Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Handcuffs" Ravenstahl Admits that Something Happened That Night

Hell, maybe I was way to hard on John McIntire. It was on his blog that the rumor of Luke Ravenstah's arrest first surfaced yesterday. And now, as he himself reports, it looks like the Interim Mayor really did get himself handcuffed at a Steelers game in 2005. Master Ravenstahl himself, in a frankly pretty damn smart attempt to get out ahead of the story, gave his account of the incident to the media this afternoon (Links: Post-Gazette, Tribune-Review, WTAE (1), WTAE (2), WPXI, and KDKA.)

I'm not so sure that Master Ravenstahl did himself a whole lot of favors here, at least not when it is oh-so-easy to read between the lines of his story. From the Post-Gazette's report:

On Oct. 31, 2005, the mayor said, he was near the front of an unruly throng outside of Heinz Field shortly before a Steelers night game.

"Myself and other individuals in the front were really not even in control of ourselves," he said. "We couldn't control ourselves because of the force from behind.

"It was at that point that an officer went charging into the crowd, a crowd that included men, women, and children, at which time he was very aggressive and authoritative.
Which is exactly how a police officer is supposed to be when faced with an unruly crowd that is pushing a crowd of women and children so hard that they can't control where they are going.
"At which time I, verbally, expressed my objections to the manner in which he was treating the crowd at Heinz Field that evening."
Don't argue with a police officer who is just trying to do his job. Especially when you have been drinking. Especially not by using foul language in front of a bunch of "women and children". Even if you are a city-freaking-councilmember.
The officer, who Mr. Ravenstahl confirmed was Mark A. Hoehn, then retreated from the "uncontrollable" crowd, the mayor said. Mr. Ravenstahl, who was then a city councilman, went with him.
The police officer would not have "retreated" from the crowd if they were still uncontrollable. And Master Ravenstahl would not have been able to "follow" the police officer if the crowd was still uncontrollable and pushing him and his friends from behind. What, one minute they are pushing so hard that you don't have any choice where you are going, and the next minute you are free to chase after a police officer? Sorry. Not buying it.

What really happened is that Master Ravenstahl got angry and was drunk. He did something stupid and chased after the police officer to give him a piece of his city-freaking-councilmember mind. Again, this was a very bad move.
"I told him who I was, and I told him I didn't appreciate the way he was treating the fans, and I didn't appreciate the manner in which he represented the city of Pittsburgh," he said. "He expressed back to me that he didn't care for my opinion and didn't care what I had to say. But I didn't back down."


Mr. Ravenstahl confirmed that he had consumed "some alcoholic beverages" before entering the line, but said he was not intoxicated. He said he used swear words in his interactions with Ofcr. Hoehn, but "at no time did I physically contact the officer."
Oh my, "swear words"! Who the hell calls them "swear words" anymore? I stopped doing that in fourth grade! Why not just call it "foul language"?

But never mind about that. Anyone who has ever seen this kind of confrontation knows what goes on. Some guy has been drinking. He's all full of himself, even if he isn't a city-freaking-councilmember. And then some cop shows up and tells him that he (or even the people around him) are doing something wrong. Mr. Big Stuff gets all in a huff, mostly because he's been drinking and he thinks he's a big man. He gets in the officer's face, using heated language. The police officer isn't going to stand for this, and Mr. Big Stuff ends up in handcuffs. Of course there was physical contact! It's impossible to handcuff someone without some physical contact.

Interim Mayor Ravenstahl is probably doing the smart thing to get out ahead of this story. But he really could have done a better job in doing so.


Anonymous said...

You know what's getting old really fast? Luke attempting (because he never quite makes it there) to do the "right thing" only after he's screwed up + the media brings it to his attention.

Also, what exactly were the lies that were allegedly spread about this incident? He admits to being handcuffed and detained, which any lawyer can tell you amounts to an arrest, with or without paperwork, he admits to hollering and swearing at a police officer in the middle of what he describes as an unruly mob and admits to having a few drinks, which everyone knows means "I drank 1/2 the keg myself".

Trying to make yourself out to be a hero on the back of some poor working stiff who you will retaliate against in a heartbeat is just plain disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Richie,

You leave Master Luke alone! He was trying to bring rationalities to a hypar policeman. He is demure and honest. Leave Master Luke alone!

Matt H said...

The cop was also an overzealous rookie. That has a lot to do with this whole blown out or porportion news item. This is another non-issue.

Luke Ravenstahl was NOT drunk or impaired during this incident.

Richmond K. Turner said...

Sure, Matt, whatever you say. From what I understand, this guy is a fairly decent experienced cop. But go ahead and assassinate his character if it makes you feel better.

But if he was really so over-zealous, then how on earth did he managed to get away with unlawfully detaining a freaking city councilmember in front of a crowd of thousands of onlookers, and not end up getting in trouble for it. I'm not a cop, but I'm betting that being on the wrong side of arresting a city councilmember would be a bad career move. Heck, being on the right side is a pretty damn bad career move.

And yet no action was taken against this "overzealous rookie", as you call him. That doesn't ring true to me. Sorry, not buying it.

Anonymous said...

The lies come in about 6 months ago or so. When Luke was asked by the media about this, the first time.

And he denied anything ever happened.

That is a lie. Plain and simple.

And my final thought: 4 years of W & J and Luke never learned how to be the fun, goofy publicly intoxicated asshole, rather than just a macho, swollen headed publicly intoxicated asshole? Well, he better ask for his money back.