Drinking boater arrested for not boating...

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by KnottyBuoyz, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. KnottyBuoyz
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    Boater held for 3 weeks in U.S. jail for refusing to sail drunk

    Cross-border trip ends in detention centre



    Windsor Star; CanWest News Service

    Published: Saturday, August 25
    WINDSOR, Ont. - A Canadian boater who crossed Lake Erie has been in the custody of U.S. authorities for three weeks, despite having committed no criminal offence.
    "This is ridiculous. You wouldn't believe what's going on here," said a frustrated Terry DaCosta of Woodstock, Ont., on the phone from Monroe County Jail on Friday evening.
    "It's pathetic. I thought we were supposed to be neighbouring countries."

    DaCosta, 39, said his troubles began on Aug. 3, when he took his boat on a recreational trip with other boats from Leamington to Put-in-Bay near Sandusky, Ohio.
    Upon arrival on American shores, DaCosta contacted the U.S. Border Patrol to ask for their approval to stay -- something he said he's received on previous occasions without any problems.
    While he was waiting, DaCosta consumed several beers. He was then dismayed to learn from border patrol that his request for entry was denied.
    "I said, 'I can't leave, I've had a few beers,' " DaCosta recalled. "They said, 'If you can't drive your boat out of here, we're going to have to arrest you and deport you ourselves.' "
    DaCosta, who was alone in the boat, said he didn't want to risk being stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard and potentially losing his boating licence over a failed breathalyser test. "I said, 'Fine, arrest me, I'm not drinking and driving.' "
    But what DaCosta thought would be an inconvenient process has turned into a prolonged nightmare.
    According to DaCosta, his first week in custody was spent in a cell with 15 other men and a poorly working toilet. He said he's now been placed in a large dormitory filled with between 80 and 100 other people.
    "They treat us like we're a bunch of animals," DaCosta said.
    His dorm is one reserved for immigration detainees, the jail confirmed.
    "There's no criminal offence," said James Battin, DaCosta's lawyer in Canada. "It seems to me to be just a little bit strange. My understanding is his file went to Miami and he went to Monroe, Michigan."
    Battin said DaCosta is being represented by a Michigan lawyer, and there's not a great deal that can be done for him from Canada.
    DaCosta said he has no criminal record in either the U.S. or Canada.
    An electrical and mechanical contractor by trade, DaCosta said he's worried about the status of his independent contracting firm as he languishes in custody.

    ========================

    Got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard a gov't do! The poor *******, tries to be a responsible boater and whammo! Really makes me wonder about visiting there someday by water!!!!
     
  2. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Unfortunately this kind of thing is becoming more or less routine practice, for people of all nationalities who try to visit the USA.
     
  3. DGreenwood
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    I would not have imbibed while waiting for clearance in any country...even my own. You never know when they will decide you need to be checked out. Being shtfaced when the officer shows up is bad form. So how sharp can this dude be?
    Besides, I'm betting there is whole lot missing from his side of the story.. maybe he got a little too wise with the officer?
    And any one who has crossed the border into Canada as many times as I have can tell you those guys can be some real jerks as well.So It ain't just the USA.Although I can say I have come across some real douches coming into the US.
     
  4. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    When Canadian security has issues with an American, though, he generally doesn't spend three weeks in an overcrowded jail while the border agencies sort it out...... drinking while waiting sounds like a bad call, but there are an awful lot of people these days who get arbitrarily detained upon reaching US borders.
     
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I have to agree with Dgreenwood I as much as I like a drink, I could and would have waited till I was all settled in.

    But hindsight is easy.
     
  6. KnottyBuoyz
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  7. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Lots of blame to go around. I agree he handled things badly on his end. Even allowing for exaggeration on his part, however, the beauraucracy was collectively even more stupid and dehumanizing than usual here. The height (OK, the depth) was reached when they lost all his belongings. Property safe-keeping for inmates is supposed to be a hallmark of any detention facility; the property clerk office is normally held to a pretty high standard.

    As in the military, all too often the "support troops", i.e. the clerks and prison personnel, are not trained to the same high level as the as those who are on the front lines or on the street. Once you are in the system, you're just a case number.

    A bad episode all around. :mad: :mad:
     
  8. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    This would be a case for serious compensation. More to teach them a lesson that would have been cheaper had they trained people better.
     
  9. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Should try boating here, you get arrested if your sober.:D

    Poida
     
  10. DGreenwood
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    As I said, it has all the earmarks of a guy that wised off to a cop that had way too much power and not enough humanity in him. So, despite the "abused ordinary guy story" that the press attracts readers with, they both strike me as real jerks. The cops for abusing power...the guy for spitting in the face of a 300 lb gorilla. Not productive on anyones part, particularly the press.
     
  11. timgoz
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    timgoz Senior Member

    The Dunkin Doughnut employees probably pissed on the doughnuts they knew the agents would want for free.

    I had a real ******* agent (Canadian) at the Holton Maine crossing into New Brunswick. But as stated above, I left with my freedom & pride intact.

    Yeah, this guy sure sounded like a real threat to the ol' USA. :rolleyes:

    They probably stole his good Canadian beer to boot.

    Tim
     
  12. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Hate to say it but I guess DGreenwood has called the truth of it - or as near as we'll get to the truth!

    Trouble is this is the sort of thing that escalates to ridicouls proportions if not closely watched - looks like he made an error which escalated and of course the original US official got 'backed up'! That is basically the only way to go - you MUST back your people right or wrong! Just a pity the first encounter got of to a bad start (can also imagine the 'wronged' guy throwing crudities around - wouldn't you? I would!)
     
  13. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Drinking boater arrested for not boating

    Not quite. Here in Australia - currently in the 'grip' of government induced fear of an impending 'terrorist' invasion, would-be immigrants have to take a 'Citizenship Test' - know the words of the national anthem (a real stumbling block that one); quote Ned Kelly's final phrase; spot the Prime Minister among a mob of wombats; barbecue a didjeridoo...etc etc.

    To judge the score-sheets of applicants the Government agency has hired....300 backpackers (overseas tourists on a short-term visa). :(
     
  14. KnottyBuoyz
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    Absolutely. Check out the story of this couple.

    http://www.thecoastalpassage.com/manzaris.html
     

  15. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Ok that's one side of the story - like all stories there is normally two sides!

    What's the overworked customs officer got to say for himself? and I guess the truth is somewhere in the middle! (maybe)

    Read on this forum somewhere about a Canadian having problems in the good old US of A, that was one sided too!
     
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