Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'M BEING ARRESTED FOR WHAT?

When most of us get our daily or weekly newspaper, one of the first things we turn to is the "arrest section", and unfortunately, we assume the people listed there are guilty, or else they would never have been arrested.  Even after the person is cleared of guilt, the majority of the people that read your name in the paper will always assume you were GUILTY, because the local paper never tells you who was found innocent.

I never gave much thought to it, until I got arrested for helping out a friend of mine, who was continually getting arrested, because of fake charges her ex-husband would file on her, and anyone else that tried to be her friend, including me, and her boyfriend.

They were both floor supervisors over table games when we met, and we became very good friends.  However, she gave me a warning.  "My ex-husband tries to ruin anyone that becomes my friend, are you sure you are up to this?"  Of course I was not going to let some jerk stop me from being someones friend, so I jumped right in.

She had custody of her kids, and had been paying her ex to watch the kids, because she worked at night.  When the oldest child turned 16, she reduced the "babysitting" money to a more reasonable amount,  This set her ex off, and he set out to make her life a living hell.

Shortly after our friendship ensued, her ex-husband started filing charges against her, and anyone that was there for her,  for whatever he could make up, including the most horrific charge of all,  the charge of child abuse that he filed against her boyfriend, not only causing them embarrassment, but endangering their jobs. People that did not know him, would walk up to him and say, "I hear you are a child abuser.", and he, being a very loving and kind person to children, was deeply hurt by this false charge. 

Even though they were found innocent, no doubt, all of those prior arrest, played a part when she pulled her car over in a parking lot, and broke down crying.  A police officer happened by, (One who was later arrested, and fired from his job for stealing cokes out of a local store), and said he had seen her driving erratically before she pulled into the parking lot, causing her to lose her drivers license, till she could go to court.  This put her in the position of not being able to drive.

When school let out, she would normally go and pick the kids up from the local church, where they got off the bus, but because she could not drive her vehicle (and if she did her ex would charge her with driving without a license), she ask me one day, if I would take her to pick up her kids.  I was glad to help her out, because she was my friend, a wonderful mother, and  I knew what she had been going through.

Before we went to the church to pick up the kids, we stopped by a local store across from McDonald's to grab a drink.  While we were there, she spotted her ex husband in his truck with the kids, at McDonald's, so she ask me to drive her over there so she could pick them up from there.  He was in line waiting to get food from the drive through when we pulled around.  She got out of my car and went to talk with him, and get the kids, and I pulled around to the other side and waited for her to finish her business.  He refused to give her the kids, and she came and got back in the car with me.  Although I never even spoke to him that day, he was able to go to the police station and file charges against me for Disorderly conduct with resistance.  (This was printed in the Neshoba Democrat, making it appear that I had been arrested by the police and was resisting arrest.)

She was continually having to miss work to go to court on the fake charges he would file, (He didn't work so he had all the time in the world) and then he started fighting her for custody of the kids.  The courts knew what he was doing, but they continued to play into his hands, allowing her ex to try and destroy her life.  Maybe they were scared of him, and did not know what to do, because he was filing charges on them too.  He even filed charges with the bar association against the prosecutor so she had to step down.

When my friend got her kids back from him, she filed papers to stop letting him see the kids because of his erratic behavior, and because he had been charged with kidnapping, and taking a kid across state lines In California, with another child he had with someone else, she became concerned he would try and run off with her kids.

Where before she had allowed him to pick the kids up from the school, she could no longer allow this, and because of her work schedule, and all the days he had caused her to miss work for court, she could not take off one day, and ask me if I would pick her daughter up from school for her. 

We went to the school, (A private school in Leak county), and made arrangements with the principal, for me to pick the kids up, and the principal assured me he would walk me, and the child, out of the school and escort us to the car, just in case the ex showed up and tried to cause problems. 

I picked the child up from the office, but the principal told me he did not see the ex and just to go ahead.  We got about half way across the lawn and the ex came running toward me and tried to take the child.  I was holding her hand, and he came up and slammed his fist on my arm, at the elbow, causing me to have to let go of her hand.  I screamed for help, and told the child to run back to the school.  Once again, my friend had to take off work, and bring her court papers to show the police she had custody.

I immediately left the school and went to the police station in Leake County and filed assault charges against him.  He then went and filed Aggravated assault and stalking charges against me.


When my friend told me he had filed charges against me in Neshoba and Leake Counties I went to the police station and turned myself in because I did not want to be arrested at work, and possibly lose my job.  Then because he was the father of her kids, and he had called her begging for me to drop charges, and that he would drop charges, and put an end to the problems he was causing, I agreed at her request.

They finally made it through all of the courtroom drama, but unfortunately they both got laid off at the Casino, and found a job on the coast, where they now reside.  The ex followed her down there and started the whole thing with the court system all over again.  However, the Judicial system on the coast put a stop to his abuse of the system.

In this country you are innocent until proven guilty, so the next time you pick up your local paper, and see someones name in there, don't automatically assume the person is guilty, because you don't know the circumstances or who filed the charges.  Just because a person is arrested, it does not mean the police filed the charges, and even if they did, there are bad cops and good cops.

You may never think that something like this could happen to you, but it can.  I could go down to the police station tomorrow, and file charges against anyone, including you, and you would be arrested, thrown in jail, and have your name printed in the paper.


It is wrong for newspapers to print the names of people arrested, but never print anything about charges being dropped, or who was found innocent.  They have no interest in that, because innocent people do not sell newspapers.  However, I know that some newspapers (especially small town newspapers) don't print the names of everyone arrested.  If it is someone they know, they kindly leave their name out of the paper. 

You never read about an attorney that was drunk, and resisting arrest, because it was conveniently swept under the rug, or the others, that are friends of the system, whose names never appear in the paper, and when, and if, they go to court, they have little favors done for them. 

When my friends heard what had happened to me, they all laughed, and started trying to raise bail money for me, and would have stood by my side, even if it had been true.  There were others, I'm sure, who had a field day at the gossip fence.  While they were giving someone else a break, I'm glad I could provide them with something they didn't have to make up out of thin air..

However, I do worry about prospective employers,  because even though charges may be dropped, for some  jobs, you have to list arrest, not just convictions.

We all have the right to make a citizen's arrest, but court systems should do more to stop abusers from trying to destroy people's lives, and we should all demand that newspapers print the names of those found innocent right along with the arrest announcements.


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