Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-02-2009, 15:10   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southbound
Boat: Pearson 31-2
Posts: 303
Run in with Charleston County Police

You'll never believe this one.

I left the marina this morning and was motoring along when I look behind me and theres a boat way back there coming my way fast. They came right to my boat, threw out some fenders and boarded after smashing into the side of my boat with theirs. They informed me this was a standard boarding/inspection and then asked me several hundred questions ranging from where I work, where this, when that, etc etc. They asked if I had any drugs onboard and if I minded that they search. I answered no to both. So then, they frisked me and I wasn't aware that they could stick their hands in your pants and cradle your nuts in their hand, but apparently they can and did.

After about 45 minutes of interogation they told me to pull up to a city dock where they were joined by members of homeland security and customs each of whom asked me all the same hundreds of questions and then they call in 2 more guys with dogs to search the boat. One dog went aboard tore up the boat and then the other one. Neither found anything of course.

So, we were at the 2 hour mark at this point and they decide to call in a diver to inspect the bottom. He also, didn't find anything.

It wasted my whole day and they seemed pissed that they didn't find anything. They smashed their boat into mine 3 times, once was dead t-bone broadside. They made a mess of the boat and they or their dogs damaged personal items onboard.

Now understand, I'm in a nice clean boat, I'm clean cut ex Coast Guard(non drug user) and wasn't breaking any laws. At one time there was 8 different cops standing on the dock in 5 vehicles. The reason they gave me was that I'm too young (40) to be cruising so that made me suspicious.

So be aware, if you are under 65, evidently you don't have the right to be on the water and you too could be molested by the police.

After the 3 1/2 hour ordeal they said sorry for the hassle, but they're sure I understand the importance of homeland security and off they went.

Has anyone else had this kind of experience?
__________________

__________________
Aquah0lic is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 15:17   #2
Provocateur & Raconteur
 
knottybuoyz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Iroquois, Ontario
Boat: Bateau.com TW31 Modified
Posts: 3,583
Images: 87
Jeeeezuz! What'd ya do wake their RHIB? That's just nuts. What's happening to your country? I think a carefully worded letter to their Commanding Officer is in order!
__________________

__________________
Yours Aye! Rick
~^~^~^^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~~^~^~~^~^~^^~~^~^
"It's not the boat "you built" until you've sworn at it, bled on it, sweated over it, cried beside it and then threatened to haul the POS outside and burn it!"
knottybuoyz is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 15:24   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Therapy's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: W Florida
Boat: The Jon boat still, plus a 2007 SeaCat.
Posts: 6,894
Images: 4
That is BS.
I think taking notes and pictures would have been the order of the day.
After that, all their bosses.
Sheesh!

Some ex-forum member probably made a call.
__________________
Therapy is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 15:33   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Boat: CT54
Posts: 358
Images: 3
Wow....that really is unbeliveable! This type of behavior is unacceptable especially considering these are public servents. It seems you give some people a gun and they become nothing more than bullies.
I would definately contact there commanding officer and go straight up the chain of command including the media.
__________________
jackiepitts is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 15:33   #5
Registered User
 
Christian Van H's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Princeton, NJ
Boat: Challenger Anacapa 42
Posts: 2,097
Images: 57
This is truly disgusting. Aqua, I'm really sorry for you. I know I will take flak for this, but why is it that every time I hear of anyone being pulled over by the Marine Police (not Coast Guard) it seems like the officers are total clowns who must be justifing their own existence. On our local river the officers dress like robocop, and we refer to them as McCales Navy. BTW, get some grey hair, or just lose it completely. Maybe you'll be better off!
__________________
www.anacapas.com

Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women!
Christian Van H is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 16:14   #6
Registered User
 
cdennyb's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Northern California
Boat: finally a catamaran dive boat...
Posts: 505
Send a message via MSN to cdennyb Send a message via Yahoo to cdennyb Send a message via Skype™ to cdennyb
so, as captain of your vessel, why didn't youpolitely refuse to let them board your vessel? Since you were in US Waters, the consitiution protects you from unlawful search & seizure so it should fall into the same book as getting stopped on the highway for 'nothing wrong' and being asked if it's alright to look in your trunk or car. Last time I verbally assulted by the Gustopo police, I respectfully told no, I didn't want them searching anything, unless of course they wanted to get a judge out of bed and have him issue a search warrant for a specific search for a specific item. They said, "Ok, no big deal...just thought we'd ask." "OK, have a good evening, and slow down."... end of ordeal.
If you don't object, you loose the right to object.

db
__________________
the perfect dive boat is one you're on...
cdennyb is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 16:29   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
S/V Antares's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Annapolis, Bahamas
Boat: 1983 Gulfstar 36
Posts: 1,249
Images: 1
The bogas "Homeland Security Act" has persumably given these gung ho local clam cops a bit more leash. It was likely a training drill at your expense. When you travel a few more miles south near the Sub pens the real Homeland security folks do no fool around with these games. If you are an obivious threat they simply shoot you as it should be.
__________________
Will & Muffin
Lucy the dog

"Yes, well.. perhaps some more wine" (Julia Child)
S/V Antares is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 16:38   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,371
If you have lived in other parts of the world, you already know that America is not the "Land of the Free" compared with many others. It is the "Home of the Brave" though... takes guts to live here! Oh well, we love her anyway..... sorry about your disaster..... sounds like a bad "tip off" to me.........
__________________
Cheechako is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 16:46   #9
Registered User
 
twisty's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 203
Whatever happened to having to have probable cause to search your "vehicle". Looking to young to be cruising is not probable cause. I am curious though, if you told them no they couldn't search the boat why did the dog enter the boat.

I would have been telling them to get a search warrant, I kinda doubt they would have gotten one. But then again with the way things are now they probably would have gotten one and then found the stupidest thing they could to charge you with just to be a$$e$.
__________________
twisty is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 16:49   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southbound
Boat: Pearson 31-2
Posts: 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdennyb View Post
so, as captain of your vessel, why didn't youpolitely refuse to let them board your vessel? Since you were in US Waters, the consitiution protects you from unlawful search & seizure so it should fall into the same book as getting stopped on the highway for 'nothing wrong' and being asked if it's alright to look in your trunk or car. Last time I verbally assulted by the Gustopo police, I respectfully told no, I didn't want them searching anything, unless of course they wanted to get a judge out of bed and have him issue a search warrant for a specific search for a specific item. They said, "Ok, no big deal...just thought we'd ask." "OK, have a good evening, and slow down."... end of ordeal.
If you don't object, you loose the right to object.

db

I didn't have that option. They just got on my boat without permission. They did ask me at least a dozen times if I minded them bringing dogs on and searching the boat and I said that I would much rather be on my way but didn't think I had much choice and at that point they may as well do whatever their going to do and get it over with. But they still kept asking over and over if they could bring the dogs. I think they were trying to trick me into confessing I had drugs onboard.

I spoke with a local friend who called her friend who works for homeland security and that guy said he's not surprised at all and that this happens all the time and that they have the right to do everything they did and more with little to no reason. I guess I should consider my self lucky they didn't cut my mast in half to see if there was drugs inside.

This ordeal has really taken the shine off my adventure and has me seriously considering canceling the trip, to avoid future incidents and going back to land where I don't have to accept such intrusive civil rights violations. Its a real shame too.
The American dream....hah!
__________________
Aquah0lic is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 16:55   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southbound
Boat: Pearson 31-2
Posts: 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by twisty View Post
Whatever happened to having to have probable cause to search your "vehicle". Looking to young to be cruising is not probable cause. I am curious though, if you told them no they couldn't search the boat why did the dog enter the boat.

I would have been telling them to get a search warrant, I kinda doubt they would have gotten one. But then again with the way things are now they probably would have gotten one and then found the stupidest thing they could to charge you with just to be a$$e$.

The short answer to this is that I had nothing to hide. They can't find something thats not there. I was hoping to be on my way quickly and felt that cooperating with them was the best way to get it over with. Also, if I had said no dogs, they would have brought them anyways and taken twice as long thinking I was hiding something.
__________________
Aquah0lic is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 17:03   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Boat: CT54
Posts: 358
Images: 3
Lack of rights when you live or cruise on a boat is a real problem and i believe leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many boaters in the US.
My daughter actually did a report at her high school last year that focused on the lack of boaters rights. Many of her peers (including her teacher) was surprised when they learned that you have no rights on your boat and a search warrant was not a requirement (in the name of homeland security of course).
It is kind of funny that you have more rights here in the US when it comes your car than you do for your home (assuming you call your boat home).
__________________
jackiepitts is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 17:05   #13
Vendor
 
witzgall's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Boat: Camper Nicholson 44 Ketch
Posts: 1,775
If it was County police, I assume that means they are working for a Sheriff? If that is so, find out, call that elected official, and let them know plainly how you feel about such treatment. If they did any damage to your boat, document it with photographs, and demand reimbursement.

A nice letter to the editor at the local paper might ruffle some feathers as well.

Or, just go sailing....

Chris
__________________
witzgall is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 17:36   #14
Registered User
 
twisty's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquah0lic View Post
The short answer to this is that I had nothing to hide. They can't find something thats not there. I was hoping to be on my way quickly and felt that cooperating with them was the best way to get it over with. Also, if I had said no dogs, they would have brought them anyways and taken twice as long thinking I was hiding something.
And I inderstand that you had nothing to hide and wanted to get on your way, but at the same time they had no probable cause. One of my firm beliefs is our government officials get away with abusing their power by harassing people going about their daily lives for no other reason than because we let them. Especially Homeland Security, until you mentioned that I was like ok let them do their thing and be done with it, but when you said homeland Security and customs was involved, that puts it over the top.

One of my true hopes is Obama puts a stop to a lot of this Homeland Security Crap, I guess only time will tell there though.

PS if you cancel your trip because of this, they win, by scaring you into giving up your freedom in, as they call it, the name of freedom
__________________
twisty is offline  
Old 05-02-2009, 18:11   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,930
Sorry to hear about your incident but don't let it stop your cruise. Have a beer, get a good nights sleep and try to forget about it. There really is no redress. Then use your vote to try to put an end to tactics like those. Unfortunately that is the way most para military organizations behave.

Oh, did you have a run in with anyone at the marina?
__________________

__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Man's Boat Leads to Capture by Police CarlF Cruising News & Events 18 12-06-2009 13:29
Electronics person in Charleston - Also life raft in Charleston? Labatt Marine Electronics 6 04-01-2009 18:34
Police Flashlight Hack Soft Air General Sailing Forum 3 21-09-2008 11:58
Hello! From Sullivan County NY Kriscappiello Meets & Greets 6 21-07-2008 15:17
Australian Customs/the new secret police? Bob Norson General Sailing Forum 24 26-05-2006 19:47



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:38.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.