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Cops confiscate firearms anticipating guy might go postal.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by harmonic, Mar 10, 2010.

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  1. harmonic

    harmonic member

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    http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100309/NEWS/3090315

    Concerns about an Oregon Department of Transportation employee who purchased several guns after being placed on leave prompted law enforcement across Southern Oregon to step in.

    Negotiators and a SWAT team from Medford police safely took a man — whose name wasn't released — into protective custody Monday morning in the 500 block of Effie Street, Medford police said in a news release.

    He was taken to Rogue Valley Medical Center for a mental-health evaluation.

    The man recently had been placed on administrative leave from his job and was "very disgruntled," the news release said.

    ODOT Communications Director Patrick Cooney said there were administrative, personnel matters involved that limited what the department could discuss.

    However, the state agency had reported concerns about the man to law enforcement agencies, who started monitoring him, officials said.

    "We had concerning information regarding a personnel issue and were watching the subject," Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said.

    In two days, the man bought a Heckler & Koch .45-caliber universal self-loading handgun, a Walther .380-caliber handgun and an AK-47 assault rifle, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said. All of those firearms were purchased legally, with required record checks by the Oregon State Police.

    Authorities were "extremely concerned" that the man may have been planning to retaliate against his employers, the news release said.

    "Instead of being reactive, we took a proactive approach," OSP Sgt. Jeff Proulx said.

    Douglas and Jackson County sheriff's departments, OSP officers based in both counties and police in Medford and Roseburg collaborated, he said.

    Medford police watched the man's home overnight, starting at about 9 p.m. Sunday, Hansen said.

    Because he was known to have weapons, police wanted to defuse the situation and ensure the man wasn't a danger to himself or others before the neighborhood awakened and people started their daily activities, Hansen said.

    Medford's hostage negotiators and SWAT team were called in at 3 a.m. Monday and arrived on the scene at about 5:45 a.m., he said.

    About a dozen officers responded. They closed the street for about an hour and evacuated three homes to protect neighbors and prevent bystanders from gathering, he said.

    After a phone conversation with negotiators, the man — who was alone in the home — agreed to come out, Hansen said.

    Police seized the recently purchased firearms, as well as another .45-caliber Heckler & Koch handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun. Police are holding the weapons for safekeeping, but no criminal charges have been filed.
     
  2. WestEnd65

    WestEnd65 Member

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    So what exactly was this guy being charged with?
     
  3. 7.62 Nato

    7.62 Nato Member

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    There haven't been any charges. They're just "holding them for him".
     
  4. harmonic

    harmonic member

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    Nothing. They just took his guns. So in Oregon cops don't have to have probable cause and don't have to charge you with anything. If they just decide you might do something wrong they can get your guns.

    Or else I'm not reading the article right.
     
  5. acdodd

    acdodd Member

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    Sounds like he could use a GOOD lawyer fast.
    I wonder why the cops don't confiscate all the car keys at the bars just to be safe.
     
  6. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    how is this legal?
     
  7. Noxx

    Noxx Member

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    Sounds like they pulled a 5150 pysch hold on the guy, where that allows searching his home and confiscating property is beyond me.
     
  8. rm23

    rm23 Member

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    Future murder 2nd degree. These cops are using the machine from Minority Report.
     
  9. Zoidberg523

    Zoidberg523 Member

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  10. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Wow , this man must be showing unstable behavior prior to the raid. Tell tale signs of impending doom. Oh well, we hope they are right or else if the guy wins in court he could end up gettng taxpayers money.
     
  11. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    A pre-emptive arrest?

    Sounds like his rights were violated big time.
     
  12. ants

    ants Member

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    This same thread just got closed on Legal.
    Better find a good way to keep it THR related if we want it to stay open.

    As with everything in the press, I bet we're not getting the full story (these days it's too hard for me to jump to conclusions after reading just one article). Anyone have more comprehensive information to share?
     
  13. ants

    ants Member

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    Well, they almost got it right.

    The HK USP is the Unversal Self-loading Pistol.
     
  14. MarineOne

    MarineOne Member

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    There has to be more to this story. If he came out peacefully after a simple phone call then I would suspect he's not as "disgruntled" as they were making him out to be. It could be a 5150 call, but theres too much that doesn't make sense.

    Either way, he should definately get a lawyer.



    Kris
     
  15. cchris

    cchris Member

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    DUI = $, otherwise the crooked ones in the city where I grew up wouldn't park a block away from the bar and wait for people to get on the road before stopping them. That's besides the point.

    I suppose every time someone is fired, they should prevent them from purchasing a cutlery set from Bed, Bath, and Beyond as well?
     
  16. N003k

    N003k Member

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    Alright, I'll grant based on THAT STORY, this sounds real bad, however, I somehow doubt that they fired the guy, and then just randomly called the cops on him.

    I have a feeling he was making some type of threats, and, depending on just what those threats WERE, and how they were presented, this might have been a good move.

    Also, granted if that's NOT the case, then yea, this is a real bad situation, and hopefully some police learn that you CAN'T make arrests just because you think without any basis someone may at some point commit a crime. I just really don't personally think this move was made without some basis behind it, only time will tell for sure though.
     
  17. Oregun89

    Oregun89 Member

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    I used to live there, my uncle is a MPD officer, i'll have to ask his take on the whole thing. Hopefully there's some info missing from this story.
     
  18. toivo

    toivo Member

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    I see only a few possibilities here. Either

    1. the guy has a history, either of violent felonies or serious mental illness; or
    2. the guy made explicit threats of violence; or
    3. the guy is going to get a lawyer and sue their asses off.
     
  19. PTK

    PTK Member

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    Seems about right, yep.

    I just cannot bear the thought of the USA turning into a place where one can be arrested "just in case".
     
  20. RS14

    RS14 Member

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    It seems to me that if he has done nothing wrong, the protective custody is a bit more significant than the confiscation of weapons. Generally police can hold you for some amount of time without filing charges; maybe that amount of time is excessive, but it's not new. At time of printing, he had only been in custody for ~20 hours.

    He'll also, presumably, get the benefit of due process. If released, he'll presumably be able to recover his weapons. Save your outrage until he's denied due process, or a speedy trial, or released without his weapons.

    For all we know, he made previous violent threats, possibly the cause for his leave. If charges have not yet been fired, the newspaper may be reluctant to print such allegations to avoid libel suits.
     
  21. 35wailen

    35wailen member

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    #1 is not possible because it has already been admitted that the firearms were purchased legally.

    #2 is highly unlikely because making explicit threats doesn't get you sent for a mere mental evaluation.

    I would probably like to contribute to a fund for #3 once we figure out who this guy is.
     
  22. MariusDP51

    MariusDP51 Member

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    IMO the law enforcement agency acted correctly and with enough reason to do so. This type of pro-active measures prevent tragedies and saves lives. They acted in this man's best interest as well.

    My 2c.
     
  23. RS14

    RS14 Member

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    There's not much point in sending a individual to trial if he's assessed as mentally ill. Either he'll end up in jail, only to be released untreated, or he'll end up in a mental institution anyway. Better to save the trouble and have the hospital evaluate him first. If he's not ill, then file charges on the basis of threats, or whatever else caused him to be brought into custody.
     
  24. 35wailen

    35wailen member

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    Marius it looks like you are just trying to pit yourself against all of us for no good reason (on your 12th post :rolleyes:). If you are sincere (which I doubt), and you are some sort of government agent, you are making your fellow government agents look very very bad by supporting a communist China style kidnapping of a citizen.
     
  25. wilkersk

    wilkersk Member

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    I believe there is a basis in Oregon state law for the action. Although, I suspect that a good laywer could force the issue.

    Oregon recognizes, as do most other states I suspect, the "reasonable man" theory when it comes to the perception of an intent to do harm. Under Oregon law, all that is needed is some material evidence beyond just a "feeling" of being threatened that a reasonable man might conclude the threat to be real.

    In this case, the fact that ODOT management felt the possibility of violence, and that the person in question did purchase firearms is enough grounds for a legal action. Although, I'd bet the time and scope of that action would be limited by the smart judge granted the neccesary warrants.

    I was looking for something to back up this assertion online, and came accross this interesting piece:

    http://www.oregoncommentator.com/2010/01/26/what-the-pacifica-forum-issue-is-really-about/

    What this all boils down to is that, given a reason, it is legal for the gub'ment to come into your home and sieze your weapons if they believe you're about to go postal. If its all just an unhappy coincidence, feel free to get a laywer to go after 'em to restore your property, your rights, and recoup your expenses. And, good luck!

    Better off just to cultivate your rep for a "cool head" and stay off their radar altoghether.
     
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