It was about midnight on Saturday and I had just about had enough of the Halloween festivities unfolding outside my Del Playa residence. I was completely content with sitting at my window, watching the hordes of out-of-towners wreck the street with stupidity when I noticed three of Isla Vista’s finest sitting on horses in my driveway. They must have felt pretty relaxed among the commotion because the horses were shitting all over the drive and walk.
I went outside to ask one of the officers to please stop the horses from discharging feces on our property and like a scene from Walker, Texas Ranger, Officer Henebry swung the horse in my direction, pinning me against a staircase. The next thing I knew, I was in cuffs and being dragged from my own house to one of those fenced holding areas in the street.
I was then thrown into a van and shackled to three drunken guys vomiting on each other. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, an officer opened the door and started throwing bird feed on us. Supposedly meant to disguise the smell of vomit, the bird feed also triggered a coughing attack in my asthmatic lungs. I had just been diagnosed with asthmatic bronchitis the week before so I started to kick the door in hopes that someone would let me out. An officer opened the door and yelled “SHUT THE FUCK UP…. We’ll be there in 30 minutes.”
Our first stop was the I.V. Foot Patrol jail where I was thrown in more bird feed, yelled at again and forced to sign some papers detailing my arrested state. Since I was sober, I read the papers and insisted that they change all the personal information that they had taken the liberty of filling out for me. On our way down to the county jail, the officer was driving so fast over speed bumps that when he hit one, everyone’s heads hit the ceiling. Then, like an assembly line of cows about to be put out of their misery, we were strip-searched and herded into the drunk tank. I had heard stories about this place but never thought I’d see it in all its Halloween glory. It’s a 20 foot by 20 foot room with an open roof and one exposed toilet. It seems a whole lot smaller when it’s freezing and there are about 200 drunken people pissing themselves in all different kinds of costumes.
I stayed crouched in a corner, shoeless, avoiding any human contact for the first five or six hours. Fortunately, I was amused by some of the stories I heard from people who were also victims of the long arm of the law. One guy actually called the police because someone threw a bottle through his window while he was home with his girlfriend. He went outside to wait for the cops and was tackled and taken to jail for “throwing a bottle at a window.” He tried to explain to them that he had, in fact, called them because someone else broke his window, but they apparently weren’t listening to anyone that night.
I was let out 14 hours later with a pain in my neck and a real passion to write this article in hopes of shedding some light on just how bad it can get if you even speak to an officer in I.V. I understand it was Halloween and the police were attempting to catch those few bad eggs, but what happened to me was appalling. This is clearly an abuse of power on the part of the police. I now have to tack a fat lawyer fee onto my out-of-state tuition tab just so this “resisting arrest” charge doesn’t show up on my criminal record.
To recap, I was arrested for asking an officer to prevent his horse from defecating on our property. He told me it was my responsibility to clean it up, jammed me against a staircase with the horse and arrested me. In defending myself, I told him that it was my property and he responded with “No, it’s not! You rent!”
I fear for the future of this one square mile we call home as police power increases each Halloween if it continues to be plagued by ever-increasing power in the hands of law enforcement and this failed justice system.
I refuse to let this incident slip into the dark abyss of the Pacific just like the horse shit that we had to hose off our driveway the next day. Please e-mail me your stories at IVPoliceAbuse@gmail.com.