Arrested for Playing Polo Jan 11, 2010


Wow. Seriously? You’ve gotta have something better to be doing with your time MKE Sheriffs department.I got a ton of emails today from angered Polo players everywhere expressing their concern for what happened to some guys in Milwaukee yesterday during a pick-up game. No, they weren’t charged with “fancy riding” either.

Read all about it over at MKEBikePolo and Milwaukee World.

No Fancy Riding in Bmore
Keep Your Hands on the Bars

  • As one of the arrested players I just want to say that any legal advice or humorous stories pertaining to biking and police run-ins would be greatly appreciated!

  • chris

    I think you should correct the article, it was the Milwaukee Sheriffs Department(County), not the Milwaukee Police Department (City).

  • holy shit! we got hassled tonight for playing polo too! wtf is going on!!

  • Tasan

    Were there any signs stating no trespassing posted anywhere?

    If there’s not, I think the property owner would have to ask you to leave before the cops can just come give tickets out.

    At the store I work at, cops always have to have a manager come make a no trespass complaint about someone, the cops aren’t allowed to just run them off on their own accord.

    Good luck, fellas.

  • Sean,
    Sorry to hear about the ordeal and sadly no humorous stories. I am a law student and so I can perhaps bring some light to the legal aspects of the encounter. Briefly, this would seem to be an instance of shitty police activity but one that lacks a great deal of recourse. Unfortunately the success of any sort of claim regarding the search and seizure will most certainly hinge on the nature of the trespass and local statutes governing arrests subsequent to the issuance of a trespass citation. If it was within their discretionary power to take you all to the station for processing, the subsequent searches of your belongings would almost certainly be acceptable as necessary precautions to prevent contraband from entering jail cells and to protect police from missing property claims. Additionally the period of detainment was reasonable. Lastly, I’ve seen in other forums people making mention of potential Miranda violations (“did they read you your rights?”) and while this might be relevant had you been charged with additional crimes, it has no bearing on the trespassing tickets. Moreover, even if you were to have a valid claim the likely expense/time it would take to litigate such a claim would make the whole undertaking too costly.
    However I would lodge a formal complaint with the department, it won’t do much for you now but it gets something on record thereby allowing for polo players and/or cyclists to establishment a pattern of targeting by police if this continues and it lets the cops know that they are messing with a vocal, organized community. Increasing the paperwork and headache might prove to be the most effective way to deter these sorts of tactics in the future. Sorry again man, bummer of a night.

  • not only did they tell us we were not under arrest… they said we WERE NOT UNDER ARREST… it wasn’t untill we were all cuffed and in the back of the paddy wagon that i said “if we’re not arrested, then what is all of this for?'” we were told later that we were in fact under arrest

  • Chris

    @ Tasan, this has been brewing for a while.

    “According to Newborn, bike polo players have used the O’Donnell Park garage as a winter venue for five or six years, with a few warnings from county parks workers but no official enforcement action.”

    “Sheriff’s Capt. Aisha Barkow confirmed the enforcement action and said the players had been warned twice previously that they were trespassing and causing damage to the parking structure near the Milwaukee lakefront. County parks representatives offered two alternate locations for their bike polo matches, she said.”

  • the alternate locations offered by the parks dept were highly unsuitable for bike polo(or much of anything for that matter). We are meeting with them on Monday morning to determine how we can work together on creating a sanctioned county court.