Doin' time for a good cause
June 12, 2009
Redstone Arsenal, Ala. -- More than 65 arrest warrants were issued June 10 for U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command personnel - with offenders spanning the chain-of-command from an administrative assistant all the way to the commanding general.
Luckily for these offenders, time served was only about 15 minutes, and through their good humor, more than $1,100 was raised to help offset costs for the command's organizational day planned for Sept. 10.
"I want my phone call," yelled Carol Burke, Tech Center support contractor. "I throw myself on the mercy of the court! If you'll trust me, I'll go upstairs and get my purse so I can bail out."
The bailiff, Rachel Howard, a program analyst, was not fooled.
"We may have to extend her sentence for bad behavior," Howard said about Burke's attempt at a riot.
John Lendeborg, a contract specialist, threatened a lawsuit.
"I've received nothing to eat and I've been here too long," Lendeborg said. "I'm going to talk to my lawyer. This is a violation of human rights!"
His complaints garnered him a piece of candy from a passerby, but did not affect the bailiff.
"If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I'd be rich!" Howard said.
Maj. James Smallwood, G-3 strategy and policy, suffered abuse at the hands of his two arresting officers.
"I was going along peacefully and (the arresting officer) just shot me," Smallwood said. He filed a complaint and warrants were issued for both officers.
The first officer, Amy Aguirre, a contract specialist, was charged with corruption because of her association with fellow arresting officer Summer Winkler McDermott.
McDermott is not related to Henry Winkler - best known for his role as the Fonz on the hit TV show, Happy Days - despite her claims. She was charged with fraud and unlawful shooting of a suspect.
Smallwood received satisfaction when he was deputized to arrest both women.
Commanding General Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell was arrested at lunch time. Upon his incarceration, the general promptly issued a warrant for Col. Kendal Cunningham, his chief of staff.
More than 30 people purchased immunity bonds throughout the day to either prevent being arrested or prevent being arrested again. Cunningham had purchased one, but it was rescinded by Campbell's orders.
"The good sportsmanship attitude displayed during Jail Day exemplifies the team spirit within SMDC," said Sheriff Phil Patterson, a general engineer. "The funds raised from this year's Jail Day are about $300 more than we raised last year."
The funds will help pay for the command's organizational day activities, such as children's events, games, inflatables, Bingo prizes and support requirements.