Originally Posted by Lars
Dog, I can answer that one for you. If I were the Patroller and caught you on a closed trail, the first thing I would do is introduce myself to you and ask you if you realize that you are skiing a closed trail. After listening to your answer, I would then ask to see your lift pass. If you could not produce one I'd ask how you managed to get on the lifts without a lift ticket or pass. After hearing you answer of the hike I would call the security office to notify them of the situation and explain the situation. They would tell me that mountain patrol will be there in a few minutes to pick you up because skiing you to the office without a lift pass could be a liability to the Resort. They would take you to the office where the resort manager would be present along with other security and the dispatcher. You would probably be questioned and explained to the dangers of your actions to yourself and others and the consequences of theft of services and tresspassing. If you were cooperative and calm, you would be offered a settlement choice. Most likely, purchasing two all day passes. One would be attached to a violation report of the incedent with your personal I.D. address, phone, license and photo, etc. Usually, the other pass you purchased could be used to ski the resort for the remainder of the day. Some times it doesn't end that way and You would be held for the State Police and charged and arrained at the local J.P.
This is fact. I've done it before. It's not fun for any of us. I've had people ski away from me trying to escape. All it takes is a radio call to the mountain crew at the bottom of the hill and other patrollers with security personell and there's really no need to chase anyone. People who try to escape or get beligerent are delt with in only way, the State Police.
Incidents like this were the down side of patrolling. One I don't miss.
I realize your intentions are well placed, but like many underpaid resort employees - you've may have been duped to some extent into thinking that you have some sort of protection when you "grab" some guy skiing without a lift ticket or on a closed trail.
What's wrong is that you probably haven't been informed of the potential consequences of your detaining somebody you might catch skiing without a pass. Hint - you just made a civilian arrest for Trespass, which is not a Crime, but a mere Violation in NYS law (yeah, like blowing a stop sign). If you're making a civilian arrest, then you had better be able to prove the offense if it all goes bad. You have NO protection, as Police do, in taking action in such a case. Cops only need reasonable cause to believe an offense was comitted - YOU MUST KNOW than an actual Offense was comitted.
Your resort may have been skating by with the local State Police Barracks entertaining a mere Trespass as the more serious offense of Criminal Trespass - but if it were ever tested in court they'd likely lose. You can hike up almost any trail in NYS, and unless you have to circumvent some type of fence to get there, its just a Trespass. Read 140.05 & 140.10
It's amazing how often folks don't realize that although the cops just took some knucklehead away in cuffs, it was actually YOU who made the arrest. They're just processing your civilian arrest for you.
A closed, roped off trail would likely be a Criminal Trespass however enabling the State Police to make the arrest based on your sworn statement, thus leaving the burden of liability with them, and not you.
Theft of Service?? I love the way its being thrown around here as if there's some Federal Statute prohibiting it. You better understand what it means in YOUR state before thinking that you have the authority to arrest someone for it.
In NYS, Theft of Service is not some general catch all category. Unless the act is specifically defined - i.e. refusing to pay for meals in a restaurant, receiving cable service without payment, etc., you got nuthin. Read it - 165.15.9.
Unless they're using a mechanical device designed to transport skiers uphill without lawful payment - they're only trespassing on your hill (maybe). If you're going to try and put a hand on somebody for that - you're a good employee, but you're nuts too. BTW - You can also make a civilian arrest somebody making an illegal U-turn in front of your favorite resort - I don't recommend that either.
What would I do? Scare tactics. Tell the guy/girl they "Have" to wait for me at the bottom, then follow them down. If they try to get on the lift and they can't show a ticket - stop them. Tell him/her they have to come with you to the security office. If he/she says "up yours," and leaves the mountain, say goodbye. Civilian arrest - no f'ing way. You had better be damn sure you've witnessed a "Crime" if you're going to try and detain anybody for the local Police.
Hey, just looking out for the good guys in the safety patrol, really.
Now with all of that, I'm sure I must have made at least one minor spelling or legal error. Who'd like to be the first to point it out?