So picture this. A shifty, random, scruffy man is strolling through your neighborhood. Baseball cap, t-shirt, jeans. No car in sight and he is carrying a bag filled with stuff. The neighborhood is somewhat upscale, not North Bay Road, but a gated community of single family homes on the water. What would you do? Ignore the guy? Call the cops? Question him?
Well, resident Glenn Teboe did just that. He was driving through his neighborhood and came across a shifty guy that he did not recognize walking through his neighborhood. To his eye, the man looked scruffy and seemed to be wandering aimlessly carrying a bag stuffed with something heavy. Teboe pulled up alongside this guy and attempted to question him.
Wow, you think, brave guy. Upstanding neighbor. Well, there’s more to it. Teboe is a cop. A police officer with the Miami Beach Police Department who was leaving his home when he came across Dale Picardat.
As a cop first and a resident second, he pulled his squad car alongside Picardat and as cops do, asked if he lived or worked in the neighborhood. To say he was rebuffed is an understatement. Picardat kept walking, asking “what was up with all he questions.” Cops don’t take kindly to being rebuffed, especially in a surly manner, so things degenerated from there.
Again, Teboe asked where Picardat was headed and for some identification. Again he was rebuffed. Picardat went one step further and asked for his attorney.
He was promptly arrested.
Picardat described what happened this way, “He puts his car into reverse, backs up, tells me to stop, and then he asked me a couple more questions, and the next thing I know, I’m being arrested. I had no idea what I was arrested for,” he said.
As this story evolved, it turned out that Dale Picardat, even though he looked shifty, did have business in that neighborhood in the gated community of Normandy Shores. In fact, he used to live there. He was on his way to his ex-wife’s house to do some chores. In the bag he was carrying, were tools to help him install hurricane-proof windows.
So by now, the question that needs to be asked is why did Picardat just not tell the cop why he was there and avoid this whole situation?
In the arrest report, Teboe wrote that Picardat would not provide ID, wouldn’t talk to him without a lawyer and said he would report the officer to the city. But, more important is he would not dispel the cops fear for the safety of property and people in the neighborhood. Hence the arrest for loitering/prowling and resisting an officer.
Picardat was shipped off to the Miami-Dade Pretrial Detention Center where in a stunning turn of events, he was beaten up. According to a department of corrections complaint — he was placed in a crowded cell, where he commented about the unsanitary conditions. That’s when he was taken off-camera and beaten, he says. A jailer named Marshall Hamilton escorted him into an off-camera hallway in front of cell number 5, picked him up by the throat, and slammed his head against a wall. As Picardat bled from his head, two other jailers punched him in the face and “knocked his glasses off.”
“I was scared,” Picardat told the New Times. “It wasn’t right.”
The following morning the charges were dropped and Picardat was free.
“There was no reason to stop me,” he said. “And the reason that he got upset was the fact that I said ‘You can’t stop somebody for just walking down the street’ and he came back at me with vulgar language and I told him to not speak to me that way. It escalated and I was arrested.”
Picardat promptly sued the City of Miami Beach for his ordeal acting as his own attorney. It took three years, but he finally won. On Feb. 28, a jury awarded the 56-year-old about $102,400 plus medical expenses for the injuries he sustained while he was in jail. The City of Miami Beach is appealing the judges decision.
“It’s always been that way on Miami Beach,” Picardat says of police profiling to the New Times. “It goes back to when Jews weren’t allowed south of 41st Street. Or when I was growing up here, if you were black, God forbid you drive down the street. You’d get picked up for your skin alone.”
“This is just another kind of discrimination,” he says. “The loitering and prowling charge is just a catch-all so that cops can stop and search anybody whenever you want.”