Hour 1 - 3
TOWN OF QUARTZSITE MAGISTRATE COURT
465 N. PLYMOUTH AVE. (INSIDE TOWNHALL)
PO BOX 583
QUARTZSITE, AZ 85346
lives his Wintersin a small motorhome in Quartzsite due to the
moderate weather, abundant inexpensive camping and the notorious trading post that forms every year as travelers stop through. I've been to Quartzsite many times to visit my father. Never have I been kidnapped, taken 40 miles away and held hostage in a cage. But that is what happened this time.
I had arrived in Quartzsite just before Christmas. The day of my
arrival, I spent some time looking for buyers for my own handmade jewelry and wallets and a few other items made by friends. I didn't have luck with any of the local vendors or tourists I chatted with. Most expressed hard economic times, many noted made harder by the town's new vending permit requirements. Since I hadn't been able to barter up any cash and there were no big grocery store dumpsters to salvage from, I headed to the highway offramp and quickly made money displaying items for trade and holding a cardboard sign. I had enough to eat dinner and purchase a few groceries for the visit with my dad. He is on a fixed income and I was happy to be able to help out during my vsit. I had a lovely visit with my father and his friends the next few days.
Just after Christmas, I ventured beck into Quartzsite to give trade
another chance. I was unable to find any buyers again and having
nothing I needed a few dollars for the next day's travels. I was
displaying my jewelry on the gorund and holding a sign that said
"Traveling Broke Hungry Merry Christmas" when a police officer drove by. He used his radio to let me know that he could take me to jail and panhandling is not allowed as he drove past. I immediately sat down and began to put my things away and text the change of plans. Less than 4 minutes later the same police car pulled up close to me. The officer exited, asked for my identification and I remained sitting and gave him my ID. He called it in and began immediately to accuse me of causing trouble. I said I was not causing trouble only peacefully asking for a bit of food, money for food or trade for food while traveling through. I asked him why he felt it was wrong to ask, after all soliciting means asking, to which he told me to stand up and
asked if I wanted to go to jail. I said I don't and remained sitting.
He asked me where I was staying and I said at a free campground
nearby, I'm not sure which because my dad drove me there. He then asked who my dad is and I replied I don't feel comfortable giving others people's informaiton out. At this point he yanked me up by my wrists while cuffing me and put me into the back of his car leaving me holding my phone and wallet. He picked up the rest of my property and placed it in the front seat and drove me 40 miles to Parker, AZ where I was caged for most of that dayand where my property is currently being held hostage.
While I was there my silver coins were taken and placed into the
jail's vault. I was fingerprinted and locked in a cage. Hours later,
after a video arragnment with a judge, I was ordered released and
given most of my property back. All but approximately $17 worth of junk silver coins. I was given a check for the face value of these
dimes and a quarter, $.75. I pointed out that the release forms I was being asked to sign state I received my property, when in fact I am not receiving my property. The jail guard yelled at me that he could legally hold me for 24 hours and ordered the other guard to lock me back up. I was put back in the cage for almost another hour before the guard gave me the chance to sign the papers after explaining that the vault was locked for the day and I could call tomorrow. I signed and left with my dad, who conveniently was doing his twice monthly grocery shopping at the Walmart in Parker.. The next day I called and was told I could come in and exchange the check for my property. I said I didn't have a ride there and could my dad come pick it up on the 7th, when he shops at Walmart again. I was told yes so long as he has the check and told nothing about the vault being closed on saturdays. He did not receive my property.
This week, I am heading to Quartzsite and Parker to attend a court date for the "loitering" charge stemming from this event and to retrieve my silver. February 8 at 10am I'll be in Quartzsite Magistrate court.