Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

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Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby RCall » Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:31 pm

A lawsuit has been filed after an open carrier was arrested at a Cincinnati Kroger store. Looking at the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts records, the plaintiff in the suit was involved in a nearly 2 year legal battle over the criminal charge of trespassing. It looks like the suit is asking for 3.1 million dollars for various damages. The complaint filed recently in Federal District Court for Southern Ohio can be viewed here:

http://www.pdf-archive.com/2015/09/19/c ... -exhibits/
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby evan price » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:34 pm

I wish him good fortune in his endeavor, which I predict will be quite difficult.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby Chuck » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:47 pm

That is some very interesting reading
I wish him the best of luck
Thanks for posting,,,,
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby BobK » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:58 pm

Although I believe Dressler was treated wrongfully and the lawsuit has merit, I'd also like to point out that the arrest report said he was "argumentative" with police and he endured a 20 month ordeal, risk of incarceration, and legal fees.

That is why my strategy if ever confronted with a similar situation is to state simply, "I apologize, I had no idea it was posted. I'll leave immediately."

Arguing that you have the right to be there seems like a strategy that rarely works. Trying to win a confrontation with a police officer is a losing proposition unless you really want to go to jail that evening.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby MyWifeSaidYes » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:25 am

BobK wrote:...Arguing that you have the right to be there seems like a strategy that rarely works...


Where did you see anything like that in the complaint?

Once the police arrived, Dressler's only "argument" was about the non-existant sign...and he immediately LEFT THE STORE to look for the sign on the front doors.

THE ARREST TOOK PLACE OUTSIDE THE STORE !!

35. Dressler wanted to see the sign and walked away and led the officers outside of Kroger to
see the sign;
36. The two officers and Rice followed him and walked outside behind him;
37. Dressler could not find a sign described by the officers;
38. Even though there was no sign prohibiting firearms in Kroger, the two officers consulted
with Rice and Kroger manger Larry Noschang and they agreed to have Dressler arrested
and charged with criminal trespass.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby Chuck » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:06 am

"Upon police arrival, ARR became argument with security and police + was placed under arrest"


That is the last sentence written on "Exhibit B"

That's where he saw it,,,,
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby Brian D. » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:30 am

Just for clarity (most of you know this already) the person arrested is former OFCC member & forum participant 'color of law'.

I have not communicated with Gary much about this since a short time after the initial arrest. So, I can't provide any details aqbout this whole thing, really.

What I do know is that Kroger's uses a very mixed bag of security providers. At the store I shop at most they sometimes have an armed guy, other times an unarmed guard, and at yet other times none at all. Same has been my observation elsewhere. I would surmise that their knowledge of the law is probably similarly inconsistent.

Like the rest of you I'll be following this closely.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby BobK » Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:27 am

MyWifeSaidYes wrote:
BobK wrote:...Arguing that you have the right to be there seems like a strategy that rarely works...


Where did you see anything like that in the complaint?

Let me expand on that a bit, and talk about a hypothetical "me" instead of this particular instance.

If I would ever have store personnel or security confront me about being armed, my response would be, "I apologize, I had no idea it was posted. I'll leave immediately.".

If I am gone before the police ever arrive, then I have a much lower likelihood of being arrested with all the attendant drama and expense.

I view this as a simple example of my strategy vis-à-vis the "Iron Triangle of Trouble", as in Not. Worth. Arguing. Simply leave.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby MyWifeSaidYes » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:41 pm

BobK wrote:...
I view this as a simple example of my strategy...


Got it. I thought it was a commentary on Dressler's incident.


Chuck wrote:
"Upon police arrival, ARR became argument with security and police + was placed under arrest"


That is the last sentence written on "Exhibit B"

That's where he saw it,,,,


Right. Dressler was asked to leave the store (not the property) and did so. AFTER he was outside, if he became 'argumentative' (possibly about the lack of a sign or Kroger's firearm policy) what was the reason for the arrest? If they arrested him for arguing AFTER he complied, it seems to me that Dressler's complaint is missing a violation for his First Amendment rights.

Yes, this situation could have been avoided with a 'tactical retreat' and I understand why most would choose that route.

But, in THIS case, how would you address the issue later?

"I was asked to leave the store because I was open carrying."

"Sorry about that. We'll let management know the correct policy."

"Oh, okay. Thanks."


Fair enough.

With the simple act of speaking up about an improper request and a violation of known store policy AFTER complying with the improper request, Mr. Dressler found MANY issues that may have burned some other carrier at a later time. Mr. Dressler chose to NOT pass the buck.

By not doing so, we found shortcomings with this particular security company, we found that Kroger corporate WILL stab you in the back and we found that Cincinnati police don't care about following the law (but we already knew that one).

I wish Mr. Dressler (and his attorney) well with their case.

NOTE: In the original post, RCall said this was a $3.1 million lawsuit. I think he missed a zero.

This one is for $4 million ($1,000,000 + $3,000,000)
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby TJW815 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:45 pm

MWSY, on the flip side, he could burn a bridge for other open carriers. This will undoubtedly be settled by Kroger. Then it will be the topic of a board meeting of how to mitigate possible future lawsuits.

Poke a sleeping bear once or twice you might get away with it, jab it with a $4mil lawsuit it's gonna wake up and rip your face off.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby Mustang380gal » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:39 pm

He could have argued it the next day, after coming in unarmed. If he had done some homework, maybe printing out some stuff from the forum that NavyChief worked out with Kroger, and Ohio law, he could have spelled it out away from the heat of the moment.

His point could still have been made, an arrest could have been averted and a lawsuit would have been unnecessary. It would also had potential to maintain good will.

It is said quite often that the side of the road is not the place to argue the correctness of your driving, or carrying. I think advice would make sense in this situation, too.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby djthomas » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:07 pm

Personally I see Kroger and possibly even the security company getting bounced fairly early in the proceedings. It's not accurate to say that they could have stopped the prosecution at any time. Once the arrest was made it was no longer Kroger and its agents v. Dressler, it became State of Ohio v. Dressler. It was ultimately the City of Cincinnati through its agents and employees that made the arrest and violated Dressler's rights, if indeed they were violated. Prior to that point it was just some obstinate people arguing with each other at the curb of a private business.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby SeanC » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:37 pm

Cops are going to say that the security guard said he told Plaintiff that no guns were allowed, and that guard says Plaintiff ignored the request. They listened to Plaintiff's version of the events, but then decided the guard was credible. You can't sue a cop for believing a complaining witness over a suspect. The cops rightly determined that whether Plaintiff had a hearing problem, and whether he actually ignored the request to leave, was a question for the criminal juries.

Nothing in the complaint looks like willful and/or malicious conduct, either. It's negligence, at best, and negligence won't survive the officers' immunity.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby MyWifeSaidYes » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:42 pm

SeanC wrote:...

Nothing in the complaint looks like willful and/or malicious conduct, either...


What was the arrest for? Specifically, what was the charge? (keeping in mind Dressler had already left the building)

We've had an awful lot of posts on this very site that talked about a police officer needing to witness a misdemeanor criminal trespass before acting upon such a crime. Has that changed? Neither Kroger nor the security guard filed a complaint/affidavit against Dressler, they just 'wanted' him arrested. Even if they DID swear out a complaint, it would have to be for 'aggravated trespass' (M1) before the police could arrest without a warrant.

So, WHY was he arrested?

Simple...just for being "argumentative". I'd call that willful AND malicious.

Regardless of what one thinks about Mr. Dressler or open carry, I do hope NO ONE thinks being "argumentative" alone is reason for arrest.
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Re: Lawsuit filed after Cincinnati O.C. arrest

Postby Werz » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:56 pm

MyWifeSaidYes wrote:
SeanC wrote:...

Nothing in the complaint looks like willful and/or malicious conduct, either...


What was the arrest for? Specifically, what was the charge? (keeping in mind Dressler had already left the building)

He was confronted by police inside. An act of Criminal Trespass is completed once all the elements have been established. The offense is completed when "[b]eing on the land or premises of another, [a person] negligently fail[s] or refuse[s] to leave upon *** being notified to do so by the owner or occupant, or the agent or servant of either." R.C. 2911.21(A)(4). You aren't immune from prosecution for Petty Theft if you give back the property when store security catches you outside.

The big issue for qualified immunity of the officers is whether they reasonably believed that Dressler heard the security officer's statement: "NO GUNS IN THE STORE."
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