Zara does not have any crimes of violence in his past.
  • Zara does not have any crimes of violence in his past.
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Joseph Patrick Zara, 62, was arrested after a traffic stop in Oceanside, because police noticed he had a “billy club” resting within reach, on the backseat of his car. However, his attorney protested that it was not a weapon, but instead the wooden stick was a tire knocker.

“Honestly, I never heard of a tire knocker,” judge Blaine Bowman spoke frankly during a hearing today, Tuesday, February 5.

Judge Blaine Bowman: “Honestly, I never heard of a tire knocker.”

Judge Blaine Bowman: “Honestly, I never heard of a tire knocker.”

Oceanside police officer Kekai Thompson testified that he pulled over the wandering car at dusk on October 13, 2018, because the car failed to stay in one lane. Zara was the driver and only occupant in the car as it was traveling the 3700 block of Mission Avenue. Officer Thompson said Zara was polite and produced an American passport for ID, and admitted that he had no driver’s license.

The 18-inch-billy club was in plain sight. And cops found two firearms in his trunk, which were legally purchased and properly stored, officer Thompson said.

Defense attorney Jeremy Burland protested that the wooden stick was clearly labled Mighty Max Tire Thumper. The attorney asserted that the object is commonly used as a fish thumper, especially in the state from which the defendant had recently moved, Louisiana.

A prosecutor admitted that Zara does not have any crimes of violence in his past, though he has a recent DUI from Louisiana. The prosecutor said a urine test showed that Zara had drugs in his system while he was driving, that he was under the influence of meth and heroin and xanax; she also claimed that Zara nodded off and was awakened by officers several times during their contact.

Judge Bowman granted defense’s request to reduce the felony charge of possession of billy club to a misdemeanor, and set a date in March for another hearing. Defendant Zara pleads not guilty, and is at liberty on $50,000 bond.

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Comments

Eva Knott Feb. 6, 2019 @ 4:44 a.m.

San Diego County Superior Court judge Blaine Bowman is one who will speak plainly.

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AlexClarke Feb. 6, 2019 @ 6:57 a.m.

Ok, but for the judge to not know what a "tire knocker" is shows that he knows little about the trucking industry. Truckers use a "tire knocker" (a club, hammer, or other hard object) to check the tires on their tractor/trailer(s). Tires on a truck can look fine and unless you "thump" them on they can be flat. Running on a flat tire can cause a fire. All truckers carry some form of a "tire knocker". In this case the item pictured is an old style "Billy club" and possession of one is a felony. Zara was in a car and has no reason to have a "tire knocker" in his possession.

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MURPHYJUNK Feb. 6, 2019 @ 7:36 a.m.

short drill shaft for a jack hammer has other uses too.

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Ponzi Feb. 6, 2019 @ 8:57 a.m.

Seems like tire knocker could be used for thumping something else. Probably should have kept it in the trunk with the other weapons.

This story makes me wonder what happens to people with a Maglite? Those heavy long aluminum flashlights?

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dwbat Feb. 6, 2019 @ 9:25 a.m.

Those "heavy long aluminum flashlights" are basically obsolete. LED flashlight technology has increased tremendously. Today's pocket-size aluminum flashlights are brighter and very affordable; I own several of them.

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danfogel Feb. 7, 2019 @ 9:52 a.m.

"Basically obsolete", really?? Indeed, Maglite does still offer the classic version with incandescent and Xenon bulb lights. But the majority of the flashlights they sell are LED. From a little 3" mini for you key chain to a big 5 cell that is over a foot long. I have a bunch of them and have been using them since the early '80s. So obsolete?? Yeah, not so much. BTW, I believe they are still made out in Ontario.

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dwbat Feb. 14, 2019 @ 2:29 p.m.

It was Ponzi who mentioned the Maglite brand, not me.

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danfogel Feb. 14, 2019 @ 3:59 p.m.

Well, you quoted a comment referring to Maglite's heavy long aluminum flashlights, so it is a natural thread to follow. In any event, there are quite a few companies making those "basically obsolete" flashlights. Right off the bat, Streamlight comes to mind. I think they've been around for close to 50 years or so. So as I said above, obsolete? Yeah, not so much.

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Ken Harrison Feb. 7, 2019 @ 8:27 a.m.

My 5 cell Maglite is my bear whomper when camping. I've had one walk behind me 25' away, following me back from the bathroom.

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dwbat Feb. 8, 2019 @ 10:38 a.m.

Many law enforcement agencies have moved away from the long heavy Maglite flashlights. They instead buy the Brite-Strike Super High-Flux LED flashlights.It's built like a tank, made of aircraft-quality aluminum. I own one of the 5" models.

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swell Feb. 6, 2019 @ 6:59 p.m.

The guy was loaded with drugs and driving erratically. Couldn't even stay awake. No license. Had a history of DUI. And they make a fuss about a wooden stick? Throw the book at him! Make sure he never gets behind the wheel again.

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AlexClarke Feb. 7, 2019 @ 7:28 a.m.

Possession of a "billy club", the wooden stick, is a felony.

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CaptainObvious Feb. 7, 2019 @ 1:06 p.m.

My school bus drivers use them twice per day. If you have commercial license it's a thumper, if you don't, it's a crime.

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JonBeck Feb. 6, 2019 @ 10:15 p.m.

You gotta be a little slow to carry a obvious billy club. Would make more sense to just carry a childs baseball bat

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AlexClarke Feb. 9, 2019 @ 8:18 a.m.

The only one slower than this idiot is his lawyer.

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dwbat Feb. 10, 2019 @ 6:28 p.m.

On martindale.com, Burland has no peer reviews or client reviews.

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