The Sheet tracked down Bret Meier this week for an interview. We referenced Meier final week upon studying that the Mammoth Lakes Police Division had reached a financial settlement with Mr. Meier after an incident the place he had been falsely arrested and supplied a nightly rental on the Bridgeport Hilton.
It seems that Mr. Meier nonetheless lives on the town, and serves as a caretaker for a blind veteran.
Mr. Meier describes himself as usually a fearful particular person. A number of occasions, he described it as a “bedridden concern.” He takes treatment to even himself out. Sadly, the treatment doesn’t combine nicely with alcohol, and Mr. Meier has gotten into his share of scrapes through the years.
He says that when he drinks, he tends to black out simply due to the treatment.
He has attended Alcoholics Nameless conferences since 2003.
He describes himself as “low-functioning.” Which I interpreted not as a mirrored image upon Mr. Meier’s intelligence, however as a press release about his ease on this planet.
Life shouldn’t be simple for Bret Meier.
He’s no saint.
On the night of Might 7, 2016, Mr. Meier created a disturbance on the Clocktower Cellar. He introduced a bottle into the bar, tried to serve different prospects and made disparaging feedback to the bartender.
He admits he was a “unhealthy boy.”
The cops confirmed up and one of many cops misidentified Meier as a person with an impressive warrant named William Shade.
He was arrested on the idea he was William Shade. Police studies declare Mr. Meier by no means corrected officers when recognized as Mr. Shade.
Physique cam footage of the arrest has been destroyed based on MLPD Information Supervisor Krystle Stewart.
Meier mentioned he blacked out in some unspecified time in the future through the arrest and he wakened within the drunk tank in Bridgeport. He requested, “Why am I right here?” His pockets was nonetheless in his pants so he produced his driver’s license.
He says he was informed, “Nicely, that’s not essentially you.”
However in brief order, MLPD Sgt. Marc Moscowitz, now retired, arrived to choose him up.
Meier says he refused settlement presents from MLPD on just a few events earlier than lastly agreeing to fulfill officers within the vacant lot subsequent to The Range.
Officers started negotiating with him. Meier recollects there being an entire bunch of $100 payments mendacity on the entrance seat of the police automobile.
Meier settled on $1,500 after which signed an NDA (non-disclosure settlement). Police informed him they regretted the mix-up and mentioned, “We hope this helps together with your move-in cost” as a result of they knew he wanted to discover a new place to dwell.
“I knew it was a rip-off and that I might have gotten extra, however I wasn’t positive about hiring a lawyer … I’m on-and-off cognitively impaired. I used to be scared. I’m inclined to being round individuals who might make the most of me. And when individuals ask me issues, I don’t like disappointing them.”
Meier described himself as being “plagued” by his incapacity which appears to worsen as he will get older.
Mr. Meier says his relationship with the MLPD is presently first rate, in massive measure as a result of he doesn’t get out a lot.
Prior to now, he mentioned native cops would come to his dwelling and provoke him, however he says, lots of the cops have modified and he’s going to church extra and his pastor spoke to the cops and he stopped carrying fatigues and he’s mixing in additional.
Now onto the Lt. Eric Hugelman retirement.
We reported in final week’s difficulty that at his retirement ceremony on April 14, Hugelman mentioned his retirement was not of his personal selecting.
Over the weekend, The Sheet was contacted by a supply who requested whether or not or not Hugelman’s testifying in his daughter’s DUI case had one thing to do along with his ouster.
We didn’t know concerning the DUI case, so we seemed into it.
Hailey Hugelman, 25, was arrested within the early morning hours of January 30, 2020. She was stopped by the California Freeway Patrol after working a cease signal on the Major Avenue frontage street at Laurel Mountain Highway.
She then failed area sobriety checks and blew a .19 on the breathalyzer.
Whereas there was not a courtroom reporter current at her misdemeanor jury trial, so we don’t have a firsthand transcript, The Sheet realized that Lt. Hugelman testified that his daughter informed him she had ingested about 80% of an 8 oz. bottle of cough syrup (Nyquil) simply earlier than she had gotten behind the wheel.
The protection argument was that Ms Hugelman was beneath .08 earlier than she acquired behind the wheel, and the alcohol from the cough syrup solely kicked in through the visitors cease.
Based on the Trial Transient submitted by Assistant D.A. Tobias Hasler, “She [Hugelman] said that she began ingesting at 8 p.m, stopping at 9 p.m.”
She mentioned she consumed two ciders.
She then apparently didn’t drink one other drop (apart from the cough syrup) till she left the Public Home at roughly 11:55 p.m.
Ms. Hugelman is 110 kilos.
A member of the protection crew mentioned Lt. Hugelman’s testimony within the case was very restricted in scope – maybe 5 minutes – and concerned his advising his daughter to avoid wasting the Nyquil bottle she had consumed from.
The jury in the end convicted Hugelman of cost 23152(a), driving beneath the affect, however acquitted her of cost 23152(b), which is driving beneath the affect with a BAC (blood alcohol content material) of greater than .08.
The Sheet requested Mammoth Police Chief Al Davis “Did Lt. Hugelman’s testimony in his personal daughter’s DUI case influence your opinion of Lt. Hugelman as a regulation enforcement officer in any method?”
He answered no.
The Sheet was unable to succeed in arresting CHP Officer Jon Nyland, however did communicate to Nyland’s colleague John Marchant, who mentioned he’s by no means had/heard of a DUI arrest that concerned a “cough syrup protection.”
Mono County District Legal professional Tim Kendall, nevertheless, had a special take. He mentioned “it’s a typical protection that’s used on a regular basis.”
And all you want is one juror to agree with you.
In regard to the Hugelman case, Kendall mentioned he didn’t recall her saying she had cough syrup within the automobile on the time of her arrest, and “I can’t touch upon whether or not she would possibly’ve been coached.”
What’s attention-grabbing is that Hugelman’s penalty was not affected by escaping conviction for 23152(b). She obtained the usual first offense DUI penalty which includes about $2,000 in fines, a court-ordered class and 30 days suspended license.
The Sheet did get hold of a replica of Hugelman’s employment contract to find out what it value for the City to terminate his at-will employment.
The reply = not a lot.
Ten weeks severance pay. That’s about it. Off a base wage of roughly $148,000/12 months.
Perhaps it was only a cost-cutting transfer.
Forgive me the following part (or not). Given the historical past of MLPD hijinks, I figured I ought to provide you with a departmental survey for future job candidates.
There are ten questions.
One should obtain a rating of eight factors to be thought-about officer materials on the MLPD. Scoring will seem on the finish of the quiz. Don’t cheat.
1. The division motto is a.) serve and defend, or b.) service and put on safety.
2. The division’s favourite quantity(s) are a.) 10-4, or b.) 69.
3. What’s your desire? a.) flashing blue lights, or b.) flashing tighty whities.
4. Do you utilize cough syrup for a.) a cough, or b.) driving dwelling after a celebration.
5. When you’ve gotten cornered a perp, do you say, a.) Come out together with your palms up! or b.) Come out with my pants down!
6. When advising an individual of their rights, do you say a.) Something you say can and might be used towards you, or b.) Something you say in a horny voice will cut back your sentence.
7. Choose the suitable phrase. a.) You will have the correct to stay silent, or b.) Shut up and obey.
8. Which do you favor? a.) Al Pacino in Serpico, or b.) Joseph Wambaugh’s “The Choirboys”
9. Select your phrase. a.) Can I see your license and registration? b.) Why don’t you give me an deal with and time?
10. Would you quite a.) Chase robbers, or b.) chase tail.
Additional credit score: Title your favourite bar within the Japanese Sierra.
Every b reply is value one level.
Additional credit score reply: Rusty’s Saloon, after all.