Last night I had to deal with the dumbest criminal on the face of the Earth. Today I have an appointment with a urologist who, last time, inspected my, um, prostate. I’m not sure which event was worse.
No, it’s definitely the criminal.
Sometime last year, this clown was “allegedly” involved in a drive-by shooting. The moron didn’t have a criminal record at the time, but he was “criminal curious.” He enjoyed hanging out with neighborhood thugs, so he agreed “allegedly” to involve himself in a drive-by. We eventually locked him up, and – hold on to your hats – he beat the rap.
Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, where our hero lent his vehicle to another team of drive-by specialists. The shooters got away, but we recovered our hero’s vehicle. Now he is calling the division on a daily basis asking for his vehicle to be returned. When told his vehicle is still being processed for evidentiary value, our hero became very irate.
Our hero continually repeated “This is bullshit,” while screaming into the phone, and periodically hanging up on me. He would call back moments later to berate me more, as if this was the straightest route to recouping his car. During the final call, he opened the conversation by stating, “Yeah, I have been taping my conversations, and Imma gonna give them to my lawyer.”
I giggled. I then explained PA State Statutes 5703 and 5704.
To wit: It is unlawful to record any telephone communication without first obtaining the consent of the participants to the communication. And because the provision of the statute dealing with wireless communications applies to “any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature,” consent likewise is required to disclose the contents of text messages sent between wireless devices.
I then explained the penalties for such violations: Illegally recording an in-person conversation or electronic communication is a felony offense. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5703.
Miraculously, our hero’s demeanor instantly changed. “Sir, sir, I never taped you. I never taped you!”
“Well, you said you taped me, and I heard it rather clearly.”
“No sir, no. I didn’t. I didn’t! My grandma is right here with me, and she heard the entire thing!”
“I heard it, too, genius. Let’s do this. You call come here to talk about your car, and I’ll explain the statute to you while obtaining a search warrant for your phone. Oh, and by the way, if you erase or otherwise remove those recordings, you’ll be looking at a tampering with evidence charge. Have a nice day.”
As I hung up the phone, our hero was still crying, “Sir… sir!”
OH I ALMOST FORGOT: Today is the third anniversary of the blog. I usually cite June 6th as my actual anniversary, since I started blogging that day, but the new digs are officially three years old.