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June 25, 2008 07:43 PM UTC

At Least He's Not Your Mayor (Unless You're in Greeley)

  • by: Colorado Pols

In another edition of “At Least He’s Not Your Legislator,” we head to Greeley, where Republican Mayor Ed Clark was issued a restraining order for allegedly throwing a 15-year-old boy to the ground:

A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against Greeley Mayor Ed Clark after he was accused of throwing a 15-year-old boy to the ground when the boy refused to stop riding a motorbike.

The order requires Clark to stay at least 100 yards away from the boy. The boy’s father, Tim Stitt, says Clark forced the boy to the ground on Monday and then held him there until police arrived.

Police ticketed the boy for driving without a license.

Clark says he stopped the boy for his own safety and did not hurt him. He says he will fight the restraining order during a July 7 hearing.

Ah, yes. The old, “I beat the kid up in order to keep him safe” defense.


34 thoughts on “At Least He’s Not Your Mayor (Unless You’re in Greeley)

  1. and apparently Greeley’s mayor is a total meathead.  Why assault charges are not being made right now against Ed Clark I don’t know.  

    The kid was riding without a license, and that was wrong.  However this dosen’t warrant bodyslamming him and pinning him to the ground.  This is a completely inappropriate overreaction.

    Another thing about this story that holds no water whatsoever is if the boy refused to stop riding the motorbike as claimed, how the hell did he get caught by a 250 plus man on foot ?  Total nonsense.

      1. I believe in basing opinions on facts.  There are not enough facts to make a deterimination.

        I am not placing him above the law, I am saying allow the facts to be applied to the law.  I do not know the facts, do you?

        If it were my kid, it would depend on the facts.

        Individuals have the right to use force (non-deadly) in more situtations than you would suspect.

        1. Sure we don’t know all the facts, no, but the few that we do know so far are disturbing:

          He hasn’t disputed that he tackled the kid, nor has his lawyer or anyone else.

          We know the kid was injured – the photos were on the news last night.

          The kid was riding his motorcycle in a place he shouldn’t have been.

          The kid is 15 – the mayor is 250 plus, over 6 feet tall and a former police officer.

          Those are the facts so far.

          I don’t think the mayor had any legal right to tackle the kid – he’s not a police officer anymore.  If you do believe he had the right to use non-deadly force I would like to know why.

            1. Could be wrong but I believe in the kid and the mayor live in the same residential development, and the kid was riding the bike there.

              1. If the kid was on the mayor’s property at all, the mayor would probably within his rights.

                Facts matter.

                Rushing to judgment based on our opinions on what is appropriate is inappropriate.

                If the kid was zipping up and down the cul de sac, the mayor was probably ove the line.

                Legally however, I don’t think there is much of a problem unless the kid was significantly injured.

                1. I know facts matter Danny, but I also know when something just dosen’t look right.  This one looks like a completely overzealous meathead who thinks he’s judge jury and executioner stepped over the line to me.  We’ll see.  

  2. Common sense says he should have called the police and provided them with info about the kid so they could find him.

    I’m with Fidel on this and would have been livid had my kid been thrown to the ground by the mayor.


    1. Individuals have more rights to use force than you suspect.

      If it were my kid, I’ve always been in the reap what you sow camp as long as there is no permanent damages.

  3. Does the Mayor want to fight the kid in a rematch? Or stalk him until the kid agrees to date him? Why bother fight the order?

    It is a little creepy to me that Clark can’t just say, “Fine, I’ll stay away from the kid if he leaves me alone.”

  4. The Greeley Tribune has a better article.

    • Clark stopped the boy on the bike before throwing him off.
    • The boy was riding on city streets without a license, which is illegal.  
    • Clark has a history of dispute with the boy, which doesn’t look good.  
    • His stated defense is that he was making a citizens’ arrest.
    • The father of the boy wanted Clark arrested for assault, but the police “had other priorities” according to the article.
    • Clark has a history of pushing the limits on use of force.
    1. I believe that these facts (if accurate) warrant an arrest.

      Then he can an avail himself on the justice system and his presumption of innocence.

        1. Whether or not his actions were legal or justified doesn’t negate that he failed to use common sense in dealing with a 15 year old boy. And, based on what we know, he didn’t behave much better than a 15 year old boy.

    2. And I don’t know the answer,

      Is the violation of a city ordinance, which the article indicates was the “law” violated, a “criminal” act which allows citizens arrest provisions to be invoked?

      If it is, can I pull over people who cheat lights and nearly run me over when I am walking across the streets?

      If so I’m going to figure out a way to immobilize cars.

      1. It’s a state violation to drive a motorbike on public roads without a license.  But I believe that’s a moving violation, which doesn’t always count as a “crime”.

        And I’m with you on the latter part.  Just think of the number of high-speed car chases we could have if everyone could pull over tailgaters and other aggressive drivers.

        Of course, private citizens don’t have any protection from civil or criminal liability when making citizen’s arrests; if the boy was injured, Clark is still liable for damages and possibly assault.

      2. .

        could you please also find out under what circumstances a police officer can stop me while I’m driving down the road

        and take my car to pursue a fleeing criminal ?  


        I’ve seen both of these happen on TV,

        so I know it must be OK.


        1. CRS 16-3-201 states: A person who is not a peace officer may arrest another person when any crime has been or is being committed by the arrested person in the presence of the person making the arrest..  They gain no civil or criminal protections for their actions, so they must be extremely cautious about how they go about the arrest.

          Can’t help you on commandeering vehicles, though.

    3. I have to chime in here.  Seems to me that Dad should have been doing a bit of parenting here and making sure that his innocent little child was obeying the law.  Had Pops been doing his job as a parent, the Mayor would not have had to overreact and pin the little brat to the ground while waiting for the police to arrive.

      Of course this doesn’t excuse the Mayor, but having had to deal with little brats in my neighborhood, I can understand where he is coming from.  

      Bottom line:  Parents need to take responsibility for their spawn.

    4. If he did not have cause to make a citizen’s arrest and held the kid against his will – can the mayor then be brought up on kidnapping charges?

      As to handling kids that are out of line, we all get that and what’s appropiate is 1) call their parents, and 2) call the police if the parents don’t get it under control.

      I’d be livid if someone did that to my child. And keep in mind no matter how well behaved a child (or adult) is, at times they do something wrong. Do we want every random adult deciding how to handle these issues?

      1. I doubt kidnapping (a couple of elemental problems).  Still a felony.

        As to what should be done: I generally agree, That I would be livid–he was over the line.  However, I am happy to have the help of “random adults” when trying to raise my kid.  Most people know where the line is and to paraphrase Hillary, I am happy to have the village’s help.

        It was normal when I was a kid, but I know its not the norm any more. I get a lot of looks of incredulity when I tell some stranger’s kid “get down from there.”  But I would hope that if someone saw my kid recklessly endangering themselves or in a dangerous situation they would intervene.

        1. There’s very low turnover where we live so there are times we’ll tell someone else’s kid to not do something or call the parents. The mom network here seems to know everything (much to the consternation of the kids).

  5. When he made his last citizen’s arrest he pulled a gun to stop a boy from leaving the scene of a fight at the school he works at as a rental cop.  

    In that incident he was in cell phone communication with dispatch and could have just phoned in the license plates, but he choose to pull his gun.  Again he used the citizen’s arrest excuse (and got away with it)and his supporters touted the incident in his election campaign.

    The good news is that you probably don’t have anything to fear unless you are a teenage boy, since I am sure that a guy with a medical disability from the police force is not fit enough to take on someone his own size and age.

      1. I was disturbed.

        A gun should only be unholstered when you intend and are prepared to use deadly force.

        Deadly force is only appropriate under very specific circumstances even for police.  Security guards are not police, even when they dress like them, and have less rights.

        Though the threat of the car has been used successfully in police shootings (Bell and Truax come to mind–no opinion on the merits (I don’t know enough of the evidence)), it gets a little more dicey with a private citizen trying to leave, I don’t think they are not disobeying a lawful order, which is the basis of the officer putting themselves in the way of a fleeing car (I think-I’m really weak on CrimLaw).

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