In California, harrased by off duty fireman while launching

I live near Sacramento CA. I was minding my own business launching my Estes model rockets last Saturday. just as I did the final launch some guy on his
motor cycle turned around and came back. He got off the bike and started calling on his cell phone. I gathered up my rockets and launch equipment and walked to my truck. The guy came up to me very irritated and told me that he worked for the fire department. He said he had just called in a report on me using illegal fireworks. I was flabbergasted. I said these aren't fire works. They are Estes Model rockets. They can be purchased at any hobby store. He just yelled at me "if it smokes and it flies it is an illegal fire work". He then asked without giving me time to respond, "Is it smoke or steam. Is it smoke or steam. Is it smoke or steam". I said it was smoke. I pulled out one of my C6-7 engines and handed it to him, saying, "This is what they are. They aren't suppose to blow up like fire works" (did not tell him that I've had one do just that). He said I don't know about these. All I know is that if it smokes and it flies it is illegal. Finally after trying for several minutes to convince him that it was no fire work he asked if he could take the motor to the fire station and ask the other firemen if they knew anything about them. I said sure. Once again he threatened me that if it did not check out I would be arrested. He then said do I have to turn in your licence plate number or are you going to give me your name and phone number. I politely said I'll give you my name and number.
This kind of experience makes one want to either give up the hobby or jump to the next higher skill level just for spite! How should I deal with idiots like this fine fireman?
By the way I have not heard a word from either the police nor the fire department and it has been 5 days since the incident.
KT
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snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net wrote:

Next time, show Him the CSFM seal on the motor.
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snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net wrote:

Item 1: in California, what you did was illegal, unless you previously obtained permission from both the landowner (I'm assuming the parks department in your case) and the fire department (you need a permit). Unfortunately, that's the way it is here.
Item 2: despite item 1, my response would have been to call the cops myself and have him arrested for harassment, assault, or whatever else would have been appropriate. Just because "he works for the fire department" doesn't give him the right to act like an ass. If he actually knew what he was talking about, he would have KNOWN the difference between a model rocket and fireworks (they ARE expressly different in the law).
Just my two cents worth...
David Erbas-White
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David Erbas-White wrote:

And as further follow up, at that point I would have demanded HIS name and ID, and ask him if he wanted to be arrested for impersonating an officer. After all, legitimate law enforcement personnel have a badge, and show ID on request.
David Erbas-White
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Great point. A fireman can't legally arrest someone.
-- David

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In many places they can. Firefighters is Houston are given Police certification as part of their training. If they decide to go into Arson investigation they will then already have arrest powers. He was probably a volunteer FF. We call them Woo Woo's. They usually have a shitbox car with (your jerkoff had a motorcycle) lights on top and they love to use them. Don't worry about him. When he got to the fire house the others probably laughed at him and then told him how much trouble he would be in if you actually followed through with making a formal complaint against him.

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snipped-for-privacy@abuse.gov. says...

I tell them my name is Jerry Irvine and I am just visiting from out west, own a rocket company called USR, etc. etc..
--
Tweak

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Tweak wrote:

Nahhhh...just put on a turban, and tell him you are on your way to the airport...you will be then "treated with kid gloves".
:o)
--

Greg Heilers
Registered Linux user #328317 - SlackWare 10.1 (2.6.10)
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snipped-for-privacy@earthNOSPAMlink.net says...

Guess I left off the last part, which is RUN! Then he can get the kid glove treatment.
--
Tweak

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Tweak wrote:

Did you mean, ... oh, never mind.
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--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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California sucks. I did have permision from the land owner. Or so I thought. According to the off duty fireman the lady I recieved permission from does not own the land as she had indicated. Don't know if that is true or if he was just blowing smoke.
KT
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snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net wrote:

If he was blowing smoke, he might be an illegal firework. I'd call the cops.
Mario
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snip
Even for California sounds like he's a rookie to me.
Still, I suggest reporting it to NAR. Mark has asked that we report any harrassment, not just ATF, etc. http://www.nar.org/ 1-800-262-4872
Randy http://vernarockets.com /
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snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net wrote:

You live in the Republic of Kalifornia; what do you expect?
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http://home.earthlink.net/~mebowitz/siteaid.pdf
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snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net wrote in

A strange,unidentified guy walks up to you and asks for your name and phone number. And you give it to him? How do you know he's even a fireman?
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Maybe the guy was looking for a good time.
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I would have pointed to the State Fire Dept seal on the engine and told him to go complain to them about it. The major troubls this past 4th was that every t.v. news cast some officer was always being shown saying that if it flew into the air it was unlawfull. I've had the local cops watch my launching and they enjoy seeing them fly. Ofcouse I'm in Kern county, home of Mojave Spaceport, where they had last month a model rocket launch attened by over 7,000 school kids flying their own birds.

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I'd recommend you join a club and launch with them instead.
--
Joe Michel
NAR 82797 L2
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