Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I was on highway 12 and a policeman was parked off the road hidden in some bushes! He pulled me over for speeding and gave me a ticket. I feel that this was entrapment! Can I fight this ticket since he was hiding?

A: Yes, you can always contest a ticket. People believe that if a traffic officer who is conducting speed enforcement is hidden then he is guilty of entrapment.

For some reason, there is a notion that officers must be completely visible in order for any traffic tickets to be valid. If they're not, the common misconception is that any tickets issued will be thrown out.

Entrapment has nothing to do with whether or not an officer is visible at the time a crime is committed. Instead, entrapment happens when an officer actually entices or encourages someone to commit a crime, and then arrests him for it. In that case, the individual is tricked into thinking it's OK to commit an act, and is then punished by the same person who led him to believe it was okay.

Hiding behind the bushes doesn't qualify as entrapment because the officer is not telling you it's OK to speed. He's just there to catch you when you do.

Q: My friends wanted to go out Halloween night and TP our teacher's house. My parents say that we will definitely get into trouble. Can you get in trouble for TPing trees as long as you don't do any damage?

A: Sorry, you can if you upset the wrong person. "TPing" (throwing toilet paper on trees and other property) is considered "littering or harassment" even though it is meant in harmless fun and not intended to damage anything. Plus it might turn into a bad grade!

Q: Could you help settle this argument we are having at work? Are "California Stops" legal in Indiana?

A: Sorry, a popular, but illegal, California driving habit is the legendary "California Stop." This is the act of slowing down or rolling through but not fully stopping at a stop sign. It is illegal in California, Indiana and all other states. To stop at a stop sign your wheels need to actually come to a complete stop, no forward motion of your vehicle, yield to the right of way and then proceed when clear.

Q: Do I have the right to ask a police officer why I was pulled over when they come up to my car?

A: The short answer is "yes." The Police usually do not pull you over and make you guess. Most people have a pretty good idea why they are getting pulled over yet the officer will tell you either verbally or in the form of a "nasty old ticket."

The winner of the $30 gas card sponsored by L&R Body Shop was Millie Bearickx of Michigan City. In last column's riddle of why did the police officer allow the man to "Drive under the Influence?" The answer of course was the man was on a golf course and was driving a golf ball!

The sponsor for this week's riddle is our friends at Eastside Fresh Meat and Produce in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30  gas card.

It's Friday so Becky's dad gave her an allowance to go shopping. She was so excited she went right away to the store and spent half of her allowance plus $2 for a cool bracelet. Then she went to another store and spent half of what she had left plus $2 for a t-shirt. Then she spent half of what she had left plus $1 for candy. At that point she was totally out of money. How much money did Becky start with?

The 11th correct answer by phone or email at exactly 1 p.m. today wins. To answer a question or ask one, contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski at 873-1461, ext #333, or e-mail ASKACOP@emichigancity.com.

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