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STEWART v. UNITED STATES

December 9, 1976

Jessie STEWART, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GESELL

 GESELL, District Judge.

 This is a suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act for damages resulting from an allegedly false arrest made by officers of the Federal Protective Service while on traffic detail at the Navy Yard.

 Plaintiff, an off-set press operator employed by the Library of Congress, left his customary parking lot in the Navy Yard and proceeded the wrong way down a road which gave him a shortcut to the main street. Others using the lot were doing the same thing at the same time, and this had been a common practice for several weeks. Police connected with the Federal Protective Service were strategically placed to stop misuse of this and other shortcuts in the area. They were under the command of Captain Samuel A. Stewart, an experienced police officer of 18 years' service who was on a plainclothes assignment and dressed in a pink jump suit without a badge. As cars coming the wrong way reached the main street they were pulled over, and ticketing proceeded in careful, leisurely manner. Plaintiff, who had to pick up his wife and was in a hurry, got out of his car and voiced complaints.

 Captain Stewart was attracted to the scene and his identity made known to plaintiff by one of the uniformed officers. The Court finds from conflicting testimony that something approximating the following confrontation occurred, substantially in the words indicated:

 
Plaintiff: What's the problem, man? You mind telling us?
 
Captain
 
Stewart: I'm giving you a ticket -- one way.
 
Plaintiff: (Loud voice). I got to go. Give me a ticket. I'm wrong. Go ahead or I'll get in my car and go.
 
Captain
 
Stewart: We're not responsible for when you got to go. We don't do things your way, but our way. Calm down or you are going to get yourself locked up. (Captain Stewart walks away, believing plaintiff has calmed down.)
 
Plaintiff: (Loud voice). Lock me up, m--- f/--, lock me up you jive-ass cop. I'm leaving you m--- f--- ing pink jump suit wearer.
 
Captain
 
Stewart: What you say! What you say! What you say! Now you're going ...

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