posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 06:03 PM
They say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but one never thought that metaphor would cause the pen to be the means to arrest!
In Portland Oregon, a 60 year old man was arrested for scribbling over the names of 8 people on a Mayoral Recall Petition as a sign of protest.
Man Arrested, Accused of Defacing Mayoral Recall
Granted, it's just 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief, but then why did the police arrest him instead of just citing him? I guess the police needed to get
this pen-wielding thug off the streets for the safety of the public. (At least they didn't Tazer him, that's a positive twist!)
Jason Wurster, leader of the Recall effort was quoted as saying:
"A lot of people feel that it's acceptable to harass people exercising their right to participate in the democratic process. Intimidation and fear
is not how our democratic process works. It's the antithesis of it."
That's exaggerating things a little isn't it? It's not like he's threatening the volunteers gathering signatures for the petition, or refusing to
let them assemble and harass passersby! His response was far kinder than someone shoving the volunteer or slamming a door in their face, or telling
them where they can shove their petition!
However, we are sticklers for our Laws, and apparently defacing government documents is punishable under Oregon Statutes, in this case Chapter 260 -
Campaign Finance Regulation; Election Offenses - Sub-Section 260.567 - Alteration of information on petition signature sheet. So technically he's in
violation of the law, even though the spirit of the law is to protect against fraud, not from scribbling.
Still, could you imagine how this went down?
"10-Baker-9, dispatch, we've got a 260567 in progress. Suspect last seen leaving Albina Community Bank heading eastbound in a late-model sedan with
vanity License Plate BORN FREE"
"WTF is a 260567?"
"Aggravated scribbling and run"
"That's a Code 3, Dispatch. We're on it and are inbound! Please notify SWAT to be on standby!"
Just let that be a lesson for you when the Federal Census Takers give you your Census forms to fill out! If scribbling on a Municipal Petition can
land you in jail, imagine what scribbling on a Federal Census Form will do!
[edit on 13-8-2009 by fraterormus]