Legally Blind Man Arrested for Refusing to Show ID After Cane Mistaken for Weapon
Jim Hodges was stopped in Columbia County, Florida, after an officer said she thought he was carrying a weapon.
“Are you a tyrant?”
“Yeah, I am actually.”
Despite quickly establishing that the walking cane folded in his back pocket was not a weapon but a navigational aid, the officer continued to badger him for his name and ID.
Another officer appeared on the scene to back up the first officer’s illegal demands.
After being placed in handcuffs and having his pockets rifled through, Hodges asked for the officers’ names and badges. That’s when the second officer decided to have Hodges arrested for “resisting.”
Hodges was detained for more than 24 hours — he had to wear an orange jumpsuit and have a mugshot taken. The mugshot and his arrest are now part of his record. He has a meeting with a public defender this coming week to discuss what to do with the criminal charges he is facing. He has not found a proper attorney and is asking for help.
In the comment section of the video, he posted: “I do need representation. I am not book smart.”
Ive not fond representation yet. I wish I were capable of compiling and contacting each and every one of the big hitters I have seen on YouTube, but I am not mentally equipped to the task.
In my defense, I am one of the not sharp tools in the box.
You see what I went through. There is much that needs to be done. Left to my own devises I would most assuredly have a mess on my hands in no time at all. Im not a tech person, anymore IF I ever was. And thanks in part to a Closed Head Injury and poor education, I am not equipped very well to confront and deal with this situation. So Your Advice and support are very valuable and greatly appreciated.
There is already too much negativity and condemnation floating around, so please be helpful not hurtful. <3
Commenters have advised him to set up a GoFundMe or post Paypal or Venmo information for donations. He has not yet been able to do so.
According to the timestamp on the bodycam footage, the incident took place on October 31 (Monday), 2022. Hodges had just come back from the courthouse where jury duty was canceled.
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), Lake City, Florida
Arresting officers: Deputy Jayme Lee Gohde, Sgt. Randall Harrison
The charge sheet provides the following details:
James S. Hodges, 61-year-old male, arrested on October 31, 2022, at 8:25 am. Charge: Resisting an Officer. Statute 843.02 (F M). Bond: $1000
843.02 Resisting officer without violence to his or her person.—Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9); member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission; county probation officer; parole and probation supervisor; personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
ARREST REPORT WRITTEN BY JAYME GOHDE
On October 31, 2022, at approximately 8:08 a.m., I was conducting routine patrol in my fully marked patrol vehicle in the area of Marion Avenue and Duval Street.
While at the stop light at Marion and Duval, I observed a white male enter the crosswalk travelling westbound across Marion Avenue when the traffic control device indicated not to walk. As the man continued through the cross walk, I observed what appeared to be a silver (chrome) pistol with a white grip in his back right pocket.
I stopped the man later identified as James S. Hodges (W/M DOB: XXXXX in front of 131 W Duval Street which was at the other side of the cross walk. As I approached James and attempted to identify what was in his back pocket, James continued to turn away from me. James indicated that the object was a walking stick, however, would not provide a clear view of the object, At that time, Sgt. Harrison also arrived on scene.
I asked James to provide his name and date of birth. James refused, stating I had no reason to request his information. James then listed that I was only allowed to request his identification if he was in the act of committing a crime, about to commit a crime, or had already committed a crime. I again notified James that I was conducting an investigation and requested that he identified himself. James again refused. At that time, James was placed into handcuffs.
I was then able to identify the object in James back right pocked as a folded up walking stick, both silver and white in color was observable as it hung out of his pocket.
Next, asked James where his wallet or identification was located. James stated refused to notify where his identification was located. I then conducted a pat down of James’ person and located his FL I.D. in his front left pocket.
Sgt. Harrison asked James if he was legally blind. James confirmed that he was. Sgt. Harrison then asked James why he wasn’t using his walking stick. James looked up at the sky and indicated that he didn’t need it in daylight. Simultaneously, James advised he used the walking stick this morning as he walked to the court house for jury duty. It should be noted that the weather at the time contact was made with James was extremely overcast and foggy. Vehicles passing by still had headlights turned on.
James was found to be in violation of FL Statute 843.02, by obstructing the ongoing investigation when he repeatedly refused to allow identification of the object in his pocket as well as refusing to identify himself. James was placed under arrest for Resisting without Violence and transported to the Columbia County Detention Facility without incident.
Because this happened in the open-records state of Florida, his mugshot and arrest record have been picked up by info-collecting third-party websites that dominate search engines and will haunt him for years to come, despite his not actually having done anything unlawful to deserve this arrest.
Without the government, who would kidnap Grandpa for asserting his rights?
You are not required to show ID without articulable suspicion of a crime. The police know that. They routinely break the law by ignoring it. https://t.co/osG58RXWAi
— Spike Cohen (@RealSpikeCohen) November 7, 2022
Jayme Lee Gohde, 29, is one of the defendants in an existing lawsuit involving the violation of the civil rights of a 23-year-old man.
Bowman v. Hunter et al
Plaintiff: Martinezz Bowman
Defendants: Mark A. Hunter, David Harvey, Jayme Gohde, K-9 Drago and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office
Case Number: 3:2022cv00545
Filed: May 17, 2022
Court: US District Court for the Middle District of Florida
Nature of Suit: Civil Rights
Cause of Action: 28 U.S.C. § 1331 Fed. Question: Civil Rights Violation
Jim Hodges is scheduled to be arraigned on November 17 (Thursday). The assigned judge is Sara Jane Carter.
The public defender assigned to the case appears to be Michael Christopher Scott.
Charge DISMISSED on November 7, Monday Afternoon
Jim Hodges is a free man.