Administrative noticeRight to travel

Cop threatens Fiedler day after freed in illegal jailing

Paris, Tenn., police chief Ricky Watson is punishing Christopher Fiedler and his wife, Nicole Beale,, for Mr. Fiedler”s use of his scooter for nonprivileged private use. (Photo Chris Fiedler)

April 31 2024 – A man jailed 34 days denied a hearing and bond is harassed a day after his liberation by the cop who put him behind bars.

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio Network

A clerk signed a bench warrant for Christopher Fiedler who had been indicted and didn’t know about it and who did not show up at a hearing. The warrant says no bond and commanded he be held until the next arraignment docket.

Mr. Fiedler was under charge of “operating a vehicle without a license” in two counts, for which at most a $50 fine and 30 days in jail attaches.

Bruce Griffey is circuit court judge who orders release of Christopher Fiedler. (Photo state of Tennessee)

By motion of prosecutor J. Neil Thompson and signature of circuit court judge Bruce Griffey, Mr. Fiedler was freed two days after he began demanding a hearing from every deputy he encountered in the Henry County, Tenn., jail.

The day after he arrived home to his wife Nicole Beale, the fast-food restaurant cook got on his scooter to go into town to get copies of documents on his case.

He zipped out of his driveway, warily circling the block.

Lt. Michael Ramos of the Paris police department was waiting for him, and gunned after him, pulling up in front of the Fiedler house driveway as Mr. Fiedler rolled upon the pavement.

 ‘Hard on for Fiedler’

However, Paris police officer Lt. Mike Ramos “has a hard on” for Mr. Fiedler, he says.  Wednesday Mr. Fiedler warily circled his block in his scooter before heading into town for the courthouse and sheriff’s office for records. Rolling after him in his city cruiser, Lt. Ramos blue-lighted Mr. Fiedler, pulled up in front of the driveway edge where Mr. Fiedler had fled, and held an explosive interview with him threatening him with an eighth and arrest and a second seizure of his property.

Lt. Ramos, paid, $54,229 a year in wages as city employee, insists no one can be on the public road without a driver license as an operator. Mr. Fiedler steadfastly insists that he has every right to travel freely if he’s not involved in commercial activity as a business owner and employee under privilege involving carrying goods or passengers for hire.

Calls to Judge Griffey’s office today, that of DA Thompson Friday and today, county attorney Robert Whitfield today, and police chief Ricky Watson Friday and today were not returned.

“It was Lt. Ramos again,” Mr. Fiedler says. “Lt. Ramos said, after I handed him that piece of paper I got from the court from the circuit clerk, I handed him that piece of paper, he came back and he said, ‘this is your one more free warning, his exact words, your free warning. But i you get caught again driving up and down the roads — I said traveling — he said, ‘I’m not going to argue with you about that.’ I said, ‘OK.’ He said, ‘If you get caught again, we’re going to issue a citation. If you get caught again after that, we’re gonna take your vehicle.’ Exact words.

“I said, ‘How come are you not arresting me and taking it right now?’ He didn’t answer. ‘How come this is my one free warning, and I didn’t get one free warning the last time, or the first time?’

Tennessee transportation administrative notice

“He said he might need to “go to the courthouse and get a restraining order against this man. I am so fed up with this guy. It’s unreal. It’s beyond harassing me. This guy has got more than a hard on for me.”

Meanwhile, Judge Griffey inked an expungement order to delete the record of the case.

“I did not sign anything for expungement,” Mr. Fiedler says. “100 percent positive. I didn’t even mention expungement – they did.”

Ricky Watson is chief of police in Paris, Tenn. (Photo Paris PD)

Today Mr. Fiedler says he just returned from a 45-minute visit with chief of police Watson. “I asked him, y’know, how come Ramos is repeatedly stopping me, even up to date even after all this has been dismissed repeatedly for the same thing. The courts have dismissed it. Up to date, up ’til Thursday, they’re still harassing me.

“So he said, well, ‘Reasonable suspicion,’ and all of that. He said, ‘You’re going to need a license. Your interpretation of the law, the court’s interpretation of the law, and our interpretation of the law seem to be different things.’ He says he sees nothing wrong with Ramos when he sees you driving without a license. He know you don’t have one so he will continue to pull over, and cite you, even arrest you for the same thing.”

“I take that as, it’s not going to stop, no matter what I do. It could be anybody can do this,” not just Lt. Ramos.

The state transportation law at Titles 55 and 65, regulating privilege, don’t apply to him,Mr. Fiedler says.

“I know I have the right to travel, of ingress-and egress, to be able to to navigate through waterways and roadways,” he says. “I also know that, um, I think Tennessee [transportation] administrative notice needs to be served on them. I will print it out and hand it to Ricky Watson, the chief of police.”

Mr. Fiedler says the notice has “not been disputed by anybody.” This reporter served it on city of Chattanooga in February 2018, and Hamilton County, Tenn., and other parties in March of that year, including then-Gov. Bill Haslam and then chief if department of safet David Purkey.

One of Mr. Fiedler’s conveyances was a 49cc scooter, exempt of any requirements under state law. The one Mr. Fiedler uses now is 150cc, which requires license and registration under presumption of use in commerce.

Poof! Record of wrongs vanishes

Efforts to obtain the full record of the case are being thwarted. Court Clerk Mike Wilson says he won’t accept email requests. This reporter put into the mail today a printed copy of his request for the case file.

Says Mr. Wilson, “I would be happy to provide records to you as a courtesy outside of the public records request process (and I have previously done so) but as indicated in my email of 4/29/24 917 AM records subject to an expunction order are unavailable.  Although you are welcome to make a formal public records request, I do not believe records subject to an expunction order will be available through the public records request process either.”

In reply, NoogaRadio Network responded,

Sir, I have calls in to the county attorney and to Judge Griffey. I intend to ask if it is lawful to expunge the official records of the Christopher Fiedler proceedings apart from Mr. Fiedler’s request. He says he has made no request for this act to be done.

The irregularities, sir, appear to be increasing. The police chief says he intends to arrest Mr. Fiedler again for use of his scooter at liberty.

I question if this order by Judge Griffey is lawful and within his judicial discretion apart from Mr. Fiedler’s request.

If the judge’s order is not lawful, it is your duty to act [as] a lesser magistrate and to resist importunities to perform an act that may be illegal or criminal, even if the judge threatens contempt. We are reporting on this matter in the public interest, especially the taxpaying public in Henry County.


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