Peter Watts Arrest Report Released

December 18th, 2009 | by Sqotty |

Peter Watts is going to jail…sounds like a catchy tune, and most likely will come to pass, assuming SF writer Peter Watts actually shows up for his court date on Dec. 22nd.

Stephen Tait at the Times Herald in Port Huron is staying on top of this case with a new piece now that the police report of the incident has been released, even though it took a FoIA request. Tait, to his credit, is working on getting the video released as well, something I, for one, look forward to seeing.

The police report sheds a lot of light on the events of Dec. 8th that are lacking in Watts on profanity laced account. Watts has said that he had used “words” to question why the officers were searching his vehicle, without disclosing what those words are. He does maintain that he said nothing profane, which is hard to believe based on reading his profanity laced blog (and not just entries concerning his arrest).

According to Tait’s article in the Times Herald, sounds as though Watts did exactly what he is accused of doing:

A police report, released Thursday by the police department after a Freedom of Information Act request from the Times Herald, describes Watts as unwilling to listen to demands of the customs officers.

“As officers began searching the vehicle the driver exited the vehicle and became irate with officers,” the report states. “When the subject was ordered back into the car the subject refused.”

Watts, in various news reports, has stated he used “words” to question authorities as to why they were inspecting his vehicle and Watts has also admitted he refused to co-operate with police when ordered back to his vehicle.

The officers then tried to handcuff Watts “for their safety,” but Watts resisted and pulled away. Officer then used several “muscling techniques and (officers) took the subject to the ground.”

Watts continued to struggle with officers and eventually made it back into his vehicle, the police report states.

The customs officer, Andrew Beaudry, then tried to get Watts out of the vehicle, a 2010 Toyota sport utility vehicle owned by Hertz Vehicles of Seattle.

Ever rent an SUV? Not the cheapest ride around. Hertz is also one of the more expensive car rental companies. This was not a compact cheapo from Budget like normal people rent. And why did Watts get back into the vehicle at this point? What did he think he was going to do, drive across the border?

During the attempt to get Watts out of the vehicle, Watts grabbed Beaudry “by the collar of his uniform and began choking” the officer, the report states.

The officer broke free of Watts and he “did give the subject two elbow strikes to the subject’s chest and chin area and a knee strike and was able to break free from the subject in the vehicle.”

Once the officer separated from Watts, “the subject did come out of the vehicle and still continued to be aggressive towards officers and were (sic) ignoring their commands to go into the arrest positions.”

Please, go out to the Times Herald and read the entire article, it’s got a lot of info in it, and Tait is doing a fine job of being impartial in his reporting.

Watts claims that all of the events after his arrest took place without legal representation and that the police tried to get him to waive his Miranda rights. Guess what? That is sounding like a heap of horse hockey. Watts is not a poor man; his income actually exceeds the income threshold that determines a person’s eligibility for access to a public defender. Who did he call after his arrest, and why did he not hire an attorney as soon as possible?

There is a lot of fishiness about Watts’ claims around the events of Dec. 8th.

What annoys me most is not the fantasy that Watts published on his own blog, but that so many people posting on his blog, and elsewhere, automatically assume that the police are at fault for the events of that day, and some even denigrate law enforcement officers as being a bunch of illiterate people attracted to violence and power who couldn’t make it in any other field. Kind of like how the Moonbats on the Left denigrate those who serve in the military.

As a disclosure, I had not heard of Peter Watts prior to be invited to join the Facebook group supporting him in the arrest incident, even though I read a fair amount of SF, and attend several SF conventions every year. Somehow, based on what I have read about this incident, and what he has written on his blog (and not just about his arrest and brawling with police), I don’t foresee my reading any of his books. Fortunately for him, the next WorldCon is in Australia and not the United States.

Watts is supposed to be some of brilliant scientist and SF writer, but as he fails to realize that when he was read his rights, that part about “anything you say can be held against you in a court of law” seems to be a bit over his head as that also includes anything he publishes on his blog.

And yes, Watts is innocent until proven guilty. He’ll have his day in court, assuming he actually shows up for his trial.


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