Tag Archives: washington

Holy Police Car! Batman Arrested in Seattle

I should say “wanna be Batman”, as I have a feeling it wasn’t Bruce Wayne. Police in Washington were called out to a bar regarding a man assaulting the bouncers with a knife affixed to a pole. After threatening an employee with his spear, the man fled with officers in pursuit. He threw something at the vehicle, and officers later discovered it was a Batarang: a sharpened ninja star in the shape of a bat. This Batman didn’t get away, and was arrested for felonious assault, and more charges expected.


The Batarang recovered from the police vehicle

From SPD blotter via Jalopnik.

batman_arrestWe’ve covered some superhero arrests on Crimcourts before, and in researching this, I discovered that there had been some Batman arrests that I had missed. None of them involved a Batarang, however.

What’s the Difference Between the Arrests of Dane Eagle and Trey Radel

  • State Rep. Dane Eagle was arrested for DUI last week in Tallahassee
  • Frmr Congressman Trey Radel was arrested for purchasing cocaine last year in Washington, D.C.
  • Radel resigned his position in Congress and spent time in rehab
Dane Eagle Mugshot

Dane Eagle Mugshot

Another arrest of a local politician brings criminal matters to the coffee shops around Southwest Florida. People I talk to generally agree that Trey Radel’s resignation from Congress was the right thing to do, but there doesn’t seem to be the level of anger regarding Dane Eagle’s DUI arrest. Though it doesn’t help that Eagle was recently quoted as saying that elected officials need to be held “to a higher standard”.

Legally, the offenses are not greatly different in terms of severity. Both charges are classified as misdemeanors, which are generally considered minor type offenses. Neither of them have been charged with felonies, as was former Lee County commissioner Tammy Hall. Neither offense would affect their civil rights, and neither has mandatory incarceration, though it could be a possibility, as they are criminal offenses. In fact, both charges carry a maximum 180 days in jail as a potential penalty in their respective jurisdictions. They are technically equivalent offenses. However, the nature of the offenses give people different reactions.

Many people feel more strongly about the cocaine charge, because the stigma of hard drugs, and the potential professional implications on a user, especially if abuse becomes a problem. That said, alcohol abuse can become a problem. There was information that Radel’s use had been ongoing, but at this time there is no evidence that the allegations against Eagle, which are still just allegations, are anything more than a one-time incident. In Florida, Radel’s charge would have been taken much more seriously. Any controlled substance possession is a felony, with exception of a small amount of marijuana. Purchase is actually an enhanced charge, and as a second degree felony, could be subject to 15 years in prison. Washington, D.C. does not consider a personal amount to be so serious.

Ironically, Eagle’s DUI in Florida could be considered more serious, as there are more mandatory minimum obligations for DUI offenses, including higher fines, community service, driver’s license suspensions, and classes that have to be taken if he is convicted. Radel will avoid even receiving a conviction if he completes his probation: that’s not available if Eagle ends up pleading or being found guilty of DUI. Also, many people consider DUI more serious because it puts other people at risk. He could have killed someone if he was driving under the influence, while personal use drug possession does not have the disregard for others associated with DUI.

Possible Eagle Photo on Instagram

Possible Eagle Photo on Instagram

Also worth noting is the way each conducted himself when detained by cops. Radle was completely cooperative and apologetic, immediately taking responsibility for his actions. Eagle denied having anything to drink, despite the officers description of an odor of alcohol, stumbling, and a bad driving pattern. Also, a picture has surfaced on social media that appears to be Eagle drinking from an oversized beer stein, and shark-tank.com estimates was posted Sunday evening before the arrest. That would not prove he was impaired, which he is still entitled to have heard in court before judgment is passed. Frankly, any misdemeanor charge is unlikely to reflect such a serious offense as to end someone’s career: their ability to do their job should be decided on actual merit.

More reading, with details on arrest: https://crimcourts.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/dane-eagle-arrested-charged-with-dui/

Always Ask for a Lawyer – #badcops

Here’s a great blog post from Attorney Jamison Koehler regarding the importance of invoking your right to counsel… and why asking for an attorney is better protection from improper police conduct than exercising the right to remain silent. The Dorsey case cited is an excellent example of the Courts defending the rights in our Constitution even as law enforcement officers try to find loopholes or to sidestep the rights. Worth read!


Seattle police create helpful marijuana legal guide

Kudos to the Seattle Police Department for reaching out with a little public information… their new information guide informs citizens of what their rights are under the new marijuana legalization.  Yes, you can have some marijuana, but no you cannot drive if impaired by marijuana.  Yes it is still a violation of Federal Law, and no, you can’t have back the weed that was seized prior to the passage of the law.  It’s a fun, informative and a great way to build rapport with the community.



Washington prosecutors are already throwing out pot cases

To put it succinctly, why would they continue to try to prosecute conduct that is going to be legal in a few weeks, when the measure becomes law Dec. 6.  Additionally, the King County Sheriff (where Seattle is located), announced that they are changing their policy to not arrest people with less than an ounce of marijuana.  Prosecutor Mark Lindquist may have the best take on the situation, saying “I don’t think you could sell a simple marijuana case to a jury after this initiative passed.” 

Possession of any marijuana remains a criminal offense in Florida, punishable by up to a year in jail, and possession of an ounce is a felony bringing up to 5 years in prison.  All drug-related offenses also have a mandatory driver’s license suspension.