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Old 04-14-2012, 10:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need advise...

Yesterday, I got a call from a buddy saying that he was stuck. He was at Waverly lake, just outside of Waverly Illinois. All around the lake there are small, tight trails. They have been there forever. So I grabbed my tow strap and hopped in my 91 K5.

The extraction was rather simple, he wasn't in 4 wheel drive. After we got him out, we played around a little, got the trucks dirty, cleared some downed trees off the trail, and I even picked up some trash, mainly the door trim from what appeared to be a 95-04 GMC Sonoma.

Just before dark, as we were sitting at the end of the paved road, here came Waverly's finest. He wasn't rude about any of this, by the way. Actually, I had him laughing quite a bit. Apparently, he was doing his rounds, checking for kids drinking. He asked if we had been "muddin'". I think it was pretty clear, although "muddin" isn't what I would call it. My first question was, "is there a sign"? There is no sign.

So he called someone who told him that it is city property and that there is no motorized vehicles allowed on the trails. I did not know either of those. News to me. He proceeded to take pictures of our trucks. While he was doing this, I figured he had better get a picture of the trim piece I picked up, as proof that we are not the only ones who have been back there. I wiped off the mud where it said Sonoma and told him to make sure the lighting was good.

He told us that the police chief will be going out on a 4 wheeler to check for "criminal damage to city property", and that we will be hearing from them. He also said that we might get blamed for some stuff that we didn't do. Motorized vehicle on the trials?

This area is frequented my many, many people. It is one of the few bodies of water that everyone can go enjoy in this area. There are camp grounds scattered along the road on the way to the boat docks, which are at the end of the dead end road. Once to the end, you can see 2 trails leading up the hill. Those lead to at least 1 other campground. The whole place is littered up with beer cans, food wrappers, ect., ect.

I tread lightly were I go, and did so while I was there. I don't give excessive throttle, unless needed. We weren't running down trees. We weren't littering. We weren't causing trouble. Neither one of us needs to have "criminal damage to city property" on our records. It's not like we were running down mail boxes. So far, my plan is to just play it cool and talk to them and try to ease the tension. Hopefully, this doesn't get blown way out of proportion, but you know how the justice system works, guilty until proven innocent. If they are going to stick us, I am going to try to get community service, and hopefully have them have us clean up all the litter out there. I think that would be more appropriate than picking up trash on the highway.

So what do we do? The deck is already stacked against us.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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****(720 ILCS 5/21-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 21-1)

****Sec. 21-1. Criminal damage to property.

****(1) A person commits an illegal act when he:

********(a) knowingly damages any property of another; or

********(b) recklessly by means of fire or explosive damages

****property of another; or

********(c) knowingly starts a fire on the land of another;

****or

********(d) knowingly injures a domestic animal of another

****without his consent; or

********(e) knowingly deposits on the land or in the building

****of another any stink bomb or any offensive smelling compound and thereby intends to interfere with the use by another of the land or building; or

********(f) damages any property, other than as described in

****subsection (b) of Section 20-1, with intent to defraud an insurer; or

********(g) knowingly shoots a firearm at any portion of a

****railroad train.

****When the charge of criminal damage to property exceeding a specified value is brought, the extent of the damage is an element of the offense to be resolved by the trier of fact as either exceeding or not exceeding the specified value.

****It is an affirmative defense to a violation of item (a), (c), or (e) of this Section that the owner of the property or land damaged consented to such damage.

****(2) The acts described in items (a), (b), (c), (e), and (f) are Class A misdemeanors if the damage to property does not exceed $300. The acts described in items (a), (b), (c), (e), and (f) are Class 4 felonies if the damage to property does not exceed $300 if the damage occurs to property of a school or place of worship or to farm equipment or immovable items of agricultural production, including but not limited to grain elevators, grain bins, and barns. The act described in item (d) is a Class 4 felony if the damage to property does not exceed $10,000. The act described in item (g) is a Class 4 felony. The acts described in items (a), (b), (c), (e), and (f) are Class 4 felonies if the damage to property exceeds $300 but does not exceed $10,000. The acts described in items (a) through (f) are Class 3 felonies if the damage to property exceeds $300 but does not exceed $10,000 if the damage occurs to property of a school or place of worship or to farm equipment or immovable items of agricultural production, including but not limited to grain elevators, grain bins, and barns. The acts described in items (a) through (f) are Class 3 felonies if the damage to property exceeds $10,000 but does not exceed $100,000. The acts described in items (a) through (f) are Class 2 felonies if the damage to property exceeds $10,000 but does not exceed $100,000 if the damage occurs to property of a school or place of worship or to farm equipment or immovable items of agricultural production, including but not limited to grain elevators, grain bins, and barns. The acts described in items (a) through (f) are Class 2 felonies if the damage to property exceeds $100,000. The acts described in items (a) through (f) are Class 1 felonies if the damage to property exceeds $100,000 and the damage occurs to property of a school or place of worship or to farm equipment or immovable items of agricultural production, including but not limited to grain elevators, grain bins, and barns. If the damage to property exceeds $10,000, the court shall impose upon the offender a fine equal to the value of the damages to the property.

****For the purposes of this subsection (2), "farm equipment" means machinery or other equipment used in farming.

****(3) In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, a court shall order any person convicted of criminal damage to property to perform community service for not less than 30 and not more than 120 hours, if community service is available in the jurisdiction and is funded and approved by the county board of the county where the offense was committed. In addition, whenever any person is placed on supervision for an alleged offense under this Section, the supervision shall be conditioned upon the performance of the community service.

****This subsection does not apply when the court imposes a sentence of incarceration.

****(4) In addition to any criminal penalties imposed for a violation of this Section, if a person is convicted of or placed on supervision for knowingly damaging or destroying crops of another, including crops intended for personal, commercial, research, or developmental purposes, the person is liable in a civil action to the owner of any crops damaged or destroyed for money damages up to twice the market value of the crops damaged or destroyed.

(Source: P.A. 95-553, eff. 6-1-08; 96-529, eff. 8-14-09.)

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Old 04-14-2012, 04:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Anyone?

I tried to go talk to who ever is going to be in charge of this and just got stonewalled everywhere I went. I have a bad feeling that they are going to try to make examples out of us. But I am also very confident that if I can talk to someone before they throw the book at us, that we will be just fine. Criminal damage to city property sounds a bit excessive.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Talk to a lawyer would be my best advise.

I'd think that if there are no signs, gates or fences, then there wouldn't be much they could do.

Maybe go take as many pictures as you can showing that there are no signs etc... Stay on the road this time!

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Old 04-17-2012, 10:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It appears that they were just blowing smoke. No one has gotten ahold of me or my buddy.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Stucky View Post
It appears that they were just blowing smoke. No one has gotten ahold of me or my buddy.
its only been 4 days since you were there.
trust me they can take weeks or months to "get back to you"

I have one here from December 2011 and I know they are still working on it
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I hope you got pictures of EVERYTHING all the way from where the pavement ends to where you were and back. If not you'd better be there at daybreak (and on foot) and video the entire thing. They will have signs up if there weren't any and they will say they were there the entire time and you ignored them.

Also do not make contact with them and it might be a wise investment to retain a lawyer for the $200.

Also look into the "good Samaritan laws" in your area, in CA this would get you off the hook, but your buddy would be totally screwed (unless he went there to help someone too )


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Old 04-17-2012, 06:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I did go take a bunch of pictures, but honestly there wasn't anything messed up. The pictures are of just the trail... And trash...

I read through the good Samaritan Act. Thanks for that.

We had gotten a decent rain that night. When I went back out there, you couldn't even tell anyone had been back there. I've heard through the grapevine that the chief is a pretty reasonable guy, so if he went to check it out, I'm sure he realized we didn't tear anything up. Time will tell...

Thanks for the input guys. It is appreciated.
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