COVER- He fought the law and the law lost: Don't call Steve Shifflett a cop impersonator


Steve Shifflett says suing is the only way he can be compensated for having his name "dragged through the mud."

Every time he drives his Crown Vic with the "SHERIFF" license plate, a cop calls it in, says Steve Shifflett.

This spring, Caryn Shifflett once again was in the car with her father when he was pulled, this time for failure to signal.

Caryn Shifflett was four years old and riding with her dad when he was pulled and arrested for impersonating a cop. She was left in his car alone for about 45 minutes, according to the subsequent lawsuit.

Steve Shifflett's arrest and mugshot appeared in the Daily Progress– and in the exhibits from his lawsuit against the officers involved.

Last year, Michael Baird sought the sheriff job his father, Carlton Baird, once held. Shifflett worked for the elder Baird and sued his son.

Richard Hudson retired from the Charlottesville Police Department in 2009 after more than 26 years with the force, and was an investigator on the notorious serial rapist case.


Steve Shifflett has been on both sides of the law. As a deputy for nearly three decades, he lived his boyhood dream of a career in law enforcement, only to have it derailed by what he claims is a police vendetta against him that continues to this day. Those who've been on the receiving end of his million-dollar lawsuits might see things differently. 

Has Shifflett been unfairly targeted, or has he– as many officers have alleged– actually done something wrong? 

This spring, he's in court as a defendant, and the first thing he tells the judge is, "I am not the Steve Shiflett who claimed he was shot." He's referring to former Albemarle deputy Stephen R. Shiflett who in 2003 reported– falsely, it turned out–- that he'd been shot by a mysterious African American man.

Steven Wayne Shifflett, 57, is sensitive to that kind of confusion. He, too, was a deputy sheriff. He's been arrested–- twice–- for impersonating an officer, and both times, the charges have been dropped. And he's followed up those charges with litigation that has meandered through the courts for much of the past 13 years.

So this April 26 hearing is not his first time in a courtroom. He's in Charlottesville General District Court fighting a ticket for failure-to-signal. Only in his world, it's not just a traffic ticket, it's an abuse of police power.

On the evening of April 3, he'd been out with his 17-year-old daughter. Driving his Crown Victoria, the quintessential cop car, Shifflett has a pretty distinctive license plate, personalized by the DMV to read "SHERIFF," something that may have led to his troubles.

Anyway, on this night, he hears on his police scanner his license getting called in. Shifflett phones the police station to find out what's up with that. A couple of hours later, the same cop passes Shifflett again, and gives him a ticket for turning without signaling.

In court, Shifflett tells the judge that the 10-year-old car has passed every inspection but that he did find a loose ground wire in the steering column, and that may have caused the problem with the turn signal.

"Had I known that that night, I wouldn't have written the ticket," says Charlottesville Police Officer William Newberry. Shifflett is found not guilty, and afterward, outside the courtroom, Newberry apologizes.

"That doesn't excuse the fact that he abused his power," Shifflett says to a reporter.


Pre-litigation years

Steve Shifflett was born and raised in Charlottesville, and he says he's had a keen interest in law enforcement at least since 1971 when he was 17. "I rode along with Albemarle sheriff's deputies almost every night, he recalls. "It was good hands-on experience."

Three years later, he hired on with the Charlottesville Sheriff's Office, which is responsible for transporting prisoners and for courthouse security, and he worked there until he got fired in 1996. The popular story– that he got canned after falling asleep in court–- is one that Shifflett vigorously disputes.

"I wasn't fired for that," he says. "I was suspended. I filed a grievance contesting being suspended without hearing my side of the story." Sheriff J.W. "Buddy" Rittenhouse fired him, and "in Virginia, a sheriff can hire and fire at will," acknowledges Shifflett.

Shifflett had filed grievances before, and two were against another boss, Sheriff Carlton Baird, whose son would end up on the defendant end of a Shifflett lawsuit. 

Even now, 14 years after his career as a city deputy ended, critics sometimes taunt Shifflett, who has been quoted in Hook stories as a voice willing to point out what he sees as police misconduct. (He questions the wisdom of last summer's controversial police pursuit on Rugby Road and doubts the police claim that doomed teen Colby Eppard fired a shotgun with one hand out a window while driving.)

As for the whole courthouse-snoozing allegation, the incident occurred during a time, says Shifflett, when he hadn't been getting a lot of sleep during the protracted death of his father. A doctor prescribed Xanax, he says, without telling him it could cause drowsiness. And it was a time when the courthouse had its well-known bout of so-called "sick building syndrome," he adds.

"I was taking my glasses off and rubbing my eyes because of the burning," he explains. "I dropped my glasses and bent down quickly to pick them up."

His fellow deputies and Judge Jay Swett thought he'd nodded off, says Shifflett. So was he sleeping?

"No, absolutely not," he declares. 

Still, to be fired after 22 years with the Sheriff's Office, to be let go from a calling he'd pursued since a teen, that had to be rough. 


First arrest

On April 29, 1997, about a year after leaving the Sheriff's office, Shifflett, who lives off Locust Avenue, is driving a Chevy Caprice, another car popular in law enforcement. He has his then four-year-old daughter, Caryn, in the car for a trip to Radio Shack on Pantops to buy her a toy.

On the way home, at 8:10pm, Albemarle County Police Officer Gary Pistulka stops Shifflett at Free Bridge for suspicion of having illegally tinted windows. Shifflett says he has a Virginia State Police exemption certificate, and besides that, according to his lawsuit, Pistulka didn't have a tint meter anyway. Pistulka allegedly called the document a "forgery," says Shifflett, and confiscated it.

A little over a year earlier, Shifflett had been sworn in as an auxiliary deputy under Greene County's colorful Sheriff Willie Morris, according to court documents.

The Albemarle officer notices Shifflett's Greene County badge, a Virginia State Police replica badge, and his Charlottesville deputy badges in a recess on the dashboard, and asks to see them. Shifflett refuses, and Pistulka becomes "highly upset and visibly shaken," according to court documents. 

"Contempt of cop" is how Steve Shifflett often describes the allegedly dangerous practice of showing disrespect toward police officers. Perhaps he realizes that this evening, and he decides to let Pistulka examine the badges.

Pistulka, who is still employed with the county police but who did not return phone calls from a reporter, calls the sergeant-on-duty that night, Stan Batten, who happens to be Shifflett's brother-in-law. In many cases, a familial connection might quickly help clear things up, but this was not one of those cases.

"There has been bad blood between [Shifflett] and the defendant, Sergeant Stan Batten, for almost a decade," says the subsequent lawsuit, which notes that Shifflett had filed "numerous complaints" about brother-in-law Batten. According to the lawsuit, Batten had reciprocated by contacting Sheriff Morris in April 1996 to get his brother-in-law terminated.

"He knew I worked for Greene," says Shifflett. "He tried to get me fired." 

"I did not try to get him fired," says Batten, who was himself fired from Albemarle police in December 2000. Batten, who eventually became chief of police in the town of Louisa until he retired earlier this year, denies knowing that Shifflett was a Greene deputy at the time of the stop.

"[Greene County officer and now Sheriff] Scott Haas told me on the phone, 'Hell no, he's not a deputy,'" says Batten.

Back on the side of the road near Free Bridge, Shifflett, sitting in his car, supposedly overhears Pistulka on the cellphone talking to Batten, and jumps out of the car to request a different supervisor to come to the scene, according to the lawsuit. Pistulka refuses, the suit contends, and orders Shifflett back in the car– at gunpoint.

The Chevy Caprice bears District of Columbia presidential inauguration license plates– Shifflett says he's a license plate fan with probably a thousand plates in his collection– that have expired. At that point, Pistulka confiscates those and some Virginia license plates, and he arrests Shifflett for impersonating an officer.

"I know you well," Pistulka tells Shifflett, according to the lawsuit. "You used to be a cop. You can't accept the fact that you no longer are a cop."

While Shifflett sits handcuffed in the back of Pistulka's vehicle, four-year-old Caryn is left alone for up to 45 minutes inside the Caprice, a dangerous situation, according to the suit, because her dad had a loaded shotgun in there.

Around 11pm, at the county police department, Shifflett is told he'll be charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun and burglary tools in addition to the impersonation charge. Shifflett denies that his shotgun was sawed-off, and as for the burglary tools, he says they were just pair of lockout devices called "slim jims," standard issue, Shifflett says, for Greene deputies to help people locked out of their vehicles.

At 2:30am on what is now April 30, Shifflett is taken to the magistrate's office, where Pistulka says he'd can't confirm an affiliation with the Greene Sheriff's Office. And at 2:45am– six and a half hours after Shifflett was pulled over– a magistrate issues an arrest warrant. 

Particularly galling to Shifflett is that Batten had already issued a press release about the arrest at 9:45pm before charges had been filed, he complains in his suit. He notes that, when he goes to court, Judge Coy Kiser asks Pistulka about holding Shifflett in custody for nearly seven hours without formalizing the charges.

The three charges are dropped a month later. But today, 13 years later, the case is far from over.


The first lawsuit

Shifflett's August 31, 1998, motion for judgment against Batten and Pistulka asks for for $500,000 compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages. He sues them for false arrest, unlawful detention, malicious prosecution, felony child endangerment, trespassing, and assault and battery.

More than two years into the suit in January 2000, his attorney, Allison McKeel, asks to withdraw as his counsel, citing fear of retribution by Albemarle police. On the other hand, she also notes deterioration of her working relationship with Shifflett, as well as second thoughts about her contingency fee, according to court documents.

Three months later, Shifflett finds a new lawyer in Richmond, David Simonsen, who asks for $150,000 in compensatory damages, $350,000 punitive, a trebling of damages under state code, and of course, attorney's fees. The case against Batten and Pistulka is settled in January 2003, but the terms remain confidential.

"I didn't make [a settlement], and didn't want to make one," says Batten. "That's what the county decided. Neither Gary [Pistulka] nor I wanted to. We wanted to go to court."

In 1996, a young woman named Alicia Showalter Reynolds was abducted on U.S. 29 and her body discovered two months later. Her killer has never been found.

"Back at that time, we had all these concerns about females being stopped by unmarked vehicles," reminds Batten. "I'm not saying in any way that Steve Shifflett was involved. But there were a lot of reports of people getting stopped." 

The lawsuit left a bad taste for Batten.

"I think the officer acted appropriately," says Batten. "I really had nothing to do with it except being the sergeant on duty that night."

Even bringing up the case again has him expressing concern to a reporter: "I don't want my name smeared." 

At one point, Albemarle police Captain Doug Rhodes, Lieutenant John Teixeira, the County of Albemarle, and Chief John Miller were named in Shifflett's suit, but those defendants were dropped.

"If someone really feels they've been wronged, that's a remedy," says Miller, who recalls being sued five times in 21 years and admits he doesn't like it.

As for Shifflett's arrest, Miller expresses the lawman's equivalent of a rebuke.

"I think things got out of hand," sayd Miller. "It should have been handled differently by our department."

Miller fired Batten "for disciplinary actions" in 2000, and will not elaborate on the reasons.

The soon-to-retire chief objects to settlements being secret in lawsuits against government agencies. "If public funds are used for the settlement, they're wrong," says Miller, to not reveal how much.


The second arrest

Steve Shifflett, vindicated after the traumatic events of 1997, could have lived on quietly, working as tombstone salesperson at Hartman Memorials and collecting license plates and law enforcement memorabilia. But an event in Northern Virginia reminds him that the past is never forgotten and can continue to haunt–- even if your arrest record is expunged.

On December 16, 2004, Thomas Simpson, a former police officer in Arlington, is pulled over in Alexandria by a man with a badge. 

 Simpson suspected he had been speeding. He also displays a Fraternal Order of Police sticker on his rear window, and when the alleged cop sees it and learns that Simpson is a retired officer, he tells him to slow down and leaves, without writing a ticket.

The car of the guy who stopped him, a dark blue Crown Vic, had an "FOP 1" license plate, Simpson notices. He makes notes about what happened, and includes a description of a Hispanic male, 25 years old, 5' 8" tall, 140 pounds with thick black hair. No mention of any facial hair.

Let's note that Shifflett at that time is 55 years old, heavyset with gray hair, and he has worn a mustache since the 1970s. And as fond as he is with collecting license plates, he says he's never had an FOP1 plate.

Officer Julie Goble in Alexandria is assigned the case. She runs the "FOP 1" license plate, and it comes up registered to former Sheriff Carlton Baird, now deceased. When she calls his widow, Maxine Baird directs Goble to talk to her son, Mike Baird, chief deputy with the Charlottesville Sheriff's Office.

According to a narrative by Goble in the hefty lawsuit case file, Baird tells her that Shifflett had been fired as a deputy for misconduct but he was unsure of the specifics. He says Shifflett had a tendency to show up around town on police calls, to pull people over on traffic stop and that he "ghosted" radio transmissions. Baird suggests that Shifflett interchanged the tags on his cars, and told Officer Goble to contact Sergeant Richard Hudson with the Charlottesville Police Department, because he'd know more about "Mr. Shifflett's suspicious and impersonating activities."

When Officer Goble talks to Hudson, he mentions the 1997 arrest for impersonation, and says there was good evidence against Shifflett, but he inherited money from his father and hired attorneys "who were able to find a technicality on which to get the charges dropped," she recounts in her statement.

Hudson portrayed Shifflett as "a stalker, a hot head and a police impersonator," Goble says in her narrative of events, with emergency blue lights, spotlights, radios, uniforms, badges, weapons and license plates.

"They led her down a path she wanted to go down," Shifflett tells a reporter. "Even if she were misled, she still did a sloppy job."

Goble shows Simpson six photos, including one of the mustached Shifflett. Although it doesn't match his initial description, Simpson IDs Shifflett as the man who pulled him over.

 On the bitter cold night of February 18, 2005, with his wife and daughter asleep, Shifflett hears a knock at the door of his house around 10:30pm.

"I didn't go answer it because I wasn't expecting anybody," he says. At a second knock, he hears his Norwegian elkhound in the back and goes outside to see what's going on. 

"I only knew they were police officers when they got within 20 feet of me," says Shifflett. "They come into my house and handcuff me in front of my wife and daughter." 

Even when he describes these events in 2008, the memory is still painful.

"I'm a deputy for 27 years," he says in apparent bewilderment. "I'm handcuffed and thrown in the car for a crime I hadn't committed. I'm treated like a common criminal after 27 years in law enforcement."

And Shifflett issues a blanket defense.

"I've never been to Alexandria," he says, "Why would I drive 120 miles to pull someone?"

In court April 25, 2005, Simpson again identifies Shifflett as the man who pulled him over. In a transcript of that hearing, Simpson concedes that the suspect who pulled him had no mustache, and explains Shifflett's: "Well, you can grow them."

The charge is dismissed.

His wife and daughter suffer with this latest incident, "They're like me–- totally embarrassed and humiliated by it," says Shifflett.

Even his best friend says to him that the first time, everybody knew it was a mistake. The second time, they start to wonder whether where there's smoke, there's fire. "That was humiliating, coming from my best friend," says Shifflett.


Second suit

When Shifflett files suit in January 2006, he names six defendants. Not only Goble in Alexandria, but also the Alexandria police spokesman, John Crawford. Baird and Hudson are named, and two non-cops come into the mix: Evelyn "Joy" Lloyd in Louisa and Wendy Dressler Mannion in Pennsylvania.

It seems on the Louisa online message board, Lloyd had remarked that Shifflett "is guilty as hell." Mannion claimed that Shifflett "started pretending to be cops just to pull people over for kicks." 

The defendants are variously accused of conspiracy, malicious prosecution, defamation, gross negligence (by Goble), and interference with a contract. On the latter count, Shifflett accuses Baird of bad-mouthing him at the Elks Lodge so that Shifflett's membership is denied.

And he asks for higher damages: $2 million compensatory, $2 million punitive, and a trebling of damages. 

Baird, who unsuccessfully ran for city sheriff last year, settles the case April 21, 2008, and once again, the terms are confidential. He declines to comment when reached by the Hook.

"I will say that I never felt that Mike Baird was trying to be malicious," Shifflett's attorney, David Simonsen, tells a reporter after the settlement. "I think it was an unfortunate situation that he got pulled into. The way it played out was damaging to Steve, but I never thought it was malicious. You can tell by how quickly he settled."

Shifflett receives judgments against the message board women, neither of whom the Hook was able to reach.

Alexandria's Officer Goble and its spokesman, John Crawford, who is no longer with the force, settle in May 2009. Crawford did not return phone calls from the Hook. 

Goble, now a detective, and current Alexandria Police spokesman Jody Donaldson decline to say how they feel about the settlement, but they do dispute that Shifflett was falsely arrested. 

"There was probable cause," says Donaldson. "He was lawfully arrested, and a magistrate issued a warrant. The victim identified Steve Shifflett in a photo line-up and in the courtroom."

"I conducted a very thorough investigation," says Goble. "I had enough evidence to go before a magistrate. At the time, I believed I was given solid evidence by Charlottesville."

The amount of the settlement with Alexandria also is secret. Donaldson lists factors that can go into a decision by a city government agency to settle, such as a venue outside Alexandria with significant travel time. 

"All the factors that led to the arrest of Mr. Shifflett would still line up today," says Donaldson. "I absolutely feel the case was handled appropriately."

That leaves Hudson as the final defendant. He worked for Charlottesville police for nearly 27 years, and retired in May 2009; He, too, declines to comment. 

 In March, a demurrer is heard in which Hudson's lawyer, Rich Milnor, argues that Hudson had nothing to do with the alleged "malicious prosecution" because Officer Goble swore out the complaint in Alexandria after the victim identified him from a photo spread. "That's probable cause," says Milnor.

He also argues against the defamation count, asserting that Hudson has immunity as a police officer and that law enforcement frequently contacts other agencies for information. Hudson, says Milnor, reported what he knew or remembered about Shifflett, even if the charges had been expunged.

Judge Thomas Wood denies the demurrer, but cautions Shifflett's lawyer, "Mr. Simonsen, you've got your work cut out."

Hudson and Shifflett are scheduled for mediation in September.

The wall of Steve Shifflett's garage is covered with license plates– his father used to collect them, too– and he tries to explain his penchant for collecting the badges and hats and shirts of police officers: "I was a deputy sheriff for 27 years. That's part of my life."

Even another settlement won't erase "dragging my name through the mud or the character assassination," says Shifflett. "That's the only form of compensation they can give me." 

Thirteen years after that first arrest of a man who says he never even had a parking ticket, Shifflett assesses the damage.

"After all this, I just withdrew from society," he says. "Before, most of my friends were cops. It got so I couldn't trust anybody."

Shifflett says what happened him isn't supposed to happen at the hands of law enforcement in America. "And if they can d this to one off their own," he cautions, "what are they capable of doing to an ordinary citizen?"



Is Steve Shifflett "Sick of the Local Rambos" and "Gasbag Self Ordained Expert" who haunts these comment pages?

I still don't understand how it was an abuse of power to get stopped by Charlottesville City for an Equipment Violation. Mr. Shifflett admits that his vehicle might of had an issue. It was a legal stop.

Mark, that's exactly what I thought. If he is then The Hook create an expose about Sean next week... "Those that annoy us and why?"

Mr/Mrs/Miss ?, get over it!

Mr/Mrs/Miss Really, the reporter doesn't go into all the fine details of what took place between the time the officer ran the license plate, and 2 hours later when he performed the traffic stop. There was a lot more to it than an officer being behind a car and claiming no turn signal was given.

@? - GSOE is exercising his right to voice his opinion here as is everybody else (including you!). If you don't like his opinion then exercise your right to NOT read his posts. :) Happy day to you!

that would be hilarious....

"Is Steve Shifflett "Sick of the Local Rambos" and "Gasbag Self Ordained Expert" who haunts these comment pages?"

Mark, that's exactly what I thought. If he is then The Hook create an expose about Sean next week... "Those that annoy us and why?"
This is a great idea. After all, people complain that the local media doesn't really give us the information that we need to know.

They left out the part about the mouse king...

This is news? Small people in a small town, more like.

The hook has a reputation for investigative journalism. This story is inconsistent with that reputation.

Interesting article.

Shifflett seems to be a little off. Does he listen to police radio and sometimes show up at stops and incidents even though he is no longer a deputy?

That being said, I am glad he stood up for his rights. I have dealt with police officers and more than a few are absolute jerks. You may not think they are, but if you question them or dare not accept whatever they say you will see what I mean. Their attitude will turn in a minute. Any concerns over their conduct or motives and you are suddenly "suspicisios" or "uncooperative", or "have something to hide." They enjoy the power they have over you due to their job.

Quite frankly, many of them couldn't, or wouldn't, hack it in the military and could never move up the ranks in the business world. So they become cops, and enjoy having power over those whom they would never get ahead of on their own merit.

As for deputies who work in the county court system and the county jail system, they, often enough, are the bottom of the barrel. Would a smart, athletic, and ambitious young police officer want to sit in the county lockup doing admin work and monitoring the holding cells? Would they want to stand in courtrooms all day? No, of course not. They would want to be on the streets or on the cutting edge of law enforcement, eventually dealing with homicides, organized crime, and other seroius crimes against the community.

Let's put it this way...those intelligent enough to pass the detective exam aren't the same ones throwing their (considerable)weight around the county offices and at traffic stocps.

The fact of the matter is this: A police force is, and has always been, necessary to maintain law and order in a society. A necessary evil, in many cases, but much better than the alternative.

1) Steve Shifflett = GSOE, correct?

2) I'm a bit confused with this paragraph: "Anyway, on this night, he hears on his police scanner his license getting called in. Shifflett phones the police station to find out what's up with that. A couple of hours later, the same cop passes Shifflett again, and gives him a ticket for turning without signaling."
- If he's not a cop, why does he have a police scanner? Is this legal?
- What happened when he phoned the police station?!
- If he was turning without signaling, why shouldn't that warrant being pulled over?

3) I agree with Slow News Day - what is the purpose of this article? To rile up animosity towards local authorities? The article is interesting, but nearly everything that happens in it took place years ago.

Anyway, I'm no "Self-Ordained Expert" - just questioning some things with an objective viewpoint. Hopefully the Expert will fill me in!

Flurry, city and county deputy sheriffs in this area have nothing to do with the jail. Most of them also spend very little time in courtrooms or performing traffic stops.

Their duties are more about serving civil process, serving court orders, evicting tenants who refuse to pay their rent, transporting criminal defendants all over the state, and transporting mental patients to mental facilities.

It's also important to note that the city and county police have numerous officers deal with a mental patient wne the need to do so arises. But after the patient has been evaluated and heavily sedated and is ready to be transported to a mental facility, it is one on one more often than not. A deputy sheriff doesn't have backup just a minute or two away when transporting a mental patient at 2:00 a.m. in the morning when the sedatives wear off while enroute.

Furthermore, who in their right mind wouldn't want to be a city or county deputy sheriff? The answer would surprise you and the rest of the population. The city and county police hire people every day. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get hired on at the city or county Sheriff's Offices? They work 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They're off on Saturdays and Sundays. To have a schedule like this is often worth being called out after hours to transport a mental patient.

Mr/Mrs/Miss Calling It, scanners are perfectly legal in homes and automobiles in Virginia. They aren't used just for "police" communications. Fire, rescue, Pegasus medical helicopter, etc... My daughter listens to scanners in my cars and trucks all the time to monitor Pegasus. She likes to watch them take off and land at the UVA hospital. She's working at eventually becoming a nurse on a medical helicopter.

This article makes it sound like Mr. Shifflett's dream was to be in Law Enforcement. The article plus his responses make it sound like he holds a grudge because he can no longer obtain a job in Law Enforcement.

Aside from the pay and benefits package, which contrary to popular belief are quite attractive nowadays, why would anybody really want to be a cop? Don't ever believe that cops get into the profession to help people, it's all about a steady pay check and the attractive benefits and retirement package. The days of getting into police work to make the community a better place and help people are long gone. Most city and county cops don't even live in the city or county any longer. They have take home cars that they wreck while going home to adjoining cities and counties, just like the Albemarle cop did recently in Waynesboro, Virginia (ran into a parked car). The hours are absolutely craptastic for the evening and midnight shifts. Dealing with and physically fighting criminal defendants and suspects is a walk in the park compared to dealing with police administration on a day to day basis, just ask any honest cop. The rewards are few, other than a police banquet each year with a few silly plagues being handed out.

In all fairness to Chief Miller though, and going back to the very beginning of this story, I was surprised and appreciative of the fact that he finally admitted his department should have handled things better from the very beginning in 1997. Chief Miller, Thank You!

Given Shifflett's itchy litigation finger, commentors better be careful

ResIpsaLoquitor, I had the very same thought when a former cop above mentions "Steve Shifflett" and a "murder" in the same paragraph. He may not be saying this or that, but the implication is certainly there in plain english.

He also knows the women being stopped during the Route 29 incidents were not being stopped by "unmarked cars". They were being stopped by white males driving small pickup trucks. Disinformation (intentionally false or inaccurate information) is still being spread around to this day it seems.

Gasbag said: "Don't ever believe that cops get into the profession to help people, it's all about a steady pay check and the attractive benefits and retirement package. The days of getting into police work to make the community a better place and help people are long gone."

You left out another very valid reason for why many people get into law enforcement - because they are either sociopaths/psychopaths, or have a need to control others. Cops and sociopaths are often two sides of the same coin. Actor Mark Wahlberg even once commented in an interview that so many of the thugs he used to run with on the streets of Dorchester are now Boston/Dorchester police officers. Why is this? Did they have a change of heart? Become good guys? No. Becoming a cop is the promise of being handed guns, batons, pepper spray and tasers, as well as the right to drive around in cop cars pulling anybody over that they want, then using aforementioned weapons during pull overs and calls in any way they want to without fear of punishment. To a sociopathic criminal that's very, very appealing. My brother is a sociopathic criminal who's been in and out of jail since age 14, and who was obsessed with the cops. He used to do ride alongs as a teen, he knew everything and anything about them, had police scanners in his room that were always on, 24/7, knew all the police codes backwards and forwards, and he even admitted that he wanted to be a cop. But he was also a crazy criminal at the same time. My boyfriend's ex step dad was an abusive jerk to his family...and he also happened to be a corrupt cop who stole drugs from the evidence room, abused his power, and always got his butt covered by other corrupt officer friends on the force. He finally, finally got canned a few years ago and was relegated to driving a Coca Cola truck, where he belonged. Well, until he crashed the truck into a ditch, then had to find another line of work. But I digress.

These types could go anywhere to get "a steady paycheck and the attractive benefits and retirement package" as you claim. But they don't They seek to become weapon wielding cops in protected positions of power over others. Just a thought.

So, to sum it up. There is a former deputy who was relieved of duty for circumstances that he disagrees with, he rides around in a car that is the exact make and model of hundreds of unmarked police cars with the license plate of “Sheriff”, has in his possession at least three badges from various agencies, carries a police scanner and a loaded shot gun, has a hobby of collecting old police uniforms and he feels that local law enforcement is out to get him. Did I leave anything out?

Yeah you left out rides with 4-year-old daughter and loaded shotgun. This is not a portrait of a healthy lifestyle.

Social Worker, you should look into this, file some paperwork, and try to have the court arrive at an "unfit father" ruling.

I'm confused. They ran the tag "FOP 1" that came back to the Baird family, former in the world did it come back to Shifflett? Did I miss something?

No Gasbag, you look into it. Think carefully and at length. Lots of us teeter outside the healthy norms at times, but stonewalling and saying "This is really OK" is the sign of a chronic condition. It doesn't have to be like that; find a good therapist.

Mustang, where do you read the license plate ever came back registered to anybody other the former sheriff Carlton Baird?

You bring up a very good point though. On the exact same day of the Alexandria arrest, February 18, 2005, the license plate magically and suddenly came back as being registered to a man in Alexandria, Virginia on February 18, 2005. Coincidence? I think not. There was indeed something really strange going on with these license plates.

The question that has never been answered is who had these license plates displayed on a dark blue Crown Victoria on December 16, 2004? The victim originally claimed it was a 20-ish year old 140 pound 5'8" Hispanic male with black hair and no mustache. It's a pretty scary thought when a person who served as a cop for a couple of years back in 1980 can confuse a 20-ish year Hispanic male with a 55 Year old white male. (note: He wasn't a "retired" cop. He had served 2 years before being disabled in the line of duty 3 decades ago).

Based on what I have said above in this reply alone, you would think the case would have been re-opened and investigated this case further instead of leaving it marked "cleared by arrest".

In my opinion Mr. Shifflett needs to get a different hobby. Going around appearing to be a police officer is not good for anyone.

Deleted by moderator.

Nope "wow," I don't think you left anything out. :D Good summary of the situation. Save everybody the trouble of reading this tedious, mind numbing he-said she-said article.

Social Worker, some of us teach our children a healthy respect about not touching things that go boom and make a mess. On the other hand, some people don't. That's why you read about 8-year-old Sally shooting her 5-year brother Jeff dead with a weapon she found on the top shelf of a bedroom closet.

But even so, you don't leave a 4-year-old child in a car by themselves with any weapon. Who left this child in this car unattended? Think carefully about this and at length. And I will take a rain check on the therapist right now.

Thank you very much Hawes and Lisa and what a brilliant strategy to rid your readers of his high annoyingness!!!! Now it will be a simple matter for his long winded and off topic comments be replaced by a link to this article.

I think it would be a better idea to continue assuming you will simply have to skip over a reply here and there. :)

This is not newsworthy. Investigative journalists play an important role in pointing out injustices; however, this is not an injustice. It's a convoluted tale without enough information for anyone to draw a conclusion. I appreciate that both sides were presented, but I have to ask the writer, "Why did you compose this piece?"

"wow" summed it up nicely, though "Social Worker" is right to point out that he placed his child in proximity of a loaded shotgun.

It's the middle of summer. Nothing's going on. Last week's cover story was on local chefs' refrigerators. Charlottesville really only has enough news for a bi-weekly "city paper."

GSOE it suffices that you *had* a loaded shotgun in the proximity of a child while driving. At least she survived this bout of skillful parenting.

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.. ..a powerful cause of dissonance is an idea in conflict with a fundamental element of the self-concept, such as "I am a good person" or "I made the right decision." The anxiety that comes with the possibility of having made a bad decision can lead to rationalization, the tendency to create additional reasons or justifications to support one's choices. A person who just spent too much money on a new car might decide that the new vehicle is much less likely to break down than his or her old car. This belief may or may not be true, but it would reduce dissonance and make the person feel better. Dissonance can also lead to confirmation bias, the denial of disconfirming evidence, and other ego defense mechanisms.

Shifflett says what happened him isn't supposed to happen at the hands of law enforcement in America.

"And if they can d this to one off their own," he cautions, "what are they capable of doing to an ordinary citizen?"

The unfortunate answer to this question is that they can and do use this power to protect an international criminal who has
committed a felony at the expense of an innocent person with the help of various
levels of officialdom who have acted in
a corrupt manner.

Hitler would be proud.

"Not newsworthy?" I'd argue rather that this ought to be the cover story every week from now on.

A quick back-of-an-envelope calculation shows that Steve Shifflett's story is relevant to %47 of the stories that ever get published by the Hook. Or so He would have us believe anyway....

This will be invaluable reference material for years to come for those who care about what's really going on in this town. I suppose you noticed the completely convoluted use of tenses throughout the article. That is/was obviously done to indicate that none of this took place in the past, but in the eternal present. Simply put, this is the key to unlocking all of Chalbemarle's secrets. Could he/they have made that any more obvious for you?

Eternally Present- Eternally Relevant! Sadly, too many characters to fit on a license plate.

I don't much like GSOE. I probably wouldn't like Steve Shifflett much either, if I ever met him. And I don't think it's particularly wise for a former member of law enforcement who has ticked off law enforcement to drive around in law-enforcement style cars with license plates that imply one is a member of law enforcement. HOWEVER: Law enforcement is supposed to treat us all fairly. We're all enormously vulnerable to abuse of authority on the part of law enforcement. If SS was unfairly targeted and treated by LE, that should concern all of us. You don't have to like the guy to deplore LE abuse of authority.

He wins his lawsuits, after all.

I understand exactly, it's always someone else's fault. I'm just being picked on. Come on everyone ,Shifflett's enjoying all this attention.How many others are writing on the blogs when the story is about them? He's a want to be , who tried and failed at the job.
Who else spends their "free time" pretending to be a cop?

Seems like the taxpayers should know how
much money the government spent covering up
for this abuse........

Why isn't the HOOK demanding the records
be unsealed?

Like the lawyer afraid of retribution....
is the Hook too chicken to ask?

Mr. Shifflett, at any time did you inform the officer that there was a loaded shotgun in the car with your daughter who was alone in the car? If not, you are the liability.

Hoolarious, I don't like GSOE or Steve Shifflett either! :)

Observer, trust me, at the end of any given year you don't want to know how much of the taxpayer's money law enforcement agencies have had to pay out in judgements and settlements. It wasn't that long ago the county taxpayers had to fork out over $4 million to a family in a wrongful death lawsuit at the hands of cops. You don't even hear about most lawsuits, judgements and settlements against law enforcement agencies.

deleted by moderator

One minor setback in your little theory there. When a deputy sheriff is sworn in or leaves employment, RECORDS are kept in the Clerk's Office. No clerk or sheriff is going to falsify records in a Clerk's Office.

Nice try. Check in again when you have gotten ahold of better ammo. :)

Dear Gasbag.......

If we are shucking out as much money as you say, the Tea Party people will go wild......

Think what happened over a few teabags......

We as taxpayers need to DEMAND an accounting
of this sort of outrage.......

Wow, does anyone REALLY want to talk about anything other than the Morgan Dana Harrington or the Yeardly Love cases? Why does the Hook want to tell us what to talk about!

There are how many Steve Shifflett's in the world? A million? ZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.....I don't care about this story.

Very, very long, sleep-inducing story. There has to be something more interesting to report about than this.

Or maybe not.....The Hook's reporters are excellant. There are over 20,000 UVa students from all over the world with stories to tell, yet a story was done on some guy named Shifflett. :)

Say Morgan Harrington's killer is hiding outside of VA...where would he be? Mexico?

Wow, some of Shifflett's supporters make Blink's acolytes seem like cognitive thinkers

In other words, Hawes, it might be time soon for a mercy killing of this thread too

Observer, the last decade years has been terribly bad to law enforcement. Almost everybody now has at least a cell phone with a video camera. Wrongful actions by cops are being filmed more and more every day. Because of this the lawsuits, judgements and settlements will continue to grow like a wild weed. It's not like the old days when cops could do as they please and get by with it.

I just picked up a Droid X this morning. The video capability is absolutely amazing!

Hmmmm, are you saying that you are Sick of the Local Shiffletts?

HomeAtLast, I beg to differ. The purpose (or effect at least) is to "out" GSOE for being, at best, a rather marginal character. Has he been treated badly? Perhaps. Has he invited this treatment? Probably.

The man must have a grapefruit rind covering his ego, because he truly seems impervious to: reality, shame, exposure, defamation, infamy, etc.

In a way I sort of admire his pluck, but not really in the final analysis. This is the kind of resilience that certain toxic personalities have. Even though the man may have some eminently useful qualities it seems that they haven't been potentiated, and instead he lives in a cycle of vitriol and retribution.

Too bad.

Interesting article and we can leave out all the identity questions, but one part of the story is interesting. So it was Gary Pistulka who was responsible for that silly arrest for "impersonating a police officer".
Having had contact with Pistulka when he was "cop in residence" at Albemarle High, I believe him to be a rather unstable individual and always wondered if Albemarle County uses the same battery of psychological tests used by the State Police to screen applicants for stability, impulse control, and judgment. I gather they do not, and expect Pistulka to make the news in his own time for an incident that will cause scandal. Albemarle County has a number of low quality officers and the Police Dept. appears to cultivate a culture which encourages the rogue officer.

Thanks moderator, I post the truth and get my comments deleted. Other people post half truths and/or bold face lies and you leave them out there.
GSOE, you dont think someone would fudge a date before the paperwork was turned in.
You probably wont see this because it is the truth and the moderator will end up deleting it!

Please print some REAL news......why are you wasting your time with non newsworthy horse manure......Is Gasbag on the Hooks payroll now?? It seems to that you have not only giving Steve Shifflett a starring role in one of your articles but you have also set up a platform for him to either pose as Gasbag or a family member of his to pose as Gasbag and form any opinion he/she would like regarding the comments made about Steve but apparently from the opine above you delete what you find gets a little close to the sun. WOW!!! Love it and define irony? How many times the words "poser" came up in my comments. Bahahahahahaha!! Hook you are MUCH better than that comeon!!!

OMG! Somebody is famous...

Dr. Hook

You just keep coming back for more, don't ya? Shooting blanks at that. And accusing a deceased sheriff of wrongdoing, that's real brave when you know he isn't around to defend himself now. Are you proud of yourself?

No sheriff or court clerk is going to forge or alter official records for a friend. It just doesn't happen, risk their careers, ssalaries, benefits and retirement? Most intelligent people realize the penalties are too severe.

Court records will show that Shifflett became a sworn deputy sheriff in Greene County or about March 15, 1996 and left the Charlottesville Sheriff's Office on or about March 22, 1996. Court records will also show he was still a sworn deputy in Greene County on April 29, 1996 and April 30, 1997. They will also show that Shifflett resigned several years later when Sheriff Morris decided not to run for office again.

correction: above should read

"April 29, 1997 and April 30, 1997"

OK GSOE, you need to stop talking now. The attention you need is in a trained specialist. Seriously, a crown vic with a plate labeled SHERIFF and you want to be taken seriously? And the Hook writing an article about you knowing that you are the number one contributor to their blog...not journalism. It is a rag mentality.

GSOE, we both know changing a date is beyond him. Funny how the #2 guy says Shifflett was not an deputy but yet the #1 guy says yeah he is. Didnt mention that #1 didnt say that until the NEXT day!! I know what I am talking about. I am prouf of myself for telling the truth, maybe you should try it.
You are so quick to point out where the police are wrong and acting with malice but maybe you should take a look in the mirror and do a little self evaluation.

Gasbag: Don't explode. They are just jealous. You know what they say: "Couldn't catch a cold"
"Always stop for coffee on the way to the scene of the crime..."

Correction ...we both know changing a date is NOT beyond him.

This is not about bashing a person unable to defend themselves. Put the truth, the whole truth and not this made up bs out there and see how you fare among folks. You 15 mins of fame are quickly ticking by - enjoy it while you can. Karma can be cruel.

and GSOE, if you think you know better, step up and become a cop if you think you can. People like you make me sick. You get caught for the wrongdoing you do and blame the people who caught you?? What sense does that make? It is easy to hide behind words and to remain anonymous! Try being out in the public eye, where everyone knows who you are and judges every move you make whether you are working or not.

One more thing before I get off my soapbox -
Virginia Code section 18.2-174. "Impersonating officer.

Any person who shall falsely assume or exercise the functions, powers, duties and privileges incident to the office of sheriff, police officer, marshal, or other peace officer, or who shall falsely assume or pretend to be any such officer, shall be deemed guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor."

I think the car with the license plate, lights, scanners and antennas, etc can safely fall under "pretend to be any such officer"

Mopeds are kind of cool. Good mileage Etc.

Congrats Steve you're famous. You got the attention you wanted. It's fun being the center of attention is it not? This is why REAL POLICE OFFICERS don't seek fame or appreciation from news outlets. They are fickle and the general public are fickle. Tough when they love you one minute and hate you the next. Enjoy your 15 secs.

yup, i was trying to look at this objectively at first, but "OKthisisridiculous" really hit the spot. the hook fluctuates between interesting, insightful investigative journalism and complete baloney like this...writing an article about the "struggle" of your #1 blog commenter. pathetic.

also, he's certainly "invited" this treatment by being an incendiary character! can't wait for the article about sean next week!!! NOT

one more thing - social worker, i'd argue that the main purpose of this article is to get readers and web site hits, which is exactly what the hook will get because people love the GSOE show.

When is Tim Brown gonna get his own cover story? I lived in the shadow of Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl for years, my hall of fame stats always overlooked because of the numbers he was putting up. And now I live in the shadow of Gasbag on the comments. Its really heartbreaking and would make a good read...

@social worker - "This is not a portrait of a healthy lifestyle." hate to break the news to you (being the ex-wife of a cop) but a cop's children are left in proximity to loaded guns all the time, professional hazard. It's up to the parents (I think GSOE explained this) to teach their children NOT to touch such articles of destruction. That's promoting a healthy lifestyle. "Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.." Get a one time or other we have ALL (including YOU) have done this....the condintion becomes cronic when we do it everyday (your job could fit into this's okay to pass judgement on the limited amount of information I have due to the fact I have a degree in "whatever") So before you go blasting GSOE...go look in your own backyard from someone else's perspective...and yeah, I DO NOT LIKE social workers...find them VERY close to a cop in that they want to have power over others at that individual's cost. Hawes, time to squelch this thread before it gets really bad....

My guess is that some of the more vocal critics are peeved because they may have been hoping that Gasbag would finally get banned from the comments section (I've seen comments in the past indicating this wish) and instead, The Hook turned around and devoted an entire cover story to him. So for the critics, any hope of a Gasbag banning has been dashed to the ground, then stomped on for good measure. :D

It's a bitter day for some in Cville.....

@weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee - yep love the GSOE show! better than reality TV!! And he has had a valid point here and there. At least he makes it interesting....face it Cville isn't known for it's excitement! :)

Why would anybody think Gasbag would be banned from The Hook? He doesn't sit around here telling blatant lies like some people do. He doesn't call people names. He would like to curse occasionally, but the software is a better man in this case.

If you love the GSOE show, just wait until you see the next chapter. It's coming!

Is GSOE a cop? No.

But he did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

What is the "next chapter" Gas? give us a hint, a movie? a reality tv show? you gonna run against Periello? Please, just a hint.

SJones...a "great" father would not drag his daughter further into this mess and make her testify in court and put a personal photo of his daughter in this article. All her friends at school are now judging her on Facebook. How embarrassing for her! The Hook might as well have published the family photo so we can all see what the wife looks like. Why leave her out?

What The Heck, I'm afaraid I will agree with you somewhat.

But, it's pretty sad when a juvenile has to stand in court and has no choice but to testify against yet another sworn police officer in this state committing perjury under oath.

She should not have been placed in this position. But who placed her there?

Thank God this area is blessed with so many decent, hard working and honest cops. The other few (2%?) need to be identified, fired and/or jailed. No person in this entire USA should condone perjury by sworn police officers.

S Jones...I could care less about the article. It's the same old thing every 6 months about his poor life. Whatever. I just don't like that he felt it necessary to put his daughter's pictures in a publicated magazine. It has NOTHING to do with her! Putting her photo when she was 5 years old in this article was in very poor taste, and I have the right to say that!

The actual phrase is "couldn't care less".

If you "could care less", you could care less. :)

not to mention they haven't found Morgan Harrington's killer ... and the Abelmarle Police Chief is retiring. there is definitely something wrong with that area.

Thanks GSOE for the correction.

GSOE ... in your opinion, what is the possibility that LE is involved in some way, shape or form with the Morgan Harrington case? do you think the perp / perp(s) have direct ties to LE? how could this happen and 9 months later nothing? even with the university police, VSP, and the FBI assisting? is this suspect / suspects really that much better and smarter than all of the people working on this case?

I think there is zero percent chance that a cop is involved in the Harrington murder. I also think there is a zero percent chance that any cop is involved in suppressing evidence or covering up anything in the Harrington case.

Some cops will lie and deny for other cops. That's a fact. The best example is the New York case where detectives impaled a guy with a broomstick, they all lied and denied for each other until one of them finally snapped and confessed. But in a murder case, I just don't see it happeneing in the Charlottesville and Albemarle area.

It took 12 years to finally catch a serial rapist in this area. It could very well take as long to bring justice to the Harrington case (and other unsolved murders).

Identifying and arresting a murderer is not as easy as it is portrayed on all these TV shows.

GSOE - thank you.


Don't you think it is very strange for a man to drive a crown victoria with the vanity plate "SHERIFF", with a loaded shotgun, with a police scanner, when he is not in any way working for the police department?

BTW, I wasn't aware you could have a loaded gun in the car with you (not in the trunk but in the passenger part). What is the rule with that? Does it just have to be easily viewable? I usually keep my gun in the trunk if I travel with it, which is rare.

Let's clear this license plate up here once and for all.

The license plate SHERIFF has been on Camaro IROC-Zs, Corvettes, Trans Ams, an Oldsmobile 442, conversion vans, pickup trucks, etc... for the last 25 years. As I got older and started buying larger family sedans such as Chevrolet Caprices and Crown Victoria (the last two full American size cars with a full frame, rear wheel drive, and a 5 star crash rating at the time). It only seemed to become a problem after 1997. Do the math and tell me what you come up with.

Let me tell you a little short story. The very first day Virginia DMV started issuing seven letter personalized license plates to the public, the sheriff I was working for at the time came into the office about 11:00 a.m. huffing and puffing about somebody beating him to the personalization. I was in the office at the time and he was hot under the collar about somebody snatching it away from him. Nobody snatched anything from him, he should have been at DMV at 9:00 a.m. when they opened. I didn't say a word during his little temper trantrum. It was about 6 months before he realized I had applied for and received the personalization and I never heard the end of it. He begged me to let him have it. My exact words to him were, "You've never done a thing for me, why should I?"

Once again, they are not "police scanners". There is no such thing as a "police scanner". They are SCANNERS. People use them to monitor fire, rescue, medical helicopters, etc... But, speaking of using a scanner to monitor police activities, this is one of the biggest problems in this area right now... the city and county police don't want people to know there are scanners now available that will allows citizens to pick up their new 800 trunked frequencies. Scanning is a hobby. I have owned and used scanners since I was 17. And I probably will until I die. It wasn't a problem until 1997, do the math again.

-- continued --

I do not think it is appropriate for me to give you legal advice as to what you can carry in your vehicle, either concealed or in plain view. Research federal law and state law to determine your rights as an American citizen. And yes, as usual, some state laws are trumped by federal law. As an example, Harrisonburg, Virginia was recently claiming no firearms in city parks. Yeah, uh huh! Sure! It was pointed out to them that they were in violation of federal law and they backed up real quick.

I do not think it is strange for any person in this country to have loaded firearms in their home or vehicles. I have often encouraged citizens to possess firearms for self defense. And I still do. As for the reality and legality of a loaded weapon in a car... ask 15 cops and get 15 different answers. That's the way the legal system works in this country. It wasn't long ago a group of individuals were arrested in a Northern Virginia restaurant for "open carry" of firearms. The cops were on the wrong side of the law and ended up getting sued. Rightfully so I might add.

Whoa... whoa... whoa.... Cut the music!!! You had an IROC with license plate SHERIFF on it??? I severely underestimated who I was talking to.

I take back anything negative I have ever said about you in the past. You, Gasbag, are the MAN. Keep on keepin on

Deleted by moderator.

So the man in the article, Steve Shifflett, is actually the poster named Gasbag Self Ordained Expert?

Is that what people are saying here? If that's the case......the article is still boring to me.

You know, if the guy in the police sketch really is the guy who murdered Morgan Harrington, he may have been in a lifelong situation of crime to the extent that he could be DEAD. Has anyone considered that? Is there a way to check recent obituary photos in the Charlottesville area?

For lack of anything better to do on a Friday I decided to read this snooze fest waiting for my t.v. program to come on and I have to laugh at this. The plan is for this to be my only response as I refuse to feed the beast so they say. Windbag says that he doesn't tell blatant lies....maybe not but it certainly appears you tell distorted truths and your commentary is kind of contradict yourself? Tomato/Tomoto.

See next post as I break it down for you.

1. He says he says the police officer "abused his power" for pulling him over and then? Wala....he admits there may have been something with his turn signal which then makes it .....Ta da -- a legal stop.
2. He talks about being sworn in as an auxilary deputy and afraid this stop was going to get him "fired." Don't you have to be hired to be fired? Auxillaries are glorified explorers with a pay....can't work alone, not even your own car boo hoo.
3. It was wrong for my daughter to be left in a car with loaded shotgun for 45 min. Uh....why was there a loaded shot gun IN the capsule of the car rather than the trunk? I agree you can teach your kids not to touch the stuff but if you are going to point fingers at the deputy why detained you, you also need to point at yourself. Bad Daddy.
4. Slim Jims plural issued to him? Most deputies are lucky to have one and may I remind you he was an auxillary aka dora the explorer with a gun.
5. Sheriff's Office hours Monday through Friday 8:30 to 4:30 no Saturdays and Sundays. Uh....where in the heck do they work those hours, I know some folks that will apply??? Most counties are 24/7.
6. No police officer would forge a document, they wouldn't risk it because of pay, retirement and blah blah blah
7. Quote of "some cops will lie and deny" for other cops.......
Wow which is it Windbag?
I was mentally EXHAUSTED after that article and these comments. It was like watching Two face in a Batman movie....."He's an honorable man"....other side of the face "Who are you kidding he's scum." "They were wrong to pull me". other side of the face "But scarred up side of the face we did do something illegal." Have no issues with people having scanners, but I think anything resembling a police vehilce should be pulled and stripped. There was a period of time there was "tales running through the Ville" of cars attempting to pull other people over with blue lights and turned out to not be the real thing, so I say get rid of any possibility. Good night......

The fact that he can't let police work go (well, he really didn't do that)speaks of mental illness- or at least some obsession. Putting his daughter into it speaks of poor taste.

Yes "hmmmm," Steve Shifflett, the subject of this article, is Gasbag Self Ordained Expert, formerly known as Sick of the Local Rambos.

Forked Tongue, have you ever noticed how easily simple minded people blow their cover while hiding behind a bush and trying to post anonymously. You are obviously somebody very close to the main core of this three ring circus. In reference to your #2, not one person here has said anything about this traffic stop possibly causing a loss of any type of employment to anybody. A similar discussion did take place at the scene of the original traffic stop of April 29, 1997, lasted about 4 seconds, and you had to get the gist of it from somebody at the scene of the original traffic stop on April 29, 1997. Try to hide a little better next time when you post here and try to portray the appearance of an "unbiased civilian." Busted!

And you show your lack of knowledge in reference to the Greene County Sheriff's Office as well. Auxiliary deputies most certainly did work alone when I was working there. They also had full unsupervised use of whatever patrol vehicle they could find while I was workig there. If none were available, we went to the homes of the off duty deputies and took theirs to work a 12 hour shift. Scott Haas and Randy Snead will confirm this if you need to be brought up to speed. It does not come as a surprise to me that you once again have NO idea of what you are talking about.

Fast forward to 2010, I have no idea if they are Dora The Explorers or not. Are they? They can't use a car and work alone now?

And in reference to your #1, if you had read above you would have seen where I said a lot took place prior to the traffic stop. What exactly took place is on a need to know basis. And you don't need to know.

Bye Jimmy G!

Mr/Mrs/Miss Say What, I didn't put my daughter in the middle of anything. I've never gone anywhere and invited any cop to falsely arrest me for anything while my daughter is in the vehicle with me.

Mental illness? Yeah. That's what former sheriff Carlton Baird said when I filed 2 grievance procedures against him.... and WON both of them. The nerve of me... "contempt of sheriff". :)

Scanners don't pick up the 800 mgz the police are using in Albemarle County without spending some serious money. So you must really want to be in the "loop." Unless you can share an easier way to listen in?

Do what? People are out here spending $125 a month on cell phones, $100 a month for satellite TV, $400 to $900 a month on each of their car payments, and God only knows how much on wine and beer each month.

And you call a one time fee of $350 a lot for a new 800 capable scanner? :)

The subliminal distraction guy should demand a cover story next week.

S Jones, even I can't understand much of what you just said. You were really distracted by something while you were typing that reply! :)

Deleted by moderator.

Fair enough.

I'm not exactly sure about the driver's seat but I know for a fact it's okay to have a loaded gun in the trunk. Other than that I don't really konw.

Would someone please explain to me just what exactly Peter Chang has to do with all of this? I know it must be the key to making sense of it all. Sean, where are you when I need you? Wohoaaaaa, there goes my cubical, blinking again...................barely made it back... thank Jah for the full range of protection modern metal foils offer us. Got copper in this baby.

I get the feeling that The C-Ville Weekly is fading away. At least, it's a lot more fun posting on this website than theirs. :)

It seems awkward posting about a story when the subject of the story is right HERE posting with us. :)

Did the Hook know he was a frequent poster when they decided to do this story?

And now I'm wondering if the killer of Morgan Harrington ever posts on also.

Mr/Mrs/Miss Hmmm, I get the feeling C-Ville Weekly was castrated over a decade ago. For whatever reason, they don't take on any controversial topics any longer. Fear of retribution perhaps?

The last interesting article I read there was a special report called "Behind The Tarnished Badge" back in the late 90s. As ironic as it may seem, the report was about what they called a turbolent career, a host of lawsuits against the Albemarle police, and many bad decisions made by one of the cops actually mentioned above in this story. It covered the same material from 1997 that this Hook story is about. It went on to cover the aftermath, the cop being removed from patrol and placed in the school system as a school resource officer. And it covered his quick removal from said position in the school system and the school resource officer program being reorganized under a different command officer. I'm sure the commentor above named "angel eyes" probably remembers all of this, based upon her comments above.

"Behind The Tarnished Badge" also went on about how the cop threatened the life of an exoctic lion that a local businessman legally possessed with a federal license. It was a face to face confrontation between the lion, the businessman, and the cop... in the businessman's place of business. I do not recall a lot of the specific details about this without digging out the weekly, but the businessman named Fred Lundmark also ended filing lawsuits for wrongfull actions committed against him and that lion that evening. The exotic lion caper was a very volatile event in this community. I am still amazed to this day that it did not erupt into a deadly shootout... with a combination of the lion, the businessman or the cop being shot dead. If I recall correctly, attorney Allison McKeel also dropped out of his lawsuits for fear of retribution at the hands of the police department. I now wonder how his lawsuits ended up, I haven't seen or spoke with him for a decade.

correction: above should read "short, yet turbulent career".

The cop was still a rookie at the time.

JJ, above I really should have said you should research federal law, state law and your local laws to determine your rights as an American citizen. And some state and local laws are trumped by federal law.

Cities and counties like to bluff people into believing they have every right to control firearms, when they really don't.

Many gun rights are being restored to individuals now. Before July 1, 2010, any person with a concealed weapons permit had to openly display their firearm if going into a restaurant with an ABC license. The law just changed. A person with a concealed weapons permit can now conceal the friearm as long as they don't drink alcoholic beverages while there.

I still say if Mr. Shifflett hasn't been a police officer since 1996, then he can hardly be considered any kind of expert on police procedure or tactics. New laws go into effect every July 1st, I'm sure he has missed out on a few things.

I have to ask Gasbag this question:

Since it can lead to so much possible misunderstanding, why do you insist on keeping a license plate that says "SHERIFF"!

If someone is suddenly in trouble, and they see a moving or parked car with a license plate like that, they may go over to the house or person who owns that car that has that license plate on it, needing some kind of serious help. :)

Mr/Mrs/Miss Really?, what part of "self ordained expert" do you not understand? :)

And where did you come up with 1996? Just like every law enforcement officer in Virginia, I had to attend state mandated in-service training every 24 months until I finally resigned from the profession.

Mr/Mrs/Miss Hmmm, I keep the license plate because I have had it ever since the very first day DMV released seven letter personalization to the public. Somebody in Virginia has CHIEF on their license plate. Another person has DEPUTY. Somebody in Virginia has COP CAR on their license plate. Somebody in Virginia also has COP on their license plate. And thousands of people have Fraternal Order of Police license plates on their cars in Virginia. Exactly what type of misunderstandings do any of these personalized license plates cause? Can you give me a few examples? I don't subscribe to the theory that anybody would ever run up to me seeking help. It hasn't happened in 25 years.

I also don't subscribe to the theory that any bonafide police impersonator would ever try to pull somebody over with COP, DEPUTY, CHIEF, or Fraternal Order of Police license plates displayed on their cars.

In a 50 mile radius of Charlottesville there must be at least 300+ old auctioned off cop cars with standard issue license plates displayed on them. That's the ones you and law enforcement should be concerned about. One of them, a black Crown Victoria, was up in Madison County sexually assaulting females recently. There was also a gray one in Greene County pulling people over too.

In my self ordained expert opinion, cop shoppes should not use unmarked cars in any type of traffic stop. And motorists should not be required to stop in unpopulated ares for unmarked cars. This should also be a major concern of yours rather than concentrating on the logic behind why people have certain personalized license plates on their cars.

Gasbag, I always thought the key animal of Behind the Tarnished badge was a python or some sort of snake, not a lion, but maybe I'm wrong on that - its been awhile...

Maybe it started as some sort of python complaint? After all, it was in a pet shoppe. But it definitely ended with the face to face confrontation with an exotic lion. I loved that big ole cat!

Behind The Tarnished Badge wasn't a tale based on any one event. It was based on how this rookie had come here from the midwest, made so many mistakes in such a short time, and how he had gotten himself and the police department sued so often.

More recently there was this stink...

quote from The Hook, 8/24/06: In court, Jenkins maintained that the 13-year-old was not a suspect until after the family voluntarily brought in its computer and Detective Gary Pistulka told her it had been tampered with.

That's another sore point for the family. "[The boy] was detained for 60 days because Detective Pistulka said the computer was tampered with," says Heilberg. "You didn't hear about that in court."

Pistulka testified that as an investigator he does interviews and executes search warrants. He also takes possession of computers, performs analysis using software in which he's not certified, and writes reports.

"I think it's inexcusable," says the boy's father, "that in the county, one, the only person who does computer forensics is not certified, and two-- even more inexcusable-- there's no one to check his work."

Word. I was at the school when Pistulka came in to be our resource officer. Seeing him wreck on his bike in the middle of the breezeway one day during lunch was a classic - Im sure you would have enjoyed it Gasbag

I hope the bike wasn't damaged. :)

Gasbag, Did you ever attend a law enforcement academy like the one required for officers today? Were you ever a road officer that made traffic stops on your own? did you operate a Greene County sheriffs car by yourself.

I believe Pistulka is still currently employed in a Law Enforcement capacity and Mr. Shifflett is not. I agree Mr. Shifflett there is a lot more to this story. I feel like I'm hearing your version of what the truth is. If Mr. Pistulka is such a terrible officer then how come he is still an officer and you can't even get back into the field? Doesn't make any sense. Kind of like reading a one sided article. Yep, a lot more to the story.

Simon, yes to all your questions.

Upon graduation from the cop shoppe academy, we also had to go back every two years for what was called in-service training.

As I said above, while I was working there, auxiliary deputies in Greene County used whatever car they could find. If you want a second opinion just ask current 2nd in command Randy Snead, I went to his house and took his car several times to work 12 hour shifts. He didn't like it, and I didn't really like using other people's take home cars. I never liked it when I working in Charlottesville either. A deputy once came to my house and took my take home car one day when I was off. When I got it back, prisoners had used the handpull on the back door as an ash tray. They had put cigarettes out in it and melted the vinyl.

I don't know if the current Greene County sheriff even has an auxiliary deputy program any longer. And if he does, I have no idea if he lets auxiliary use cars to patrol by themselves now or not. Sheriff Morris told me many times that the current sheriff (Scott Haas) never approved of the program, and that's why he should not have been answering any questions posed to him on April 29, 1997 and April 30, 1997 by another agency trying to confirm the identity of an auxiliary deputy.

I can't talk about the actual 1997 arrest and the cops involved, that's part of the signed and sealed settlement. Anything reported above in this story was discussed the with reporter years ago before the settlement was signed. But I think I can say the story above just can't go into all the fine details, it just way too long a story to tell, it would have taken every page in The Hook this week to tell the full tale. For example, the story does not tell you that the then Captain Scott Haas said, "Hell no, he's not a deputy! Get our badge from him and bring it back to me please! HaHaHa! Hey, let me check with Sheriff Morris and I will get back to you shortly!"
Scott Haas was joking around.

And furthermore, I did not want to get back into the feild after I resigned from the Greene County Sheriff's Office. I had a relative offer me a position as 2nd in command in his sheriff's office a few years before he died. I turned down the job for two reason, 1) I would have to move into the county, something I did not want to do, and 2) I did not want to inflict the nepotism upon the fine officers already working in the department. I had left a department in 1996 that was eat up with nepotism and favoritism.

Mr/Mrs/Miss Really?, I really do not know the answer to your question.

Let's not forget one thing, folks. I did not file any type of lawsuit or cause of action against 911, the 911 director, or any of his assistants. And therefore I do not have any type of signed and sealed agreement or settlement with them stating the "blame game" can not be discussed in the future.

So, having said the above, I issued a subpoena for the 911 tapes of April 29, 1997 and April 30, 1997. Debbie Wyatt, one of my attorneys, told me to trust her, that I would never see them! She, as usual, was right!

I called Margie Thomas one day and asked why the production of the tapes to me had been delayed. She said they had the balcony collapse at UVA and had to prepare those tapes for somebody. OK, when will my tapes be ready? Margie Thomas said she would have them to me by Friday. When Friday rolled around I received a registered letter from the 911 director claiming the tapes had "accidentally" been destroyed.

At the very same time we found a 911 employee who claims he had been told to wear old clothes to work the next day for a special assignment. His assignment was to take tapes and cut them into pieces no longer than 1". If we had gone in front of a jurt, he was ready and willing to testify in court that he felt with a high degree of certainty that these were the tapes I had issued a subpoena for. (I never understood this though, it seems like it would be easier to have just burned the tapes.)

Tapes "accidentally" destroyed. You do the math! Let me know what you come up with, folks! :)

Really? - you are correct - Pistulka is still in a law enforcement capacity - just saw him this past week. And Gasbag - the bike made it through just fine

There's still a lot of people in law enforcement that shouldn't be.

The problem is the list of those who shouldn't be and are no longer in law enforcement is much smaller than the above.

What exactly does "Sheriff" Shifflett do for a living, besides being a professional litigator?

More importantly, where do I apply for such a gig?

To Gasbag: do you still plan to drive with your "Sheriff" license plate on your car?

Very good question, Hmmm. And I actually appreciate your asking it. Ya see, here's a little known fact that could not be included in this story simply due to The Hook not wanting to occupy the entire week's edition with this tale.

At the time the victim in Alexandria claimed a 1997 or older dark blue Crown Victoria (the older body style) stopped him in Alexandria, my newer body style light blue Crown Victoria was in storage and had not been driven for 6 to 8 months. I had just bought a new Cadillac DTS and was driving it in the evenings, and driving my company car during the day. I had other cars and trucks not being driven at the time as well, I was enjoying the Cadillac way too much. Had we gone to trial, the inspection stickers on the Crown Victoria proved that the car had not even been driven 200 miles between Sept of 2004 and Sept of 2005. So the vehicle did not and could not have traveled to Alexandria on Dec 16, 2004 at 5:00 a.m. in the morning to stop some old man who was speeding.

I only drive this Crown Victoria about 6, 7, or 8 times a year. And this is to keep the battery charged and the fluids circulated in the drivetrain. Am I going to keep driving it with SHERIFF on the license plate? Yes. Probably about 6, 7 or 8 times a year. I bought it brand new from Ford Motor Company. It will eventually be a 30 year old car with less than 20,000 miles on it.

Let's go back to the victim for a second now. He was not a "retired cop" as media outlets kept describing him. He was a cop for 2 years back in the 80s. He was injured on the job and left the profession. And I feel this was a blessing in disguise for American citizens if this man could not tell the difference between a 140 pound 20-ish year old Hispanic male with black hair and a 220 pound 55 year old white male with gray hair. The judge knew this man had some sort of problem as he himself interrogated the victim on the stand. The judge dismissed the charge before I had to utter one word in my own defense.

The Charlottesville cop who actually arrested me was (I assume) hoping to find where I had been in Alexandria and perhaps had rented a motel room or charged food or gas. He took my wallet from me and recorded every number off my bank cards and credit cards. After this I had to cancel every single credit card and bank card I had and have them reissued with new cards and new numbers. You think I am going to trust my credit card and bank cards numbers floating around in the hands of rookie cops I didn't even know?

I wonder what that's like, having so many cars that you take one of them out a few times a year just to keep the battery charged. o_O

That's the one thing that I keep thinking as I read Gasbag's responses (not that it's important or relevent to anything, just something I notice) "How many cars does this dude have??" :D Seriously.

"Camaro IROC-Zs, Corvettes, Trans Ams, an Oldsmobile 442, conversion vans, pickup trucks, etc..."

" newer body style light blue Crown Victoria was in storage and had not been driven for 6 to 8 months. I had just bought a new Cadillac DTS and was driving it in the evenings, and driving my company car during the day...."

Little old me just has my one beat up old car from '93 that I've been driving for the last 9 years. oh well.

Anyway. Back to the conspiracy and snarky fighting....

Sometimes when I'm in a certain kind of mood I will go way in the back of one of my garages and get out my '31 Stutz Bearcat with the Thompson gun in the rumble seat. It just warms my cockles to drive this around and around the Taco bell parking lot honking the horn and letting occasional bursts of automatic fire warm the cool fall evening. All you haters need to refudiate your hating ways! Arf Arf.

@booo! - obviously GSOE has a lot of cars! Some people collect coins, he collects cars...his choice, wouldn't want to pay his insurance bills...but I own four cars, so I can't throw rocks!!!

Yeah, he hates attention - that's why he's left 34 comments on the article. By the way, anyone can call VDMV and complain about a license plate they deem offensive or inappropriate. Just sayin'.

35 now! :)

Would you mind scrolling through the replies again and list the top 10 posters for us?

In reference to whining to DMV, it's already been attempted several times. If anybody ever succeeds, my friends say the car would look downright evil and sinister with standard issue license plates on it anyway. I'm not sure I want the evil and sinister look. I sorta wish Virginia would issue Fred Flintstone license plates.

Yawn. When I saw the cover I just didn't pick it up.
You really can't encourage things like this

Yes you did! And you couldn't lay it down until you finished ready the entire story.

A retired neighbor came out and greeted me as I was leaving home a little while ago. He said Lisa did a real good job on this story. Another neighbor familiar with the events said it was a shame Lisa could not have gone into more of the fine details whether it took 25 pages or not. I didn't even know these neighbors get and read The Hook.

Sure are a lot of Shif(f)let(t)(e)s in these parts. League nights at Keglers especially.

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deleted by moderator (again)

To Gasbag: do you still plan to drive with your "Sheriff" license plate on your car?

"Am I going to keep driving it with SHERIFF on the license plate? Yes. Probably about 6, 7 or 8 times a year."


Well, Lisa Provence has shown that she's not afraid to stick her nose in to a controversial story. What's she going to write about next?!

Lisa Provence should investigate the Morgan Harrington murder herself. I think she has what it takes! How about interviewing the parents yourself, Lisa! I think she's not afraid to ask the tough questions. I never saw any of the media ask any TOUGH questions of the Harrington's. Maybe the Harrington's would only answer questions that they read over first?

What "tough questions" do you want asked, Hmmm?

Boys, boys, boys! Let it go! All of it!

There are REAL bad guys out there. Go get 'em!

Ole Gaspasser Shifflett is kind of like Napoleon Dynamite's uncle Rico... "If only the Sheriff would put me in the game I wouldn't have to impersonate cops..."

The Hook is becoming more like the Enquirer every single week...

Anyone that drives a car like that with that license plate is as my grandma said once, "He Ain't right.."

S Jones, I doubt if there is a top 10 list of posters here. As was done in another topic a while back, the IP addresses were noted and one person was using about 15 different user names to post in one topic. It was hilarious!

It will not surprise me at all to see this was done again in this topic.

Mr/Mrs/Miss boink, you are correct. But there doesn't seem to be any cops left out here competent enough to catch the REAL bad guys. In Alexandria alone, the sheriff's wife was murdered. They still haven't made an arrest in that murder. Having seen the ones being promoted to detective in Alexandria lately, I seriously doubt they will ever find the person who murdered the sheriff's wife.

Mr/Mrs/Miss Hmmm, while I feel Lisa did a good job on this story, after all she has been working on it for years and must have spent days reading the court files, I haven't seen any tough questions being answered. All I see is where phone calls were not returned and people saying "no comment". She did however get one answer that has people busting at the seams with laughter all over town, "I don't want my name smeared!" Everybody that's called me over the last few days comments on how ironic this answer was coming from an Albemarle cop who had himself been fired. Talk about ROFL, I even had a brother-in-law that thought he had honorably retired from albemarle County. His name should have been smeared back in 2000, just like the recent sexcapdes at the county police department! :)

Chief Miller says the amount of taxpayer money paid out in lawsuits and settlements should be exposed, the public has a right to know. I tend to agree with him. But at the same time, the reasons any cop being paid with taxpayer money is fired should also be available to the public as well.

I can sympathize with his indignation at injustice and his frustration with bad cops and also with good cops who sometimes do bad things. I do not believe LE has adequate mandates or manpower to protect us. I also believe that GSOE has compassion and is a voice of reason on certain important issues.

Mr/Mrs/Miss wearenotsafe, I've said this many times before, but I will say it again. The courts have ruled that the cop shoppes have on obligation to protect anybody. Their main function in society nowadays is responding after the fact, helping to get the mess cleaned up, and arresting a suspect if they are still there drinking a beer and waving to the cops.

About 15 years ago, a lady with Texas license plates on a small pickup truck passed me on I-64 doing about 100 to 110 mph. She was weaving in and out of traffic and barely maintaining control of her vehicle. I called the state police and reported her reckless driving. Within 2 minutes and 2 miles a state trooper named Tracy Carter was on top of things and had stopped her. To the best of my recollection, this was the last time I have ever been able to say there was a cop closeby when you needed one.

All of this brings me back to another favorite debate of mine. There is a shortage of cops out on the streets now because so many have been ripped out of patrol and placed in specialzed units. You take 20 cops and toss them into local "drug enforcement". Another 15 or 20 into "traffic units" working daylight hours. Countless others assigned to various community programs. How many tossed into the various city and count schools? Another 20 perhaps? And this is just the tip of the iceberg when discussing all of the many specialzed units out here in the local police departments. There's no wonder the cop shoppes have nobody left over to work patrol and answer calls when the citizens need help. Short of a murder, rape, robbery or fight in progress, the cop shoppes now want you to file your incident or event online or by a phone call. Don't be surprised if you can't even get a cop to respond when your tool shed is broken into and you have a $2,500 riding mower stolen.

it's Mr. I hear you, Steve. Decades later, and we're living with many of the same threats and issues I hoped we'd have fixed by now. I'm sorry for the worry all of this must have caused your family, and send you Best Regards.

or they discourage you from filing at all

eitr, I have heard that as well. Each report the cops take increases the overall "crime rate" at the end of the year. And an increased crime rate is the last thing a chief or sheriff wants people to read about at the end of the year. :)

Shiffletts Shifletts, Morrises, family in-fighting, he said-she said, abuse of power, and pretending to be something than what you are?

Yep. This is a Cville Story to its core.

S Jones, I don't even know where Roosevelt Brown Blvd is. From looking at the map displayed by Channel 19 news, I guess it's what police dispatch and cops call the "10th Street Connector". And I'm not sure what question you want answered about the assault. To me, it's just normal life in Charlottesville and Albemarle County now. Criminals know the chances of a cop shoppe car coming by while they are committing their crimes and catching them are about 1 in a million nowadays. People take their lives into their own hands when they walk the streets in this area after dark. See above where I explained my theory on why the patrol divisions don't have adequate coverage now. There will be more and more of these attacks upon citizens until the chiefs get more patrol cars back out on the streets.

so all of this started because he has tinted windows and used his police ID to justify it?

It is too bad that the cops will expend so much energy on something like this when they hhave iraq war veterans to arrest and their pregnant girlfriends to push around.

On the bright side at least they haven't run over any disabled people this year.

agarn, read above again....

"On the way home, at 8:10pm, Albemarle County Police Officer Gary Pistulka stops Shifflett at Free Bridge for suspicion of having illegally tinted windows. Shifflett says he has a Virginia State Police exemption certificate, and besides that, according to his lawsuit, Pistulka didn't have a tint meter anyway. Pistulka allegedly called the document a 'forgery,' says Shifflett, and confiscated it."

And in reference to cop shoppe cars running over people this year, there's still 5 months left in this year. :)

How dark is the tint? A medical exemption in in the Code of Virginia for tint isn't the blanket exemption everyone thinks it is. A medical exemption is the state of Virginia only allows you to darken the front/side windows to 35%. The lowest they can be on the back/side windows is 35%. So if your front windows or back windows are under 28%, cause they have to give you 7% tolerence by law, then you were in violation.

Window Expert, all my cars, trucks, SUVs and vans are tinted legally. And always have been.

Who is this "everyone" that thinks it's a blanket exemption?

And of course the tint allowances are quite different for special use vehicles and SUVs ya know. The law you mention applies to some passenger cars only.

But, while we are on the subject, state code 46.2-1052 says:

B. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, whenever a motor vehicle is equipped with a mirror on each side of such vehicle, so located as to reflect to the driver of such vehicle a view of the highway for at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle, any or all of the following shall be lawful:
1. blah blah blah
2. blah blah blah
3. To drive a motor vehicle when the driver's clear view of the highway through the rear window or windows is otherwise obstructed.

What I have done in my company car recently is the legal tint, combined with black shades which have the effect of totally blacking out the rear windshield and the side rear windows. Totally legal by law. And it protects the interior from sun rot and fade, and it keeps the interior 20 degrees cooler. The downside of this is it does makes the window tint look much darker than it realy is. But still legal whether rookies like it or not nowadays.

In a SUV I own, I have everything rear of the driver's window done in limo tint (5%), perfectly legal in Virginia. It also makes the interior 20 degrees cooler than normal on a hot humid day. And still perfectly legal.

Obviously I touched a nerve. You had to pull out the code of Virginia to look it up. Suv and most trucks nowadays come from the factory with "security tint" on all back windows from the FACTORY. If it comes from the factory that way it is considered legal. The front windows in Virginia are not handled that way. Thanks for calling me an expert. I always thought I was smart, but didn't want to brag. I also like the shortened version of 46.2-1052, to help make your arguement. Next time just use the whole code section, that way it doesn't look like manipulating things.

You touched a nerve? That's hilarious! I know the entire window tint code in Virginia word for word. It's a shame city and county rookies don't. They just don't seem to get the same training that our illustrious troopers in Virginia do.


A lot of people have scanners. Earlier I mentioned my criminal minded brother who was obsessed with all things cop, and wanted to be a cop. We lived in SoCal and he had a bunch of scanners that were always going, 24/7. It was intersting stuff, getting to hear what sort of things were going on all around Orange County, the stuff cops were getting calls for. Anybody can do the scanning thing and apparently many do. It gives you the inside scoop into what's really going on. For instance, when the cops were planning "raids" of various apartment complexes around south Orange County known for their high numbers of immigrants (ie, illegal aliens) my brother knew about it a week in advance. Nobody else knew though, including me, and then I come home one afternoon with a notice that had been tacked on our door from the local power company talking a planned power outage scheduled for our complex on Saturday night...which just so happened to coincide with the secret raid that the police were staging, as my brother informed me, according to all their back and forth chatter on the scanners all week. Imagine the coincidence! (roll eyes.) So Saturday night rolls around, the power is out, and cops and cop cars are crawling all over our complex. I watched as some turned into the entrance of the complex and cut their headlights, trolling in the dark, trying to be so stealth. At one point we were sitting on our 2nd floor balcony in the dark listening to the sounds of footsteps running every which way on the sidewalk and in the brush below, most likely the Mexicans. Apparently the cops were kicking in doors and whatnot, I don't know. It was scary stuff even though we're white and very much legal. Just knowing that they do that sort of thing, working in cahoots with the power company (!!!) to have the lights cut in an apartment complex so they can run around in the dark, doing their thing?? And the average citizen schmoe had no idea, because they don't have scanners. They don't have the means to get that heads up and put 2 and 2 together. At the time I emailed the OC Weekly to tell them about this, which is the indie newspaper equivelent of The Hook, serving all of Orange County, and they were interested in the story.....but without verified license plate numbers of the cop cars involved they wouldn't pursue the story. So it died right there.

Police scanners may not be very exciting here in central Virginia, nothing compares to Orange County, L.A. and San Diego ;) but it's still intersting.

That's just plain crazy. If the cop shoppe is running around on covert operations, I would want all the lights cut out. Once your eyes adjust to the dark, you can actually see them better! WTF is wrong with these mental giants?

Ya see, when the city cops served a false arrest warrant on me back in February of 2005 I had been inside looking at a bright computer screen. They had parked their cars a block away in true Rambo style so I wouldn't see them coming or know who was knocking on my door. First knock, I wasn't expecting anybody, I sorta ignored it. Second knock, I looked out the door and saw nobody and no cars out front. My dog in the back yard then alerted me that somebody was circling my home and invading the his space. The dog was waking up all of my neighbors, I had to do something about it. When I finally walked outside... think about what would have happened if I had taken a firearm with me for self defense. When the cops came walking around the corner of the house from my back yard I could not determine who they were because my eyes had not adjusted down from looking into a bright computer screen, it was just 3 people dressed in dark clothing rushing towards me. Suppose I raised a firearm and ordered them to halt? Perhaps this was being orchestrated so I would come outside with a firearm? Think about it for a few minutes.

I was placed in a very dangerous situation by the tactics used by the Charlottesville Police Department in serving this false arrest warrant on me. They knew I had been associated with and in law enforcement for 30 years. They knew I had no criminal record or history of violence. They could have called me on the phone and asked me to meet them at the Magistate's Office, it was that darn simple! If I failed to meet them, send Rambo Swat then! Nobody is going to flee the country over a simple misdemeanor false arrest warrant! WTF were they thinking?

Two nights later, when they needed to talk to me again, they had no problem calling me and asking me to meet them on West Main Street. I got in my car and met them 10 minutes later.

By the way, while the cops were sneaking around my house, one of them testified he was not able to peep in my windows because all the curtains and blinds were closed. You should have seen the expression on the judge's face when he heard this testimony. The same cop testified that a 6" black and white television sitting on my computer desk was a sophisticated video and surveillance system. Your tax money at work, cops traveling 120 miles to testify to such foolishness and expecting a judge to believe them. Good entertainment value for the judge!

Why are you guys getting after him for his license plate, badge, scanner and loaded weapon given the fact that at the time of those incidents he was a bona fide Green County auxiliary deputy? He was in fact a law enforcement officer, just not full time. The guy wasn't faking anything.

ps - ran out of my 500 word maximum in the above reply.

The same cop also told the courts I lived in an "armed bunker". Yet another rookie that thinks civilians should not be able to possess firearms!

The only reason for any of this silly testimony was simply to make an impression upon the judge that I was a very evil person. "Armed bunker!" HAHAHAHA!

I understand this same cop has now been promoted to detective. I pity the citizens and taxpayers in Charlottesville!

Jackson, your question makes way too much sense.

I have yet for ANY judge to rule against me in any proceeding. In one case not directly related to the above story, a judge called half the cops liars to their face in open court. He was pretty upset. He told them their testimony was "diametrically opposed" to the truth as told by the other half of the cops. He knew which cops were telling the truth. And he knew which cops were committing perjury under oath.

Some of those diametrically opposed cops are probably a few of the posters here. :)

"That's just plain crazy. If the cop shoppe is running around on covert operations, I would want all the lights cut out. Once your eyes adjust to the dark, you can actually see them better! WTF is wrong with these mental giants?"

Did you mean that you *wouldn't* want all the lights cut, because people can see them better in the dark? Because all the lights in the complex were in fact cut off, and the complex was in pitch blackness. So what you said doesn't necessarily make sense. Also, did you mean mental midgets? That's usually the way the phrase goes.

Also just wanted to make mention (in case anybody was noticing) that I do know how the word "interesting" is spelled, but for some reason it kept coming out as "intersting."
;) Kept skipping past the second "e" when typing.

GSOE: Haven't all of your cases been settled? So, you also haven't had a judge or jury rule in your FAVOR either, have you?

Or are you just counting up any procedural wins?

S Jones: Read a book on civil procedure. Settlments are not judgments.

I'm sure GSOE is a great man. That doesn't make a settlement a judicial ruling though.

S Jones: Read a book on civil procedure. Settlments are not judgments.

I'm sure GSOE is a great man. That doesn't make a settlement a judicial ruling though.

All that being said, I suppose Not Guilty's count.

Jake, I have never had a judge rule against me in anything. Never. Absolutely nothing. This includes the recent bogus traffic charge, false criminal charges, motions to dismiss this, motions to dismiss that, etc...

When a settlement in a lawsuit is agreed upon by both the plaintiff and the defendant(s), the judge doesn't rule one way or the other usually. He/she simply signs off on it. But if the parties involved agree on a $150 million dollar settlement, I am sure the judge can step in and say "No, this dog ain't gonna hunt, folks!" if he wants to. He would have an obligation to step in and speak on behalf of the taxpayers and citizens before making them pay out $150 million dollars for a broken fingernail at the hand sof cops.

While most of my lawsuits have indeed settled out of court as soon as the judges set a court date, a judge most certainly did rule in the 2 cases against the women listed above. Judgements, with interes unti paid, were issued againt them. One of them is a former female cop in Pennsylvania. You would think she knew what libel was before posting it all over the Internet. But, like a lot of cops, she thought she was abovve the laws of this land, IMHO!

Out of curiosity, did these women have any prior connection with you?

Understandable if there is a decline to answer.

booo, mental giant, mental midget... same thing. :)

I meant exactly what I said. On the cold (12 degrees) night the cops came to my home at 10:30 p.m. in February of 2005, I wish the power had been out in the entire neighborhood. First, because they have no business circling a house and peeping into people's windows. Secondly, it would have been much safer for me and the cops had I been able to see who they were trespassing in circles around my home.

I would EVERYBODY to not answer their door after dark. 200 yards from me a resident went to the door and was robbed and viciously beaten after dark one evening. This city is not as safe as most people like to assume. Add to the mix that even cops will circle your home and peep in the windows. Pretty pathetic.

correction: above should read...

"I would caution EVERYBODY to not answer their door after dark."


Jake, absolutely no connection in the way you are most likely thinking. No way!

"I would caution EVERYBODY to not answer their door after dark. 200 yards from me a resident went to the door and was robbed and viciously beaten after dark one evening. This city is not as safe as most people like to assume. Add to the mix that even cops will circle your home and peep in the windows. Pretty pathetic."

I agree Gasbag. Two winters ago I was sitting in our bedroom reading at 1 in the morning when all of a sudden I heard somebody push into one of the bedroom windows, making it rattle. Then the same thing with the other window, as if they were walking along the perimeter of the building and pushing on the windows as they went. Now, my boyfriend had this thin wire that was attached to something in the bedroom and went out through the crack in the window, and was grounded outside into the ground (long story...scientific experiment) and we're thinking that whoever it was who was creeping around our building must have accidentally tripped on that wire in the dark, then reached out with their hand to steady himself against the window. But then he went and rattled the second window for good measure. Why, I don't know, but it scared the crap out of me. (We live off of Locust Lane.)

There was snow on the ground so the very next morning I went outside with a digital cam to see if there were footprints, and lo and behold, guess what.....Size 10 1/2 men's boot prints in the snow. The footprints first went to the right, until reaching the end of the property line that runs behind our (privately owned, private property) buildings, then they did a "u-turn," coming back around, right up next to our windows. Nobody should be creeping around back there at 1 in the morning, rattling windows. We're on a dead end private road surrounded by woods, so one would *assume* we'd be safe, but that was a wake up call. So yes, I'm in agreement - don't be complacent, people. You don't want to live in total fear, but be smart. Be aware. Some dude creeping around our private apartment buildings in the middle of the night, a woman murdered on St. Clair Avenue...these things happen even in the quieter parts of town.

boooo, the area you speak of is notorious for trespassers, "Peeping Toms" mostly. This is why I found it hilarious when a cop whined and moaned on the witness stand that he was unable to successfully peep into any of the windows of my "Armed Bunker". :)

So, we should get the Squeaky Fromme woman that says she does not stalk law enforcement to follow this former and still wanna-be police officer. I could see the headlines - "Pretend Stalker Harrasses Pretend Cop"... I wonder who would end up getting sued first?



See what I mean everybody? He is so flustered when you hit a nerve he doesn't know how to respond.
My quote to you: "He talks about being sworn in as an auxilary deputy and afraid this stop was going to get him "fired." Don't you have to be hired to be fired? Auxillaries are glorified explorers with a pay....can't work alone, not even your own car boo hoo."

You say: "not one person here has said anything about this traffic stop possibly causing a loss of any type of employment to anybody. A similar discussion did take place at the scene of the original traffic stop of April 29, 1997, lasted about 4 seconds, and you had to get the gist of it from somebody at the scene of the original traffic stop on April 29, 1997."

That's not made up that's a quote from this article so I guess you are saying the Hook is lying??

Oh and while I'm on a roll? You see in my job? which isn't in law enforcement I am required to pay attention to detail. In one of your post you say something like:

There were details I can't go into because they are sealed from the 1997 arrest. For instance when Scott Haas was called and asked was I employed there he says "Hell no he's not employee tell him to bring his badge here hardy har har har.....I'll check with the Sheriff and get back to you.

Well Gas packer or gas passer? Read your own dang article!!!! It quotes Haas as saying "hell no he's not employed with us" but for some strange reason all that hardy har har....cough cough gag didn't seem to make it to print in your article. I'm just sayin'......
Oh and I want to thank you for the compliment...... you know you thinking I'm somebody on the inside that would ONLY know what I know because of it......Dude you don't KNOW me and you are so off base on who you obviously THINK I am it's a real good thing you didn't decide to be a detective when you grew who's BUSTED!!!

Fork Tongue, You originally said, "He talks about being sworn in as an auxilary deputy and afraid this stop was going to get him fired."

But the quote you mention beside somebody's picture was in reference to events that took place long before this story was born on April 29, 1997. Ya see, the boy abused his badge and authority to mess with me back when he thought I had an interest in one of his girlfriends who worked at the 911 dispatch center. We were both married at the time. I had no interest in his girlfriend, I was nice to her simply because she worked for 911!

Any other dirty laundry you want me to pull out and put on display here?

No problem though, I can understand how you get confused so easily.

S Jones, you don't have to go away.

Last night I saw the truck that delivers The Hook to all the boxes each week. I asked him if he had any copies of the July 15 edition he had picked up as he was putting this week's edition in the boxes. He gave me what he had, about 20 copies. He said almost every box in town was empty.

I can't recall seeing the movie. I will have to rip it off the Internet later and watch it.

I never got to enjoy the 442. A young single mom on welfare and food stamps, driving an uninsured car with no driver's license, ran into the car headon one morning. It had a little over 800 miles on it when this happened. And of course my insurance had to pay to replace it for Miss Welfare. I guess they were reimbursed by the uninsured motorist fees.

I was born 10 years too late to enjoy the real Muscle Car scene. My father would not let me have a Shelby Mustang, Charger R/T, Chevelle SS 454, Superbird, or Challenger R/T while I was living at home and on his insurance policy. Had I been 27 at the time instead of 17, I would have had a Superbird for sure!

I must go to work now and make a few dollars to buy that new Challenger R/T I was deprived of in my childhood. I think I am going to do the orange color with black interior. :)

Methinks if Mr. Shiflett was offered a job as a police officer he would drop all his lawsuits and take it in a heartbeat.

Me thinks you are wrong.

No, me sure you are wrong! :)

Aside from not wanting to pack up and move 40 miles, I promised myself that I would never take another job where somebody could call me up at 2:00 a.m. in the morning and tell me to do something. I also promised myself I would never have another job where I was on call every third night and every third weekend. I tolerated that foolishness for over two decades. Get up on cold winter nights, wake a baby up, dress her, and take her to a babysitter at all hours of the night. Not to mention when the time for promotions came along, what happened? A sheriff hired his own son and promoted his own son.

You can have any job in any sheriff's office or police department you want, cause I darn sure don't want 'em.

@ Gasbag AKA Steve

Air all the dirt and laundry away you want, it means nothing to me unless it's about me or someone I know. I know none of those people that were involved in your uh....wrongful lynching, so if your story about the guy, the badge and the 911 girlfriend was meant for me as some kind of strike. Thanks for playing because you don't know me and I absolutely positively do not know who in the heck you are talking about. I started to ask you what it had to do with the price of eggs in Baltimore but I figured you can't help yourself because you are so sure you know me. Alas, I am a nobody.....just having fun with your arrogant pompous "know it all" disgruntled whiny self. You pretend you don't care, but you do that's why you come back with comments again and again and again with a vegeance. Cat/ball of yarn. I read the article by "Lisa" word for word and really dude A good story teller always remembers what they say or don't. If the quotes in the article were incorrect? I'm sure poor Lisa would have her day in court or be typing a quick apology. She wouldn't dare print something, especially quotes by you unless she had some sort of "fact" behind it.

@ S Jones
Never rattled your cage so like a good follower make yourself useful and go play fetch or crawl back up in Gasbag's lap and bark a bit.

Forky, I am sorry. I'm not sure how I did it, but I apologize for upsetting you so badly. I've never seen a tirade that long on The Hook for a very long time. :)

the last line of the article touched close to home. i was arrested by the charlottesville police. they had a warrant that did not have my name on it, did not have my address on it, nor the correct description. they wouldn't show me the warrant when they came to my house, looking for 'someone'. when i got to the magistrate's office, one officer attempted to start a disorder with me, in order to have me spend the night in jail, but i didn't respond in the manner that he wanted. what brought this on? in charlottesville, evidently a known criminal can walk into the magistrate's office, say that an honest, law-abiding citizen committed a crime aganinst them, that never occurred. the accuser does not have to show probable cause, as we know it-they just say it happened, and, evidently, some magistrates are just so happy to issue an arrest warrant

Talk about "happening to you", the video in the link below shows you the direction law enforcement is moving in this country. Every honest decent cop in America should hang their head in shame if they in any way defend what happened in this video. The video alone should have been enough to put a few cops in jail!

Video/audio is "accidentally" destroyed in this area. :)

I posted this on Little Ronnie's forum for all to fap over

Eating Cheetos and fapping over this

Interesting article...very good.

Steve is certainly a gasbag, but he was definitely targeted here.