Friday, July 30, 2010

The D&D Jailbird Blues Part One: The Arrest

On Wednesday evening, out of the clear blue sky, a police officer arrived at my home and arrested me for a crime I did not commit. A felony, no less, which involves a warrant and handcuffs and (apparently) no reading of rights and a “fun” ride in a police car and some time sitting in a jail cell waiting to be processed. Also, for a felony, according to the officer, they can just walk right into your home and drag you out. Oh, and this all happened on Dungeons and Dragons night. So my kitchen was full of guys who like roleplaying games.

It was one of the most bizarre and surreal experiences of ...well, of the month, at least. So the most obvious response is for me to make a series of comics about this misadventure. Here is part one:



Visit again on Monday for the next exciting installment!

Felony Fun Fact: In Virginia theft is a felony at $200. Does that seem low to anyone else? I mean for a crime that puts you in the same bracket as guys who burn down orphanages?

26 comments:

Bowman the Black said...

First of all, it ought to be a felony to interrupt D&D night.

Second, they do have the right to come into your home to arrest you, if they have a warrant for your arrest. It's a lot like a search warrant that allows them to look for Ben Hatke-shaped contraband.

Third, they aren't required to read you your rights at the time of arrest. It's a bit fuzzy as to exactly when they have to -- I don't know when it's been established in Virginia. It should be around the time they start "processing" you, or at least when you are questioned.

Also, I love the comic. You should do this more often.

Ben Hatke said...

You mean I should get arrested more often? I don't know... I think my time in the slammer has set me back on the straight and narrow.

But yeah, I agree that interrupting game night ought to be a crime.

Bowman the Black said...

Well, as I scroll back in this blog I see that you do have more comics like this. I had thought I'd read your blog before but I guess not . . .

Ben Hatke said...

Yeah, I've done a fair amount of journal comics.

owen said...

They have to read you your rights before they can start interrogating you. If they never interrogate you, they don't have to Mirandize you. Also, states rank felonies, so a $200 theft crime is not necessarily in the same rank as arson of an orphanage, even though both are called "felonies." The "felony" distinction, as opposed to a misdemeanor, determines whether you have a right to a jury trial.

Domsavio said...

I still think Ben did it. But maybe that's just me.

Ben Hatke said...

Ohh, "Domsavio" you shouldn't say things like that about a hardened criminal on his blog...

Ryan said...

Yeah, mirandizing you is only important for getting information that they are going to use against you in trial.

If the cop never mirandized you, then you could just be sittin' in the back of the car jabbering away about how much you love committing felonies and how you are totally guilty and how they better lock you away because you are just going to do it again and again and again. The cop could be in the front seat listening to this, but when it came to the trial, he could not use anything you said as evidence against you.

If he decides you are saying something he wants to use in your trial, he'd have to stop you and specifically inform you that you don't have to say anything, that if you do decide to say anything, it will be used against you, and if you want to have the counsel of a lawyer before you decide what would be wise to tell the cops, one will be provided. Only the stuff you say after that can then be used in your trial.

If the cop doesn't care what you are saying and has no intention of taking down your words to use in your trial, there is no reason or obligation to mirandize you.

Ben Hatke said...

Ah, I see. Makes sense then.

I guess a lot of this story is going to hit on me wanting things to go down like some kind of police drama and all the times that the version in my head conflicts with real life.

Chris Chan said...

The father of a friend of mine was once arrested for a murder he didn't commit, because he had the same name as the actual killer. Once the mistake was revealed, he demanded that his record be expunged. Afterwards, he tried to sue for false arrest, but apparently you can't sue for that if your record has already been expunged and there's no record of the arrest...

Ben Hatke said...

Aw, dude, that TOTALLY beats the charge they had on me!

Mike H said...

Ben, you TOTALLY have to have the dramatized prime-time version compared with the boring real-life version.

Ben Hatke said...

Mike! the real life version is definitely NOT boring! It's maybe not prime time, but it's not going to be boring!

And I'm going to try to stick as close as possible to the way it happened. For instance I'm pretty sure the first thing I asked was "is this a joke?".

Mike H said...

Either way, my kids aren't allowed to hang out with felons, so I told them all that Mr. Hatke is dead.

It's better that way, Ben. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

I now know you are the criminal man. Sad day in my lifes. cannot think of this too much more today, hurts in the heart, so sad.

To hang my hat away from you, might steal, keep it in hand.

My tragedy from you.

Mike H said...

Exactly!

He's CLEARLY guilty. If he WASN'T guilty, he would never have been ARRESTED!!!

Ryan said...

I think Floaty's back.

Good ol' Floaty. I miss him so much.

Ben Hatke said...

Hey I missed Floaty too! Welcome back Floaty!

Mike I think you're making a mistake. If you tell your kids I'm dead you are clearly inviting me to lurk around your neighborhood dressed as "the Ghost of Mr. Hatke."

Anonymous said...

OH Ryna, is to be be speechless for many days. To see this hero to jail break this from silence. Have to say, he can see the disappoint in my eye. ALEUIA

Mike H said...

There's a way out of this, Ben. Since you're wanted for a crime you didn't commit, you obviously have to fake your death until you can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOXpKUu6pUg

Bowman the Black said...

I suppose that's better than the other version of I-didn't-do-it that leaves him searching for his wife's one-armed killer.

Chris Chan said...

If you want to make your comic-account of it more like a television police drama, maybe you can add a little "CHUNG-CHUNG" at the end of each strip.

I'd call it "Law & Order: Special Cartoonists Unit."

Chris Chan said...

If you want to make your comic-account of it more like a television police drama, maybe you can add a little "CHUNG-CHUNG" at the end of each strip.

I'd call it "Law & Order: Special Cartoonists Unit."

PianolaGirl said...

And to think that I knew him "when" . . . so sad.

Scarcely Human said...

At what point did you rip off your pseudo-identity, and escape as Super Ben? I only ask because I'm keeping an eye on the "COPS" promos.

Also, this would probably happen less if you committed less felonies. Just sayin'.

Ben Hatke said...

Yeah...

I wish someone had told me I misspelled "warrant" in the comic. Fixed it.