Deputy Admits He Made A False Crime Report -- So What?
A sheriff's deputy falsely reported that he was shot by a motorcyclist
causing a mult agency man hunt.
Because the sheriff didn't press charges against his deputy for filing a false report,
the DA followed suit and didn't either.
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On September 19, 1974, a large full-scale multi-agency police hunt was conducted with a very intense effort to locate a non-existant motorcyclist said to be armed and dangerous as a result of the description of events a sheriff's deputy reported by radio had occured while the officer approached a rugged looking biker who was seated upon a Harley-Davidson motorcycle during a traffic stop. The officer claimed the motorcycle had no rear license plate attached which formed the basis for the stop.
The kind of statements the officer made by radio was designed to create a certain kind of impression that would produce the appearance a biker placed his life in serious danger when struck by two rounds of ammo that was unlawfully discharged from a firearm. The officer wore a special bullet-proof vest and it provided for his safety.
The Argus-Courier newspaper located in the City of Petaluma published an article regarding the event on September 20, 1974 on page 1, entitled, "Motorcyclist hunted Deputy Escapes Death"
The Sampson Brothers, Tony, Floyd and older brother Howard, each owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Howard was a member of a motorcycle club known as the Gypsy Jokers.
Of course, the search party left no rock unturned. When they arrived at the Sampson residence, commonly known as the Sampson Compound throughout the community, they did not come to sell 4-H cookies. They came armed to the teeth, and they were no friendly bunch. They were dead serious! In their crowd we saw all kinds. Even the ones sportin beards that reached down to the belly button. Some wore their appearance in a manner that reminded me of the characters in the musical band call "Z Z Top". The difference showed by what they carried, and it had no resemblence of a guitar, not even a violin case.
After the agents swarmed about our motorcycles and found them all with cold engines, they knew it couldn't have been any of our motorcycles. It's a good thing none of the Sampson Brothers traveled anywhere on their bikes yet that day.
The Argus- Courier newspaper published another article on September 26, 1974, pg 1, entitled, "Deputy Shooting 'A Fake' Own Gun Used On Vest. and another article was published again on September 27, 1974, pg 2, entitled, "Some Heat Over Deputy", wherein they said, "Even off-duty narcotic agents in beards and denim were called into the search."
The newspaper reported that Sheriff Don Striepeke said he is "getting some heat" about his decision to not file a complaint against a deputy who "admitted" his report was a hoax. The newspaper further reported the sheriff said he would not take legal action against the deputy. Even though the deputy admitted to others he had made the whole thing up, the newspaper reported that the sheriff said he "...had not and would not seek to have him (deputy) appear in court on a charge of filing a false police report."
The rewspaper also reported, "Assistant District Attorney John Gallagher said today that his office probably would not file a complaint on its own since the sheriff has chosen not to file."
This is the kind of law is ignored by law enforcement. Many laws are not enforced.
Whenever an event is reported over the police radio that an officer was gunned down is something that quickly gets the attention of the other officers. It is so serious that it commands their immediate attention to focus on the matter with quickness. They stop whatever they are doing and respond rapidly in aid of the officer down.
The deputy who falsely reported that he was shot was not charged with any wrongdoing. They don't issue traffic tickets to each other either. They allow each other to get away with committing traffic offenses too. From personal experience, I can honestly say most get away with filing false reports and lying on the witness stand.
I have a tape recording of a police chief who complained about the fact that there are too many laws on the books and used that fact as his excuse or his reason to claim it as a necessity to pick and chose what laws to enforce and also select those who it will be enforced upon.
Traffic court is big business. Money is easy pickins when it comes to fines. You can rest assured there will always be time and resources to enforce traffic laws. Some laws are real good money makers.