Nearly arrested for KAYAKING Boulder Creek - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-30-2005   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 566
Nearly arrested for KAYAKING Boulder Creek

So I was in Boulder today and decided to hop in the creek for a quick paddle. I was playing in a small hole just downstream of the library (or as an old lady put it, "that poor kayaker was trying to go back upstream, but kept running into the waterfall and flipping over and over") when I noticed a Boulder Police Officer motioning me to come over to talk to him. He told me that the creek was closed and that I needed to get out immediately and that he was going to ticket me for breaking the closure rules. I told him that although the creek was in fact closed to tubers and other single chamber inflatables, it was still open to kayakers, ww rafts, and canoes. He again repeated that it was closed to everyone and that I better listen to him. I asked him to read the closure sign he was standing right next to and tell me what it said but he was having none of it. He then told me that if I didn't get out right then & there he'd have me arrested. I again told him that he was misinformed and that I'd be happy to paddle downstream 50 yards to a suitable takeout and talk to him & try to resolve the confusion. He didn't like that part.
When I got out of the water he came up to me and told me that he'd just called the sherriffs dept. to confirm the closure and that the creek was indeed closed to all manner of crafts. I offered to bring him a copy of the posted closure but before I got to several Boulder Creek Festival Officials stepped in as well as Chris from Mountain Maiden to back my case. The cop still didn't want to hear it and said I wasn't allowed to return to the water because my being in there would send the message to others (tubers?) that it was ok to be in the creek. I told him that he had no right to assume or imply that, and that I'd be getting back into the water which I did.
While I was in the water he & his buddies were overheard saying that they can't allow people like me to disrespect a police officer in front of all those people and get away with it. So when I got out of the water they again confronted me trying to get me to cross the line at which point they could then do something like arrest or ticket me. Thankfully again the Festival coordinators told him that he was wrong (not to mention out of line) and also pointed out that a kayaking race had been held on the creek just the day before. He still maintained his standing that my being in the water would cause others to think it was ok to be in there and that he had the right to keep me from the water. At this point I'd had enough of his BS and opted to change into my street clothes but he felt as though he hadn't gotten the last word. He then approached me with his 'partner' and told me that he was considering kicking me out of the festival on the grounds of being disruptive. (which he later realized wouldn't be a good move and reconsidered)

I'm not sure what this guy had for breakfast, or why his 'partner' didn't let him know that he was being a shmuck (not to mention reinforcing my image of the Boulder PD), but he was way out of line. I made sure to call the Sherriff's dept and make sure they're passing along the correct info to all of their 'peace' officers, but just keep a weary eye out for the temporarily delusional cops who think they can make up new laws on the fly next time you're paddling in Boulder.

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Old 05-30-2005   #2
Join Date: Jan 2005
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"Absolute power, corrupts absolutely"!!!
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Old 05-31-2005   #3
ski/kayak bum
Join Date: Oct 2003
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breakin the law breakin the law............i fought the law and the law won, i fought the law and the law won. twitch- you should really be nice to old ladies, all i heard from the story was that you were frieghtening some poor old grandmother, you should be ashamed of would your grandma feel about such behavior?

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Old 05-31-2005   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
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She would've gone with the classic 'pizza - bagel' approach. She would've slapped that officer silly, then sued him for harrasment...
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Old 05-31-2005   #5
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Did you get the officers name? I would contact the police dept..
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Old 05-31-2005   #6
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C. Springs, Colorado
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Originally Posted by cma
Did you get the officers name? I would contact the police dept..
I'd second that idea!!!!
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Old 05-31-2005   #7
Join Date: May 2005
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Take it from me, someone who is in City Halls of many municipalities each day, you won't get very far contacting the Police Department to make a complaint about one of their own... however, if you show up to a City Council meeting and express your concerns to the Mayor and Council members (who need to be and want to be re-elected and who serve as the "boss" of the Police Department) during the public invited to be heard time I am sure that your complaints will be listened to. The city attorney will be there to inform Council and the Mayor that you were in fact NOT breaking the law, the Cheif of Police and other code enforcement officers will be there as well... who under the watchful eyes of their bosses, will most likely follow you out into the hall afterward and make sure they have the information they need to rectify the situation. The squeaky wheel gets oil... and this case, when you make a complaint to the elected officials, I would be willing to bet you will get a lot of oil squirted your way.

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Old 05-31-2005   #8
pnw, Colorado
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I would say let it go and forget about it. I have had several bad meetings with police and trying to explain something always go bad, especially if they are wrong. If you pursue this he will still get you in the end, trust me on that. Let it go, write it off as a bad day. Hope he doesnt remember you and write you a ticket for going 22 in a school zone.
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Old 05-31-2005   #9
Join Date: May 2004
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Twitch - that's interesting you say that. Sunday on the creek, we saw a couple of canoeists on the creek, and I *know* I saw off in the distance some 'yakers on their way down, and no officers around at all. And there was definitely a crowd of people taking a look at what the boaters were doing. And certainly no people thinking of jumping in a tube to do the same. It was quite obvious the creek was cranking, and that (fortunately?) the weather was cold enough to turn away all the potential tubers from venturing into the creek.

I'd second the idea of going to a city council meeting - I just had a great conversation with this woman who has been able to make a lot of change just by speaking up at these meetings. And if you let it known, I'm sure you're not the only one who's had trouble with officers and there would be others to stand by you while you speak your piece.

OK, just my $0.02...

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Old 05-31-2005   #10
Join Date: Aug 2004
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A friend of mine has had the same type of run in with Boulder's public servants. This was on a bike though. She was published in Bike magazine for her funny rendition of the tale,
Don't ya just feel safer with all this "serving and protectin" going on!!!!
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