the States Attorney's office.

Your not going to make a good Sheriff if you don't live by your own words.

Your still don't understand that nothing criminal occurred in that situation. Talk to a judge about it or contact your attorney maybe they can give you an answer you can understand.

psalm23cat said...

So, let me get this straight: you don't get intimidated. But you are claiming you were intimidated. So which is it?

I, literally, get dirty looks daily from people. It's not my job to be popular, and some of the dirty looks have escalated into threats to my job, my person, my family, and my life. I have called the police twice. In twenty years of doing my job, so clearly I can tell the difference between jerks and dangerous jerks. Because, dude, mostly people are just blowing smoke. As you do quite often when we interact in person.

Gus said...

Frank, thanks for rephrasing your question. I guess I'm wondering why a possible crime in Woodstock would not be investigated by the local police department, no matter whom it involves.

The sheriff has no authority over the Woodstock Police Department, so far as I know. He handles crime in the unincorporated County; the WPD handles it within the City Limits.

I would contact (well, would have contacted, in the past) the Illinois State Police about such an incident, had it occurred in the County, where municipal police have no jurisdiction. Actually, today I would not contact the local district office of the State Police about any possible crime involving our sheriff's department, because that office is a direct pipeline to our sheriff's department (based on actual, personal experience).

Frank said... still aren't getting it! No crime was committed

Gus said...

Well, if looks could kill, you'd be reading my obituary now and getting ready to go to my funeral.

Pitor said...

So this went from a federal case to a case of hurt feelings. Can we be done with this topic already?

Frank said...

But a look is not a crime!

Frank said...

If it was a whole lot of ugly people would be in jail!

Gus said...

Who said anything about hurt feelings? You guys are fine examples of cops. Here; answer this one. Are you still beating your wife?

Notawannabee said...

First off, what the big bad man in the White Tahoe did was not a crime. Did the big mean mad look mean at you? BOO! I’m sorry did I scare you?

Call the State Police? I laugh out loud when someone says the State Police has authority over other police...NOT. In Illinois, no police agency RANKS over another.

GUS, if you want to be Sheriff then you best dig into the Illinois Compiled Statutes and read about Sheriffs. You'll find the Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the County. Under Illinois statutes; the Sheriff (and his deputies) actually has the duty to maintain the peace within the county. That means inside and outside of city limits.

The only reason the ISP perform these independent investigations is because they are the only agency other than the Sheriff with jurisdiction outside municipal limits and generally do not work jo9inly with the local police as the deputies do. The State Police however are the only POLICE allowed to enforce many motor carrier statutes under Chapter 18b of the ILCS 625 vehicle code. (Truck inspection enforcement) This goes to reason, since they are primarily a traffic enforcement organization and north of I- 80 they rarely 'respond' to criminal complaints, fights domestics or the like. Troopers on the Tollway will go an entire career and never handle anything other than a traffic related call.

BOO! Did I scare you again?

Gus said...

No, and you haven't scared me any other time.

Another Lawyer said...

Still not really clear what the crime was, or why you didn't just walk over and say "Hi!". You had the opportunity to not only address your concerns with the Sheriff, but you could have discerned some of his views.


Gus said...

Another Lawyer, as a matter of fact, when I recognized Sheriff Nygren as the driver, I did say, "Hi, how are you?"

Now, when you greet someone and he returns the greeting with a stare and a glare and doesn't speak, don't you think that ought to be cause for alarm? Like, "What's wrong with this person?"

"Is he okay?" He's not speaking. "Is he about to cause me harm?"

The Madd Bulldog said...

I think DirtyNygren was gonna stop at Jewel to pickup a 40-ouncer and a straw (like I do), but when he saw you, he decided to leave...

Glenn said...

I just read the NWH and it made me check your blog. Quite honestly, knowing your history of putting you nose where it doesn't belong, Nygren's explanation makes much more sense than your flimsy “he stared at me" story.

My Gawd man, besides driving a pansy car, you cower if someone looks at you?