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gonzalu
04-04-2011, 08:50 PM
...let me cut to the [chase] literally. So after catching the Lufthansa A380 LH0401 taking off yesterday from HoBe, I decided to go back to Panera and meet up with Eric and finish my day shooting arrivals.

Everyone kind of took off with Mark going home, I think Jose also went home, Malcom went back to NE and Kaz joined me... he followed me out, we went the usual route down Cross Bay to the Belt, to the Nassau Exp etc.

I was cooking a bit... not crazy but definitely faster than most. As I passed by Evergreen, slightly after the FedEx area on the Nassau Exp, the speed limit drops to 40MPH (on an Interstate, but I digress) I got clipped by a laser-wielding NYC Highway Patrol in an Unmarked Ford Crown Vic LTD.

He steps in front of the center lane traffic and holds all lanes, points at me and asks me to pull up behind him. I quickly comply of course.

"Sixty Six on a Forty" he immediately shows me on the back of the gun... and I of course say, good afternoon officer, if you and your LASER say so...

"license and regi please" I already had it out and handed it over. He sees my "small" lens on the pax seat and starts to inquire (verbatim)

PO: "What is that a camera?"

Me: "Yes sir"

PO: "What is it for?"

Me: "Taking Pictures"

PO: "Of what?"

Me: "Airplanes"

PO: "Really? Where are you coming from...?"

Me: "Uh, well, we call it Howard Beach but it is rea..."

PO: "Where are you going now?"

ME: ...lly Jamaica Bay Wildlife... uh, I was headed to Panera Bread but now I may end up at what we call "The Mounds" but I don;t know the exact address"

(I saw from my position that the pattern had changed to the 22s)

now comes what is beginning the standard response to our hobby lately????

PO: "Aren't you worried with what's going on these days?"

(and my usual response)

Me: "What [is] going on these days?"

PO: "Why do you take pictures of planes?"

Me: "For enjoying them and for hobby, much like some go Golfing" I smile

PO: Grins with a puzzled look at me and says hang on.

he walks to his RMP and begins to write me up I assume. I then see him on his cell phone. 10 minutes pass, he asks me to move in front of him so I comply.

BTW the whole time he is chatting with me, I have my scanner tuned to tower, approach, ground and departure, piped through my car's speakers, pretty loud... I did not want to NOT do anything I wouldn't normally do so as not to look suspicious at all.

30 minutes pass. By this time I am starting to guess that he called in the FBI (seriously, I know too much about the way NYPD operates (long story)) and that is common practice. I also figured the officer thought he may have a good story for his boss later...

Sure enough, I was wrong about the FBI but never guessed about PAPD!! LOL, an PAPD marked RMP rolls up next to the NYPD plain with cherries on (he is in traffic lanes)

They speak for about 5 minutes all while I took a nap btw, I only opened my eyes when they rolled out of their cars.

Up next to me comes the PAPD driver, NYPD PO and on my pax window the PAPD shotgun.

PAPD PO: "Good afternoon Mr. Gonzalez"

Me: "Good afternoon officer, good tour so far?"

PAPD PO: "Yes thanks, so you're taking pictures of the planes?

Me: "Yes"

PAPD PO: "...like on the ground?"

Me: "Well, no of course not, we are not allowed and it is pretty hard to do so at JFK with so many obstructions from public places"

PAPD PO: "no because sometimes over by the old hospital, some folks... so, up in the air? How can you? Is it possible? Aren't they too far?

Me: "Well, did you not see my lens?"

laughter

Me: "actually very doable"

NYPD PO: "and what do you do with them?"

at this point I already had my business cards out and handed them over as the officer from NYPD further added...

NYPD PO: "you don't post them on The Internet do you?"

Me: "Why of course!! I have my own websites devoted to it, there are entire websites and communities devoted to it and actually most airports around the country and the world actually support and even encourage the hobby by building facilities for spotting.

NYPD PO: "what? really?"

totally puzzled, the PAPD officer quickly looks at the NYPD officer and just nods his head yes, indeed, confirming what I say.

Now the conversation quickly shifts to my radio and the chatter

PAPD PO: "Is that a [Police] Scanner?"

Me: "No. It is a regular scanner. It is tuned to all the airport aviation frequencies. Please, check it out"

I took it off the audio and handed it to him... he quickly nodded no no no, not necessary

PAPD PO: "Nah, I recognize all the frequencies"

Looking at each other, the officers were sure I did not pose a credible threat and the PAPD officer motioned to the NYPD officer that all is cool, I was handed my License, Regi and a neatly folded tag for speeding! :-(

I had hoped given my great story and all the cool info on the hobby I would get a break!

All and all, I knew it would be cool. I was actually happy about having yet another PO educated a bit more about our great and safe hobby.

I left and went down to The Mounds and finished off the day with a few more frames!

Oh yeah, Kaz should have been the OBVIOUS choice to stop with his sports car... not me with my family brute! :tongue:

NIKV69
04-04-2011, 09:04 PM
Shotguns! Awesome! Was it a pump or autoloader? Sorry about the speedo. I have gotten up to 100 on that stretch many a time last 8 years and never gotten nailed. Good read thanks Manny.

DHG750R
04-04-2011, 09:14 PM
Thanks for the story, Manny. Sorry about the ticket, 26 over sucks. Nice to see the PAPD was cool with it. I probably would have gotten the speach about my radar detector after getting caught. a radar detector is only good when you pay attention to it :cool:

PhilDernerJr
04-04-2011, 09:30 PM
Sorry to hear about the ticket (it's funny to me how they fold it haha), but I'm glad they were at least pretty cool about the hobby, even though they took up a bit of your time.

hiss srq
04-04-2011, 10:04 PM
Interesting story.... NYPD isn't as aware of us apparently but the Port is well aware and actually welcoming of it as long as you arent hampering business as usual with the chosen location. Sucks about the speeder.... There is a little background to why the Port is soo keenly aware of us now but I am not going to go there in open forum.

Roush6NY
04-04-2011, 10:08 PM
I'll tell ya Manny that really got to me, I felt so freaking bad man, plus I know how that feels since I've been there SO many times ( but I have been good for a while ) Plus we were having sucha good day up to that point and that was just a total buzz kill :(

Im still shocked, it's not like it was just us 2 on the road, by that time that part was packed with cars and pretty much everyone was on the same pace.:confused:

And yes that was a SHOCK To me that he didn't get me, I get stopped pretty much 2 outta 5 times when I have her out and NOT for speeding, last weekend NYPD pulled me over to ask what kindda exhaust do I have on there !!!!

gonzalu
04-05-2011, 12:16 AM
Kaz I hear ya... I have had more tickets over my lifetime than I can count (or care to admit) and all well justified. This one stung for a couple of reasons... It never dawned on me how ever many times I have flown by there as Nick said, they would have a solid trap at 40MPH given that it is a marked Interstate Extension... I mean 40? Come on. So be it... then there is the whole fact that we were SURROUNDED by cars, all going pretty much at the same rate. I also should have known better because I saw them there twice earlier that day going to Panera and then going to HoBe... total trap as he was just 500 feet from the 40MPH sign! Yeah it stings, not for the $200 but for the points. I have been clean for like, 10 years at least? I mean, I have had my lic suspended for too many points twice in my life, especially with the Trans Ams back in the 80s lol.

Both NYPD and PAPD were super cool, super professional, and NYPD while very curious and very surprised and puzzled by the hobby, did it all by the book nice and neat... no one got hurt, no one got upset, I still got tagged and he still got his ticket on the record.

I really don't mind a lecture, screaming (have had many of those), threats, cursing, as long as I get a break :tongue: Ahh, I was due I guess, been pushing it a bit the past few months, should have cut back a bit!

Phil, the folding is totally odd but heck, it beats places like Miami where they make you read it and sign it after they point out all the dirty details... [That] is funny and embarrassing at the same time.

gonzalu
04-05-2011, 12:20 AM
Shotguns! Awesome! Was it a pump or autoloader? Sorry about the speedo. I have gotten up to 100 on that stretch many a time last 8 years and never gotten nailed. Good read thanks Manny.

Ha! I wish, that's cool when I draw guns on me! Not!!

I meant the officer riding shotgun... lol

NIKV69
04-05-2011, 01:26 AM
Oh I thought the other officer pulled his 12 guage! Well at least you didn't get pulled over by the Governator


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJRLoGYtkEM

seahawks7757
04-05-2011, 01:31 AM
Wait the ticket is $4200!!! :eek:

gonzalu
04-05-2011, 08:56 AM
Nick, nah... lol, that would have been scary! I LOVE guns, just not when they are pointed at me.

Brandon, no, it was a typo... the Dollar Sign key is above trhe four. I always make that mistake :cool: (corrected)

Officer: $200 for speeding, $4000 tax for making me work!

lol

steve1840
04-05-2011, 09:05 AM
I really don't mind a lecture, screaming (have had many of those), threats, cursing, as long as I get a break :tongue: Ahh, I was due I guess, been pushing it a bit the past few months, should have cut back a bit!

I gotta say, following you that day you showed me and Kaz some of the places we don't mention on here was fun trying to keep up with you. Its a good thing I knew where I was going on the way back to the mounds after leaving the airport cause you ended up shooting out of there faster than I could blink. Lol

Last time I was down Kaz kindly told me that I should slow down through there. I didn't see any cops, but I think from now on I will take my time on that stretch of road.

Anyways, glad that that experience went smoothly and all you came away with was a ticket. Thats great that the officers were cool, and professional.

megatop412
04-05-2011, 01:03 PM
Those unmarked Vics are badass, too bad the Crown Victoria is fleet-only available now I love that car

NLovis
04-05-2011, 01:49 PM
Sorry to hear about the ticket (it's funny to me how they fold it haha), but I'm glad they were at least pretty cool about the hobby, even though they took up a bit of your time.

Yea they fold it. I found that out when I got into a fender with my new 09 Avenger. Only had it for just about a month at that time :frown: somebody a few cars up stopped short and end result was I got boxed in with nowhere to go. Still not happy about it. Kinda suprised to hear about a unmarked on the JFK expressway there. Ive never seen anybody there and I drive up and down there almost daily for years now. Also yes that 40mph limit is a little slow if you ask me. The funny thing is nobody (including myself) follows the 40mph and usually does highway speed. Guess ill have to be more careful for awhile.

RomNYC
04-05-2011, 02:41 PM
Thankfully, tickets aren't based on the focal length you use :wink: 400mm = 400 bucks ;)

gonzalu
04-05-2011, 03:58 PM
Look, guilty as charged! BUT, 40MPH on an labeled Expressway? Trap! plain and simple... besides EVERYONE was going at the same rate... I got unlucky that's all... that's what makes me upset. I wouldn't mind 66 on a 50... but 40?

megatop412
04-05-2011, 04:00 PM
I remember back in the 80's my father telling me that on the stretch of road that runs by the airtrain lot(right after you get off the Belt and up to evergreeen) a lot of people were getting nailed there. He was teaching me to drive at the time and insisted I do the actual speed limit, which was like crawling on that road.

Zee71
04-05-2011, 11:55 PM
Great read Manny........sorry to hear about the ticket. By the way.......you should have asked the PAPD about other spotting spots since he seemed to be aware! I definitely know about the old hospital. By the way, what the heck is wrong with taking pictures of the plane on the ground? They have to come down, don't they! I understand the officer's comment about the photo's of planes on the ground, but ground photo's should be fine as long there isn't a security threat. Last week when I was spotting in LAX, and I visited the Flight Path museum, and one of the museum volunteers escorted a few of us out to the ramp, and we basically took whatever photo's we wanted...........aircraft taxing, aircraft rotating right in front of us, etc.. In my view there wasn't a security threat. I know we are all vigilant when it comes to spotting and we would report any odd behavior to the proper authorities.

Manny............you're lucky that when you got pulled over you didn't miss the space shuttle landing 22L!

NLovis
04-06-2011, 03:59 AM
Great read Manny........sorry to hear about the ticket. By the way.......you should have asked the PAPD about other spotting spots since he seemed to be aware! I definitely know about the old hospital. By the way, what the heck is wrong with taking pictures of the plane on the ground? They have to come down, don't they! I understand the officer's comment about the photo's of planes on the ground, but ground photo's should be fine as long there isn't a security threat. Last week when I was spotting in LAX, and I visited the Flight Path museum, and one of the museum volunteers escorted a few of us out to the ramp, and we basically took whatever photo's we wanted...........aircraft taxing, aircraft rotating right in front of us, etc.. In my view there wasn't a security threat. I know we are all vigilant when it comes to spotting and we would report any odd behavior to the proper authorities.

Manny............you're lucky that when you got pulled over you didn't miss the space shuttle landing 22L!

Thats the PA for ya. Over worrying about the smallest thing. JFK is famous. How pany gound photos have there been over the years and continue to be? they worry about that but the lighting at some of the building can sure be repaired so that way its not pitch black at some areas. Id say thats more of a security issue but that just my thoughts.

gonzalu
04-06-2011, 06:58 AM
Ha! They did vector the SR-71 to 22L but then it got handed off to LGA because it was closer to the city! :tongue:

mirrodie
04-06-2011, 11:53 AM
Manny, sorry to hear.

Fight it. Last time I just paid off a ticket, it was for like 70 in a 55 on ...Clearview I think. I just paid it off. What I didnt realize was that 3 months prior they passed that new $300 driver surcharge. Took that ticket upwards of $450.


So fight it. That $300 tack on is just BS.



PS I've been clear since 04 now. YAY

gonzalu
04-06-2011, 12:01 PM
I plan to... I always fight it because you never know... anything is possible. I stand no chance against the judge and the officer as the system is locked in, too much experience. Once the officer gives his side of the story, judges hardly ever pay attention to anything the accused has to say.. .sad but true.

My plan is to try and have it dismissed...

steve1840
04-06-2011, 12:22 PM
I plan to... I always fight it because you never know... anything is possible. I stand no chance against the judge and the officer as the system is locked in, too much experience. Once the officer gives his side of the story, judges hardly ever pay attention to anything the accused has to say.. .sad but true.

My plan is to try and have it dismissed...

I always send back every ticket not guilty. Even if I know I am totally guilty. I've had a couple thrown out. One when I got to the courthouse and the other was thrown out without even having to go to court. I know the system in NY for traffic court is probably different than CT. Here we only go in front of a judge if we choose to continue to fight the tticket after seeing the States Attourney. Usually when you get to court here for a ticket, if they don't throw it out and you're not a di** they usually just cut it in half. I got caught doing 55 in a 25 and the ticket was originally for over 200 bucks and the states attourney dropped it to an even 100 after I told him that the cop followed me for about a half mile and when he put on his lights I was already in a 35 mph zone doing 35 mph. I thought I had a solid argument, but I guess after some questioning it saw some flaws in it so I decided to pay the 100 bucks instead of taking my chances of the judge not seeing it my way and having to pay the full amount.

PropPro
04-08-2011, 08:59 PM
New to the forum, I would like to say "hello" to everyone. I have been on this site before but never really immersed myself in all the content that it has to offer, I really have missed out over the years. Secondly to Manny, sorry to hear about your run in. I have 16 years "on the job" and I can say that there really are very few who understand the hobby. I have emassed alot of freinds during my time on, and I only personally know 3 people other than myself who wouldnt instantly think of something dirty at the mention of a "tri-holer":biggrin: I'm not trying to second guess anyone, but there are alot of new guys in Highway these days who are writing people that the old timers would shake loose, but there are always old timers who would write my own family members too, theres always at least a few "believers" in every group. Anyway, I agree with the fact that you should plead not guilty. I always tell people that. You never know if the officer cant show up for whatever reason, and after a couple of no shows it could be dismissed just on that alone. Winning against them is pretty hard, if I show up and testify, Im going to win. Its just a given based on how well the testimony is after doing it hundreds of times. But there are always some variables. I dont know if this board has a PM function (I'm THAT new!), but if it does, I STRONGLY recommend that you PM me regarding your ticket.

Anyway, I'm happy to be here and maybe run into some of you in the future (NOT like Manny did, lol..)

PhilDernerJr
04-08-2011, 09:36 PM
Welcome to the site, Bill.

I have a ticket-fight coming up in 2 weeks. Illegal left turn. We'll see what happens!

NIKV69
04-08-2011, 10:24 PM
Welcome to the site, Bill.

I have a ticket-fight coming up in 2 weeks. Illegal left turn. We'll see what happens!

Got a good lawyer for you.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeILGuXj-ds

Tom_Turner
04-10-2011, 12:04 PM
Yeah, saw them pull over a vehicle for what I assume was speeding last weekend - it wasn't even clear which vehicle was being pulled over for about 30 seconds there were so many cars doing roughly the same speed.... everyone had to slow down...maybe the PO just picked one at that point.. idk... it almost seemed that way..