Sunday, January 25, 2015

Alaskan Woman is Arrested for Setting off Traps and Freeing an Ensnared Bald Eagle ~ Case Dismissed ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ **ARRESTED

Meet 39 y/o Emily Russo Miller of Juneau, Alaska.  That's her below (I know, she looks like a kid right?  Must be all that Alaskan hiking...)...  Emily was the victim of a truly crappy law enforcement officer, but she was also the beneficiary of an entirely reasonable and sane prosecuting attorney.

On Christmas Eve, 2014 Emily was walking a trail in the late afternoon with three (3) dogs when she came upon a bald eagle ensnared in a trap.  Apparently folks set traps all over Alaska, waiting for majestic and unsuspecting creatures to unluckily happen into them, become hopelessly ensnared and then die a horrific death so that the trapper can, presumably, get some satisfaction (be it a mount, a meal, a profit.... whatever... to me - and to the bald eagle below I'm sure - it's f'ing demented, perverted, sick and twisted).

So, Emily happens along this eagle which is completely f*cked... it's leg is obviously snapped in half and its writhing in pain and Emily takes it upon herself to un-snare the bird and give it a chance for freedom.  Per the article:

About a mile and three-quarters inland, she found an eagle caught in a trap that was intended to catch fur-bearing animals. The bird had one foot caught in one leg-hold trap, and its other foot caught in another.
“I think it had stepped in one trap — and these traps are connected to trees with chains — so it had rolled around and had this chain tightly wound around its leg,” she said, “and then it stepped in another trap, so that chain was around it a little bit, too.”
Adair’s first thought was to call the Juneau Raptor Center, which could respond to the scene with the proper tools and equipment to release the eagle. She didn’t think there would be time for that.
“I was two miles from the very end of the road, and I think it was about 1:30 in the afternoon,” she said. “So by the time I hike back, it’d be dark, and by the time I drove back, an hour past dark. I knew they wouldn’t be able to get out there until the next day, and the eagle’s best chance was for me to try to take it out then.”
Adair tied up the dogs, took pictures of the bird in the trap, placed a cloth bag over its head and wrapped it in a towel to keep it calm, then got to work. It took about an hour to release the bird from the traps, which she said were so strong she couldn’t even push one side down with both hands to release the jaws.
“I had to actually stand on two sides of it while holding the eagle up out of the way and bounce up and down a little bit to get it to open at all,” she said, recounting the tale in the courthouse lobby. “As soon as I bounced it enough to open, I shoved a stick in there to hold that open so I could get the eagle out. It wasn’t very pleasant for the eagle, I don’t think.”
Adair knew right away when she first saw the eagle that it was in bad shape. One of its legs was almost completely severed and only skin was holding it together. The other — a later trip to the veterinarian showed — was broken.
Once the eagle was released, she put it inside her backpack and hiked back to the trailhead with her dogs. On the way back, she saw a trap up in a tree, five feet off the ground, which she ignored since it did not pose a safety risk. But there was another trap on the ground about five feet off the trail, which she said she sprang by putting a stick in it, partly for her dogs’ safety and partly because she was leading a group of people on that trail in a few days
“That’s apparently the trap they were charging me for,” she said. “But I feel like the eagle was very material to all that too.”
As soon as she had cell phone service, Adair called the Juneau Raptor Center and met up with one of the bird rehabilitators. The caregiver, Scot Tiernan, prepared to send the eagle to Sitka, which has a more advanced rehabilitation facility, but took it to a local vet’s office first for X-rays and splints for its legs. 

A few days later, while hiking another trail, Emily sprung another trap which she deemed a safety concern.  Unfortunately the trapper saw her and called the cops.  Alaska Troopers and Wildlife Officers interviewed Emily who candidly explained her actions surrounding the eagle and the traps, including the fact that she wasn't running around triggering every trap that she sees, only the ones that presented a clear safety risk, but the cops weren't buying that and they arrested her.  

These cops took the douche baggerous position that Emily (and anyone) has no business touching a trap, safety risk or not, and that she must leave it alone, call the authorities and let them deal with it directly.  And as to the issue of the ensnared, suffering and unnaturally condemned bald eagle, Alaska Wildlife Trooper Aaron Freznel says that the trapper has no liability for the eagle's death as the trap was lawfully set and the eagle was "an incidental catch".  Thus, the arrest had nothing to do with the bald eagle and everything to do with the trapper's traps being sprung by Emily.  Again, 

Frezel takes the position that he was merely doing his job, enforcing the law, and that he simply handed the matter off to the prosecutor who was free to move forward or dismiss as s/he deem just, fair and appropriate.  And the prosecutor who dismissed the case applauded the cops for "doing their job".  Still, knowing and understanding that the law is the law and that a cops job is to enforce it, I recognize that there is a thing called "discretion" which is built into the job description. Yes, some offenses require an arrest but as a cop you simply don't have to arrest everyone for everything.  And, some laws are "bad" laws.  I am not an Alaskan citizen and have no standing to opine but it's my blog so f*ck you Alaska... your laws, which permit traps on or within close proximity to hiking trails and the incidental killing of animals - protected and endangered animals I might add - is simply wrong.  I do not deny the hunter her/his prey, especially if it is for food, but how can a sane law reasonably permit Emily, a good samaritan, to be arrested and the trapper, who endangers creatures of all walks of life (and indiscriminately kills - in a brutal, medieval even, fashion), to suffer no penalty?  Allowing traps is bad enough, but permitting them to be anywhere near hiking trails is just plain stupid, and not holding trappers accountable for what they trap is blind injustice.  

What's next?  How's about this little ditty from Detroit....

The prosecutor got it right even if the cops didn't.  Juneau District Attorney James Scott said that Emily's "actions in saving the eagle were laudable... She should not have to run the risk of a conviction on her record for this offense".  In that light, memo to Alaska Wildlife Trooper Aaron Freznel:

For more than 23 years Michael A. Haber, P.A. has been providing creative, effective and zealous advocacy and counsel in cases ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder.  

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!


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