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Thread: WARNING Sherwood now Hostle to Caching .. Got Arested today

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Little Rock
    Finally.... I feel there is probably much more to the story. In the end I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Ignore my warning, if you wish, and I wish all the best to you all and I pray no one else has any problems.

    The long and the short is; I was seen geocaching behind the lot of a person that has had problem with people sneaking on that lot and doing damage. Though I did my best to explain and show both the owner and the police the cache and the paper telling about geocaching, neither knew what geocaching was and neither really cared to find out. It was all very calm and plesent discussion that did not have me worried until the handcuff went on, then I did not know what to do so I did nothing. And now I am out on a medium sized bond with a Criminal trial before me and on my record.

    Believe what you want of me and my activities. The fact is simple I tried to do the right thing and explain things, and I am being Burned for it. I just thought you folks should know ......

    Gener_Lee ...... Signing off ....
    If the non-Cachers are Muggles, then I must be a Squib.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Sherwood Police

    If you give me the phone number to the Sherwood police, I can give them some statistics on Geocaching and while I'm at it, I'll ask them what can I expect if I come to their town to spend money and hunt geocaches. I frequently need to purchase gas and food when participating in this sport and occassionally may purchase a back pack, some swag, and in a unbelieveably bad scenerio, a GPS. Don't get me wrong, I agree permission is priority one, but ignorance is no excuse for the perceived behavior of these officers. I believe in the same situation, I could have had a positive rapport with the officers by using printouts of other caches, caches stored in my GPS and PDA, a back pack with Happy Meal toys, and a big smile.

    Maybe we should all call?

  3. #23
    Well we already have the answer from the GC rules point of view, but now for a legal view....

    I'm not a lawyer mind you, but I do have two lawyers and a cop in the family who've I've talked to. (Not from Sherwood...I'd be embarrassed if they were)

    It is true what Naturefish said that there is no such thing as "public property", however there is such a thing as land that is open to public use and by the nature of a retail business, their property is "in public use."

    Obviously they can post "do not enter" "employees only" and even "no trespassing" signs in areas they don't want people to be, but unless they have POSTED rules against being in an area or have issued a persona non gratis (person not welcome) to a particular person then there is no way to make a trespassing charge stick.

    The mall-walkers that show up at the mall hours before the first store opens and do laps around the mall are obviously not there to "shop and leave" so that kind of argument is bogus.

    Furthermore from what you explained happening, the officer exceeded his authority. CRIMINAL trespass would have to involve some sort of vandalism, violation of posted signs, violation of a written order specifically baring you from the property, or refusal to leave when asked.

    As for the so-called residue I doubt very much that topkitty used an old crack-pipe for a cache container so there is nothing there for them to find.

    It sounds to me like the cop was A)Having a bad day and you were his victim B)On a powertrip and you were his victim C)Was behind on his arrest quota for the month and you were his victim. (They say they don't have ticket/arrest quotas, but they do...the dept. my family member works for calls them "citizen contacts")

    Now on the other foot....Sherwood may have some city ordinance I'm not aware of that they are trying to charge you under, Loitering or curfew for instance, but that isn't what they charged you with.

    And here is another thing that most people aren't aware of...although as they say, “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” there is a judicial requirement for the law to be something that a "reasonable man" can understand. "Trespassing" is a store parking lot isn't something a "reasonable man" would believe is possible.

    Frankly, in my opinion, Sherwood doesn't have a case and a good lawyer might even be able to get you damages in the amount of your bail and court costs.

  4. #24


    Just be careful where you get legal advice - I have a cousin that's a porn star, but it doesn't help me any!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Does anyone know if there is a way to know for sure whether or not the land owner pressed charges?

    If it was the Sherwood Police with their "home turf" mentality, be aware that a judge is just a human and may have a "home turf" mentality himself. You may have to go through an appeals process to have justice.

    In the interest of the greater good for all geocachers, it may be wise for all geocachers to give a dollar or two toward an attorney's fee in this case.

    Take time to smell the roses and love the grandkids.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Jacksonville, AR
    Hello, this is topkitty98, owner of the ARCHIVED cache in question. I have not been on the forums, nor checked my email in a few days so was only aware of the problem today when I was between jobs with time only to do some archiving.

    The cache I placed was in a tree, edge of a parking lot of a strip mall. The gas station is up a small hill, the cache tree is close to the lot, general area of McDonalds. I had NO clue that it was anything other than public land. I was not aware there was no such thing as public land. I got no permission due to the fact that I thought it was public.

    The container in question was a floatable key holder bought at WalMart, covered in camo tape with a log inside. I think I used one that I had previously used at another site.

    I have archived the other 4 caches I had access to in the Sherwood city limits - I was not the original owner of them, I adopted them when the owner moved away and asked me to adopt. I never thought of asking him if he had permission. All 4 of them are/were in parks. Oddly enough, one is DIRECTLY BEHIND THE POLICE STATION. When it was not yet my adopted cache, I hunted it during their "National Night Out" in full view of several police officers.

    I have privately emailed R E Lee and now publicly apologize profusely. There are no words adequate enough to tell him how bad I feel about this. I am so sorry and never intended to do anything that would cause anyone to be jeopardized or their honor or dignity to be questioned.

    Parks and Recreation in Jacksonville originally gave bebopishere and family permission to place. I am a landowner at "Namesakes are Forever". I do have 4 micros placed at Civil War sites. Where do I get permission for those?

    I am sorry for putting him in this position.

    This is no longer fun.

    aka Beth

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Little Rock (south of), AR.
    Quote Originally Posted by ar_kayaker
    And here is another thing that most people aren't aware of...although as they say, “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” there is a judicial requirement for the law to be something that a "reasonable man" can understand. "Trespassing" is a store parking lot isn't something a "reasonable man" would believe is possible.
    I was explaining this story to my brother, a new cacher, and used this same argument. Although be it called “Prudent man” or “Reasonable man” it amounts to the same thing and it would be a reasonable man who assumed if you stopped at a monument that you would not be trespassing because it is placed and designed to attract. The same would apply to rest stops, malls, service stations, play grounds, boat ramps, etc. There is no way you could check to see if it was OK with the actual owner each time you stepped out of your car in what a prudent man would have a reason to believe is a public area unless posted as a no trespass.
    If you don’t see possible truth in the poster’s story then you don’t know one thing about the money making machine that is the Sherwood police department. No, you are wrong, I have not been in trouble there but I have helped pay fines and bail for others and once my mother came with me and they were going to put her in jail saying she was lying about not having a driver’s licenses and would not except all her other ID that said she was not the person on the ticket we came to pay. I stopped doing work in Sherwood years ago and seldom EVER even drive through there.
    And before I say goodnight and start packing cheese for the mouse, here is a big old bear hug for both the hider and the seeker. Good night.
    Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.

  8. #28


    I am sorry for putting him in this position.

    This is no longer fun.
    It is unfortunate, yes, but the game is still fun and I hope this doesn't spoil it for anyone.

    It's kinda like driving over the speed limit - most do it, all know it's illegal, all know there's a chance they may get busted - just in this case it's someone else that has to pay the ticket.

    It's a dichotomy and an unfortunate part of the game - as a Reviewer I believe most caches have permission because my hiders so state when listing the hide - but as a reasonable geocaching individual I know that most in fact do not.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Cachin' America's Heartland
    There is a whole lot of over reaction going on here.
    I don't think that TopKitty has done anything wrong.

    And so far as the police involvement is concerned, I hear only complaining because they were doing their job.
    We pay the Police to check on suspicious activity, now we complain because they are doing just that ?
    When the officer arrived he no doubt asked for an explination of the activity.
    Since there are no abundance of police arrests for geocaching, I expect that police readily accept geocaching as ok.
    Once again, there must be more to the story.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Just a thought

    Ok, two thoughts but ...

    1. Maybe someone could draw up a form similar to the Arkansas Parks permit that would be generic enough for use in any geocache situation that could serve as a record of permission given and make that form available in the resources download area of this site and the GC site.

    2. Add to the guidelines that owner contact information MUST be in the contatiner. If topkitty's phone number had been in the cache, maybe a phone call would have helped a great deal?

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