Thursday, February 24, 2005
ARMED AND DANGEROUS Charges against homeschoolers dropped, cop fired Boy, mother arrested after confrontation with shouting, 'crazy' plainclothes officer
Posted: February 24, 2005 1:09 p.m. Eastern
By Ron Strom
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com In a dramatic turnaround, charges against a South Carolina teenage boy and a homeschooling mother stemming from a confrontation with a plainclothes police officer been dropped, and the officer involved has been fired.
The two were arrested – the boy for carrying a concealed weapon and the mother for assaulting a police officer – after the cop confronted the boy in a picnic shelter where a homeschool support group had gathered for socializing and play.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the incident occurred at Simpsonville Park in Simpsonville, S.C. Feb. 16. A group of mothers and children from Upstate Homeschoolers Unlimited were meeting together when a plainclothes policeman rushed into the picnic shelter where some of the homeschoolers were gathered, reportedly after a call came in to police about someone in the park having a knife.
According to parents who witnessed the event, the policeman began shouting at two teenage boys, pushing at least one to the ground. When he went to grab one of the boys, a mother, who at the time was holding another woman's baby, stepped in to stop him, not realizing he was a police officer.
Priscilla Adams and Jan Blanchard were two of the other moms present.
"(The intervening mother) turned to Jan and said, 'Call the police.' That's when he told us that he was the police," Adams said.
The 16-year-old boy was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, a small hunting knife on his belt, and the mother was arrested for assaulting a police officer, even though witnesses say the man's badge and gun were not in a place where they easily could be seen.
Continued Adams: "The plainclothes officer was incredibly belligerent and angry right from the moment he rushed under the shelter. He could so easily have stopped as soon as he came up to us, announced that he was a police officer and needed to talk to the boy with the knife, but he didn't do any of that. Instead he shouted, shoved, verbally abused, intimidated. He acted so horrible it never occurred to me, or to any of us, that he was a police officer. He just seemed like a crazy man."
Police Chief Charles Reece told WND today that charges have been dropped.
"I am in the process of dealing with it right now," he said.
A press release Reece issued also mentions that the plainclothes officer, identified in earlier press reports as Investigator Michael Snow, "has been terminated."
Adams, reflecting on the latest development, told WND: "This is great news!"