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2/12/2007
Georgia: Police Go After Homemade Speed Camera
A Bartow County, Georgia couple who caught a cop on a homemade speed camera are threatened with arrest.

Kennesaw Police
While police in 23 jurisdictions throughout Georgia have embraced photo enforcement, a couple is being threatened with jail this week for having turned the speed cameras on police. Lee and Teresa Sipple spent $1200 to mount three video cameras and a radar speed unit outside their Bartow County home.

The couple intended merely to harass neighbors into slowing down outside their home until they caught a Kennesaw police officer Richard Perrone allegedly speeding past at 12 to 17 MPH over the speed limit. After Sipple informed Bartow County officials, a police deputy arrived to inform the couple that Perrone intended to charge them with stalking.

On Wednesday, a judge will decide whether to accept Perrone's warrant to have the couple arrested. Under state law, stalking is a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony carrying up to ten years in jail for a second.

Article Excerpt:
Georgia Stalking Law
Title 16, Section 16-5-90

(a)(1) A person commits the offense of stalking when he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person. For the purpose of this article, the terms 'computer' and 'computer network' shall have the same meanings as set out in Code Section 16-9-92; the term 'contact' shall mean any communication including without being limited to communication in person, by telephone, by mail, by broadcast, by computer, by computer network, or by any other electronic device; and the place or places that contact by telephone, mail, broadcast, computer, computer network, or any other electronic device is deemed to occur shall be the place or places where such communication is received. For the purpose of this article, the term 'place or places' shall include any public or private property occupied by the victim other than the residence of the defendant. For the purposes of this article, the term 'harassing and intimidating' means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for such person's safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family, by establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior, and which serves no legitimate purpose. This Code section shall not be construed to require that an overt threat of death or bodily injury has been made.

(2) A person commits the offense of stalking when such person, in violation of a bond to keep the peace posted pursuant to Code Section 17-6-110, standing order issued under Code Section 19-1-1, temporary restraining order, temporary protective order, permanent restraining order, permanent protective order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction or condition of pretrial release, condition of probation, or condition of parole in effect prohibiting the harassment or intimidation of another person, broadcasts or publishes, including electronic publication, the picture, name, address, or phone number of a person for whose benefit the bond, order, or condition was made and without such person's consent in such a manner that causes other persons to harass or intimidate such person and the person making the broadcast or publication knew or had reason to believe that such broadcast or publication would cause such person to be harassed or intimidated by others.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, a person who commits the offense of stalking is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(c) Upon the second conviction, and all subsequent convictions, for stalking, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years.

(d) Before sentencing a defendant for any conviction of stalking under this Code section or aggravated stalking under Code Section 16-5-91, the sentencing judge may require psychological evaluation of the offender and shall consider the entire criminal record of the offender. At the time of sentencing, the judge is authorized to issue a permanent restraining order against the offender to protect the person stalked and the members of such person's immediate family, and the judge is authorized to require psychological treatment of the offender as a part of the sentence, or as a condition for suspension or stay of sentence, or for probation.
Source: Couple Catches Neighborhood Speeders, Officer (WSB-TV (GA), 2/5/2007)



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