It started out as a lovely evening, I picked up one of my friends at his home to go out with another few friends that we were picking up at work. We work at a retail store in a suburb in Wisconsin. We were chatting with each other about where we were going to go while sitting on a bench near the front exit of the store. In front of the bench is a police substation that had one officer in it. While we were chatting I needed a package opened and my friend proceeded to open it for me with one of his pocketknives. Him, being a Boy Scout, always has a knife on him. I usually have one on me too, but that is beside the point.
The knife that my friend used was on the large side. The blade was three inches long, but that is legal if you are not carrying it concealed. He was carrying it on his belt loop on the outside of his pants. I noticed the officer was looking a us odd so I suggested we leave, we proceeded to exit the store and walk out to our cars, before we got halfway there the officer came out of the building and asked to speak with my friend. He asked to see his knife and started to question him about it, asking why he had such a big knife and what he needed it for. My friend told the officer that he was a scout and was just coming back from a camping trip and he used it camping. The officer got upset with him and started badgering him about the knife. He asked if my friend had anything else on him and my friend told him the truth that yes he was, he had another knife in a pouch on his belt, and one small one in his pocket. He turned around to show the officer the pouch over his right hip, where he had his jacket kilted up to show the knife sheath, it had been that way as we were waling also. At this point the officer again asked why he had these knives and my friend told him they all had different uses when he was camping. The officer then at this point yelled at him “Well YOUR stupid!” And then asked if he could pat him down. My friend told him sure and reminded him of the small knife is his pocket. The officer half asset patted him down, missing the front of his body and the inside of his legs. When he patted him down he took the knife from the pouch and from his pocket and pulled his jacket down over the pouch and my friends hips.
Then he cuffed him and started to walk him back in the building. When we became alarmed and asked what was going on he THEN said to my friend, and us that he was being arrested for “CCW”. He said to my friend “Your under arrest” and walked him in the building into the sub station with us following behind like little ducklings.
While inside the station my friend was questioned, repeatedly told he didn’t need to carry knives, and told that one of the main reasons why he was stopped was because he was wearing “all black”. And had a “funny necklace” on.
The officer also said my friend was giving him attitude outside. He was booked, printed, and mugshotted and released with a $410 fine.
When he came out he was distraught. He was arrested for a concealed weapon, which he had all the knives too big to be concealed legally on his belt. Had his knives taken away, and charged and fined.
This poor kid is only 18; he is terrified his parents will find out, his record is so clean it squeaks. He is even an Eagle Scout! He has never EVER been in trouble before; he didn’t even get a detention in high school! The charges seemed to be trumped up, and the cop was out of control. He had cuts on his wrists from the cuffs, and while other officers tried to convince the arresting officer to let him go he brushed them off saying he had already wrote in CCW so that’s what it was going to be. Three different officers questioned him after he was arrested and he was never read his rights.
His court date is in a month if he wants to appeal it. Something seems fishy, but I don’t really know the law, what, if anything, can be done?
His shirt was blue, not black like the officer said.
His funny necklace was a pentacle, my friend is a practicing witch.
He couldn’t get the arresting offcer to tell him what CCW meant until the other officers arrived. Even after that he didn’t give my friend many answers about what the charge meant. He was continually beligerant and ignored him.
My friend is a short unassuming guy five feet tall and very skinny.
He speaks very softly and was very very scared I’m not sure if he could have mustered up additude if he tried.
Anything else you need? Any ideas? What can be done?
I appeal to the knowledge of the dopers across the planet…