Monday, October 3, 2011

Quartzsite police arrest activist without warrant for misdemeanor


Activist Dana Stadler, age 58, was arrested this afternoon on a charges of  "harassment, disorderly conduct, interfering with judicial proceedings" relating to an encounter Saturday afternoon outside of the McDonalds in Quartzsite, wherein he told councilman "Machine Gun Joe" Winslow "You're a worthless piece of shit." This is the second warrant-less misdemeanor arrest in a week for Stadler, who many feel is simply being punished by Police Chief Jeff Gilbert for participating in 's "chalk the police" day, on October 1st.

Stadler's first warrant-less arrest was for starting his chalking criticism of the Police Chief a few days early, on Tuesday, September 27th, prior to the town council meeting. Apparently, the police were unaware that n 1995, the 9th Circuit Federal Appellate Court ruled that chalk did not cause actual property damage, in Mackinney v Nielson.

Quartzsite Councilman Joe Winslow is becoming infamous for his erratic behavior, bizarre comments, and a string of ridiculous charges against anyone who criticizes him. Winslow filed for a restraining order against Michel Roth, for calling him a "turd", had local videographer Doug Gilford arrested for asking him why he refused to put the police chief on administrative leave, and for ordering town police to forcefully remove Jennifer Jones from a town council meeting over the orders of Quartzsite Mayor Ed Foster.


  1. You don't need a warrant to arrest for a misdemeanor. You only need probable cause. The Chalking Arrests were justified. Refer to Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1602.A5 which states:

    A. A person commits criminal damage by recklessly:
    5. Drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign or symbol that is made on any public or private building, structure or surface, except the ground, and that is made without permission of the owner.

    Chalking is only legal when done on the ground. Its illegal when done on walls and buildings, as Mr. Roth and Mr. Stadler did. Nothing in the law says it's ok if it can be washed off.

    As for this second arrest, the disorderly conduct charges is BARELY justified per ARS 13-2904.A3 which states:

    A. A person commits disorderly conduct if, with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or with knowledge of doing so, such person:
    3. Uses abusive or offensive language or gestures to any person present in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation by such person

    Like I said, that's BARELY justified for that one charge. Unless there's more to the story, I don't see any justification in the Harassment charge. No clue where Interfering with Judaical proceedings comes from, that's normally used for violating a court order (What the Chief and Town managers SHOULD be charged with for firing Ponce against the Judges order)

    Gilbert and the Council need to go, but the activists speaking out against them need to do their legal research and make sure their protests don't violate any laws like the chalking fiasco. Make sure any arrests are truly unlawful, not legal and justified like the chalking ones.

  2. Does Arizona have an "In the presence of" or "Stale Misdemeanor Rule" requirement in regard to misdemeanors and infractions as we do in California?? Is that why you reference a "warrant-less arrest"?

    In California:

    "In the Presence" requirement: Misdemeanors (and infractions) must have occurred in the officer's (or private person's, in the case of a private person's arrest) presence. (P.C. §§ 836(a)(1), 837.1; Jackson v. Superior Court (1950) 98 Cal.App.2nd 183; see also V.C. § 40300.)

    "In the Presence," Defined: "In the presence" is commonly interpreted to refer to having personal knowledge that the offense in question has been committed, made known to the officer through any of the officer's five senses. (See People v. Burgess (1947) 79 Cal.App.2nd 174, 176.)

    "Stale Misdemeanor Rule:" The arrest for a misdemeanor must occur at the time, or shortly after, the commission of the offense. (People v. Hampton (1985) 164 Cal.App.3rd 27.) If not, it is a "stale misdemeanor" for which the defendant may not be arrested even if it occurred in the officer's presence. (People v. Craig (1907) 152 Cal. 42, 47.)

  3. In response to my last post, the answer seems to be here: