Man “Open Carrying” a Cat Harassed Then Illegally Arrested by Police in Mena, Arkansas
The following post and accompanying video were shared with the CopBlock Network by Bart Perry, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.
Bart is the father of the person that recorded the video, whose name is Timothy Perry. The video is fairly short and not of very good quality having been taken with a cellphone by a man being threatened and subsequently kidnapped by armed strangers on what appears to be a deserted road.
However, in spite of its brevity and lack of technical perfection (or anything close to that) it shows pretty clearly that Bart’s son Timothy was stopped without legal justification and then arrested on the typical, made up “contempt of cop” charge of obstruction. During the video, Officers Mike Wolf and Paul Larson give some very bad excuses for their initial harassment of Timothy.
The fact that Officer Larson sees someone walking on the side of a road does not necessitate a “welfare check.” Even if he chooses to take it upon himself to do so, the simple act of walking in public does not constitute reasonable suspicion to legally detain someone, even if they start filming you once you turn around. Nor does Officer Wolf’s assertion that Timothy “disappeared on this officer.” None of those things are actually illegal acts.
Obviously, Officer Wolf is also incredibly wrong about what the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in regards to “stop and identify” statutes. In order for someone to be compelled to identify themselves, they must be legally detained. Since that is clearly not the case in this video, that requirement does not apply.
Timothy also is not legally obstructing them, since they have no legal authority to investigate him for the “offense” of walking down the street with a cat in his hands. Even in the Police State of America, it’s not yet illegal to simply walk around (openly) carrying a cat.
(Note: No information was included about the status of the [unidentified] cat. I certainly hope that s/he made it back home safely and was not also harmed and/or kidnapped by Mena Arkansas Police Officers Mike Wolf and Paul Larson. If I do receive such information, I will update the post.) – Update: I’ve been informed that the cat has returned and is safe. I’ve also been told that the charges in this case have been dropped.
Date of Incident: January 15, 2017
Officers Involved: Officer Mike Wolf and Officer Paul Larson – badge numbers 506 and 513
Department Involved: Mena (AR) Police Department
Department Facebook Page: Mena Police Dept.
Department Phone Number: (479) 394-1212
If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.
On January 15th 2017, my son, Timothy Perry, who is 25 years old, went outside to catch his cat that had gotten out the door a few minutes earlier. Timothy was right down the road with his cat in his arms when the cops (two of them) stopped him and started asking him questions.
The state of Arkansas has a “stop and identify” law that requires you to give your name IF you are suspected of a crime. “If they have reasonable suspicion that you’re involved in criminal activity.” I don’t think catching your cat, looks like criminal activity. (at least not in my opinion…)
My son, knowing he had done nothing wrong, and was not committing ANY criminal act refused to give them his name. I think this made the officer angry, because he decided to throw my son on the hood of his car, VERY hard…(excessive force?) Oh, yea, he had his cat in his arms at the time.
Then, to top it off, he read him his Miranda rights as, “you have the right to remain silent, I suggest you do it.” Is this the same Miranda rights I was brought up knowing…or a shorter version they use when you make them mad? But the officer tells my son at first that he has no idea what age he is…my son looks more then 25 at the least.
Police departments all over the USA are having trouble with police officers right now, and now I know why. The excessive use of force, the stopping of citizens just walking down the road to get their cat, and Miranda rights given to you illegally…not the police force I want protecting me…right?
I think the police in Mena Arkansas need to be corrected for this, as it’s just not right. I personally think he needs to sue them. Anybody know of any good attorneys that will work pro bono? This shit has GOT to stop…Nazi cops are everywhere.
– Bart Perry