The original email was sent to Sheriff Glenn Boyer on Thursday, August 27. Below is the citizen's email followed by Sheriff Boyer's response.
I tried to call you earlier this morning, but was unable to obtain your extension from the voice mail system as I was not sure of your first name or correct spelling of your last.
I was inadvertently in this procession as I was leaving work on 270 from Creve Coeur and proceeding on Hwy. 30 West. I have some issues and complaints. I called the Sheriff's office last night, but the officer in charge would not speak with me. His name was Corp. Curtis. I am in no way complaining about your officers. I, however, was not treated very fairly when I called last evening because I wanted a ticket/complaint/or at least a slap on wrist for the people involved. Let me explain:
1) This procession should never have been held during rush hour traffic! Hwy. 270 is dangerous and people drive way too fast and there is too much traffic. This soldier's certainly would not have want his family hurt on the interstate taking him to Cedar Hill. People were dead-stopping on the interstate even though the procession was in the far right lane, the other three lanes just stopped. There were many near accidents and possibly were after I drove through. I was in the 2nd to left lane, no way obstructing the funeral procession.
2) I exited off on Gravois (30 W), far right lane. Your police officers went in the left lane to stop any additional on-coming traffic so the procession could exit off 270 into the LEFT lane of 30. Again, I was in the right lane. The St. Louis County officer stopped and turned around at Weber Hill to return on 270 after the procession passed.
3) The road was not closed. (Only for president as far as I know.) Again, the road was not closed. Your officers only had the left lane blocked/closed for the funeral. All other traffic by MO law can proceed as long as they do not interfere (weave in and out )with funeral procession.
Let me say, that I did not know what was happening. I knew the did not have Kennedy coming to STL, at least not yesterday. I was at work all day. No news. Nothing reported on the traffic on the radio driving home.
Anyway, two of these dirty, nasty, renegade, who knows what motorcycle men that were escorting the procession proceeded to stop in front of me in the right lane on Gravois. I had to stop in the middle of an intersection. They proceeded to scream and yell at me about respecting this soldier, etc. One of them climbed off his motorcycle and came over to me and stuck his head in my car continuing to scream at me. I asked him what this was for and he told me I needed to stop as the officers had the road blocked and show some dang respect. #1, the road was not blocked, the funeral was in the other lane. #2, I am proud of our country and sorry for the family, but they had no idea where I was going or anything else. I could have a child at day-care, I could have been sick and racing to the bathroom, I could have a sick parent waiting for me, etc., etc.
#3, They are not law enforcement and had no right to stop in the lane on Gravois and they had no right to scream at me and intimidate and threaten me. If I would have had my pepper spray, I would have used it on this nasty man! He is just a big hoo ha that is not even related to this soldier. The other man did not get off his scooter, but was along side of my passenger window screaming.
I left an abusive husband 1 1/2 years ago and I did not need this intimidation. I was livid and shaking!!
My son is a deputy sheriff in another MO county. I respect police officers. It was not their fault as they were busy with traffic, but I called to make them aware of what was going on during this thing. The St. Louis County officer saw it but of course he was out of jurisdiction.
However, I called last night and your office asked me if I knew about this soldier. Again, I am sorry about him, but I am a taxpayer. I got a speeding ticket a few months ago and paid the fine. I do not deserve to be treated like this. I wanted to let the officer know how these men were acting. Also, they were driving into the turnarounds on Hwy. 30 and then back onto the road. the funeral was much further ahead. One of them nearly got hit by me and other people almost hit him and another as well. I wanted to lodge a complaint about them why they were still there, but no one in your office would take any information or do anything.
This was not a military funeral, even though it was a soldier. There were not military vehicles. It was a funeral and the road was not closed, the lane was closed, I was in the other lane and again, these nasty men had no right to do this and I would have liked them to get a ticket!
I am sorry for the soldier and his family but you cannot let these motorcycle renegades do this. They could have caused several accidents and I really wanted them arrested. If they had any respect for the soldier they would have dressed better and not looked and acted so scuzzy.
Date: 08/31/2009 02:05 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Funeral Procession - Yesterday p.m.
Yes, you do deserve a response and I am willing to give you one.
I would like to say that I am sorry for the inconvenience we caused you during the funeral procession of Sergeant 1st Class William B. Woods, but I cannot do so. I would ask instead that you take a moment of your time to take into consideration the scope of the event. Your very right to complain was the reason Sgt. Woods fought for his country and ultimately gave his life; thus making the ultimate sacrifice for you and your family.
Let me introduce you to him. After high school, Sergeant Woods entered the Marine Corps. After his contract was up, he joined the Army, where he became a Green Beret. He comes from a long line of military members in his family. His Uncle is a Vietnam Veteran and two of his grandfathers were World War II Veterans. His job in the Army was one of the most dangerous jobs - he was a sniper looking for the bad guys to stop before they killed or injured one of our soldiers. He has numerous decorations to include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
He grew up in Catawissa and was best known by his middle name, Brian. He enjoyed the outdoors, playing sports, and skydiving. He had a wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, whom he loved dearly. He was a soft-spoken, level-headed young man who was proud to serve his country no matter what the risk. Now, I did not know him, but I wish I did. I am quoting from newspaper articles written about him.
At the young age of 31, he was shot during an engagement with Taliban forces in Ghanzi , Afghanistan . He died of his wounds in Germany on August 16, with his family by his side. He did not choose the time of his death, nor did he choose the time his remains would be brought back to his home in Catawissa. He just did his duty. He was quite a young man.
While you were being inconvenienced in your car on your way home, there were soldiers just like Sergeant Woods carrying 100+ pounds of equipment in 120 degree heat, up some mountain or in the middle of some desert. They will shower out of a helmet liner if they get the chance. They will eat a cold meal of MRE's; something most people would consider garbage. They cannot text their family or friends, or go to McDonalds, or watch TV. They can only continue the mission and look out after the guy to the left and right of them. They don't complain because they know they volunteered. The only thing they ask is that we do not forget the sacrifices they have made.
One of the dirty "big hoo ha" bikers, as you call them, was Brian's uncle, a Vietnam Veteran, like myself. We were not treated with a homecoming. We were spit on and called baby killers by a misguided public. Brian's uncle was giving him the respect that he, himself, never received when he came back and I, for one, am proud of him for doing so.
You say that your brother is a deputy in another Missouri county. I am sure he would be proud to escort the casket of a fallen solder, the same as he would that of a fallen officer. I am also sure he would not agree with your complaint about being inconvenienced.
My mother recently passed away. She was a World War II Veteran, serving the U.S. Army. She would say, maybe you should pick up Sergeant Woods' ruck sack and carry on where he left off. Then you could see first hand what it really is to be inconvenienced.
Per your request, I will forward your complaint to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office for his review. It is my personal opinion that your complaint is self-serving and without merit.
Sheriff Oliver "Glenn" Boyer
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sometimes being morally right and legal do not coincide. Especially abroad.
Killing in self defense (or in some cases just physically harming the attacker) can find you on the wrong side of the law. And if you are arrested you may be executed (at best) or kept jailed indefinitely (at worst) in a foreign prison. Involved in a post violent conflict over seas can leave you in the sticky spot of either notifying the local constables or getting the hell out of dodge.
It may sound cowardly to up an flee, but you need to weigh your options immediately. I have a standing policy with my clients when traveling abroad that if I become involved in a use-of-lethal-force situation the next stop is the airport in many cases. Yes it can depend on the country, the political climate, witnesses, etc. no doubt. But when you are left standing over one or two dead attackers from a street situation you have to make a judgment call immediately that can in many respects change the course of your life. And the right call can be leaving without dialing the country's equivalent of 9-1-1.
The moral and ethical mindset we are given today has to be re-examined and realistically face doing a potential 180 turn. We are told if we shoot and kill we then call the police. And we understand why. We did the right thing, the law is on our side. That is here at home.
But Gaijin you ain't at home.
Once you make that call to the police and you give your name that's it. You can't undo it. You can flee the immediate area and have a limited amount of time (say 1/2 hour in a major metropolitan area) to make the case that you were over whelmed and in fear for your life. Obviously in a rural area you may have more time. But once your name is in the system and they realize you're a foreigner they are going to want to ask you a few questions. In the modern world you're passport photo is going to go out and your name on the hot list of "please call if found attempting to leave the country".
If they don't have a name or even a decent description you still have some freedom of movement. One option may be to go to the nearest U.S. Embassy, if that is not an option and the country you are visiting has the death penalty head for the French Embassy. The French generally do not hand over people facing potential execution, and there are more than a couple of Americans facing charges here living freely in France.
Or you run.
While bribery can get you out of a lot of bad situations there may come the point where the better use of your money is to try and get yourself smuggled out of country.
It's not easy nor is it cheap. And never discount a country's capabilities in tracking and finding or the technology they use. You may see chickens and vintage Reagan era motorolas being carried around by the Polizea, but get made and you'll be surprised who just had your picture pop up in their e-mail with an "FW" in the subject line.
So if the ticket counter at Aéroport International de Tunis is no longer an option you need to look into transpo via the black market.
Hmmm Fodors and Hidden Planet don't have an index for that you're thinking. No they don't, but the key to proverbial black market is only a phone call away.
Prostitution is the key into the underground market. Where there is prostitution there are drugs and human trafficking. This means smugglers and off the books transportation. It may make your skin crawl just thinking about it, but ultimately it is about how bad you want it. The conceptual steps are simple. They just are not easy.
Remember this isn't about using the drugs, the prostitutes, etc rather you are going to weave through this world to back to yours.
But one has to go about this in a smart fashion of course. For instance we're not talking about street walkers, but rather the upper echelon of call girls and "professional" escorts.
The reason to avoid the street level hooker and her pimp for the initial contact is due to a combination of factors. Sure they have access to people, but everything here is low level. You need to by pass this. Low level criminals are unpredictable and low level organizations may on some level be infiltrated by cops, crooked or undercover (or both). If you are a wanted man (or woman), you may have higher value than they do, so it is quite possible to find that you've been sold out to broker a deal or plea bargain. These are not the best and brightest bulbs in the pack after all.
Go higher and the organization structure is better run and has an over all higher value than you that needs to be protected. Think of it as a mutual draw. You don't really care about their world and they like the color of your money (which you better have plenty of).
The best way is to get into the nicest hotel possible, it doesn't have to be the Corinthia in Budapest but something that a $500-$2,000 an hour escort will show up to. If you're not sure how to go about this (getting the girl) request that the concierge come to your room. If you're in any hotel worth a damn a good concierge is more valuable than a duffel full of hardware, because they have heard it all and their job is to do the impossible. So requesting a contact for an "escort" will be a walk in the park.
If he can not give you a name and number for an agency off the top of his head you either aren't tipping enough....or you aren't tipping enough. He's not a priest he/she is a facilitator who gets things done. More than likely they will say "let me see what I can do" and leave you. Sometime later your phone will ring if he doesn't bring the information to you. In many cases the concierge will pass along your name and room number and the escort service will contact you directly.They will in classic fashion ask what type of girl are you looking for.
Since sex isn't your end goal here it really doesn't matter, but to alleviate suspicion give them particulars. This doesn't mean her waist to chest ratio necessarily. Some professional escorts are quite well educated and charming. Some clients are looking for arm candy others are looking for someone who can be a well spoken "trophy wife for the night" (complete with wedding ring). So pick your flavor. Personally, go for one that is well spoken and educated since you may have some explaining to do.
The thing you have to remember in traversing into such arenas is that no one is your friend here. Never confuse someone who is friendly for someone who is a friend. If they're taking your money this is a business arrangement nothing more. Trust will of course be relative, because at some point if you are doing this right you're gonna go against your mother's advice and get into the car with a stranger.
coming next Non Permissive Enviroment Part II
I'm often reminded of Kevin Costner's character John Dunbar in Dances with Wolves when I come here. In both the book and the movie,...