Busted For Kicking At Speakers Circle

The story of getting busted for kicking at Speakers Circle before they officially opened the area…

When I got there, workers were still doing something about a half block away. I keep a piece of sidewalk chalk in my bike traile, and like an idiot, I couldn’t resist writing “Hacky Circle” on the concrete (kinda small because I didn’t have much chalk). About the time I was done ‘marking my territory,’ the construction guys were leaving and one of them came over to talk to me. But all the construction guy said was that they had just finished sealing some joints in the concrete, and I might get sticky stuff on my shoes. I pointed out where I would be kicking, and he said, “Well you should be OK then.” and left.
Just a couple minutes later, an MUPD – campus police – car came up 9th and turned his lights on. I figured he was going to chase me out right away. But he drove around the corner and down to the end of the street and parked behind some construction equipment. Then another 5 minutes later, he came back, lights still flashing, and approached me. Apparently he had gone to talk to the construction workers. I guess the construction guy couldn’t bring himself to ask me to clean up and scram, but was perfectly willing to put the cop up to it.
The cop said a construction worker wanted me to leave because they wanted to keep the area clean and let the concrete cure before they opened the area. Nevermind the fact that there were truck and tractor tire marks all over the place from the construction workers already. But… OK, I get it: They’re pissed about the sidewalk chalk, the place is still roped off with caution tape (very poorly; others were walking around the tape through the area), and it wasn’t officially open yet. OK, I’ll leave without a fuss.
Or would have, if they had let me. Instead, the cop got all puffed up, demanding to see my ID, and doing that “You stay right where you are while I run your license.” thing. Whatever, dood. I guess a sweat-soaked, middle-aged hackysacker with a bicycle and trailer looks like a big threat to you. The cop was nice enough while I had my camera set up, but he waited in his car while I packed up all my stuff. After I packed away my camera, he got back out of the car and started being a bit of a jerk.
“You know we’re not just talking about asking you to leave, Mr. Fogle. We’re talking First Degree Tresspassing Charges.” He insisted a couple of times that the only reason he wasn’t arresting me was because the area “…just isn’t quite marked well enough.” And finally, in a very confrontational tone, “You got any questions, Mr. Fogle?”
I didn’t need to ask. I had already figured out he was an unwitting tool for a two-faced construction guy, and maybe a bit… insecure. Just asking me to clean up and leave would have accomplished the goal. The puffed-up authority figure routine, running my license, and threatening to arrest me on trespassing charges really wasn’t necessary. Really. Not. Necessary.
Getting busted and having to move cost me at least a half hour of my 1-1/2 hour session, and rattled me pretty good too. I’m calling this session an even hour. 1:00/45:00
The craziest part of it all? They took down the caution tape and opened the area the next day – less than 24 hours later.
They can hassle the blades, but they can’t stop them. Thanks for tuning in!

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