Friday, October 10, 2014

Judge rules against park ranger who used stun gun on dog walker

A federal judge ruled that a National Park Service ranger acted unlawfully with unreasonable force when she used a stun gun on a man who was walking his dogs off-leash after he gave her a false name in unincorporated San Mateo County in 2012.

The incident began the afternoon of Jan. 29, 2012, when Gary Hesterberg, 50, of Montara took his two dogs, a beagle named Jack and a rat terrier named JoJo, on a walk as he’d done many times before in the Rancho Corral de Tierra open space, referred to as the Rancho.

The Rancho always had laws requiring that dogs be kept on-leash, but the court found no evidence that the law had been enforced, and Hesterberg was used to letting JoJo run free. The land had recently been acquired by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and part of Ranger Sarah Cavallaro’s duty that day, the first day of enforcement, was to “take an 'educational approach or soft enforcement’ with regards to violations of the Rancho’s new rules,” according to court documents.
Cavallaro stopped Hesterberg and talked to him about the new rules. The conversation grew increasingly contentious, and Hesterberg gave the ranger a fake last name because, he testified, “I don’t want to be placed on some offending dog walker ... list.”

The conversation escalated, with Hesterberg and a couple that was also on the trail questioning Cavallaro’s authority. Hesterberg told the ranger that he was leaving and she pulled out a stun gun, telling him he was not free to leave and then radioing for backup, according to court records.


Posted by Steve Sinai


Anonymous said...

Eh, so Heisenburg got $50,000. Not the $300K he was seeking. After attorney fees he'll get maybe $10K. Bottom line he's an ass H, All he had to do to avoid this was to give his real name and follow an officers orders. Too bad this is going to mean to some people that you don't have to obey a sworn officers orders, and if you get stun gunned you will reap a big payout.

Anonymous said...

ANN RITZMA is the new Assistant City Manager of Foster City. Way to Go Ann! Right to the top!

Anonymous said...

Interim Assistant City Manager. That's so nice. She's been endearing herself to Foster City for 15 months. Anyone have any questions they'd like to ask her? Maybe a coffee to catch-up and reminisce about old times?