Sunday, January 11, 2004

Had a bit of a fiasco yesterday. I tried to put the following on the Being Had blog, but either it was the fault of the overused public computers or the miserably slow Belarusian server, I am not sure what happened. When I checked out the book site, it seems as though nothing has happened and the original material is still there. If so I am happy. I am going to blog an overview today for those of you who would be checking this out for the first time.

A brief overview of the case:

On May 15th 2002, while riding a bike In Warsaw Poland, somebody decided it was a good idea to hit me with his car. Well, as a lifetime biker and a former New York City bike messenger, I didn’t appreciate this maneuver and administer a medium sized right fist to his head as a way of expressing my anger over his driving. What I didn’t know at the time, was that the guy was an off duty cop and when I went to the police, the cop told them a rather remarkable tale about how I stood there in broad daylight and pounded his pristine car, his body and his head for perhaps two minutes with my bare hands, through my bike at his car and then made a mad dash to escape only to be corralled as he instantly commanded an entire squadron of police officers to detain me. He claimed broken teeth and about $750 in damages to his car…
And , what happened next? Well, I was that I was made to sit in Poland without my passport for 10 months while they tried me for a number of crimes that had nothing to do with punching the guy in the mouth and made me pay for the privilege of having it done to me. And that’s what the book is all about.
I was given no access to any information regarding the case until about six weeks later in July. I was denied access to an attorney for this same amount of time, and when I finally did get one, he went ahead and decided to work for the prosecution.
After finally seeing what they were basing the case on, I did some pretty good detective work to prove that the cop was lying. What did they do about that? Well, the generally ignored me and the cop simply changed his story. I fired the attorney.
At a second meeting on August 30th the cop was allowed to turn in an estimate of damages that included new damages from yet another driving accident. This was not enough to stop the case.
I wrote a 92 page document about all of these shortcomings and presented this to my new attorney in the hopes of stopping everything. What did he do? Well, not enough because the case went to trial anyway, the procedure lasting six months. When the cop changed his story about the events of May 15th, when he even actually admitted that he had lied, they still wouldn’t stop the case. One of his two witnesses testified that there was indeed a second accident in June, the second witness, the arresting officer refused to say anything or even officially remember the incident. But still, the trial was not concluded until the end of March, where I was found guilty anyway, told to pay Zaremba the amount from the estimate from after the second accident, and finally returned my passport.
I appealed the decision, wrote my own appeal and turned it in to the courts on May 27th 2003.
There is of course a lot more, but then again, you can always just have a look at the book.
And as of the moment of writing these sentences, I have not even heard from Poland about my appeal in over seven months.

I am thnking of blogging a few more plays as well, but I am not sure if it is nessasry or not. I have two early plays that are thematically related to all of this, and then there is the comedy I wrote at the end. Perhaps they are interesting. We’ll see. And I have some essays about Polish attornies and some Belarusian stuff comming up. Thanks for letters and for listening to me.