Getting Detained for Trespassing (when I wasn’t trespassing)
By Joel Nadler
South mountain incident PA 2-3-18 2:15-2:50
Drove up to photograph the outside of a beautiful hospital in PA-Legal to walk on campus and take pictures
I drive into the hospital campus and turn into a parking lot. As I’m coming in, I see what looks like two security vehicles and next to them, a group of young adults, two males and a female. The individuals look unhappy and are standing around this white SUV, probably a personal vehicle.
I park a few spaces away in the lot and approach the security officers on the scene and ask what’s going on and if I would be allowed to photograph the outside of the hospital. I’m told by the security guy that these folks were caught inside the buildings and police are coming. He also said “on a normal day, I’d say you’re fine to go take pictures but considering what happened here, it may not be the best time.” I thank him and go over to the group of young adults and ask what happened and they explain they were caught and were pretty worried about what would happen. As I’m speaking with them, two cop cars roll in. As I’m about to start heading to my car, a cop walks up and says “ID’s, Now!” One of the males in the group asks if he can get his from his car and the state trooper responds, “Fuck no!”
At that point, I begin walking slowly backwards to my car and all of a sudden, the trooper says, “get over here!” With a perplexed expression on my face, I begin to say “but I’m not wit—”
Trooper says “get over here” so I inch forwards with this group of people who were caught for trespassing. My mouth went dry so quick you got no idea-I’m thinking these guys might try to charge me for trespassing or some other nonsense.
I wait around a few minutes until the trooper tells me to wait over by my vehicle. I hangout and soon another trooper comes up to me and I explain fully that I wasn’t part of the group, hadn’t trespassed and I was there to speak with someone about taking photos legally. He told me I had to wait to tell that to the investigating trooper. He then took down my information and asked me for my ID. He gave it to the investigating trooper who then returned it to me at the end of the ordeal.
I waited around for another 20-25 minutes in the cold till the investigating trooper came over, said “sit in your vehicle” and then walked off to finish up the report I suppose. The folks who trespassed had left and it was just me at that point.
Several minutes later, the investigating trooper came back and said “scoot it, your good.” And I proceeded to turn on my car and get out of there. Not a fun time, total waste actually, and that’s how I spent my afternoon.
In further research, I was told by one of the individuals who was caught, that they were not charged and were simply given a verbal warning by the state police. They also were told by the investigating trooper “if I had to go in there, I would have locked myself in there with you and shot you with my 12-gauge shotgun and dragged you out myself.”