Old 02-22-2006, 03:42 PM   #26
Joe the Photog
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Originally Posted by Wade H. Massie
I know you can't believe everything you read on the internet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is in fact a true story. I've been handcuffed and interrogated for standing on a public sidewalk with a camera. In a separate incident an FBI agent showed up at my house to question me about why I was taking pictures (again from a public location).
I agree with Wade at least to the point that unless that is evidence this didn't happen, I am certainly willing to believe that it could have happened. I've luckily never been handcuffed and never had my images deleted, but I have been subjected to some really dumb ass cops who don't understand that taking a photograph of a train is actiually legal in this country. (Before anyone jumps on this comment, most by far of theLEOs I come in contact with through my hobby or myjob are great.


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Old 02-22-2006, 05:10 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Pat Lorenz
All the cops and security i have ever ran into just was wondering what i was up to. A soon as they looked at my car and saw all the train stuff they figured i was legit. I have only been kicked off the railroad once out of 10 different confintations in 5 years. I hope i dont have any like this.

I try and educate the police about our hobby, rather then just argue or look stupid. I pull out the magizines and show them what we do. Plus it helps to have a huge lens!
The encounters I've had are usually something like, "you're taking pictures of TRAINS?!" Cops I've run into have no education about the hobby at all. Last time I got checked was in Sunbury (Pa.) and they were professional enough but did the whole run my ID thing.

I think they relaxed when I exhibited good knowledge of the local operation. ("...well, I'm waiting for 12R and he cleared Rockville bridge about an hour ago so he'll be here pretty soon and there's a southbound at MP 742 waiting so I wanna get a shot of him in good lighting blah blah blah..." They probably figured I was just a nut (probably right! and left.

However, back in the 70's I had an encounter with a Penn Central cop who was a real psychopath, certifiable. Trying to tell us it was illegal to watch trains.

I think if I had any more trouble around here I'd see if the local paper wanted to do a railfan story, not to hassle L.E. but to educate everyone.

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Old 02-23-2006, 03:32 AM   #28
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Today there was 4 of us and 2 cars pulled way off the road waiting for a train near a crossing.

These schmucks in a delivery trucks pull up and say:

"Do you guys need help or a hand with anything?"

We were like "Um, no."

Then the moron says:

"What are you gonna do, jump in front of the train?"

I heard him but I said "What?"

He said it again "Whatcha gonna do, jump in front of the train?"

I gave him a "WTF" look and said "No..."

They drove off.......

I'm like; First, I'm on a public road, I don't have to explain anything to some guy in a truck.

Second, WTF would 4 of us with cameras, scanners and RR hats be doing other than talking pictures? Did we look like we were gonna commit suicide?

I mean how fricken dumb and nosey can you get?
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:08 AM   #29
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Parts of this story likely are true. A pair of A-10's often fly low over the city, and other details would indicate the story is at least based on being in the NOUPT. How much else is true is another story. "If" this guy got treated as described, which is difficult to belive, it is even more difficult to believe he was not bringing some of this upon himself.

If you get off a train at NOUPT, odds are no signs will be in sight telling you not to wander or take photographs. If some Amtrak workers give you a warning about the police - I'd take that as a "sign" to stop or go get permission. Entering the station from the street side, there are the typical passengers only and restricted area signs and anyone walking toward the platforms with a camera in hand will get notice, if not questioned. Even pre- 9/11, getting permission from Amtrak to take photographs was getting to be the norm. I suppose the hard-line at the station is ironic given what can be photographed in the French Quarter that would get you in jail in most other cities.

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Old 02-24-2006, 09:53 AM   #30
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These schmucks in a delivery trucks pull up and say:

"Do you guys need help or a hand with anything?"
Yeah, God forbid anyone stopping and actually offering to help someone who they thought might be in need of it...
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:13 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Ween
Yeah, God forbid anyone stopping and actually offering to help someone who they thought might be in need of it...
Ween,

I know you're not blind. Did you miss this part?
Quote:
"What are you gonna do, jump in front of the train?"

I heard him but I said "What?"

He said it again "Whatcha gonna do, jump in front of the train?"
I mean a few guys standing around talking, telling jokes, and laughing, need help from two dopes in a delivery truck?

They were not asking if we needed physical help, they were being smart-asses asking if we needed mental help.. As in we were wasting our time and should've been in a bar with them...

Maybe you had to be there....

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Old 02-24-2006, 07:49 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Telesha
Ween,

I know you're not blind. Did you miss this part?


I mean a few guys standing around talking, telling jokes, and laughing, need help from two dopes in a delivery truck?

They were not asking if we needed physical help, they were being smart-asses asking if we needed mental help.. As in we were wasting our time and should've been in a bar with them...

Maybe you had to be there....
I'm agreeing with Ween on this one-

My bet is the "morons" in question were probably just being friendly until they were overcome with glaring looks accompanied by coarse attitude. In the future, wave, smile, and mutter the "WTF, leave me alone" under your breath. Let's try to keep public opinion of railfans a positive one, please...
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:31 PM   #33
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Really, you had to be there... They weren't just being friendly - if they were, I wouldn't have had a problem.

Also, I didn't say anything except "What" to his "are you gonna jump in front of the train?" comment and then "No.".

Now as for being friendly and positive, I have to be one of the most helpful suckers around.

Everytime I hang around a station I end up helping someone with the schedule, which platform to be on, etc. etc. - I don't mind one bit.

I don't mind explaining railfanning either - I welcome that especially...

But it doesn't help when the person isn't interested and is just trying to be a smart-aleck.
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Old 02-25-2006, 12:19 AM   #34
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But it doesn't help when the person isn't interested and is just trying to be a smart-aleck.
Get used to it. It'll happen more often.
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Old 02-26-2006, 03:23 AM   #35
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I find all of this funny, as today we railfanned WITH the Police Department here. Seems they are railfans as well. Just goes to show ya cops are not on earth to cause trouble and its all about how you talk to them. I guess living in the South does have its advantages, folks are friendly down here!
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Old 02-26-2006, 05:02 PM   #36
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These are places I have had run-ins with LEOs while doing nothing more than taking photographs of trains --

Spartanburg, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Monroe, North Carolina
Waxhaw, North Carolina

The Spartanburg and Monroe incidents appeared to be heading for a real bad place, but the CEOs relented. Mind you, this is the south we're talking about.


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Old 02-26-2006, 07:06 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by fuente1
The Amtrak derailment in Arizona if I remember correctly was caused by teenagers sabotaging a switch, while bad, imagine the mess had it been a tank train.
The 9/95 Sunset Ltd. accident wasn't teenagers. Someone removed a track joint but used a wire to keep the electrical current flowing to keep the signals showing green. It was pretty professional and still remains unsolved, and is listed as one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism. There's much more to this (someone, I think an Amtrak employee, committed suicide over the whole thing) but it really starts to play out like a James Bond movie so I won't go into it here.
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Old 02-27-2006, 02:22 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
These are places I have had run-ins with LEOs while doing nothing more than taking photographs of trains --

Spartanburg, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Monroe, North Carolina
Waxhaw, North Carolina

The Spartanburg and Monroe incidents appeared to be heading for a real bad place, but the CEOs relented. Mind you, this is the south we're talking about.


Joe

Interesting, sorry to hear ya have trouble down there. I will avoid those areas.
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:50 AM   #39
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I wasn't suggesting anyone avoid these areas. In fact, esp. with Rock Hill, Waxhaw and Monroe, as much as I'm there, it was bound to happen at some point. Just remember to always be on your guard because someone somewhere will eventually call you in and an LEO will respond. And sometimes that LEO -- SOMETIMES, mind you, not all the time -- will not be the brightest bulb in the box.


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Old 02-27-2006, 11:49 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
I wasn't suggesting anyone avoid these areas. In fact, esp. with Rock Hill, Waxhaw and Monroe, as much as I'm there, it was bound to happen at some point. Just remember to always be on your guard because someone somewhere will eventually call you in and an LEO will respond. And sometimes that LEO -- SOMETIMES, mind you, not all the time -- will not be the brightest bulb in the box.


Joe
I hear ya Joe, I just prefer to not have to deal with LEO's. Ill have to make it down to RH, W, & Monroe one day, what is that CSX down there?
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:37 PM   #41
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I think from now on iŽll just ride freights around the country. No rude people to deal with, better food to be found in trackside dumpsters, probably faster and more comfortable, and about the same chance of getting arrested...
HAHAHA Thats Is so funny But its true.
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Old 03-14-2006, 06:24 AM   #42
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Ah, so true-- I've been following these posts, and being a retired LEO, I've tried to help folks understand why LEOs do what they do, but no more-- I've had to wonder at the ignorance of some of these officers-- Isn't this 2006? I mean come on, where are these people hiding? Aren't they getting any training at all? Certainly none, on day to day public relations--
Well guess what? Last week in South Texas, I had the opportunity to meet, in person, a real, live, walking, talking, rectal orifice-- Yup, he had a badge and a gun-- Made Barney Fife look like Joe Friday--
According to him, I was violating "The National Defense Law!" ??? Yes I was taking photos of trains, from the public roadway, parked legally-- Said he would arrest me if I didn't leave-- I started to leave, but he called me back and asked for ID, and told me to sit in the rear of my explorer (the hatch was opened)-- He saw my tripod case and asked me what it was-- When I told him, he asked me what it was for -- I reached for it to show him, he grabbed his gun, telling me to put my hands up-- Satisfied it was not a gun after his inspection, he told me to sit down again while he ran my ID--
He came back, returning my ID and telling me to leave, again-- Said he would arrest me if he saw me taking pictures again-- I took a chance, and told him to do what he had to, that I was on public property, and I wanted to see a real cop--
He got all red in the face and began shaking-- It was obvious he wanted to escalate the incident, but I didn't move or say anything-- Finally, he told me to leave-- He turned his back to me and walked back to his car--
This mental midget did not bother to check either my license plate or registration-- Nor did he look at the towel laying next to me, under which was my Glock .45, cocked and locked--
The point I'm trying to make here is that a guy carrying a badge and gun, who has a shoe size higher than his IQ, is dangerous-- Do not, under any circumstances, provoke or argue with one of these morons-- None of us know anything about his level of training, professionalism, or mentality-- Like my grandpa always said: "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken $hit"--Sorry this was so long, but thought it important to share-- Best regards, da Gator
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Old 03-21-2006, 01:56 PM   #43
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Man I'm sure glad I live on the westcoast!
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:06 PM   #44
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Ah, so true-- I've been following these posts, and being a retired LEO, I've tried to help folks understand why LEOs do what they do, but no more-- I've had to wonder at the ignorance of some of these officers-- Isn't this 2006? I mean come on, where are these people hiding? Aren't they getting any training at all? Certainly none, on day to day public relations--
Well guess what? Last week in South Texas, I had the opportunity to meet, in person, a real, live, walking, talking, rectal orifice-- Yup, he had a badge and a gun-- Made Barney Fife look like Joe Friday--
According to him, I was violating "The National Defense Law!" ??? Yes I was taking photos of trains, from the public roadway, parked legally-- Said he would arrest me if I didn't leave-- I started to leave, but he called me back and asked for ID, and told me to sit in the rear of my explorer (the hatch was opened)-- He saw my tripod case and asked me what it was-- When I told him, he asked me what it was for -- I reached for it to show him, he grabbed his gun, telling me to put my hands up-- Satisfied it was not a gun after his inspection, he told me to sit down again while he ran my ID--
He came back, returning my ID and telling me to leave, again-- Said he would arrest me if he saw me taking pictures again-- I took a chance, and told him to do what he had to, that I was on public property, and I wanted to see a real cop--
He got all red in the face and began shaking-- It was obvious he wanted to escalate the incident, but I didn't move or say anything-- Finally, he told me to leave-- He turned his back to me and walked back to his car--
This mental midget did not bother to check either my license plate or registration-- Nor did he look at the towel laying next to me, under which was my Glock .45, cocked and locked--
The point I'm trying to make here is that a guy carrying a badge and gun, who has a shoe size higher than his IQ, is dangerous-- Do not, under any circumstances, provoke or argue with one of these morons-- None of us know anything about his level of training, professionalism, or mentality-- Like my grandpa always said: "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken $hit"--Sorry this was so long, but thought it important to share-- Best regards, da Gator
Yikes, definately would not want to deal with that officer. Did you at least call and talk to the police chief from that area? What he was doing practically constitutes harrassment.
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:00 AM   #45
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Interestingly enough, I have returned to South Texas due to a death in the family-- I checked up on who this yo-yo worked for, and discovered he is a constable employed by a county-- Although he is a legally constituted peace officer, his primary function is a paper server-- He was properly beefed(a cop term for having a complaint filed)-- He was not on duty, but the official I visited with said action would be taken-- The constable down here is an elected position-- I received a smile, an apology, and a hand shake, so we'll see what happens-- Keep smilin' and snappin'--
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:36 AM   #46
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Just continues my theory that most of the trouble railfans and others get from cops is from the rookies who want to prove that they have "the stuff" or from people who think they are cops(aka rent-a-cops and this guy).
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