Please realize that good communication leads to co-operation not confrontation
Posted Fri January 30, 2009 12:00 pm, by Kathy S. written to Universal Studios, Inc.
Write a Letter to this Company
This is a copy of parts of the motion to Dismiss that was handed to the courts on January 21, 2009. It has been modified to some extent to add a bit more detail in regards to the events that took place after the arrest. But now we all know what did happen that day on September 5, 2008, since some people seem to want to voice their views before knowing the whole story. Hate to burst some bubbles but this episode in Universal was due to poor discretion and improper conduct by one particular security officer and one particular police officer.
MOTION TO DISMISS
COMES NOW the defendant, KATHY S., by and through herself, (pro se) and pursuant to Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.190 (c)(4), respectfully moves this Court for the entry of an oder dismissing the criminal charges filed against the Defendant in this cause, and as grounds therefore, the Defendant would show the Court that there are no material disputed facts and the undisputed facts do not establish a prima facie case of guilt against the Defendant. The facts and law upon which this motion is based are as follows:
On September 5, 2008 Kathy S. and her two teenage children attended Islands of Adventure park. The last ride they had taken in that day was Popeye and Bluto's bilge Rat Barges. This ride got Mrs. S. and her two children, not just wet, but soaked, from head to foot. To avoid the hassles of carrying a purse that day Mrs. S. had placed all her belongings in her pant pockets - which consisted of a keyless remote keys to her VW; her Greencard; her paper annual passes of which she had just spent $600.00 dollars on, as well as a $20.00 dollar bill and visa card. The park closed at 6:00 pm that day, they got off the ride at 5:50 pm. On the way out of the park Mrs. S. decided she wanted to try a fancy drink, Mrs. S. is not a drinker, mostly wine on occasions, but now and again enjoys specialty drinks. The frozen Margarita to go caught her eye so she stopped to purchase herself a drink from a roaming vendor. In the height of still laughing with her children how wet they had got, she still had not realized that her keys, as well as any paper belongings and green card may be getting damaged. She, nor her children, had ever experienced a water ride with such drastic wetness. After paying for the drink, and walking away, she suddenly realized that if her money was as wet as it was then what about her other belongings. Not wanting to especially damage her keyless remote keys which cost over 200.00 dollars to replace, neither her paper passes she just spent 600.00 dollars on, and especially worried about her new greencard, she immediately stopped and asked her son to hold her drink for her while she empty her pockets. Being she purchased the drink from a roaming vendor and was no longer near to this vendor she had no table to place her drink down on nor did she wish to put it on the ground in fear of the traffic for a Friday night with the park closing and City walk just coming alive. Within a matter of a couple minutes Mrs. S. and her children were approached on the drink being in the hands of a minor by Security. One male security officer was very polite and apologetic to Mrs. S. in having to ban her and her children from the park. He tried to answer her concerns but was rudely interrupted by another female security officer who had just joined them. She ordered the officer to not give Kathy S. any further explanations and began to take control of the conversation. She increased the ban from one year to indefinite simply because Mrs. S. wished to plea her situation to the officers. Mrs. S. clearly showed the female security officer her passes, her money and belongings and how wet she was, she showed her even that the drink was full still. No one explained to Mrs. S. that a trespass warning is a written piece of paper. They just told her she'd be banned and what it meant. No one explained to Mrs. S. even that she could appeal the ban with Universal. Mrs. S. gave the security officer's her name, but continued to inquire why her daughter was being banned. Mrs. S.'s daughter was 19 years old and had purchased her own pass, clearly did not have a drink in her hand and never did purchase the drink in her brother's hand. She had done nothing wrong in other words. In speaking the situation to the security officer Mrs. S. started speaking with her hands and in pure accident brushed Security Officer's stomach, who had by this time been shoved off to the side of Mrs. S. by the other two female security officers. Security Officer then accused Mrs. S. of striking an officer and that she could be charged and arrested for that. Officer quickly informed the female security officer that she was wrong in her accusation and that it was clearly unintended. After Mrs. S. could see that Security officer was only trying to heat the situation up it was decided that Mrs. S. would just leave. She set her drink down and her and her children began to walk away to the exit of City walk. NO ONE told her to stop nor indicated they were not done with dealing with her. Mrs. S. has never heard of a trespass warning, has never been in trouble with the law, except perhaps a small speeding violation, so would not know what is involved with a trespass warning. Upon reaching the connectors Police Officer stopped in front of Mrs. S. and yelled STOP. Mrs. S. and her children immediately stopped. When Mrs. S. explained to the officer that she was banned and told to leave he informed her that she did not have their permission to leave and that they were needing to issue her a trespass warning. Mrs. S. complied with Officer and began to exchange her information with him. During this time, security Officer came on scene again, this time with a small hand held digital camera and began, without forewarning, to aggressively take her son's picture, and then in an attempt, once again WITHOUT forewarning, began to attempt to take her daughter's picture. May I say here this would, I feel, be a bit antagonistic, like rubbing salt in one's wound, so to speak. Mrs. S.'s daughter, once again, had done nothing to be banned from the park, let alone have her picture aggressively taken so Mrs. S.'s daughter put her hand up to the camera in an attempt to block the lens. Being the camera was quite small it is very logical to believe that inadvertently Mrs. S.'s daughter also may have touched the hand of Security officer. Security Officer then aggressively pushed Mrs. S.'s daughter away from her, with enough force that Mrs. S.'s daughter lost her balance. Security Officer proceeded to attempt to take Mrs. S.'s daughter's picture a second time which then let to a minor confrontation in which Mrs. S.'s daughter slapped Security Officer. With this, Mrs. S.'s daughter was placed under arrest for battery. Another Officer then came on scene to assist Officer who had to take Mrs. S.'s daugther away. Officer seemed quite concerned with what had taken place and invited Kathy S. to tell her what had just happened. In an attempt to tell her story Officer could not hear Mrs. S. very well so in QUOTE, said "I"d LOVE to hear what happened" END QUOTE, but went on to explain that she couldn't hear for all the noise and asked Mrs. S. and her son to move away from the connectors. They did so and continued to express their concerns and worries to Officer. One of Mrs. S.'s biggest concerns was her daughter and what was going to happen, where they were taking her to, etc. Officer at first told Mrs. S. that her daughter would have a chance to call her later. Mrs. S. then went on to explain to Officer how she was not from here, very new to Orlando, and that their place of residence could not be moved into until the 10th so for now they were staying at a motel in Kissimmee and she's not even sure her daughter would have the number, name or address of the place. Officer then reassured Mrs. S. that she'd get her a map and number. Supervisor then appeared on the scene and he signed the trespass warning and between both Officer and Security officer they explained the meaning of a trespass warning. When Officer indicated that Mrs. S. and her son would have to leave property Mrs. S. indicated to Officer that Officer Jewell had promised her information on her daughter first. Officer then conversed this back to Officer and told him it was true, that she did tell Mrs. S. she could get her information and could he assist us in doing so. Officer confirmed to both Officer Jewell and Kathy S. that a map and phone number could be provided before she had to leave. Officer then left the scene to obtain the map. Officer then went on to further explain what QUOTE "was going to happen" END QUOTE...and in stating that she explained that Mrs. S. and her son would be escorted off premises by two security officers - and a second security officer of which his name is unknown at this time - Officer asked Mrs. S. if she was going to give the officers any problems. Mrs. S. clearly stated that she was NOT going to give them any problems, but prior to leaving she'd also like the name of the security officer who was initially on the scene with her daughter. Mrs. S. went on to explain that she felt this officer could be a key witness for her daughter's situation and the aggressive nature of Officer. Officer Jewell told Mrs. S. that "they do not have to give out their names." Mrs. S. indicated to the name tags and pointed to the other officer's in front of her asking why they have name tags then? Officer responded with "Are you refusing to leave?" Mrs. S. clearly said "NO, I am not refusing to leave, I only wanted the name of that one security officer." Again Officer asked the same question, "Are you refusing to leave?" Mrs. S. again clearly said NO, I am not refusing to leave, it's only a name I want as well as you promised me information on my daughter before I'd have to leave." At that remark Officer walked behind Mrs. S. and handcuffed her and placed her under arrest. After being arrested Officer seemed to amuse herself by indicating to Mrs. S. that her 17 year old would have to be placed in the hands of child services being he was not 18 and there was no adult to place him in the hands of. She then went on to tell her that her car would be towed, and accused her of being transient because her of her temporary address, yet Mrs. S. clearly indicated to the officer that they signed a lease but could not move in till September 10th. The plastic cuffs were put on so tight that Mrs. S. developed welts on her wrists. Both Mrs. S. and her daughter were left in their soaked clothes in an air conditioned area for 3 hours, during this time they were refused to be allowed to use the washroom. After pleading though that her daughter Is susceptible to bladder infections one officer did relent. They were then transported for another 2 hours around the city of Orlando in a van while other arrested people were picked up. It was not until booking that they finally received some sort of compassion. Mrs. S. had to have her 17 year old son go out at 2 am to a bank machine and retrieve 1000.00 dollars In cash bail, In a city he was totally unfamiliar with as well as jeopardizing his safety at that hour.
WELCOME TO THE USA!
Kathy S. Is from Canada with her American husband, they have 6 children altogether ranging In ages 8 to 25.
II. DEFENDANT DID NOT COMMIT TRESPASS.
Florida Statutes, 810.09(5), provides as follows:
If the offender DEFIES AN ORDER to leave personally communicated to the offender by the owner of the premises or by an authorized person, or if the offender willfully opens any door, fence, or gate or doe any act that exposes animals, crops, or other property to waste, destruction or freedom; unlawfully dumps litter on property; or trespasses on property other than a structure or conveyance, the offender commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
In the present case, Kathy S. did not violate the trespass statute, because after Kathy S. was asked if she was refusing to leave she did not refuse to do so. In fact she clearly stated she was NOT refusing to leave. The state may contend that there was such a refusal because the defendant did not immediately depart from Universal Studios; however; such an argument should not be pursuasive. Kathy S. only requested in a polite manner for a name of ONE security officer of which was pertinent to her daughter's arrest as a key witness, which is not an unreasonable request given the fact that Kathy S. is new to the United States, on a green card and had many viable concerns to her daughter's arrest. She also did not ever state that unless she got this name she was refusing to leave. She only asked for the name politely once and questioned why it could not be given once. Kathy S. reassured the officer very clearly a second time that she WAS NOT refusing to leave and that she had also been PROMISED a MAP and PHONE NUMBER before she would have to leave premises. Again this was not an unreasonable request for her to make to the officer. Especially with the fact that Officer, the arresting officer, was the one IN FACT to make this promise, only to get this confirmed by a second party - Security Supervisor. Both Security Officers testify to this PROMISE in their affidavit. Never was this promise withdrawn that day. Kathy S. was actually compelled and obliged to wait until this promised information had been given to her. Never was there indicated either, to Kathy S., that Officer was done instructing her or conversing with her anymore. Kathy S. had every right to verbally oppose or challenge police actions without risking arrest in this case, based on the first ammendment. The officer clearly promised her further instructions for her daughter, as well as the fact that she had a legitimate right to wanting a security officer's name.
Verbally confronting the police is a right all Americans have under the First Amendment.
Kathy S. was doing nothing more than requesting a name, and may I say, in a polite manner, a name which she felt crucial to her daughter's arrest as well as most importantly was waiting for forthcoming information promised to her, not by just one person but by two persons. One being the supervisor in charge that night, the other being the arresting officer.
Sworn affidavits testify the above to be true in regards to a map and phone number.
A sworn charging affidavit by Officer testifies that Officer did push Mrs. S.'s daughter first before any altercation.
No forewarning to a picture was ever given to Mrs. S. or her children by officer or any other security officer or police officer.
No reason was ever given for wanting to issue Mrs. S.'s daughter a trespass warning, who was 19 and had done absolutely nothing to warrant a ban.
A sworn charging affidavit signed by Officer omits mentioning anything about a map, phone number, or the concerns for her daughter.
WHEREFORE, for all the foregoing reasons, the Defendant respectfully prays that this Court will enter an order dismissing the criminal charges pending against the Defendant in this cause.
AND they DID! JUSTICE DOES PREVAIL!
Unfortunately I allowed a public defender to represent my daughter and of course they plea bargained out. But the state at least saw enough folly in the charge that they only gave Mrs. S.'s daughter a small fine and withhold of ajudification. Although the court costs added to the fine ; - (
To look into this situation, do some research and reinstate our ability to enter their park again as well as look for employment.
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