COURTWATCH – Briefing from Nnamdi Okoronkwo, Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office
Samuel Hasse had a hearing in Restorative Court on Nov. 13 (one day after PAC) and we’ll hear the outcome in December. Daniel Heacock was recommitted on July 19 and is now waiting for his next hearing on January 14. Paula Heile got her bench warrant cleared on Oct. 1 and had her probation violation hearing on Nov. 11; another update we’ll get in December. Cody Horton moved to St. Cloud; we voted to take him off the Courtwatch list, but the next day Mr. Okoronkwo learned that Horton has a new case in the 2nd Pct and was again in custody. Kirk Robledo had a court date on Nov. 13. James Zaccardi has a review hearing on Nov. 26; we have not heard of any new cases for him, which puts him in the success column — he’s responding well to frequent meetings with his case workers. Michael Zaccardi was found trespassing at a construction site at 13xx & Marshall St. NE in October and has an arraignment on Dec. 10. Inspector Loining commented that these brothers have been considered chronic offenders.
Johnny Hall remains on probation until 9-17-20 but is doing well there (no updates). Spencer Hermes remains under court supervision through May 23, 2022 but has no updates. Joshua Poplawski was released from the workhouse on Oct. 30 and remains on probation to 8/27/20. Miles Shaw is being held by the DOC; release date is 4/20/20.
PRECINCT REPORT – Officer Nelson reporting. Seasonal warning first – When you are warming up your car, make sure you use your app so it can’t get stolen. Also, don’t put anything valuable in the car where if can be seen; it might trigger a quick grab by someone.
is warming up a car a violation of city ordinance? Answer: it is on
the books. When there were a lot more “warming up” cars getting stolen,
officers were told to not investigate but just send the owner a ticket
for “open ignition”. They WOULD get a report number for their insurance
claim. MPD was spending too many man-hours on this crime and the
numbers had to be crushed. Additionally, if your car gets stolen this
way and ends up in a wreck, your insurance will cover you (but read your
contract). The difference right now is that if a car is left running
but is on private property, it won’t get a ticket. A gas station IS
private property so if someone leaves his car running outside the
Holiday Station to grab a doughnut, he won’t get a ticket; if the car
is left running on the street in front of the house, it gets a
ticket. There is no need to ever let that happen. The car might be
chilly for three blocks, and that’s about it. There is an app to help
with that — if you leave the car running and just tap the break, the
motor will kill. If you have a spare and lock the keys in the car,
know that is no protection. Someone who wants the car can be in it in
under 30 seconds without breaking a window..
Inspector Loining: auto theft is up all over the city; they may be higher than they ever have been, especially older Hondas (’97-02) which can be turned on with a shaved key. The trouble doesn’t just start with the loss of your car. If someone takes it and you report it, it will appear in the computer. As officers are driving around, they spend time “running plates” to see if those plates have been stolen. If the number comes up, they will attempt to recover the vehicle, so now you have a chase situation. If a subject does not want to be caught, they accelerate and we have a public safety issue. The problem is now worse. Thanks to Chief Arradondo, for the most part MPD is not chasing stolen vehicles, but there is always increased danger to the public and to the officers. Safety is the first consideration city-wide and in especially in the 2nd Precinct. Even if they don’t get chased in Mpls, they may be taken to a different city where the officers have different guidelines and then danger to the public goes up again. The biggest message to take away is the hazard this creates. The overarching guideline of the MPD is safety for the public and for officers.
There are some handouts about running cars that we can distribute. Contact Nick to get some.
Another important point: We hear a lot of “Give ’em a ticket! Give em a ticket!” A good point to remember is that officers have discretion if they will charge or not. If an officer sees that someone has been victimized, they need their car to get to work, they need their job and their paycheck, they’re working extra jobs to support their family, that officer doesn’t want to add to the stress.
NEIGHBORHOODS REPORT – Stinson Pkwy: Thank you to the Precinct for helping with the speed issue on Stinson Pkwy. People have been commenting on Facebook but the complaints have been met with positive statements.
– Traffic is increasing a lot, including more large truck traffic on 37th Ave. The neighborhood is concerned because there is a lot of construction next year, and neighbors want to get a handle on this before the construction makes things worse. Inspector Loining replied with a thanks for the report and the neighbors will be seeing some extra traffic control on 37th.
– In SE bikes and scooters (the rentals) are being just dropped all over. It’s not unusual to see a sidewalk effectively blocked by 3 or 4 scooters so you have trouble walking past them if you have a dog on a leash, are pushing a stroller,r using crutches or a wheelchair or just carrying multiple bags from the grocery store. Just as bad is construction vehicles, bobcats and more using residential streets to back up and turn around. Inspector Loining pointed out that increasing housing density is making life more difficult for everyone.
We closed with a round of applause for Linnea Tweed and the officers who explained events and protocol.