– Walt Whitman
It turns out my fears were unfounded. Sort of.
My public defender called me Tuesday afternoon and told me I had not forfeited my right to a trial should I get arrested within the next year. But it doesn’t matter.
I was arrested Wednesday. The circumstances were thus:
I was at my computer and had just loaded my pipe when the maid knocked on the door to come in and clean the room. So I put on my shoes and took the pipe, and a gram of hash someone had given me, and went outside while they cleaned the room.
It was still early and I decided to check out Abbott Square.
Abbott Square is a pedestrian cul-de-sac, a courtyard. There is a partially secluded courtyard in the very back. It was deserted when I went back there, there was a small tree that partially blocked me from view, and I felt it would be “safe” to smoke my pipe there. I have smoked there many times before undisturbed. It is the closest thing to a backyard I have. My window looks down on the back coutyard.
I was wrong.
By the time I had finished my pipe there were probably a dozen people sitting around the courtyard, behind the museum. Only one person entered the back courtyard where I was, and that was the wine merchant next to the museum. He carried trash to the dumpster and when I smiled at him he wouldn’t meet my gaze.
After I finished my pipe I walked to the middle of the plaza, sitting on the wall at the steps behind the hallway to the street and lit a cigarette. I had planned to sit there and smoke a cigarette to give the maids time to finish, and then return to my room. Before I could do that two police arrived and began to interrogate me.
The demanded to know if I had been smoking marijuana. And it was clear they intended to search me, as they demanded to know if I had any on me.
This happened last Wednesday and it is just now I can write about it. I tried to begin yesterday and had to stop after a few paragraphs. The time on the citation was 11:10am.
They refused to allow me to use my phone and call anyone. I didn’t have my recommendation with me but I hadn’t planned on smoking anything when I left my room. I just took the pipe and the hash with me because I didn’t want the maid to take them. It wasn’t until I saw the back courtyard was deserted and the square was quiet that I made the decision to go ahead and finish what I had started – to medicate.
They all know damn well I have a recommendation. One of them cited me, after seeing my recommendation, and I was charged with possession. This is the charge that would have been dismissed if I had ‘stayed out of trouble’ for a year, until July 9, 2009. This is Simms I’m speaking of and we’ve had numerous previous encounters.
When I told them my recommendation was upstairs they refused to go up with me to get it stating it would “be unsafe” for them!
The fact is I had called my public defender the previous day and told her what was going to happen is that I would have to be some place and need to medicate, and they would cite me for it whether I had a recommendation or not, just as they have previously done.
I never dreamed that more or less exactly that would happen the very next day.
They hand-cuffed me, and I must have sat in the police car for half an hour before they took me to the jail. I didn’t have my glasses and couldn’t see to do anything. I managed to call Becky and she co-signed for bail. I was detained for 6 hours and was released on $1000 bail. Becky co-signed the bond, which cost me $110.
I no longer have my coffee cup, almost a gram of hash, my pipe, or my lighter. I was robbed not only of my possessions but my dignity, my peace of mind, my freedom, and $110 I can’t afford. And when I get out of jail I find that rumors are flying on the internet, on the Sentinel’s Website, that I spit in a little girl’s face and gave her hepatitis.
Winston launched a smear campaign against me on the local newspapers forum. He accused me of spitting in a little girl’s face and giving her hepatitis. So it appears there is a lynch-mob screaming to have me tested, and then burned at the stake.
Winston seems to think I should be tried for murder.
When confronted he edited and deleted his messages. He also has the ability to edit and/or delete my messages. He is one of four or five moderators in that forum that have the ability to edit posts. I made copies of the posts and will be putting them up on my website with links here shortly.
Myself, I am stunned, shocked, saddened, and terrified by the whole situation.
How much am I supposed to take?