In a story that is just full of fail a man from Maine had his home besieged by SWAT troopers armed with assault rifles because he had a tattoo.
In Norridgewock Maine, Michael Smith works nights so when a tree removal crew entered onto HIS property and started making a racket at 10am he was understandably upset. Smith arose from his bed and went outside to tell the intruders to get off his property and to keep it down. Coming directly from his comfortable bed Smith didn’t feel inclined to put a shirt on. It was this inaction that revealed his “dangerous and frightening” tattoo; that of a handgun by his waistband.
Smith went back to bed and the tree removal crew called the cops and filed a false report. The crew said something to the effect that Smith had threatened them with a gun and as a result a few minutes after returning to bed the Sheriff of Somerset and Maine State Troopers besieged his house and demanded via bullhorn for him to come out and surrender himself.
Once again Smith quickly came out of his house without wasting time putting on a shirt because as he later would say: “I got plans today. I didn’t want to get shot.”
The police quickly realized that they had been deceived.
“Obviously it was a misunderstanding and he didn’t have a weapon, but we had to respond to the initial report as if he did,” Maine State Police Trooper Scott Duff said.
Yes…VERY obvious. So obvious in fact the tree removal crew who called in this fake claim should be prosecuted for doing so. When people get SWATTED it endangers the innocent and Smith could very easily have become a tragic victim of an overly excited State Trooper with an itchy trigger finger.
Fortunately though it seems that the Somerset Sheriff and State Troopers of Maine acted in a very professional manner in this case.
Duff would later add: “I think he had been sleeping and was wearing pajama pants. I’m not sure what his mindset was, but he wasn’t pointing to his gun or anything like that.”
No…he wasn’t, he was simply telling trespassers to get off his property after working a long night shift and wanting to get some sleep. As for his minset? When I am woken up with the notion of going back to bed quickly I don’t don my Sunday finery to tell people to keep it down. The crew didn’t give him any advance warning that they would be on his property and probably took offense that he told them to leave…thus leading to a bogus 911 call.
While all of this is a big bag of fail…here’s the rub and the point most people seem to be missing.
What if Michael Smith DID have a gun? What does that matter? Lets’ say he had a sidearm properly holstered and without brandishing or threatening anyone with it, told the crew to get off his property?
To me, there STILL wouldn’t be cause for either a phone call to the police OR the police’s over reaction and besieging of Smith’s house.
I mean, you have a right to be armed ESPECIALLY on your own property. What right would the police have to come onto your property and tell you different?
None of course.
So once again this is just a case of some petty bastards who either pissed their pants at even the inked representation of a gun or had so much hate in their hearts that they were willing to jeopardize a man’s life just because he told them to get of his property.
Either way, the tree removal crew (co. Lucas Tree) should be charged with:
False public alarm or report
(ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 17-A, § 509)
and face the maximum penalties of
5 years in prison and/or $5000 fine.
How else will they learn?
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