Longtime no post. Here are my excuses:
- broken computer
But this post should make up for my absence.
We were on a road marked with a county road sign and did not trespass onto any private property. I never trespass. I’m a 5th generation Texan so I know quite a bit about trespass and the law.
The driver of our vehicle who prefers to remain nameless, turned onto a paved road with no signage other than a county road sign. If there is a county road sign on the road and nothing that says private drive, one would assume it is a county road. We stopped adjacent to the Black Marlin Energy Services gate where workers were washing down the outside and inside of industry trucks and the flowback tanks that haul fracking and drilling waste. We were just watching the process and snapping a few pictures. I observed the facility with the FLIR camera but did not record anything.
Suddenly a rather large and extremely hostile man, Mr. Bones, rushed to the car and demanded we leave. He reached into the car and grabbed my camera which was not recording. There was some argument about the legalities of taking pictures on a county road which he claimed he owned along with all 4 of the homes on the road. He told us to leave, but when we decided to leave, Mr. Bones and his tiny wife stood in front of the car and would not allow us to leave, illegally detaining us on the road that was marked as a county road. Mrs. Bones called the Sheriff. Several times we tried to leave but each time the Bones couple stepped in front of the car. Mrs. Bones called us communists.
The Sheriff’s Deputy, M. Cowan arrived to try and sort it all out. It was obvious that he knew we really had done nothing wrong, but he had to navigate the treacherous terrain created by a bully who has some political clout in the tiny town.
During the conversation, we learned that the road Mr. Bones claimed was his property was maintained by the county, meaning the taxpayers pay for the maintenance of his supposedly private road. We also learned that he didn’t exactly own all 4 of the homes on the road.
At some point, Mr. Collie Boatright, a markedly less hot-headed partner in the facility, showed up. He seemed embarrassed by his partner and wife who were clearly out of control. He seemed to understand the potential PR nightmare.
Mr. Bones said that he was warned we were in the area by the owner of a recycling facility on a main road where we stopped to take video. The recycling facility owner was very nice and answered our questions. I asked him for a tour and he said he might arrange one for a little later in the day and asked for my card so he could contact me about it. Obviously he activated some kind of network alert and warned all the facilities in the area about us. I knew the industry did this but now I have confirmation.
Mr. and Mrs. Bones wanted the deputy to arrest us for “industrial espionage.” He explained that he deals with state law and industrial espionage is federal law so they would need to call the FBI. They said they intend to press criminal charges. As far as I can tell, the Bones family were the only ones who broke the law by illegally detaining us.
More to come on this from Alan.