Yelling at policeman to stop traffic violator gets man arrested Other call engaged officer at the time

October 30, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Ralph A. Beaver says all he wanted to do after seeing a car driving the wrong way down a Westminster alley was get the attention of a city police officer who was standing a few yards away.

Instead, the 70-year-old Fair Avenue resident was thrown against xTC a wall, handcuffed, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and battery.

The police officer who arrested Mr. Beaver said the defendant badgered him for several minutes, refused to quit after repeated warnings and prevented him from completing a job he already was doing.

Mr. Beaver said he was leaving White's Bicycles on Main Street about 11:45 a.m. June 2, after pick ing up a repaired bicycle pedal, when he saw a car speeding down Winter Street against traffic. So he yelled at the officer to get his attention.

"All my client was doing was asking the police to enforce the law," William R. MacDonald, Mr. Beaver's attorney, said yesterday.

According to District Court charging documents, Westminster Police Officer Mark A. Shobert had responded to 14 W. Main St. that morning to help three people who had locked their car keys inside their car.

The officer said he "heard someone shouting from off somewhere behind [him]."

Officer Shobert said he told Mr. Beaver that he did not see anyone breaking the law, and said he would be with Mr. Beaver after he unlocked the car. Mr. Beaver "continued to shout in a loud voice," the officer said. The officer then told Mr. Beaver that he was in a public place and that he was disturbing everyone around him.

The officer "could not get the defendant to stop shouting and could not handle the call for service [he] was already on," the charging documents said.

After several minutes, Officer Shobert approached Mr. Beaver and told him if he "did not stop shouting and causing a disturbance" he would be arrested.

Mr. Beaver walked away, but continued to shout, the officer said.

The officer warned him once more, but Mr. Beaver still shouted.

Officer Shobert then told Mr. Beaver that he was under arrest.

Mr. Beaver tried to run away, the officer said.

Officer Shobert caught Mr. Beaver several blocks away at the Smith and Reifsnider hardware store, told him to stop running and said he was under arrest.

The court papers said the officer grabbed Mr. Beaver by the right arm.

Mr. Beaver turned around "in an aggressive manner," causing the officer to fear being struck by the bicycle pedal in Mr. Beaver's hand.

Officer Shobert asked Mr. Beaver to drop the pedal, but he refused and began waving his arms in front of the officer as the two entered the hardware store, the papers said.

The officer pushed Mr. Beaver against the wall "in an attempt to restrict his movement," the charging documents said, and "had to finally force the item from the defendant's hand." Officer Shobert was able "to place handcuffs on the defendant once [he] forced same against the wall . . . twice."

Mr. Beaver was taken to the Westminster police station, charged and taken before a District Court commissioner. He was released on his own recognizance pending trial.

According to Mr. MacDonald, the defense lawyer, Mr. Beaver underwent rotator cuff surgery several days after his arrest for injuries caused when he was thrown against the wall. The defendant's arm movements have been severely restricted ever since, the lawyer said.

Mr. Beaver said yesterday that he didn't want to talk in detail about his case until after it was over.

Barton F. Walker III, the assistant state's attorney prosecuting the case, could not be reached for comment.

Westminster Police Chief Sam R. Leppo declined to comment on the case.

Mr. Beaver, a retiree, is scheduled for a jury trial Wednesday in Carroll County Circuit Court.

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