Define the bounds of our campus community. Protect us, secure our sanctity and behold this honored environment.Those that keep us safe within the campus are ordered, delineated and defined. Exclude the transgressors who in their acts with malice find cause to collect fines and fees for the Town of Castleton and the State of Vermont within the campus. In the deep black darkness of the night they come, the Rutland District Sheriff and The Town of Castleton Police, lurk behind the backs of our respected campus security officials. Such monetary resource as they might forcibly extract by the court are needed for the benefit of our campus home.
The Castleton State College campus is in need of a clearly defined document delineating what entity holds responsibility for the Castleton State College Campus roadways, parking lots, exits and entrances. Research with the Town of Castleton, Deeds and Records would establish the ownership of some roadways and undefined parking areas in question within the college campus. Parking areas are not clearly defined from roadways. That which constitutes the limits of an undefined parking area needs clarification. This document would legally and clearly define the limits to include or exclude the Rutland District Sheriff at Rutland City and the Town of Castleton Police to perform motor vehicle enforcement or related assumed authority on campus. Such a white paper would be published as legal policy and made available to the Castleton State College community.
Conflict does exist between The Rutland District Sheriff’s department and the Town of Castleton Police as to where their beginning and ending areas of influence exist. Outside law enforcement agencies are always welcomed on campus. Protocol does exist to a degree. Protocol must be followed by the Rutland District Sheriff and the Town of Castleton Police without their self imposed exclusion.
During the hours preceding this event, by his word, Bob Godlewski, Director of Public Safety had not called for public assistance from the Town of Castleton or the Rutland District Sheriffs Department. In the first few minutes on the 13th of May, 2006, very early graduation morning, parked immediately outside the SAC Academic Computer Center, side by side was the Town of Castleton police vehicle and that of the Rutland District Sheriff. Departing with Bill Duezeminski, a Castleton security officer, I remarked their presence was odd. Jokingly to him, I wondered if the town cruiser had a motor in it. In this early morning before graduation no other vehicles were present save mine, parked close by. The campus was devoid of everyone. That hour was exceptionally quite, no wind: the creatures of night, silent. Under no adverse influence, exhausted from many hours of study, I gathered a foothold on reality. In the calmness and the quiet of the night my vehicle rolled slowly toward home.
Just before the “choke” in the parking lot road, by the staff parking area on my left and before the fine arts center an explosion of light occurred. There had been no vehicles with lights on following me. No blue lights were flashing. No ominous, rasping burp, burp of a warning. It was an insidious explosion of a white, very bright, light. Startled and unnerved by the fractured field of stabbing light, without vision, my vehicle came to a quick stop.
It seems to be standard practice that both in diction and manner of address to acerbate the situation might in some way satisfy the officer’s ego. This came forth giving in a spit it out diction. It was far too rapid for a clear understanding. To humiliate and verbally abuse by diction is not necessary. Confused, blinded, with great difficulty maintaining calm, one wonders
My 1991 vehicle apparently was a little too noisy for him. For many months it had bothered no individual or enforcement officer. All those parts rattling around in an old clunker take more than a Vermont ear to call it noisy. As he poked his head in the window to smell my breath, look for the open container, the nickel bag open on the seat or the lighted joint, he was crestfallen. My seat belt was not fastened. Well, at least that is something for the treasury and the reputation.
Both the vehicles of the Castleton Police and the Rutland District Sheriff were immediately outside the SAC Academic Computer Center as I came out. Both vehicles were behind me when I came to a stop just before the Fine Arts Center. Both claimed the legal right to perform their duties on campus. In regards to having an equipment violation, a muffler, that was not the case.
My vehicle was not objectionably noisy. My seat belt was not fastened due to having not yet left the campus at the Seminary Street gate. At least they might have waited
The notice from the White River Junction Judicial Bureau to appear at the Rutland Distract Court arrived with the date set for August 31st. A guilty verdict was expected which proved true especially with self representation. The next step with self representation is the appeal. When extensive irregularities exist one seeks a trial by jury. Mediation followed on January 17, 2007. As expected the States Attorney offered to drop all charges. Not wanting to accept such an offer in light of erratic testimony given by the Castleton Police Officer the Judge prevailed, preventing a trial by jury and the case from going forward.
Not having to pay a fine was no reward for the great injustice rendered to me on the campus of my college.