Wednesday, July 06, 2005


This made national news. I have a lot of problems with the way our supposed public servants handled this.

Man who saved swimmer at falls hauled off to jail

(AP) - A San Marcos man was arrested after rescuing a swimmer from the swirling waters near a restaurant on the San Marcos River over the weekend.

Police say Dave Newman, 48, disobeyed repeated orders by emergency personnel to leave the water. Newman responded, "Why do I? The guy is out of the water," the report said. The police report does not mention Newman's rescue of 35-year-old Abed Duamni of Houston on Sunday afternoon.

"I was amazed," Newman said after getting out of Hays County Law Enforcement Center on $2,000 bail Monday morning. "I had a very uncomfortable night after saving that guy's life. He thanked me for it in front of the police, and then they took me to jail."

After being handcuffed and put in a Texas State University police squad car, Newman was taken to jail and charged with interfering with public duties.

Abed Duamni of Houston got caught in the current while swimming Sunday afternoon and became stuck under a building. Duamni said he found an air pocket and stayed there for about 15 minutes before Newman grabbed his leg and pulled him out.

Duamni, who said he did not see any signs warning swimmers of the dangerous currents, jumped into the water several times before the current caught him. He had just finished eating at the restaurant when he decided to go for a swim. "I reached a point where I said, 'I'm dead,'" Duamni, who was visiting San Marcos, said from his Houston home Monday night. "There's was nothing I could do. I thought, 'That's it, I'm over, I'm gone."

After pulling Duamni out of the water, Newman said, he swam him under a waterfall and over to the shore opposite from the restaurant. He could hear law enforcement personnel telling him to come back to the shore by the restaurant.

According to the report, Newman smirked and seemed annoyed by officers' requests. He stood in the water for about 15 seconds before swimming downstream, to avoid the turbulence from the waterfall, and across the river to the officers, the report said.

Newman would not get out of the water, Bell said, even after Duamni was safe and talking to authorities. Bell said Newman then swam to the other side of the river and was "sitting Indian-style on a concrete wall saying, 'Why?' " when asked to come over.

Newman said he was trying to get out of the river as fast as he could.

"I was pretty tired when all that was finished, and they wanted me to hop-to," Newman said. "I came out as soon as was reasonably humanly possible."

"When he came across the river, the officer stuck out his hand like he's going to help him out of the water, and he put cuffs on him," said John Parnell, pastor of St. Augustine Old Roman Catholic Church in Fort Worth.

According to the police report and witness accounts, the crowd that had gathered to watch the rescue was upset when they saw the police arrest Newman.

Parnell and another man blocked the police officer's path to the squad car while other members of the crowd yelled at the police, telling them Newman had saved Duamni's life and should not be arrested.

University spokesman Mark Hendricks said he did not know whether Newman rescued Duamni. Hendricks said it was his understanding that Newman was uncooperative with authorities.

When Duamni got out of the water, he saw Newman in handcuffs and asked who he was. "I said, 'What's the deal,' and the police said, 'He got you out,"' Duamni said.

San Marcos resident Bob Ogletree said he understood why emergency personnel wanted to clear the water, but didn't understand why Newman had to be arrested.

Later Newman crossed the river, he was arrested on a charge of interfering with public duties and refusing a lawful order, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. As he was arrested, a crowd yelled at police.

Ralph Meyer, director of the Texas State University-San Marcos Police Department said Newman probably would not serve any more jail time relating to incident. And he would not rule out the possibility of the charge being dropped altogether.

"Anything is possible," Meyer said.

Police said Newman had heard the order to leave the spillway area and said later, "I saved the guy, and there was no need for me to leave."

Newman said he heard the order to get out of the water but initially ignored it because he'd thought he felt Duamni underwater.

"The one thing I did wrong was not just jump out of the water at the first command," Newman said. "But I had already touched this fellow under there."

Now what I want to know is, how many cops got wet? How many firemen jumped in? Since when does a river have to be clear to save someone's life? How do they know he was smirking? Maybe it was a grimace from being tired from swimming. Maybe it was a smile because he thought he did something good. After all he saved someone's life. And what was his reward? He got arrested. He jumped into the river to save a life and the only life he endangered was his own, and he fucking got arrested. This is just a case of police gone crazy with power. They arrested him "because he didn't do what we told him to do". Somebody call a fucking Whhhaaaabulance. God forbid you ignore the police and save a life. Ooooo, now your a dangerous criminal. The arresting officer should be reprimanded and told to sit it out for a while. If somebody saves my life and gets arrested, then I'm suing the police officer personally for putting my life in jeopardy. I know I won't win, but he'll have some sleepless nights and a bill from a lawyer. Make them pay, just like Newman had to pay bail. I know when they drop the charges, he gets his bail back, but he doesn't get back the 10% he had to pay the bail bondsman. Why didn't the police report mention Newman saving Duamnis life? Because that would make the police look bad. I thought they were supposed to put all the facts into the report. I wonder how many other reports are slanted to make an arrest seem necessary. The police are no more there to serve and protect than I am. They are there to make you pay, one way or another, and if they can't make the charges stick they can damn sure make you spend a lot of money defending yourself. Real hero's, huh?

Note: Once again July 17th, also known as "Trash Day" is almost upon us. Letter bombs are expected. Gifts and cards will be accepted.

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