Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Robo Ranger of Griffith Park

I received the following comment on my first story about the John Stolpe trial (which turned out to be the Douglas Kilpatrick trial):

Anonymous said...

Doug Kilpatrick aka "Uniform man"

has a very long history of extreme abuse of park visitors. He Really enjoys his job, to much apparently.

Popular LA Times Columnist Steve Lopez documented a short list of the abuse of park visitors received from this public servant.

See LA TIMES Column "The Robo Ranger of Griffith Park" published Aug. 31 2001.

Nine Citizen complaints in less than 3 years! Sheesh! Makes the meanest baddest cops envious.

I don't know Doug Kilpatrick or his history. So I took the anonymous commenter’s advice and donated $3.95 to the LA Times to read Steve Lopez's column about Douglas Kirpatrick. First of all, Lopez is a columnist, not a reporter. He is paid to add spice and controversy to get people to buy newspapers. In his Kirpatrick column, he spoke with six people who were contacted or cited by Kirpatrick for breaking the law.

Peter Aiello stopped for riding a bike in a prohibited area was taken to the ground after refusing to identify himself and comply to orders of a law enforcement officer. Kilpatrick also pepper sprayed Aiello after he attempted to escape.

Darrell Jones was contacted by Kilpatrick for playing his car stereo too loud. Kilpatrick noticed that Jones was consuming beer from a cup. Jones claims it was non-alcoholic beer. That makes total sense to me, because if you drink non-alcoholic beer directly from the bottle, it ruins the taste. Near beer needs to breathe. Lopez fails to tell us if Jones was even cited by Kilpatrick.

Peter Rhodes was cited by Kilpatrick for riding his bike on a trial closed to bikes. Rhodes claims he wasn’t riding on that trail and challenged the citation in court and lost. Rhodes filed a complaint with the parks department and Kilpatrick was cleared of any wrong doing.

Amilcar Barquero, according to Lopez was doing nothing more than attending a birthday party when Kilpatrick came around “to inspect an ice chest and sniff cups.” Lopez states that Kilpatrick threw Barquero to the ground, hand cuffed him, and took him to jail, merely for stating, “Nobody's doing anything wrong." My guess is that people were illegally consuming alcohol and Barquero refused to comply with Kilpatrick in some way. I don’t know, however, because Lopez doesn’t tell us why Barquero was arrested.

Pasadenan Stephen Schweitzer refused to empty a cup before a “tailgate session” before a concert at the park. Once again, we don’t know if Schweitzer was cited or arrested or just told to empty his cup because Lopez purposefully left that info out. I am sure Schweitzer was merely enjoying an ice cold Coca-cola before the concert, not consuming alcohol.

Lopez mentions that Roderick Greaves got into a “scuffle” with Kilpatrick while sitting in a car with his friend. Kilpatrick arrested Greaves for assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest. Last I knew, a scuffle is a fight and if you get into a fight with a cop, then you are going to be arrested.

When this column ran in 2001, Greaves case was going to trial and Lopez promised to be in the front row at act as “Witness for the people.” Yet in the six years since Lopez wrote his column, he has yet to write another word about Kilpatrick. Should we be surprised that Lopez never did a follow up story? I guess it wasn’t sensational enough for Lopez to cover.

Notice that only one of these complainants claimed to be innocent (and that one had his day in court and lost). I suspect that most of these people had a problem with Kilpatrick because they didn’t respect his authority to enforce the law.

Park rangers are constantly challenged by law breakers on their authority. I have had people tell me, “You’re not a real cop. Why don’t you quit bothering us.” Then they try to walk away and ignore my commands. When this happens, a park ranger has to assert his authority, which can sometimes mean gaining compliance through physical contact. If it is a park ranger’s job to enforce the law, then they need to enforce the law even with people who openly refuse to obey it.


Anonymous said...

You have to add that Robo Ranger patrols LA's meanest parks without a weapon...he has guts and it shows.

I appreciate the Rangers presence in my parks, wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

why haven't you posted that stolpe was cleared of exposing himself?

Anonymous said...

Ranger Kilpatrick is out of control. He's clearly a frustrated 'wanna-be cop' on a mission to prove his authority and make an arrest; justice be damned. Beware.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I ran into the infamous 'Robo Ranger of Griffith Park' and harrassed to no end. We weren't doing anything wrong, but he kept fishing for anyhing to cite us on. Besides being insane, is he a gay-basher?

silverfox said...

I am a 65 year hetrosexual old woman who was terrorized by Roboranger Kilpatrick. So much for the gay-bashing.

I was detained for "loitering" ; when I pointed out it was not yet time to depart Griffith Park, this maniac backed me up against a fence and proceeded to spray me with spit and venom until it was indeed after curfew. His face and demeanor was completely crazed, and this Little Ole Lady has never been so traumatized.

A very helpful L.A. public defender, who, by the way, is terminally tired of handling Kilpatrick cases, got it dismissed.

But, dear sir, if you are trying to defend the honor of your group...please exclude this bad apple. I had NO idea there were insane park rangers...til I met Kilpatrick.

Thanks for listening, tho I have no idea if anyone can manage to get through your idealism. Which probably means you are a good park ranger. He's not. trust a granny..okay?

Anonymous said...

Peace Officer = Law Enforcement Officer = LAW.

Simple answer, simple solution. Respect the law and the badge and you'll be fine.

Griffith Park is full of illegal activity - have you seen all those condoms on the trails. Sick bastards!