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Old School 2cool
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Many ticketed for visiting damaged dike:headknock:headknock:headknock

By T.J. Aulds
The Daily News Published November 17, 2009
TEXAS CITY - It will be about a year before the Texas City Dike reopens after being badly damaged by Hurricane Ike.

That hasn't stopped hundreds of people from venturing onto the closed 5-mile-long pier. Almost 400 have been issued tickets for doing so.

At $260 per violation, some complain the tickets are excessive, and at least one of the cited said he was ticketed for fishing in the waters near the dike and wasn't on the world's largest man-made fishing pier at all.

Others are fighting the misdemeanor citations and have even asked for juries of their peers to decide whether riding a bike or strolling along the dike should be illegal.

The city maintains the dike has to be off-limits because it's dangerous.

"It's not about keeping people away from having fun, it's about public safety," Texas City Police Department spokesman Sgt. Joe Stanton said.

Police usually beef up enforcement on the weekends when the crowds pick up, Stanton said.

The dike has been closed to the public since Ike washed away much of the road and wrecked its fishing piers and bait camps.

John Ringer is the latest to get a ticket for the offense of Intruding on Premises.

The 81-year-old Texas City resident said he rode his bicycle to the end of the dike Saturday. By the time he returned to the dike entrance, four police officers were waiting, he said.

Ringer said he knew it was against the rules to be on the dike, but with the pier closed, hundreds of cars of anglers who would normally be on the dike are now packed in along Skyline drive on the hurricane levee.

"I didn't know I could cause so much trouble," Ringer said. "But it wasn't as dangerous riding my bike on the dike as it would have been on the levee."

Ringer said three men who were crabbing in an area where the levee connects to the base of the dike also were ticketed.

According to municipal court records, six people were issued dike intrusion tickets Saturday.

The court even set up a special category of citations just to keep track of the violations at the dike.

Evangelos Koutougeras, of Pasadena, also was ticketed recently but claims he was never on the dike and that the officer who issued the citation called him over from nearby Mosquito Island.

"I took my kayak from the levee and went out to Mosquito Island and this cop he calls me over to the dike with his bullhorn," Koutougeras said. "I had to walk in the water to meet the cop. He tells me 'you are trespassing,' I told him I wasn't on the dike until he called me over."

Koutougeras, 54, said he has been fishing in the area since 1992 and that while he doesn't think the dike should be closed, insisted he never was on the dike when he launched his kayak for a day of fishing on Nov. 4.

Stanton said citations are supposed to be issued only to people who are on the dike and not in the water, on the levee or on sandbars such as Mosquito Island.

Koutougeras said he was so angry he threw all the fish he'd caught back in the water. He said would fight the ticket.

He won't be alone when he goes to municipal court. Court supervisor Ellen Guerrant said about six people already have requested jury trials to fight their tickets, and one person who was cited had his case dismissed.

Others have been granted deferred adjudication by the judge, meaning as long as they keep their records clean for 90 days there won't be a conviction on their record, although they had to pay a fine.

Ringer hadn't decided whether he would fight the ticket or just pay the $260 fine.

"I don't think it's fair," he said. "I knew I wasn't supposed to be there, but I didn't know they would give me a ticket for it. I think they should just give you a warning unless you keep going out there."

+++

Dike trespassers

VIOLATION: Intrusion on Premises, Class C misdemeanor

CITATIONS ISSUED:

Since Sept. 13, 2008: 397

Since August: 31

Saturday: 6

FINE: $260 (can be up to $500)

Source: Texas City Municipal Court
 

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Old School 2cool
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Evangelos Koutougeras, of Pasadena, also was ticketed recently but claims he was never on the dike and that the officer who issued the citation called him over from nearby Mosquito Island.
This is the part I have a huge problem with. The guy is "ordered" onshore by an officer and THEN is issued a citation? I bet the Chief is proud this morning. NOT! LMBO, H/U
 

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yeah, and this part bothers me, too:

The 81-year-old Texas City resident said he rode his bicycle to the end of the dike Saturday. By the time he returned to the dike entrance, four police officers were waiting, he said.
it takes four cops to issue a citation to an 81-year-old man for riding a bicycle on the dike? now there's some shrewd usage of my tax dollars. i suppose a violent struggle could've broken out.
 

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yeah, and this part bothers me, too:

it takes four cops to issue a citation to an 81-year-old man for riding a bicycle on the dike? now there's some shrewd usage of my tax dollars. i suppose a violent struggle could've broken out.
Gotta watch them 81 yr olds,,,,They can bring it when needed !!!
They (cops) were prolly "hand on Tazer" when the ol' man rode up to them,,,,,
 

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yeah, and this part bothers me, too:

it takes four cops to issue a citation to an 81-year-old man for riding a bicycle on the dike? now there's some shrewd usage of my tax dollars. i suppose a violent struggle could've broken out.
yeah, and an 81 yr old at that. not to mention, we all know they must not have ANYTHING else to do in TC:smile:

They ought to try and police the crowds on the levy that duke it out on a regular basis. Funny to see the people fight...I understand having the dike closed bc it only takes one person to fall and sue(bc we let them, right?) but to call people over onto dike property and then issue ticket? can one say corruption? or is it just stupidity on the officers end?
 

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YEP and two blocks from there 50lbs of crack was being processed i bet!
yeah, and this part bothers me, too:

it takes four cops to issue a citation to an 81-year-old man for riding a bicycle on the dike? now there's some shrewd usage of my tax dollars. i suppose a violent struggle could've broken out.
 

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Evangelos Koutougeras, of Pasadena, also was ticketed recently but claims he was never on the dike and that the officer who issued the citation called him over from nearby Mosquito Island.
The oldest trick in the dirty cop book. Order the subject to do something or go somewhere then take enforcement against the action. I bet the same cop has a history of calling people out of their private houses into the yard in order to issue a PI.
 

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yeah, and this part bothers me, too:

it takes four cops to issue a citation to an 81-year-old man for riding a bicycle on the dike? now there's some shrewd usage of my tax dollars. i suppose a violent struggle could've broken out.
Were you riding your bike on the dike again MC?
 

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That's what I was thinkin'. My ol' hearing's not that good anymore anyway. I doubt that I would hear the bullhorn over the wind and waves. :cool:
X2...claiming Mosquito Island is part of the Texas City Dike is like saying Hodge's Reef is part of private property on the east shoreline of Trinity Bay...If accessed from Skyline Dr, which is public access, then this should be easy to beat...I'm thinking the whole world is connected underwater somehow...GM's need to focus more on poachers & drunks on the water...while Texas City PD need to clean up all of the crackhead activity in the neighborhoods around the base of the Texas City Dike.
 

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Tx Cty Dike

Saying the Dike is unsafe now for walkers, bike riders is sort of stupid on the surface! Before the hurricane the dike was an adventure for a car with thousands of potholes, soft sand shoulders, and no lane markings!

I have no problem with saying it is unsafe for a vehicle but to say it is now unsafe for walkers and bikes is rather stupid. Seems to me this is just another revenue scam!

So, if the 'waterline' has changed is it now public beach?
 
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