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Stop-and-Frisk in Bunnell Turns Into Brawl With Officers, and Threats of a “Hit”

| April 30, 2013

Theodore Moore

Theodore Moore

One of the most efficient ways to get arrested in Bunnell, especially for a black individual, is to “trespass”–which is to say, to walk along or between the city blocks of South Bunnell that form the low-income housing community of the Flagler County Housing Authority FCHA).

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Theodore Moore’s arrest would have been on such example, routine had it not been for where the incident began–near Moore’s listed address–and how violently it unfolded, drawing a crowd, and resulting in a series of charges against Moore, 25.

According to Moore’s arrest report, a Bunnell police officer observed Moore “trespassing” as he was “walking west in between the houses, from S. Bacher to S. Anderson.” Moore’s listed address at the Flagler County jail log is 302 South Anderson. It is common for residents of that neighborhood to walk in between each other’s houses. But that wasn’t necessarily the case with Moore: in May 2011, he was officially trespassed from the authority’s property by a Bunnell police officer, subsequent to a request from the authority director, because Moore was allegedly staying at his girlfriend’s place, at that address (or squatting, in the authority’s view). The girlfriend is no longer there. Because of that previous trespassing issue, the police officer Monday had probable cause to go after Moore.

The cop then saw Moore stop and speak with Charles Hall in front of 503 East Booe Street. Hall, 30, lives at 503 E. Booe, and it is not illegal for residents of one street to stop and speak with residents of another, even if they’re black. But both individuals named in the arrest report are known to Bunnell police, having both been arrested a few times on minor charges–trespassing, marijuana possession, resisting arrest. Moore’s most serious charge is a domestic battery conviction in 2008 for which he served six months at the county jail.

The officer, according to Moore’s arrest report, “waited a short period of time to make contact with [Moore], in order for him to walk further away from FCHA, where it can be more difficult for police to catch a fleeing suspect.” The officer made contact with Moore at East Booe and South Church Street, “placing him in handcuffs immediately, just as Lt. [Randy] Burke arrived on scene.”

Moore denied trespassing when the officer told him why he was being arrested, and said he “wasn’t trying to get in trouble.” The cop then began searching Moore, finding a prescription-pill bottle in a pocket “with the name ripped off of it.” Moore said the pills were his penicillin, and that his prescription was at home. It was later determined that the 28 pills were Ortho Tri-Cylen, a female contraceptive.

The search continued, producing a small black Kel-Tech .380-caliber pistol loaded with three rounds of ammunition. The serial number was filed off. One of the bullets was a “hollow tip.” Such ammunition is illegal in some countries, but not in the United States, where some police departments have converted to its use. (The bullets are deadlier than full-metal-jacket bullets as they flatten and expand upon impact, causing more sever internal damage. The New York City police department adopted the bullet’s use in 1998, arguing that it reduces the chance of a bullet traveling through a suspect and injuring an innocent bystander.)

After securing the pills and the gun, the officer ordered Moore to kick off his sneakers. Moore refused and told the officer that the two could wrestle it out because he would not take off the sneakers. The officers then told Moore–who was in handcuffs–that he could be Tased if he did not comply. Moore, according to the report, said he would be, if that’s what would need to be done. The cops called for additional back-up “as a crowd started to form,” the report states.

“As this officer took off [Moore’s] shoes,” the report continues, “Lt. Burke attempted to restrain him, but [Moore] refused to stop resisting, at one point scratching Lt. Burke’s left arm… and causing harm to Lt. Burke while he was performing his lawful duties.” Moore then briefly refused to get into the cop’s cruiser, but once there (the report does not describe how he was convinced to get in) he started hitting his head on the divider and kicking the inside of the patrol car’s door, “breaking the handle on the inside of the rear passenger side door.”

On the way to the Flagler County jail, Moore allegedly told the officer, according to the report: “But I tell you what, you need to move, that’s all I’m gonna say onetime, ain’t no ‘huh… fuck you, pussy ass motherfucker… motherfucker, straight up, without that suit, I’ll tear your ass up boy.”

Moore then again started kicking the inside of the door, according to the report. Once at the jail, he “began to act as if he were having a seizure, and would not speak.” Paramedics were called. His blood pressure was normal. When asked what type of medication he took, Moore referred to a form of cold syrup, which he called his blood-pressure medication. He then allegedly told guards at the jail that there was a “hit” on his arresting officer as well as on other officers of the Bunnell Police Department. He would not say anything else. He refused to go to Florida Hospital Flagler. He was booked into the jail.

Moore was charged with possession of an altered firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, corruption by threat, resisting arrest with violence, trespassing, and possessing a prescription drug without a prescription. He remained in jail Tuesday afternoon on $9,000 bail.

In 2007, early in Armando Martinez’s tenure as police chief (he is now the city manager), the state attorney’s office threw out charges against seven individuals (all but one black) Martinez and other Bunnell police officers had arrested on minor and doubtful charges such as prowling, or having a marijuana stem in one’s pocket, all without probable cause. Martinez at the time himself asked that the department’s personnel be trained by the state attorney’s office on making such arrests more lawfully.

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28 Responses for “Stop-and-Frisk in Bunnell Turns Into Brawl With Officers, and Threats of a “Hit””

  1. A.S.F. says:

    Flaglerlive–You seem to be going out of your way to make excuses for an individual who is clearly unstable and of concern to public safety given your own description of his current actions and prior convictions. If there is just cause for pursuing an investigation into the conduct of the Bunnell police department, surely you can make a better case than this one!


    Good arrest, good job, good policework.

  3. Joe Joe says:

    More Bunnell trash…cop was doing his job and he had to deal with this scum.
    …furthermore, why all the “if you/re black” comments? Did I miss something, this seems un-necessary as color has nothing to do with trash and scummy people?

  4. Karma says:

    So is this man the “Victim” because of his skin color or is he a criminal because of what was found on him? The more I read stories like this, the more I wonder what reality is.

  5. James says:

    Great police work! That gun is likely to have killed someone soon.

  6. Alfred E. Newman says:

    More dangerous than Angela Wray. Agreed?

  7. Alfred E. Newman says:

    I had a Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five moment.
    Here’s some lyrics to a song (The Message) that I am reminded of. (4th chorus)
    I don’t like Rap but there’s exceptions!

    “A child is born with no state of mind
    Blind to the ways of mankind
    God is smiling on you but he’s frowning too
    Because only God knows what you’ll go through
    You’ll grow in the ghetto, living second rate
    And your eyes will sing a song of deep hate
    The places you’re playin’, where you stay
    Looks like one great big alley way
    You’ll admire all the number book takers
    Thugs, pimps, pushers and the big money makers
    Driving big cars, spending twenties and tens
    And you wanna grow up to be just like them, huh,
    Smugglers, scrambles, burglars, gamblers
    Pickpockets, peddlers even panhandlers
    You say: “I’m cool, I’m no fool!”
    But then you wind up dropping out of high school
    Now you’re unemployed, all non-void
    Walking ’round like you’re Pretty Boy Floyd
    Turned stickup kid, look what you’ve done did
    Got sent up for a eight year bid
    Now your manhood is took and you’re a may tag
    Spend the next two years as a undercover fag
    Being used and abused to serve like hell
    Till one day you was found hung dead in a cell
    It was plain to see that your life was lost
    You was cold and your body swung back and forth
    But now your eyes sing the sad, sad song
    Of how you lived so fast and died so young

    Don’t push me ’cause I’m close to the edge
    I’m trying not to lose my head (huh, huh, huh, huh)
    It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under
    It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under “

  8. really? says:

    I would hope young males would grow up cause the “thug” life has no future. And get a haircut!

  9. Really? says:

    Why do you continue to point out the fact that he’s black. Obviously he’s black. We can see his picture. His race has nothing to do with the fact that he had pills and a loaded illegal firearm…or the fact that he was trespassing. Why does everything have up be turned into something racial?

    • RG says:

      It appears that dark skinned people are scrutinized more than not in Bunnel by the police dept? Is that what we are supposed to be made to believe? One of the most efficient ways to get arrested in Bunnel is to be black sounds like someone is making judgement without facts. Black or not the police have a duty to protect and serve and they did just that. It takes guts to put their butt on the line every day to protect all of us.

      Yea i agree if there is a black issue its got nothing to do with this arrest. Nor the police dept. picking on black citizens just scum bags that need police scrutiny that just happen to be black. If someone has doubts go on a ride along and see what the police has to deal with.

    • Hypocracry says:

      I applaud this officer for doing his job. I don’t know the suspect in this case but I think I can say with confidence that I’m fairly certain he did not just pick up his prescription for birth control on his way into work and just happen to have a loaded firearm on him while passing through a place he was trespassed from while visiting friends. My point being is that the suspect is far from a good citizen who contributes to his community. His race doesn’t seem to have influenced why he was arrested. His behavior does. Almost everyone who lives in the area of the housing authority is black and only one was arrested here. When will people realize that screaming racism when it doesn’t apply makes people racist.

  10. Charles (Bub) Robson says:

    BPD, stay safe out there. Folks be glad there is some out there that will put it all on the line for the citizens of Bunnell.

  11. GoodFella says:

    Good job Bunnell PD, but sadly this scumbag will be out too soon. But carrying a firearm that has its serial numbers off should be at least a five to ten year sentence. And I think the story was well written and not racial at all!! He is black and that is just a fact, the writer just wanted to ensure that we did not mistake him to be white. You know alot of white people live in that area of Bunnell ;) Well written!!

  12. the truth monitor says:

    This man must have taken Lisa Tanner’s play book and used the old fainting and seizure ploy. Too bad his father was not a politician and use all the resources of his fiefdom to destroy hard working cop’s and their family.

  13. JESSIE JAMES says:

    Another good job by the local Police…my hats off to you guys…another criminal taken off the streets…I bet hes out in no time ..thanks to liberal judges….keep up the good work Officers,,,some of us appreciate what your doing

  14. LBJ says:

    This is like a re-play of the 1960’s Mississippi white police against the ghetto blacks. I thought we were over that ?

  15. Deep South says:

    I always want to know the race, height,weight, and sex of a criminal arrested, Get over it folks, it’s just S.O.P.

  16. Kurt says:

    Sounds more like a search incident to arrest for trespassing, and nothing to do with a stop and frisk…but what do I know?

  17. LawAbidingCitizen says:

    Getting tired of hearing about white and black…. If you pay attention in Palm Coast and Bunnell, both white and black poeple committ crimes and are arrested for it. This officer seemed to be doing his job, bottom line. Moore, made matters worse for himself with the threats. Color has nothing to do with it. Keep up the good work Officer. get more of the trash off the street.

  18. ANONYMOUSAY says:

    What I find funny is how many people posted comments to this article as opposed to the white armed robber article. Oh yeah, forgot the armed robber looks like most of you and looking in the mirror hurts.

  19. Great says:

    Kudos on a great article as usual FL. Some people just won’t admit the truth. The deck is definitely stacked against impoverished, underprivileged, disenfranchised people, and if the person happens to be a minority, that’s a double whammy! We’ve come a long way, yet the journey to the promised land is far from over. By the way, great song Alfred E. Newman!

  20. moore says:

    This is me yea its me im out.and i would like to thank the bpd reason being
    Is because they stopped me before i got back into the life i was used to and try so hard to stay away from
    Not saying that there was no racial motivated because i do strongly belive most officers on the force dont like blacks .but all in all thank you and i apoligize.

  21. sonny says:

    bpd did there job got scum off are streets and a gun may be save a life

  22. ryan says:

    This thug had a gun and birth control pills he probably stole so he could sell them, and this turned into something about race? Funny how you never hear about real racism and barely anything from the press about the neo Nazi group that had planned on shooting a bunch of black people gathered for a rally last year.

    • Jennifer Lopez says:

      nothing out of unusual BPD did what they are paid to do. Lets not make them out to be heros.
      Everyone needs to carry on!

  23. Jennifer S. says:

    hypocrites! self-righteous at that. as a white person, i can’t tell you how many times in conversation where there are only white people listening, someone will give the look around to make sure its all clear then lower their voice & say… “he was black…” & each time i interrupt & say, what does that have to do with anything? & why do you have to lower your voice? no one ever seems to clarify in hushed tones that he is a white person… see the difference?

    everyone of you whining about race are probably the exact types that employee this in your conversations. if color doesn’t mean so much, then why are you posting about it? it is a fact of this story & it is a fact of life for a lot of individuals. until this country rids itself of the closeted racists that still abound this type of article will always, & quite sadly bring you out of your self-righteous & uniformed wholes so you can whine about a mentality you facilitate. & Moore if that really is you… i commend you for even giving these people the time of day, you show more character for being humble enough to admit mistake and that you strive for a better tomorrow.

  24. B says:

    Whether you think this person is a criminal threat or not is beside the point. The only thing that matters here is the fact that the officers didn’t have a REAL reason for stopping him in the first place. Unless you’re a Marxist, the end does NOT justify the means. And if you’re advocating a police state now, don’t dare whine about it when YOUR fundamental human rights are violated without due process of law. I hope the case is thrown out of court, and the person is set free. How do you know that this kid wasn’t carrying a gun because he was afraid of being shot himself? And further more what business is it of anyone’s whether he carries or not? Unless he’s attempting to hurt an innocent person, he should be left to his own life. If there’s NO VICTIM, there’s NO CRIME

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