"Help. I got attacked picking up ground signs on city right o"
Today I was going home and around the shopping center on Chapman Hwy, A Pizza business placed many signs all on the city right of way 8 signs total. I had already sharked signs the prior week so when I noticed them again, I sharked a few more. Late I went back by and took one more, but this time I was seen and followed by one of the delivery guys. This lead to a confrontation on my aunt's street. Guess the pizza guy called on his phone because there was another one behind him. I had my motorcycle helmet on so couldn't actually hear what the guy was saying except seemed upset signs were taken. I told him they were illegal signs because they were on the city right of way. Then the owner, either Arab or Indian showed up. He got very confrontational with me. I told him it was illegal to post signs on the city right of way, he yelled demanded I show him a badge, who I worked for etc. I told him I work for a community group. He tried to tell me it was none of my business, then threatened me, he was going to kick my ass, then I said call the cops. He said I ain't going to call anyone then hit me. I had my helmet on so he didn't hurt me. Being though I have some health issues, I had to get away. I left my bike parked where I stopped, keys still in it. I really had no choice but to leave it being that I was almost boxed in by one car in front, a person beside and one behind, I took off on foot to my Aunt's house. She was at the neighbors, so I then went there. I asked the neighbors to call 911. While I was standing at the front door, one of the pizza guys backed into my bike and did some minor damage. I yelled that that was felony hit and run. One of the guys picked up my bike and stood it back up, but took my keys. About 45 minutes later the cops came, but they didn't want to do anything, even though I was the violated. I need help. The cops did say they didn't think it was my place to pick up these signs, also stated the store owner was a prominant businessman in the community. He of course told me to contact codes department. I told him I had been in contact with my city councilman and was told I could just pick them up or take them down if they are on city right of way, which these were. I plan on bring this to the Mayor's attention, as well as my City Councilman and Codes enforcement. I am also thinking of sending letters to the newspapers and TV Stations. My question, even though I was not hurt, but I did suffer some minor property damage, should I consider trying to get an attorney, press to have charges placed against the parties involved, if I can find their names, or just let it go, send a demand bill for damages caused. If I press for charges, the individual that hit my helmet left fingerprints I am sure. Please let me hear some feedback.
#1. "RE: Help. I got attacked picking up ground signs on city rig" In response to Reply # 0
First, I'm not an attorney and I don't play one on TV. I recommend you contact an attorney to find out what your options are.
Regarding confrontations, good general advice is not to get into them. I realize that you were set up in this situation. It's a good idea to carry a cell phone and in situations like this, call in a road rage complaint to 911, which will get officers there in a hurry. In a confrontation, the first thing to say is "Do you want to call the police about these illegal signs, or should I?" Then don't engage, don't approach; instead leave so that things will not escalate.
The officer(s) involved at the scene are trying to control the situation and have to make snap judgements on the various parties involved. Thus, they may have said that you should not have been removing illegal abandoned litter, even though city ordinances don't prevent it and Code Enforcement encourages it.
I suggest contacting CE in your city and tactfully discussing the issue with them and asking for their suggestions. There is a Catch-22: Keep in mind that they may lean toward telling you not to remove any more signs because if they say you can remove signs, the city could be liable for any injuries that may occur.
I can give you more detailed advice and information - send me a private message.
#2. "RE: Help. I got attacked picking up ground signs on city rig" In response to Reply # 0
(Note: I am not an attorney.) If you can afford an attorney, I would certainly get one ASAP. I would not do anything until you talked to an attorney other than writing down some notes on all the details you can remember of everything related to the entire incident. Write down who said what, the times and places, the sequence of events, the location of the events, the location of the players with respect to you and each other, descriptions of the people and what they were wearing and what they were driving. Include all the players -- eg, drivers, owner, police, any witnesses. If you have any physical evidence, keep it as intact as possible. These details will become murky as time passes. If you can't afford an attorney, talk to the district attorney's office. It seems to me that you have several causes for action -- someone threatening you, someone striking you (or your helmet), someone striking your bike with a vehicle, and someone taking your keys.
You may have to be persistent to get any action taken, especially if some of the other parties were "prominent" in the community.
For other readers, I concur with Denver Shark's advice. Avoid a confrontation whenever possible. Walk or drive away if you can. If you can't retreat and there is any indication that an argument or physical confrontation is looming, call 911 and tell them you fear you may be assaulted. I always keep my cell phone in my pocket (rather than vehicle) so I can use it without delay. I have called 911 on two occasions over the past 5 years. On both occasions, the angry party, which was most likely the spammer, shouted for a minute or two and then got back in his vehicle and drove off before the police arrived. I waited for the police in each case and they were very cordial and took down some information (e.g., the spammer's description and license plate number.)