Thomas v US, CA 87-1820

WILLIAM THOMAS, et. al.,              )
     Plaintiffs Pro Se                )   CA 87-1820-LFO
                                      )   Judge Oberdorfer 
versus                                )
     Defendants                       )


I Robert Dorrough, plaintiff pro se in the above entitled action, hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge:

1. On February 1, 1987 I was in Lafayette Park and engaged in the recreational activity of playing in the snow. I was joined in this pastime by Andrew Hammerman, age 20, Denny Geisler, age 4, and Jenia Geisler, age 8.

2. At approximately 1:30 we were approached by Officer Hewick of the U.S. Park Police, who told us: "This is going to have to come down."

3. I inquired why, and Officer Hewick replied: "because it's a structure."

4. He then grabbed an ice breaking hoe that I had been using to form snow blocks. "What's this, and what are you doing with it?" Officer Hewick asked me.

5. "A shovel" I said, "and I'm keeping it within three feet of me."

6. "I'm confiscating it." Officer Hewick said. Standing opposite me on the other side of the snow wall he pointed the metal end of the snow hoe at the wall. "Move!" He commanded.

7. Wait a minute. Who told you to do this?" I inquired.

8. "My sergent." He replied.

9. "What's his name?" I asked.

10. "Sergeant Wilkens. Now move." He plunged the hoe into the snow wall, damaging it.

11. "Wait a minute, let's reason this out." I pleaded. He ingnored my pleas and continued his destructive behavior.

12. Feeling as though I did not have his attention I walked around the wall and stood between him and the wall.

13. "You can't do this without a reason." I said. He nudged me with the hoe. I instinctively grabbed the end of it to protect myself from injury. "If you want to destroy it get your own shovel." I suggested.

14. Officer Hewick became enraged and attempted to strice me with the opposite end of the hoe. Fearing physical harm, I took the hoe away from him, and threw it some distance away.

15. Officer Hewick lunged at me. I tried to back away from him, as he had the look of a mad man. I was prevented from retreating by two uniformed Secret Service agents who seized me from behind.

16. Officer Hewick tried to throw me down. I did not resist, yet he was unable to do so. I sat in the snow.

17. Then he attempted to choke me.

18. I asked the S.S. agents if they wanted to cuff me, and extended my hands. They put on handcuffs.

19. Officer Hewick then moved around behind me and stepped on the handcuffs, cansing severe pain and lacerations on my wrists.

20. I looked up and saw Andy Hammerman shoring up part of the damaged wall. Officer Hewick went over and shouted something at him. Andy Hammerman started backing away from Officer Hewick.

21. Officer Hewick attacked Andy as he was backing away, grabbed him and threw him to the ground, sat on top of him and handcuffed him.

22. As I was sitting there on the ground I saw USPP Officer Mitchell, whom I have known for a number of years. I called him over and he took charge of me from the two S.S. agents, and transported me to the USPP sub-station at Hains point.

23. I was charged with Disorderly Conduct, posted ten dollars, and was released with a court date of March 17, 1987. I was also issued citations for "threatening, resisting, interfering with a government employee engaged in official duty." 36 CFR 2.32(a)(1), and "erecting structure to include shelters such as tents, boxes, and other structures: 36 CFR 7.96 (5)(x)(4), and released.

24. Before I was released, or had any knowledge of the charges against me, I had the opportunity to exchange some words with Sergeant Wilkens. I asked him if it was true that he had told Officer Hewick to come and destroy our snow castle. He responded affirmatively. I asked if he had contacted the Solicitor's Office. He responded that there woas no need for that. I asked if the parks were for recreationsl purposes. He did not respond and disappeared. I was unable to inquire further.

25. Even though I was charged with violations of the regulations I feel as though I was the one that was violated. I believe that I was doing something entirely harmless, and that there was no cause for the police abused I suffered.

26. In addition to the physical abuse which I suffered, I also suffered embarrassment and humiliation.

27. Additionally Denny and Junia Gesiler, the two children for and with whom I was building the castle, and for whocm I was responsible at the time of Officer Hewick's attack, were both frightened.

Robert Dorrough

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