Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

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Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby rDigital » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:44 pm

My friend Bob's firearm was locked inside a box, inside of a locker inside of his place of business. The box with the firearm was stolen.
Bob reported the firearm stolen to the Maple Heights Police Department back in May I believe.

This was a regular 9mm S&W handgun, nothing strange or fancy.

His sister was driving his car, when she was pulled over they told her that Bob has a warrant out for his arrest.
He turned himself into the Maple Heights Police department today 11/29/2018 and was released on bond. They are charging him with 2923.19 of the ORC which is :

2923.19 Failure to secure dangerous ordnance.
(A) No person, in acquiring, possessing, carrying, or using any dangerous ordnance, shall negligently fail to take proper precautions:
(1) To secure the dangerous ordnance against theft, or against its acquisition or use by any unauthorized or incompetent person;
(2) To insure the safety of persons and property.
(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of failure to secure dangerous ordnance, a misdemeanor of the second degree.
Effective Date: 01-01-1974.

From <http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.19v1>

Strangely enough, regular firearms (like Bob's Pistol), are specifically exempted from the definition of "dangerous ordnance" in the ORC. Interestingly enough, the city of Maple Heights has their own ordinance with the same elements as the state law, with the title reading : Failure to secure dangerous ordnance or firearm.

They only gave him the charging affidavit. They would not release any police reports or other documentation of the "crime" to him. Bob has representation on behalf of his employer, but I have been in contact with gun rights attorneys around the state to get more attention on this issue.

Bob goes to work every day. Bob has a license to carry. Bob is a productive citizen with 7 children to take care of at home. This is a disgrace. As usual, process is the punishment. Why did they wait so long to file charges and bogus charges at that? Was the firearm recovered and or involved in a crime? They won't tell him anything. This also goes to show that so-called "safe storage laws" are just another way to lock-up lawful gun owners.

image deleted as requested--m380g

https://www.citymapleheights.com/law Maple Heights Law Department info, also a link to city ordinances
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby djthomas » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:30 pm

It's complete BS. Lakewood tried the same thing to someone on this board and it ended with the law director conceding in open court that Lakewood had a bad law on the books (they had done some old chicanery with the definition of dangerous ordnance). The judge admonished the city and the law director promised to get council to fix the law, which they did after a few months. It wound up costing the guy some $2,500 in legal fees I think and I don't know if he pursued that.

Looking at the charges here they cited him under state code - they didn't even try to charge him under municipal code to which they could claim some degree of ignorance as Lakewood did. There's simply no probable cause here because at no time did the defendant possess a dangerous ordnance and a reasonable officer would be expected to know that. That point is not even a jury question. It's a bad arrest, plain and simple and it will quickly work out in his favor if he has a half-competent lawyer.

The city of course should not oppose his post-dismissal motion to immediately seal his record, and should be prepared to offer at least a few thousand bucks in "nuisance fees" to stave off a slam dunk federal civil rights suit with substantially more downside for the city.
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby Chuck » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:08 pm

Looks like a slam dunk to me.
The prosecution has to say what this "dangerous ordinance" was.

And I would think he has a very good chance of recouping costs on a 9.68 case after it's over.
IANAL

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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby djthomas » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:57 pm

Chuck wrote:And I would think he has a very good chance of recouping costs on a 9.68 case after it's over.

9.68 doesn't contemplate this kind of malfeasance. He was charged under an otherwise valid state law that plainly does not apply. The fact that both the law and its municipal equivalent are crystal clear that a normal firearm is not a dangerous ordnance means that a reasonable officer, reasonable supervisor, and reasonable prosecutor are on notice about what it means, thus either knew there was no probable cause for the warrant and subsequent arrest or were recklessly indifferent to same.

An arrest without probable cause violates the fourth amendment, so 42 USC 1983 is the way to go. Knowing how municipal insurance carriers I'd expect some quick settlement offer because there's really no factual dispute here. They screwed the pooch on this one and once that becomes apparent they're going to try to get away with the least amount of expense and hassle possible.
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby rouger10 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:25 am

Did you also notice that the patrolman, A. Carmine #535, signed off that "I have been advised that I am a necessary witness." and "I have been advised of civil liability."

Sounds to me like A. Carmine just stepped neck deep into a whole bunch of trouble !!!!!


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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby Brian D. » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:46 am

rouger10 wrote:Did you also notice that the patrolman, A. Carmine #535, signed off that "I have been advised that I am a necessary witness." and "I have been advised of civil liability."

Sounds to me like A. Carmine just stepped neck deep into a whole bunch of trouble !!!!!


Roger


Would be interesting to see A Carmine's personnel "jacket" for similar, previous history. Lawyers can sure do that for a client.
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby docachna » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:44 pm

Here's what I do not understand. Why on earth was this not immediately dismissed and buried under the biggest granite boulder the city could find as soon as it got before the eyes of someone who knew how to read the statute ? Why is this even still pending? Certainly somebody has already realized that this will not end well for the city. For the life of me, I do not understand why this is not already out the door with major apologies coming his way. Are they really that obstinate or are they just that damn stupid?
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby sodbuster95 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:35 pm

Everything about this thing is wrong and djthomas already hit most (if not all) of the high points. So I'll just nitpick paragraph 3 of the complaint that ends with "further says not".

The correct phrase is "Further affiant sayeth naught". Meaning, the person making the statement has nothing additional to say. Meaning, this is not just the wrong phrase, it's in the wrong spot (it should be at the end, obviously).

I dunno...it annoys me when people (including attorneys and law enforcement) parrot phrases they've seen or heard someone else use, but clearly have no idea what the phrases mean or why they're using them.

//Sorry...I'll get off my inconsequential soap box now. 8)
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby Hyflyer » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:17 pm

The first thing I noticed on that "Complaint" was misspelling "Cuyhoga County" near the top.

I hope Bob gets to take his whole family somewhere very nice for a vacation courtesy of Maple Hts. !
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby steves 50de » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:07 am

Can a civil rights lawsuit not be filed in federal court right now. :?:
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby djthomas » Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:00 pm

steves 50de wrote:Can a civil rights lawsuit not be filed in federal court right now. :?:

Technically yes but it would be stayed until the resolution of the charges. Federal courts don't normally get into the business of interpreting state statutes when there is a competent court of jurisdiction poised to do so.
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby deanimator » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:33 pm

djthomas wrote:The city of course should not oppose his post-dismissal motion to immediately seal his record, and should be prepared to offer at least a few thousand bucks in "nuisance fees" to stave off a slam dunk federal civil rights suit with substantially more downside for the city.

What exactly does "sealing" his record do for him?

If the arrest was at all publicized, it'll be online... FOREVER.

The city is utterly powerless to cleanse the media of the information.

A retraction will NEVER be made, especially if only the arrest was reported. And even if it is retracted, only the initial arrest will be remembered.

How can damage to his reputation be mitigated by the city, AT ALL?

Why should he settle for a pittance which doesn't even come close to compensating him for his damages? And that's not counting attorney's fees.
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby djthomas » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:52 pm

deanimator wrote:What exactly does "sealing" his record do for him?

It will allow him to legally deny that the incident ever happened and it will prohibit any public agency with information on the case from further disseminating information about it, six months, a year, five years from now, whether on its own or in response to a public records request. That's worth something.
deanimator wrote:If the arrest was at all publicized, it'll be online... FOREVER

At this point the only publication of this gent's arrest has occurred right here in this thread by someone other than him. In fact now that enough of our forumites have seen the first post maybe it should be edited to remove the complaint. Advice was sought and given, we don't need the particulars of this guy's case here anymore, unless of course he were to come here himself and ask it to be. The Lakewood case came and went with zero publicity.

Even our favorite anti-gun mouth piece, cleveland.com has recently adopted a "right to be forgotten" policy that's rather generous towards people who have been falsely accused of crimes.
deanimator wrote:The city is utterly powerless to cleanse the media of the information.

A very valid point, but again does the media have it right now?
deanimator wrote:How can damage to his reputation be mitigated by the city, AT ALL?

Only he can decide, but from what OP states this was stolen from his place of employment and his employer is helping provide legal counsel. Clearly it hasn't impaired his reputation with his employer to say the least.
deanimator wrote:Why should he settle for a pittance which doesn't even come close to compensating him for his damages? And that's not counting attorney's fees.

That's up to him to decide. Maybe he'll even decide not to pursue it further. There is a very real downside to filing a federal civil rights suit. It will cause exactly the kind of publicity that so far this incident has not generated. If this case goes away quickly and quietly and the official records are sealed before the media really gets wind of things, then why not take a settlement that covers your costs plus something for your time and trouble that allows you to quickly move on? Again back to the Lakewood case, it never made the news, which may explain why the victim didn't go marching into federal court demanding millions.
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby marca » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:57 pm

If you can stand the heat, you do it to punish them and make it hurt enough that they will not try it again. Otherwise, it is business as usual.
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Re: Maple Heights-Man charged after reporting stolen firearm

Postby deanimator » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:01 pm

djthomas wrote:
deanimator wrote:What exactly does "sealing" his record do for him?

It will allow him to legally deny that the incident ever happened and it will prohibit any public agency with information on the case from further disseminating information about it, six months, a year, five years from now, whether on its own or in response to a public records request. That's worth something.

But it DID happen.

If asked if he'd been arrested on a job application, for a security clearance, or other reason, could he not be denied employment, terminated or even prosecuted? If applying for a TS/SBI (or higher) could he REALLY lie to a DISCO, OPM or FBI interviewer without consequences?

This could conceivably follow him around for the rest of his life. Who pays for THAT?

As somebody else pointed out, there needs to be serious negative reinforcement for such behavior, rather than "no harm no foul".
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