Getting Got In Maryland

April 9, 2010

All Posts, News

A Maryland sports bike rider faces five years in prison today for videotaping a plain clothes cop pointing a gun at him.

The rider is a father of two and an Air National Guardsman named Anthony Graber. More than a month ago, Graber was speeding near Exit 80 on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway, Interstate 95, in Harford County, Maryland. Harford County is midway between Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Graber was in the process of pulling over for a marked, Maryland State Police cruiser when he was cut off by another car. A man dressed in ordinary clothes excitedly emerged from the car brandishing what looks like .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol and ordered Graber off the bike. “I thought he was going to shoot me or steal my bike, Graber told WMAR in Baltimore yesterday.

Helmet Cam

After several seconds the man with the big gun identified himself as “State Police.” What actually happened is easy to apprehend because Graber was wearing a helmet mounted video camera at the time of the stop. A copy of that video is appended to this story.

Graber was cited for speeding and negligent driving and paid his fines and the case was closed. Eventually he posted the helmet cam video of the ride and the resulting stop on YouTube.

“I posted it on YouTube because my mom was worried about the legality of it” Graber told another Baltimore television station, WJZ, yesterday. “And, she was upset that a police officer pulled a firearm on me because I’m not a criminal.”

Some good citizens who saw the video were upset by it. State and local police were upset that Garber had posted the video where good citizens could see it. So, yesterday authorities punished him for that.

Running Wild The Charges

Police raided Graber’s home and seized four computers, two desk tops and two laptops, and his video camera. He was charged with reckless driving and he was also charged with, but he has not yet been arraigned on, one count of felony wiretapping for recording the plain clothes cop’s voice without that cop’s consent.

The public servant who brought these charges is State’s Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly (pictured above.) And, his email address is [email protected] just in case you would like to drop Cassilly a quick note to tell him what a heck of a job he is doing. Heck of a job.

At a press conference yesterday – oh yes, there was a press conference – Greg Stipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police, explained that the whole point of charging Graber and seizing his electronics was only to protect Maryland from illegal wiretapping. “He had been recording this trooper, audibly, without his consent” Stipley explained. “This information was taken to the State’s Attorney’s office in Hartford County.”

The charge had nothing to do with any embarrassing overreaction by the secret policeman because the alleged cop never did anything wrong. The plain clothes cop only drew his gun in the first place, Stipley also explained, because instead of just dumping his bike Graber threateningly backed his bike up two or three inches when he put down the kickstand, “creating a brief moment of fear for the trooper.”

The Trooper “held that gun at his side momentarily,” Stipley explained still more. “When he saw the situation was under control he quickly put it away. Never pointed it at that individual. And we think he acted appropriately.”

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41 Responses to “Getting Got In Maryland”

  1. TomPier Says:

    great post as usual!

  2. Kelly Says:

    I can see the headlines now, “biker attempts to mate with concrete tortoise, beheads poor creature in attempt! PETA on the lookout for perpetrator.”
    If that is the highway system you rode on more power to ya! One time around that and I would have no idea which way I was headed and given the “opposite side of the road” thing I would probably end up a hood ornament!
    Respect to all that have earned it
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  3. Outlaw Says:

    Sorry, these charges won’t wash. The officer didn’t identify himself correctly as required by law. He also did all this shouting on a public highway where anyone driving by with a window rolled down could hear him so therefore there is no expectation of privacy. Wiretap law doesn’t apply under these conditions according to Maryland state Law.

  4. Rebel Says:

    Dear Marine Rider,

    Yeah. This was pretty clearly police retaliation for talking back. Whatever the legal mumbo jumbo, the actual charge was talking back.

    your pal,

  5. Rebel Says:

    Dear Not Surprised,

    Yeah. Everybody should see this. And they charged him with disorderly, which is the charge cops always have in their pocket. And he was threatened with assault on a cop. I have never seen this much overkill from a motorcycle club. Not with my own eyes. And, if a club had done this there would be a Grand Jury and sixty guys would be charged with RICO.


  6. Marine Rider Says:

    So am I correct in assuming that if he would have posted the video, minus the audio portion, the state would have had to come up with some other trumped up charge? Because the audio really was not necessary. We can figure out the typical cop over reaction without it.

  7. Rashomon Says:

    I’m a fan of the basinstoke roundabout after a few pints of spotty chook – that one can keep you amused for hours.

  8. sled tramp Says:

    I’m with RVN69 on this one….EXACTLY.
    Brings to mind the movie”European Vacation”.
    No wonder you boys drink…..

  9. RVN69 Says:

    I can see the headlines now, “biker attempts to mate with concrete tortoise, beheads poor creature in attempt! PETA on the lookout for perpetrator.”
    If that is the highway system you rode on more power to ya! One time around that and I would have no idea which way I was headed and given the “opposite side of the road” thing I would probably end up a hood ornament!
    Respect to all that have earned it
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  10. Jabba Says:

    RVN69 / Sled > Take a look at this place…,-0.749466&sspn=0.119346,0.244789&g=high+wycombe+UK&ie=UTF8&hq=Magic+Roundabout&hnear=Magic+Roundabout&ll=51.627054,-0.750681&spn=0.000932,0.002934&t=h&z=19

    Lots of nested “roundabouts” (do you call them circulars?), and side roads off in loads of different opposing directions, great place for losing the pigs, but I once lost myself and wound up, head first, in some old lady’s bushes, with a small, concrete tortoise in my jacket, and the Sportster I had at the time, in her husband’s goldfish pond.

    Amazingly, the only casualty was the tortoise, who lost his head as I pulled him out.



  11. RVN69 Says:

    May have fucked him up more to see you leaving a NG Armory!!
    Grumbler, probably ain’t one of us that hasn’t used that trick, gotta watch out though, the cops use it too, had a few I came blowing up behind take a ramp and circle around to try to get behind me.
    Sled Tramp, me and a bro used to race on the ramps on I70/270 here before traffic got bad, bet on who could throw up the longest spray of sparks from the footboards!

    Respect to all that have earned it
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  12. sled tramp Says:

    “the cloverleaf interchanges like I-880/US-101”

    After that was built, I delighted in endlessly playing on it while in various stages of sobriety.Sometimes I’d ride it for an hour just for giggles.
    I’m easily amused…..

  13. Grumbler Says:

    Stoney – whenever there’s a cop behind me, my SOP is to roll into a gas station, turnout, or whatever to verify whether I’m actually under surveillance or not. One of my favorite evasion techniques (unless cop lights me up) were the cloverleaf interchanges like I-880/US-101 in San Jose which put you back where you originally started. Works well during road rage episodes, too.

  14. TigGirl Says:

    Anybody watch the longer version of that youtube clip?

  15. Stoney Says:

    I get fucked with so much its not even funny anymore. I had a cop follow me from the NG Armory to my house (I was wearing my colors). Must have fucked him up to see me pull into a 300K+ home lol.

  16. DirtyBruin Says:

    Frankly – given the rider had a helmet mounted camera, I don’t buy the argument that the cop didn’t know he was being (or could be) recorded. It’s NOT the same thing as recording a phone call from one end when the other party can’t see the recorder, or even having a small recorder tucked unobtrusively in a shirt pocket.

    That’s like staring into a TV news camera then claiming one had no idea one might wind up on the evening news. Utter bullshit.

  17. Bud Says:

    What was the reasoning behind him getting involved in the firsy place? Did the traffic cop need to be rescued?


  18. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    Not Surprised:

    You are right, and I am wrong (which makes my wife right, because according to her I am almost always wrong). There is a badge on his waist, I just can’t spot it until he puts the gun away. No way to know if the rider could see it or not.


  19. Grumbler Says:

    RVN69 – come to think of it, looks as if I was indulging in a bit of unintentional obfuscation. My comment should’ve been: It’s gonna be a sad commentary on our society of frightened sheeple when a skull mask causes them to call 911.

    That said, there’s absolutely NFW that the gas station employees or customers would’ve complained about your skull mask. That cop was full of bull manure. He wasn’t thinking logically, but emotionally. I’ve been in your situation before under different circumstances. Had to remain cool, calm, and collected while they tried to light my fuse.

  20. RVN69 Says:

    I am a believer in the saying if you don’t know, you don’t know, so I won’t say no one called 911, but I kinda doubt it. I had been going to that station for over 12 years, wore the same thing every winter and no one had ever called before. I think the deputy saw me and jumped to his own conclusions. I mean doesn’t every potential armed robber concentrate so much on filling his fatbob tanks that he doesn’t even notice the cop until he starts screaming at him?? And don’t all armed robbers do their jobs while wearing colors and riding a kick start only bike?? I mean if I was a cop and saw me there, all bundled up like the Michellin Man, my face 8 inches from the gas tank so I wouldn’t spill gas on my ghost flame paint job, wearing my club colors so everybody knew who I was, the first thing I would think would be if that fucker can move I bet he’s gonna rob that gas station, jump on that Panhead, and kick his ass off until he is covered in sweat hoping it will eventually start then make a roaring getaway!
    Or Not!
    Rock the short answer is yes they can.

    Respect to all that have earned it
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum

  21. Rock Says:

    So . . . cops can wear masks and hide their identities while they break your door down or taser and murder you: ie: Delaware case, but they fuck with us for trying to stay warm in the dead of winter by wearing a mask while riding. Fuck em.

  22. Not Surprised Says:

    Goldsboro, you can see the troop has his badge on his right waist, not truly prominent, but still there.

  23. Grumbler Says:

    RVN69 – it’s a sad commentary on our society of frightened sheeple when a skull mask causes them to call 911. Incidently, I recall an episode in Santa Cruz a whole bunch of years ago in which an old friend of mine *claims* almost gave him a heart attack. He saw two bikers wearing leatherface masks which freaked him out. Then again, he backed off when two friends of ours almost got into a fight in San Jose. All I had to do was step between them and end it. Lost all my respect for him that night.

  24. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    Not Surprised:

    I’m sure that is what he thought. I would just take him to task for a. forgetting that he was in plain clothes and getting involved in the traffic stop, and b. for going for the gun right away. What is he going to do? Shoot him for fleeing from a traffic cite? I just believe the troop would have been much more responsible (if he felt he had to get involved) by exiting that vehicle with a badge held up than a gun with no badge.

    RVN69 (I was 6 in ’69!) you are correct, he does exhibit good weapon practices, so I’ll take back the ‘fucktard’ accusation I threw at him and leave it at ‘Wanker.’


  25. Not Surprised Says:


    To me it looks like the plainsclothes expected the rider to take off. You can see him literally stand in front of the bike and place his hand on it ( as if he could hold it back lol)…thus, the command “get off the motorcycle.”

    I guess it is easier to shoot a guy than to chase a bike on foot…

  26. RVN69 Says:

    Going to try to approach this from a couple of different angles, 1. GW is right, cops go to their guns way too often, used to be last resort, now it seems like first! Had a State Cop pull his gun after he pulled me over because “We don’t see too many of you guys around here!”, didn’t know that was a violation!?! Had a Deputy pull his gun because I was getting gas and hadn’t taken off the mask I was wearing because it was 35deg, claimed the people at the station had complained, but I had been getting gas at that station in the same get up all the time for over 12 years, he just didn’t like the mask (skull face)and I guess I scared him enough to make him pull on me. That said the cop in the video doesn’t appear to handle the pistol in an unsafe manner, his finger appears to stay off the trigger and he does not point it at the guy on the bike (unlike me who I believe saw the chambered round in the pistol the deputy pointed at me!) so the “I was in fear” bullshit from the wanker on the bike is bogus. Again, GW appears to be correct, the cop in the marked car has him stopped, why does the guy in plain clothes have to get involved. On the wiretap charge, technically the law was violated, you cannot “intercept” ie record a conversation with out the consent of the second party. Pretty black and white, however actually using it was as Vaccus Cura said straight up intimidation, a case of “Mine is bigger than yours. Still can’t believe this wanker ran to his Mom for advice!!!!! Last thing, today I was riding to work, got stopped by a cop for doing 96 in a 55, polite, no gun, professional and let me go when he found out I was a veteran, no ticket, no warning! Things that make you go HMMMMMM!

    Respect to all that have earned it
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  27. Vacuus Cura Says:

    This is straight-up intimidation, MSP style.


  28. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    I’ll second the Wanker comment, and throw in a ‘fucktard’ for getting caught. That being said, if that cop worked for me I would chew his ass. Not, mind you, because pulling a gun is prohibited, but because of the “brief moment of fear” BS.

    Cops nowadays are taught to go to the gun for darn near every situation. Everything is excused by retreating behind the ‘Officer Safety’ jargon. The fact is that MOST of the time that I see cops pointing weapons at people, it is not necessary. True, 99.99% of the time, nothing comes of it. But can you imagine the “moment of fear” that an ordinary Joe feels when he has a gun pulled on him for the first time in his life? I have seen grown men piss themselves the first time they are looking down a barrel.

    Now, imagine that you are getting pulled over for acting the ass. Your adrenaline is already pumping and then a guy in jeans jumps out on you with a gun.

    Sorry, I have to give the officer a ‘Fucktard’ label as well, if for no other reason than just having piss-poor judgment. If you are working plain clothes, you have no business interfering in ordinary traffic stops, much less coming out on someone who already pulled over (for a traffic violation) visibly armed and with no badge or ID showing.

    The wiretap nonsense is a bullshit charge that allows the authorities to legally engage in payback, plain and simple.

    Just my 2 cents.

  29. peterbilt Says:

    i am shocked that the police man pulled a gun, it was entirely unapproperiate, there was an officer behind him and the one in front.

    i doubt the officer got a repremant which he should have for pulling his gun like that what was the motorcyclist supposed to do drive off i know if a cop came at me waving his gun i would be freaking out you dont pull a gun like that.

  30. TigGirl Says:

    This was on a public roadway – expectation of privacy shouldn’t apply.

  31. Not Surprised Says:

    Definitely news. Definitely overkill.

  32. Rebel Says:

    Dear Not Surprised,

    The issue is whether the cop had a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” If the cop had pulled a gun and waved it around at a nationally televized basketball game it would be news, not an invasion of privacy. This was news. My opinion.


  33. Rebel Says:

    Dear Not surprised,

    Oh yeah. The guy bought his tickets. What annoys me is that after an unidentified cop gets videotaped brandishing a firearm, a felony, all the forces of evil prosecute this guy for possession of the truth. You know, and I had video.

    your pal,

  34. RVN69 Says:

    The wiretap charge was held over Linda Tripps head for a while for recording Monica Lewinsky talking about Clinton and blowjobs, they didn’t charge her and I doubt if they will prosecute this guy. The State wanted to throw the fear of god in him for showing the public how easily cops pull guns on people, he’s lucky he wasn’t a few miles further north on I95, the Delaware cops would have shot him! The Cop overreacted and all this is ass covering, the guy on the bike is a fucking weenie or as Jabba would say Wanker, doing 100 mph wheelies in traffic and says on camera that he only put it on YouTube cause his mother told him too!!! Wonder if she still changes his diaper, what a dick.
    No respect for him!
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  35. Not Surprised Says:

    I have to say that I don’t buy the rider’s statement he thought he was going to get shot or have his bike stolen. A lit, marked State Trooper vehicle was 30 feet away.

    After reading a bit further, this guy was doing 100 MPH and video-recording himself doing wheelies. None of this of course merits his being charged with such a bullshit charge.

    Call it crontibutory negligence, and both parties are not totally innocent.

  36. Not Surprised Says:

    MD is one of a handful of “two party states”- which means in order to record a “conversation”, both parties must consent.

    Implicit in the MD state wiretap laws is “interception”- which literally means without consent.

    Just as it is not illegal for the cops to record you on their car cams, it is not illegal to reciprocate.

    In other words, there was no “interception”, no “conversation” and no “tap”. Further, cops are also “officers of the court” and thus there is no “veil of secrecy” in their administration of day-to-day operations which is protected.

    Expect this to go to the MD Supreme Court (if not higher and I’m betting now Mr. Graber will have his pick of competent civil rights attorneys who will take the cae for free.

    Key in the language of the law is “conversation”, which implies one party giving utterance without the benefit of knowing the other party is recording, thus giving way to a protected right to privacy.

    Only an idiot would try to make this stick…………

  37. BigV Says:

    That sure started off like a car jacking in progress, the Porcine One is lucky it wasn’t someone with a concealed carry or he might have been ventilated. Too bad, in some sense…

  38. sled tramp Says:

    Now honestly, did we see this as going any other direction?
    If you want to get the shit beat out of you, get caught videotaping cops harrassing a suspect when you’re alone.
    Good luck there Mr. Graber.Make sure your case gets as much media attention as you can.


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