MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS
MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
September, 2004 Moo Town News K.O.
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
By Judy Borello
(And that ain't mayonnaise)
Being in the West Marin Community for over 34 years, I've never seen such citizen solidarity since the threat of offshore drilling. The line is drawn between Park Ranger Mayo and the Pt. Reyesians, Invernesians and all of West Marin.
The event that sparked this altercation was Ranger Roger Mayo and his accomplice, Ranger Angelina Gregorio, handcuffing and then pepper spraying a seventeen and eighteen year old brother and sister, Jessica and Chris Miller, from Inverness Park.
The event unraveled like this, according to the Point Reyes Light. Park Ranger Mayo pulled over a vehicle and driver, Will White of Marshall, and passenger Emil Kemph of Inverness, at White House Pool for not having a front license plate. White House Pool is not parklands. Kempf and White were taken, not arrested, and cited for threatening behavior, apparently for asking another ranger about Mayo's hostile behavior during the traffic stop.
At one point, Ranger Mayo pulled Kemph out of the car and made him sit on the ground under threat of arrest for complaining that the stop was unnecessarily long since the citation was issued two hours after the traffic stop.
In the meantime Kemph and White had complained to deputies at the Pt. Reyes Sheriff's Substation and then gone to a friends house on Levee Road.
Shortly thereafter Roger Mayo arrived in his patrol car and parked outside the house.
When Kemph and White went outside to find out what was going on, they were taken into custody and driven back to park headquarters. After they had been cited, Mayo drove the two back to Pt. Reyes Station but refused to let them out of the patrol car until a group of parents and young people dispersed. The group had formed in order to be witnesses to what was going on.
Chris and Jessica Miller arrived on the scene at this point. Jessica approached with her hands over her head and asked why her friends were being detained.
Chris Miller followed his sister with his hands in his pockets. When they were six to eight feet away, Ranger Mayo ordered the brother and sister to stop and sit on the ground. Instead they began to walk away, only to have Ranger Mayo stop Chris, demand he turn around and then pepper sprayed him in the face when he did turn around.
Then Ranger Mayo forced Chris to sit on the asphalt outsider former Chez Madeline Restaurant and then proceeded to pepper spray him again before handcuffing him.
Ranger Gregorio meanwhile pepper sprayed Jessica in the face. She was also handcuffed and also forced to the ground while Gregorio put her weight on the kneeling 105 pound girl. Ranger Mayo pulled a visor away from Jessica's face and manually spread her eyelids apart and pepper sprayed directly into her eyeballs. As she writhed in pain, she was pepper sprayed over and over again, witnesses later reported.
After receiving medical treatment from county firefighters, the two were released without any charges.
Now, is this overkill?
Witnesses state that Ranger Mayo, whose house is in close proximity to Highway One, stands in his front yard and sprays passing cyclists right in the face with a hose.
Not only could the motorcyclist kill himself while veering off the road but hurt someone else as well. This is coming from a man who should know better and is trained to protect people.
Superintendent Don Neubacher, who I always found over the years to be more than willing to communicate about a problem and be a fair man in resolving it. Rangers I have know over the years have always been cordial, helpful and never on such a power trip as Ranger Mayo.
I would recommend to Supt. Don Neubacher to get rid of Mayo because one spoiled apple can spoil the bunch just by being in the press so much over Mayo's scandalous conduct.
And what right do the Park Rangers have being law enforcement officers outside park boundaries? If the Park fired Mayo, they'd probably be saving his life because there is so much tension in our area over Mayo's conduct. I don't even think anger management class will help Mayo.
Somebody's really going to be hurt if this situation isn't rectified quickly and succinctly.
These are some of the sayings on posters from Inverness to Levee Road posted on trees and poles along Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
¥ "Keep our parks safe."
¥ "Fire these out-of-control rangers."
¥ "When the people fear the government you have tyranny. When the government fears the people, you have freedom."
¥ "Pepper spray after handcuffs?"
Not good, Don. Handle it!
PS The Millers have talked to attorney Dennis Cunningham of San Francisco. The family has opened a legal fund account at at the Bank of Petaluma in Pt. Reyes Station.
Moo Town News