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Old 04-27-12, 06:29 AM   #1
NOS88
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Most bizarre encounter on commute this morning

On my commute this morning, I was stopped by a local law enforcement officer asking if I had a bike permit. I asked if I needed one to ride through their particular municipality. He responded that I did not, but that I looked like I lived there. I replied that this was not so, I only worked in this municipality and lived in the adjoining township. Then he requested ID to show him that I did not live in his jurisdiction. Once satisfied that I was only “passing through” he went on his way. While this may seem just a little strange in and of itself, what made it bizarre is that I was riding on the Schuylkill River Trail at the time. Why he and his patrol car were on the trail is a mystery to me. Maybe his municipality needs the revenue?
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Old 04-27-12, 07:32 AM   #2
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I'm guessing it was a BS ruse to stop you for a search/ID check without probable cause.
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Old 04-27-12, 07:33 AM   #3
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Either they need the revenue, or he was just looking for an excuse to ID you. Do you know if there's an actual requirement for a bike permit for residents?
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Old 04-27-12, 07:36 AM   #4
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What would have happened if you did not have your papers Mien Heir?!?
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Old 04-27-12, 07:57 AM   #5
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Perhaps the officer was just on patrol in response to recent past problems in that area. Have there been vandalism or harrasment problems on that trail lately?

Now that Spring is arriving, the little munchkins in my city go out and cause all sorts of mischief and most of it is criminal. They're all over the place the last few weeks and are already destroying restrooms in local parks and commiting armed robbery on area trails!

The best way to get to know the citizens is to stop and talk with them face to face. Now that he knows who you are, namely a law abiding commuter, he'll probably just wave hello when he sees you. At least that's always been my experience.

Or maybe they need a permit in that town.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:05 AM   #6
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Either they need the revenue, or he was just looking for an excuse to ID you. Do you know if there's an actual requirement for a bike permit for residents?

I used to live in that municipality and they did require a bike permit, but I never knew them to require one for someone who didn't live there. This still appears to be the case.

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What would have happened if you did not have your papers Mien Heir?!?
I ALWAYS travel with proper ID. Too many times in my youth I was stopped and didn't have ID. What a royal pain that turns out to be. My older brother thinks I'm so obsessive about this because I'm afraid I'll forget who I am at some point.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:37 AM   #7
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On my commute this morning, I was stopped by a local law enforcement officer asking if I had a bike permit. I asked if I needed one to ride through their particular municipality. He responded that I did not, but that I looked like I lived there. I replied that this was not so, I only worked in this municipality and lived in the adjoining township. Then he requested ID to show him that I did not live in his jurisdiction. Once satisfied that I was only “passing through” he went on his way. While this may seem just a little strange in and of itself, what made it bizarre is that I was riding on the Schuylkill River Trail at the time. Why he and his patrol car were on the trail is a mystery to me. Maybe his municipality needs the revenue?
Where were you at on the trail???

My wife and I rode the SRT right through the winter months. In late March we were off the bikes for 3 weeks after she had a problem with pneumonia. Once back on the bikes we noticed patrols down at the Philly line where they some days block the trail for trail construction. The past few weeks we noted Montco sheriffs sitting at the transportation center in Norristown but not patrolling the trail as they did last year.
Then on Tuesday, 17th of this month, we had an incident at Hawes Ave. on the trail. The locals are back to messing with the trail users. A few trail users we saw on both the 17th and 19th suggested the trail was being used by individuals ducking the law. We also saw two guys pulling scrap metal out of various places along the trail and hauling it away in trailers pulled behind bikes. That was just above Conshohocken behind the now vacant gas station.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:42 AM   #8
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I saw a guy playing bagpipes on a MUP , Just standing there, and no , I wasn't smoking anything , At the time
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Old 04-27-12, 08:58 AM   #9
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I ALWAYS travel with proper ID. Too many times in my youth I was stopped and didn't have ID. What a royal pain that turns out to be. My older brother thinks I'm so obsessive about this because I'm afraid I'll forget who I am at some point.
IMO, maintaining our liberties is worth a little pain.
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Old 04-27-12, 09:04 AM   #10
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The officers approach seems a bit strange. Assuming the OP didn't appear to have criminal aspirations all the officer had to do was ask the OP if he'd seen any strange activity and to report anything unusual. Bike permit, we don't need no stinkin' bike permit. On second thought, California is broke; let's hit up cyclist for $10/year with a big fine if apprehended without a tag.
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Old 04-27-12, 09:13 AM   #11
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IMO, maintaining our liberties is worth a little pain.
I appreciate the sentiment, but in my case and at that time (late 1960s) it was harassment. These were officers who knew who I was given we lived across the street from the police station. They were taking every opportunity to harass because, heaven forbid, my hair wasn’t a crew cut. So, at least once a week one would stop me, even if I was just walking somewhere, and say, "Son, we need to see some ID."
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Old 04-27-12, 09:17 AM   #12
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I saw a guy playing bagpipes on a MUP , Just standing there, and no , I wasn't smoking anything , At the time
I'm sure that the fellows neighbors appreciate him being on the MUP with that bagpipe.

Q. Why do bagpipers always walk when they play?
A. Moving targets are harder to hit.

Q: Why do bagpipers walk when they play?
A: To get away from the noise.

As to the original post. It seems a little odd that the police would be hassling legitimate members of the 50+ forum. OTOH I have seen some mature homeless people with fairly decent bikes.
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Old 04-27-12, 09:30 AM   #13
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Maybe he was just trying to announce that the police will be on the trail. And since these day he can't just stop those that experience tells him are up to no good, he stops everybody. Or he's just being a jerk.
What would he have done if you didn't have an ID?
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Old 04-27-12, 09:47 AM   #14
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I wish they'd patrol our neighborhood like that. I have less to worry from the Police than undesireables.
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Old 04-27-12, 09:49 AM   #15
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Nothing so mysterious or subversive as some would think. The LEO was merely enforcing local code/law/ordinance. In that he asked for proper ID, something that is legal in all 50. Once satisfied he and you went on your mutual ways. NBD.

These kinds of stops go on daily all over the country. Based on what was posted I don't see any harrassment, or anything even close to it. That he "knew" you but still asked for ID, again, is NBD. Put on the official hat and he may be following procedure just so he can testify in some completely other matter that he always follows procedure. I know several who do exactly that and have done so myself.

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Old 04-27-12, 09:49 AM   #16
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I'm guessing it was a BS ruse to stop you for a search/ID check without probable cause.
really? why don't you get a job where you have to work all night, go out in conditions where everyone else gets to stay home in front of the fire, get assaulted, not make enough money, not be appreciated by many people even after they have become crime victims, and when your family never knows what day you might not survive the shift.
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Old 04-27-12, 09:55 AM   #17
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Nothing so mysterious or subversive as some would think. The LEO was merely enforcing local code/law/ordinance. In that he asked for proper ID, something that is legal in all 50. Once satisfied he and you went on your mutual ways. NBD.

These kinds of stops go on daily all over the country. Based on what was posted I don't see any harrassment, or anything even close to it. That he "knew" you but still asked for ID, again, is NBD. Put on the official hat and he may be following procedure just so he can testify in some completely other matter that he always follows procedure. I know several who do exactly that and have done so myself.
Agree ^ ^ ^
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Old 04-27-12, 10:11 AM   #18
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Nothing so mysterious or subversive as some would think. The LEO was merely enforcing local code/law/ordinance. In that he asked for proper ID, something that is legal in all 50. Once satisfied he and you went on your mutual ways. NBD.

These kinds of stops go on daily all over the country. Based on what was posted I don't see any harrassment, or anything even close to it. That he "knew" you but still asked for ID, again, is NBD. Put on the official hat and he may be following procedure just so he can testify in some completely other matter that he always follows procedure. I know several who do exactly that and have done so myself.
You don't find it odd that someone would say "You look like you live here."? I mean how do you make that kind of determination? Keep in mind I'm not holding that there was anything subversive or that harassment was taking place. It was just a very strange encounter on a route to work that I've used thousands of times.
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Old 04-27-12, 10:22 AM   #19
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We, as society, set rules and regulations so we can live in peace, we then hire people to see that the rest of society also lives the same, then we can b*tch when these people are just doing the job we, society, ask them to do.
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Old 04-27-12, 10:28 AM   #20
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Police state this country is becoming!

When I am going to Arizona next month as a foreign born american I will have to carry my american passport to show that I am here legally!
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Old 04-27-12, 10:31 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
Based on what was posted I don't see any harrassment, or anything even close to it.
Really? REALLY? Consider this from the OP:

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He responded ..... that I looked like I lived there.
Precisely what would someone "look like" who "lived there"? This is textbook harassment.
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Old 04-27-12, 10:40 AM   #22
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I saw a guy playing bagpipes on a MUP , Just standing there, and no , I wasn't smoking anything , At the time
Now THAT should require a permit!
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Old 04-27-12, 10:49 AM   #23
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The last thing I wanted to do when I started this thread was to have a debate about civil liberties, law and order, civic duties, citizen rights, harassment, etc. I was simply making an observation about a very strange encounter this morning. There was nothing negative or derogatory in my original post about the event. So, I’d greatly appreciate it if the negative or accusatory tone would be left out of responses. No toes are being stepped on nor does anyone’s honor need to be defended. Where I live there is an extraordinary amount of diversity with three or four languages that can be commonly heard; a rainbow of colors, shapes and sizes; and about every religious belief you can image. So, when someone says, “You look like you live here” it strikes me as very odd. Oh, and what's even more curious is that after a bit of checking this morning, I find that the municipality in which this took place no longer requires a bike license/permit. So, I am really left wondering what was really going on. You know what they say, inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 04-27-12, 11:24 AM   #24
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Strange encounter indeed. Since I don't carry ID anymore, (after acquiring a RoadID bracelet), I'm not sure how I would handle the request. Makes me glad I live in a somewhat rural environment. Few law enforcement officers around here, and they always leave cyclist alone...or have in my experience.
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Old 04-27-12, 12:11 PM   #25
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He was checking ID to see if he was going to have to have you deported.
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