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Visiting the San Diego County Fair is always fun — an exception being Friday night, July 1, when my family and I were leaving the fairgrounds.

As our van was parked up on Via de la Valle, my wife and two sons left me at the pick-up area of the “Solana” gate. We had waited until our last night at the fair to purchase some heavy merchandise from a booth.

Since I knew it would be awhile before they could return to pick me up, I walked across the entrance gate road to a green, 12-step steel ladder, a platform used by track officials during horse races. I had climbed five steps up when a man at the gate, about 50 feet away, shined a flashlight on me and started yelling at me to get down.

I quickly came back down and walked back to the pick-up area. He followed me across the road and yelled, “What made you think you could climb that ladder?” I pointed out that there was no chain across the ladder, and I had always wanted to see what the view of the track was like from the platform. He ordered me to leave the fair, “Now!”

At that moment, my wife arrived in our van. I was loading our stuff into the back when the guard approached the van and continued to yell at me to leave. After politely telling him I was leaving, I asked him to stop his rampage in front of my children. The man was wearing a white polo shirt with the imprinted badge of the 22nd Agricultural District, owners of the fairgrounds.

He got on his radio and requested backup, giving a complete description of me and the van. As I climbed into the van to leave, he stood in front of us, purposefully blocking our exit. I got out and requested he move so we could leave. He said he was calling someone to have me arrested. As I turned to walk back to the van, my wife said he raised his long flashlight above his head as if ready to strike me on the back; although he didn't, my wife and one of my sons began dialing 911.

The 911 dispatcher immediately forwarded my wife's call to the onsite sheriff's office. As my wife was explaining the ongoing incident for about two minutes, a marked security vehicle arrived on a side street, and the security guard walked away.

As we were driving away, the sheriff's dispatcher wanted to hear my account of the situation and asked if we needed a deputy to come to the scene. By that time, we were already on Coast Highway 101, heading home. The dispatcher said she appreciated that we understood that all fair workers are tired and overworked by the end of the fair.

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SurfPuppy619 July 2, 2011 @ 5:59 p.m.

The dispatcher said she appreciated that we understood that all fair workers are tired and overworked by the end of the fair.

So what, don't care, doesn't matter.

If it went down like the writer said (one side of this story), then the security guard was way out of line and the fair as his employer could be held liable for any damages suffered from his misconduct, as well as the guard. Bad news. Hope you got his ID # and reported him to the fair, his employer. The fair cannot fix problems they do not know about.

I had a problem with ADT Security-of all people- at my gate controlled/guarded community. This ADT secuirty vehicle was trying to access the property from a residents only gate-all non residents MUST check in and go through the main gate-especially vendors, which these two clowsn refused to do. So long story short they entered the property AFTER I told them to not try to enter thru the resident only gate and I had to follow them around the property until they pulled over, and when they got out they thought they were going to try to pull the tough guy routine on me and then I told them I would knock their teeth out if they tried that so THEY called the police on ME for "threatening" them. Hilarious.

Police came and wrote them up for tresspassing, then I wrote a 5 page letter to the Florida based CEO of ADT Secruity, letting them know these clowns were a danger to the public (get this, one was on PROBATION!!!) and if anything had went down I wouuld have sued ADT's fanny off since these clowns were on the job, in an official ADT company vehicle when this went down.

ADT followed up numerous times and I am pretty sure these two clowns were fired.

How old was this clown??? I usually don't have problems with cops or LE, but the few times I have is when they are very young and have not been properly trained yet, or they are very old and have a major attitutde and sense of entitlement.


Visduh July 2, 2011 @ 7:46 p.m.

This just points out the reasons for not giving untrained guys a tin badge and a sense of authority. Those security guards are just that. Had he detected a crime, such as larceny, being committed? No. Had he run into a private citizen who was unwilling to kow-tow? Yes. If the guard had decided to summon the county mounties and report a crime, his first move should have been to step back and wait for the sworn personnel to show up. But, based on this account, he continued to provoke. I've had few run-ins or even low-level confrontations with these almost-but-not-quite-rent-a-cops, but can imagine how quickly they can escalate. There are some strange characters out there in uniform and wearing badges that qualify them to do very little other than call the real cops. Some just don't know when or where their authority (which is small) ends.


I Am Stardirt July 2, 2011 @ 11:59 p.m.

In a Republic, like ours, which recognizes the authority of the individual first,the only authority any one has over another, is the amount of authority that is abrogated.


Ken Harrison July 3, 2011 @ 8:09 a.m.

As the writer of this story, I did not stick around to get his name. As a law abiding citizen, I wasn't sure if I had broken some obscure law like one can never climb an open ladder on state property. The best thing to do was leave and end the situation. And then write about it, which I told him I would do.

The fair is a fun and safe place. As law enforcement is concerned, I still believe every "real" officer of the 22nd Ag. Dist. Security or the Sheriff's Dept. are very friendly and helpful.


SurfPuppy619 July 3, 2011 @ 12:24 p.m.

The best thing to do was leave and end the situation. And then write about it, which I told him I would do.

No, the best thing to do would have been to ID the loser and then immediately notify the Fair authorities so they could remove him from his job, or make sure he is properly trained.

The situation you descibed is one where public safety was at risk. If this guy was standing in front of your car refusing to let you leave he had some serious issues and problems, and who knows what kind of crimes he did commit, or could have committed, on the general public.


Twister July 3, 2011 @ 11:12 p.m.

Have every affected person hit these yahoos with a Small Claims suit. Have them do it spaced out, in the hopes that everyone won't get the same judge? Then you won't have to hire SP or one of his colleagues.

Might work, might not, but if one is "into" suing, if that distracts you or makes you actually feel better, the cost (in money) is not too high. As for me, the emotional cost of just being in front of some rent-a-judge who fancies himself Judge Judy (*%&&$#@!) who might insult you for your trouble ain't my cup of tea.

While there are times when the violated principle requires pursuit of the case as an act of civic responsibility, most of the time it's safer to let raging jerks hang themselves someplace else. But if it ACTUALLY makes you feel really better . . .

I do, however, agree with SP that the AH described in the piece could be potentially dangerous to others and MAY need to be brought down. However, the guy may have been tired, had it up to here, or is in the process of getting a-hold of his anger problem and will be in sackcloth and ashes about the incident. No question there are a lot of miserable people here, but, as Kenneth Boulding was fond of saying, "We have only two choices, really. We can have an 'I beat you down, you beat me down, I beat you down' society, or we can have an 'I lift you up, you lift me up, I lift you up' society."


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