Monday, November 3, 2008

[Update] Sign Theft Legal in Somers Local Cops Tell Degnan

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Somers police refused to issue any citation to a Greg Ball campaign
aide caught red-handed stealing Degnan campaign signs; the man was
caught Sunday night by candidate Degnan and a campaign volunteer.

Degnan's companion wrote later when Degnan tried to thwart the
theft, the thief attempted to run him down, his vehicle striking
John a glancing blow.

The eye-witness said the driver begged John not to report the
incident, but it turned out his pleas were entirely unnecessary
because he did nothing wrong by Somers police standards.

According to Degnan, the police told him they would not charge the
driver because it is not illegal to steal campaign signs in Somers
as long as the thief tells police that he stole only signs that had
been posted on public land. Those, the officer assured John, are
legally 'abandoned.'

The Ball campaign worker had in his car at least a dozen 'abandoned'
Degnan signs worth about $400.

When John asked the officer if that means anyone can steal Greg
Ball's signs too, the officer was less certain, assuring Degnan that
he made his legal decisions on a "case-by-case" basis.

And all this time we thought theft of some $400 in private property
was against the law!

Nor, it appears, is it illegal in Somers to deliberately run your
car into a pedestrian.

Although Degnan had visible injuries and was treated at the scene by
an ambulance crew, the officer refused to issue any summons to
Ball's confederate because, the cop explained, in his opinion the
injuries were not sufficiently life-threatening.

Presumably, being a consummate professional, the officer also knew
that John's injuries couldn't possibly hurt.

So it's official from the Somers P.D.: Stealing campaign signs is
perfectly legal as long as you assure police you stole the signs
only from public places.

Nor it seems is it illegal to deliberately hit a pedestrian with
your car as long as -- in the considered medical opinion of a Somers
police officer -- the injuries are not quite serious enough to
warrant hospitalization.

How proud Somers must be to have officers with such exceptional
legal and medical expertise!

What a relief for the rest of us, knowing that drivers no longer
have to worry about deliberately injuring pedestrians in Somers
because there each police officer has the power to decide on a 'case-
by-case basis' when hitting a pedestrian just shows you have a keen
sense of humor.

Bill Banks, Brewster Village