Just Assaulted by someone for taking sunset photos

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by nc5p, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. nc5p

    nc5p Member

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    I was just shooting sunset photos about 1/4 mile from my house with my Mamiya 645 when someone, who lives nearby, came over to me. He told me I was casing his house to break in. I told him I lived on Sombrero Loop, just a block away from his house. He still wouldn't listen. I told him I was an engineer and photographed to sell prints at the art fairs in the North Valley. He told me, "oh yeah, I'm Jesus Christ." He threatened to break my camera. He then threatened to kill me, and promised that my wife would never find my body. He then had his wife call 911 to "have me arrested for taking pictures." He attempted to restrain me but I broke away and ran home. His house is located on Edith just outside Albuquerque city limits.

    Background: I was standing on Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Property. This is a municipal corporation that distributes water to land owners via a network of irrigation ditches with road levies. I was standing in the middle of a road levy. I walk my dogs through this route nearly every day, often bringing one of my cameras along. I have taken some beautiful photos of old cottonwood trees, sunsets, clouds, and landscapes here in Alameda. He claims he has never seen me. He has an Australian Shepard just like mine. I can't believe he hasn't seen me in seven years.

    My wife and girls were just ahead of me with both our dogs, I stayed behind to shoot the sunset and cloud formation after a thunderstorm in the area. If my dogs had been with me they would have attacked him.
    I'll make sure I have them with me from now on.

    Doug

    "shook up but not discouraged from photographing"
     
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  2. tommy5c

    tommy5c Member

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    next time let him call the cops. sure the whole idea is really intimadating, but what happens next time you walk past with a camera? - Just my two cents- Maybe you did the right thing, but either way maybe you should call the police about the "assault" that just happened to you.
     
  3. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I'd call the cops and report the incident if only to be on record for future meetings. And make sure you metion his reference to killing you.
     
  4. jeffneedham

    jeffneedham Subscriber

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    call the cops. now. did your family see this happen? any of it?

    and who is Mr. X?
     
  5. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    The same thing happened to me, but it was an online attack from a member of the APUG site. It really hits home when they threaten the family. I was called a bigot and got pm death threats. Besides sunsets, don't mention Vietnam or China online. It's too bad because it leaves that bitter taste that never goes away.

    About thirty five years ago I was standing on the side of the road with my camera setup on a tripod taking a picture of an old barn and field when a couple of men, and I use that term loosely, started running out of the field near the barn with shot guns yelling hey, hey give me that camera you bastard get over here, hey you f**ker give me that camera.

    My wife was in the car and it was running so I through the camera in the back and drove off with the door half open. Drove 70 miles home and the next day the timing belt went out in the car. I guess that was the fastest I have ever driven off.

    I have not made a road side picture in the "country" since. Along the coast and in parks yes, but the country, no.
     
  6. DBP

    DBP Member

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    People are amazing. If you were casing his house, you would be farther away using a longer lens. I was taking a meter reading with my Bessa one day in a restaurant when a woman from two tables over walked over, accused me of spying on her, and basically ranted for a few seconds. As if anyone would do surveillance with a camera from 10 feet away.
     
  7. nc5p

    nc5p Member

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    The man who assaulted me. He lives about 300 feet from where I was standing. I am VERY hesitant to call the cops, they are EXTREMELY crooked here and often arrest innocent people while they let drunk drivers, rapists, and murderers off scott free. I try to avoid any contact with them.

    Doug
     
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  8. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    Curt, possibly they were growing or processing something in the barn that was not legal. We had 4 RCMP killed recently by the mad (in the sense of crazy) guardian of a grow-op).
     
  9. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Call the provincial, or state police, they will be better
     
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  10. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

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    How unpleasant, I'm very sorry for your experience. We had a similar experience on our Texas shooting workshop. We were given permission to photograph an abandoned saloon in the country, even had the gate unlocked for us and then 30 minutes later the owner came roaring up in a pick up swearing and shouting that we were tresspassing and to get OUT!! We did and tried to explain that his caretaker had let us in and we thought we had permission, after all how else could we have unlocked the lock??? He of course was so livid he would not listen. I had taken all the photographs I wanted but others with LF cameras were in the middle of a shot and had to pack up and leave. What a bad impression he made. although everyone else we met was so friendly and helpful we will all remember him.
     
  11. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Photgraphing a sunset? You should be ashamed of yourself .....:wink:

    Seriously though, it sounds like the guy is a fruit cake. In future, stay away from that part of the beach with your camera - he may decide to take the law into his own (insane) hands and do more than call the cops.

    Graeme
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Clearly an art critic. He obviously thinks you should be shooting something more edgy--maybe in mode of memoir or some 1960's slab highrises on an overcast day.
     
  13. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    You need to file an immediate "order of protection" aka restraining order against this delusional son of a bitch- seriously. His attempt to restrain you is nothing short of a criminal battery. People who behave this way are extremely dangerous-sooner or later. The creep belongs in a lock-down facility where he can be force fed his psych meds. Good luck.
     
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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Get some advice.

    I think what I would do in your situation Doug would be to make an appointment to see an attourney, and get some professional advice on how to proceed with this matter, I think that even the threat of legal action would make him very afraid of the consequences of his actions because in my experience most bullies , when stood up to, are cowards. I'm sorry about the verbal abuse, and threats you have suffered, it must be very upsetting for you and your family, I hope you find some way to make him pay dearly for it.
     
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  16. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Obviously a fruit loop, but a dangerous one. Call the police and file an incident report. At that point it, will be your word against his about the scuffle (unless there was an unbiased witness), so pressing battery or attempted kidnapping charges will be tough to prove, this time. The threat against your life should be taken seriously, so get it on a report and do it now. Once this is done, go back and take another sunset picture. Have your cell phone handy when you see him coming, call 911 and report that you fear for your life.

    If you did nothing wrong, don't fear this man. The best way to deal with a bully is to kick him in the balls (figuratively). tim
     
  17. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Most intelligent and honest lawyers -- and yes, they do exist -- advise against all contact with lawyers unless strictly necessary.

    In this case, I think it may be strictly necessary.

    This was in the technical sense assault and battery. Next to impossible to prove but if you have your concerns registered with a lawyer and the police it should make things MUCH easier next time -- if there is a next time.

    Roger W. Hicks, LL.B.
     
  18. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Everything you write from now on ought to be composed as though the judge will be reading it. Even e-mails, and postings.
     
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Who else remembers Rowan and Martin?

    Here come de judge...

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  20. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I would file a police report, although difficult to prove, that way you have the incident report on file, if anything should happen again, it would make getting a restraining order a bit easier as well as having the police talk to this fruit, in addition I would add one more tool to my camera bag, a small can of personal defence spray, IE: pepper spray, as you have been threatened and physically assaulted, you would be within your rights to use it for protection.

    R.
     
  21. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    He threatened your life? That in itself is a serious offense. Go to the police, and file a report. Your local Attorney General should be *very* interested as well.
    No matter how much you distrust the local police, they will not risk any harm happening to you after they have been notified of the situation.

    My advice, in short: Make a lot of noise. Let everyone know that you have been threatened.
     
  22. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Do what Tim said (noseoil) then, with 911 still on the phone, give him a taste of pepper spray.
    juan
     
  23. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    I'm taking a slightly different tack on this one. I think you should have let him restrain you, and waited for the Bernalillo County Sheriff to arrive. Despite the rantings of conspiracy theorists, most law enforcement folks are very adept at seeing the forest through the trees. Most likely he would have ended up in handcuffs, having threatened you. And you may have ended up with a citation for trespassing, if the Rio Grande Conservancy property is posted off-limits (which I can't recall if it is or not).

    You also need to see the other side of the coin. For the edification of those reading this who are not aquainted with the provincialism of New Mexico, the Rio Grande valley through Albuquerque is rife with crime and gangs. And this is not a recent phenomenon; there've been hispanic gangs here for generations. Its possible this property owner has just had enough of constant vandalism and break-ins, and a non-responsive (or, more likely, over-worked) police force. Which doesn't justify his behaviour. But understanding this ahead of time may have given you some clues to help defuse the situation.

    This story really isn't about photographer's rights. Its really about what happens to communities when crime is allowed to fester for generations.

    ~Joe in Albuquerque
     
  24. nc5p

    nc5p Member

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    MRGCD levies are usually open for walking, horseback riding, and mountain biking with certain exceptions where posted. Motor vehicles are forbidden, which is where some people do get cited. It is in fact their property where much of the bicycle trail system in the valley exists. I have sent a written report to MRGCD administration since it happened on their property.

    Doug
     
  25. unregistered

    unregistered Inactive

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    Next time, walk quietly and carry a big stick.
     
  26. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Post his address so we can all send him a nice note.