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Ga. Open Carrier Sues Cops Who Arrested Him

May 03, 2012  | 

An open-carry activist has sued two Forsyth County (Ga.) Police officers who arrested him at a park, after a confrontation with a private security guard.

Christopher Proescher was stopped by private security officer Reid Hanna on April 20, as he walked in Sugar Hill's Gary Pirkle Park with his Smith & Wesson M&P pistol. Officers Adam Bell and Rodney Dantzler responded to Hanna's call of a suspicious person.

The officers arrested Proescher on suspicion of criminal trespassing. Proescher filed a federal lawsuit against Hanna, Bell, and Dantzler individually, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Tags: Open Carry, Forsyth County (Ga.) PD, Private Security Officers


Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

George @ 5/3/2012 8:20 PM

How stupid is this moron for open carry. It is highly unlikely he is trained in weapon retention and some lower psuedo life form gangbanger would probaly take it away from because it is visible. When these officers are exonerated, they should each countersue this piece of recycled cattle feed for everything he has or will ever have for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

Mike @ 5/3/2012 10:27 PM

@George: perhaps in your part of the world the idea of armed citizens is offensive. Here in AZ we appreciate civil rights and applaud such behavior. ALL studies show crime decreases when arms increase. I cant speak as to the PC of the trespass arrest, but the open carry is normal behavior for normal Americans. Its the twisted liberal marxists who want disarmed citizens.

Rev. Lowrey @ 5/4/2012 4:52 AM

Thanks for some sanity George. It's kind of hard to trespass in a public park. This "suspicious person" thing is so way out of control, as are the cops that see it as a free pass to harass any and everyone. The Constitution that officers take an oath to uphold guarantees the right to bear arms. That is the LAW. Police should know, honor, respect and uphold the law, not violate and disparage it. "recycled cattle feed (don't you mean shit?) and frivolous lawsuit" you say George? What an ignorant ass you are. If you are a cop, I pity the town that pays you.

TacGuy @ 5/4/2012 5:12 AM

"If" there were no regulations prohibiting firearms in the park, and the person carrying the open firearm was not violating state law, was not disorderly or threatening and was permitted by law to possess the firearm, that is the end of story. Sure, if some people in the park felt threatened you could ask the carrier to conceal the weapon if that is allowed, or educate the offended persons on what the law and our rights really are, but based on what is printed in the story- No crime was committed!! Yes, I am LE, and unfortunately too many people on both sides of the badge don't really know what their state laws say and what rights people actually have. I guess the officers have never read anything about all the stuff that goes on in a "Sarbucks" store.

Jim @ 5/4/2012 7:16 AM

People only feel threatened by those freedoms we neglect to exercise. If more people used their freedom to open carry where it has not been banned, then people would realize it is normal behavior for normal people. I don't know why people keep using the excuse that a gangbanger would come up to you and try to take your gun and commit some random heinous act. I think this is because people's minds have been trained that if you don't have a badge then you aren't proficient with firearms. This is absolutely false. I know a number of small towns who will give anyone a badge and a gun who is willing to pass out speeding tickets for 10 dollars per hour.

Brian @ 5/4/2012 10:44 AM

I find it humorous that the only time the police disagree with a law being upheld is when they aren't the ones able to uphold it. America needs more individuals like this man. He's a true citizen. Hate on him all you want. What you are hating is his right being upheld. You know, that thing they PAY YOU TO DO.

Bob@Az. @ 5/4/2012 1:38 PM

OK. Lets start with the "Private Security Guard" Training? Knowledge of Georgia Firearms Laws? Big One: Experience? As to the two Officers: Was it a private park? Was he acting "suspiciously" How? Did the Officers talk with Mr.Proescher and request he cover his sidearm? Was he legal? I hope there's more to this then I have read. Seems over-done.

Greg @ 5/4/2012 7:09 PM

If there was a meeting or other congregation of people in the park, carrying a weapon in proximity is a violation of state law. If there was a school within 1000 yards, it was a violation of federal law. If he was not charged in accordance to the law, then Proescher has grounds to sue.

4horseshoes @ 5/4/2012 7:31 PM

@ Greg..... you are completely wrong. In GA there is no public gathering statute and this was at a public park (tax payer paid park).

@ George You are too stupid to dignify a response.

Fact of the matter is there was absolutely no reason for anyone to be bothering the man while he was exercising. If the patrons of the park had an issue with him OC then it is simply that THEIR PROBLEM.

Paul Blart should have left him alone and worst case the officers that showed up should have told security guard BLART to leave the man alone.

R. G. Montgomery @ 5/4/2012 9:16 PM

Sassing an insecurity guard is not a breach of the peace. Especially when the insecurity guard is out of line. Arresting a lawfully behaving person on the say-so of an insecurity guard is not the best idea.

I could be wrong and the arrested person might be totally in the wrong. I'll be watching to see what else gets reported.

Ever notice the 'man with gun arrested' incident gets reported pretty well, and the disposition seems to fade off into the distance? Especially when the charges are dropped because there was no valid reason for an arrest? That always strikes my old suspicious lawman mind as a question to be answered.

Random @ 5/5/2012 4:08 AM

Who employed the guard? The way I understand it, a security guard derives his from the land owner. In California an S/O can basically only ask who a person is and if not satisfied with the answer tell them to leave as a property owner can. If the S/O was government employed, doesn’t this make the S/O a tool of the state as pertains to search and seizure? If so does this make the S/O a public S/O rather than private? I have never heard of a Public Security Officer (other than the old night watchmen).

Random @ 5/5/2012 4:18 AM

Also, about the”Blart” comment. I would prefer not have S/O dispatchers not start using code “Keystone” to announce police presence.

Charlie @ 5/5/2012 5:09 PM

Responsible gun owners , OC & CCW, os well as LEOs need to keep up on the current gun laws as they change all the time. Just because he checked on it last year doesn't mean it's the same as when this happened. @Jim, would love to come and help those small towns out, send me some names as a response on here. You all be safe, ya hear.

Bud @ 5/8/2012 7:04 AM

Im not familiar with TN law. The full article stated that he was arrested based on the officers concluding that there was probable cause to show that the man was trespassing. I'm not sure why you all are blustering about open carry. Maybe this situation would've been resolved in favor of the man carrying the gun had he not been extremely evasive in answering the officers' questions, as the police report stated.

Bud @ 5/8/2012 7:08 AM

That first sentence should be GA law, not TN.

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/11/2012 5:14 AM

Suspicion of Criminal Trespass in a public place, that is unique. We used to call that creative law enforcement. I cannot recall the case name but in the 1970's the US Supreme Court ruled suspicious person laws to be unconstitutional. I don't have a law book handy but I remember most states completely removed suspicious person laws from their books. My guess is some were overlooked. If it gets to that states supreme court there is a good chance the arrest will be struck down. But it's Georgia and many weird things happen in the south that can never happen above the mason-dixon line. Time and lots of money (to attorney's) will tell. One other thing; the story above is not the complete story and I suspect there is a lot more to this than what was told above.

guinnessbalboa @ 2/19/2013 9:30 AM

people, you have no idea what your talking about.. it is a park operated by the city of sugar hill, the security guard is a hired employee, a represents the property as for the city, told the perp to leave (he can do that it's controled by the city) the perp, did not have a valid id, all he had was a gun permit with the wrong date of birth, no picture not issued by the state, only by a county. gave the officers the wrong date of birth when asked. just the day prior there was a shooting at a neighboring park, that is why the officers where a self-inflicted gun shot in a public bathroom was coducted. So make sure you have all the facts and understanding before you think this perp is a grand citzen.

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