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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Trespassers
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Greg VT    Posted 08-14-2002 at 08:37:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
This has come up from time to time so I thought some might be interested....

A couple of days ago a 15 year old was killed when he struck a steel cable that was strung across the path he was riding his ATV on. This happened in an area that has been a hotbed of conflict between ATV riders and landowners. It seems apparent to many, because of the timing and placement, that the cable was strung with a motive in mind. District Attorney has said that the accident is under investigation but he does not think any charges will be filed. He basically said a landowner can do what he wants on his land as long as it's within the law and stringing a cable across a path is not against the law.

It will be interesting to see how the Civil case turns out if there is one.


hector    Posted 08-15-2002 at 20:04:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I wonder if the land owner had gone to the police and complained of tresspassers vandalizing his property in the past. If so, he is completely justified in taking the law into his own hands. If the govt. wont protect the people, the people have no choice but to protect and defend themselves and their property.


Redneck    Posted 08-16-2002 at 01:21:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
That is usually the case.The law will sit on their donuts and let thugs run wild,but go 2 mph over the speed limit and they come running.The last time I called them about tresspassers,I wound up running them off.I waited 45 minutes for a rude,young buck to come to my house and try and insult me.I'll take care of my own.


alumtuna    Posted 08-14-2002 at 23:57:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Can disagree more with Alaberta Mike.

People should know that ONCE you cross the line into doing something that you are not supposed to then ALL bets are off. One day it might be a fine, goint to jail or unfortunately paying the ultimate price. IMHO it should be the parents of the trespassers going to jail for not supervising there kids and not hte landowner.



RayP(MI)    Posted 08-14-2002 at 18:14:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sad part is that in civil court, often you don't have to go out of your way to be liable. Putting up a gate is going out of your way... If some clown gets injured on your place, like hitting a drainage ditch while on a snowmobile, you can be judged liable.


Alberta Mike    Posted 08-14-2002 at 17:38:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm not surprised at some of the responses below, but really ... I know everyone seems to have their rights or property violated by some guys whether it be hunters, ATV drivers, or just plain interlopers. However we are now dealing with another matter, and that is someones life. Granted he had no business being there, but that doesn't make the cable thing right. The worst he was doing was either bothering somebody or messing up some property ... we're not talking about molesting your daughter or burning down your house. Do we think that our own kids or ourselves never did any shenanigans that P'd somebody off? And maybe we deserved a good kick in the butt or a hefty fine, no problem there. But to kill somebody and then try to justify it because of your "rights" ... well if that's the way people think then I must say I'm a bit disappointed.


Redneck    Posted 08-14-2002 at 18:16:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
What if the cable was a gate like in the other post?I hate that someone had to lose a child,but the same thinking folks are the ones that want free roaming rights on property that belongs to someone else.Could it have happened differently?Yes and I wish it had,but these parents should be held responsible,not the one that owned the property.I wonder if losing a child could open their eyes if they just were indifferent?Of coarse it could be they had no idea that the kid was there.In that case,he should have been taught better,so back to the parents.Bad situation all around.


Alberta Mike    Posted 08-14-2002 at 19:31:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I see where you're coming from and do agree to some extent, however once again I come back to the thing of someone's life being sacrificed because someone is protecting their property. It just doesn't balance out no matter who is in the right. As far as parents being responsible, just how responsible can a parent be expected to be for their kids behaviors? My parents raised me with a fair but firm hand (and a lot of arse swats too), but how could they be expected to be responsible for some of the goofy irresponsible things that me and my friends sometimes pulled off? The whole thing seems senseless to me because everybody loses out in this one.


Redneck    Posted 08-15-2002 at 01:47:03       [Reply]  [No Email]

The old farmer had tresspasser problems at a certain place on his property.People were climbing and ruining his fence in the same place no matter how many different things he tried.It was located out by the highway and the wildflowers that grew out on the other side were too much temptation for city passerbys.He finally put up a sign that said,"It is exactly 100 hundred yards across this pasture.The bull can run it in 8 seconds flat.Unless you can run it faster,KEEP OUT!"He had no more trouble.


Redneck    Posted 08-14-2002 at 15:16:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Call me evil but that falls under natural selection.All of you made good points and I hate to see a preventable tradgedy,but landowners are coming out on the short end of the stick with the laws that are on the books.

They want us to hide in the corner and get robbed,for us not to have a bitting dog,to not carry weopons to protect ourselves with,and not retalleyate like a man when threatened and more and more and more.Makes me sick!


Bob /Ont.    Posted 08-14-2002 at 20:24:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Red there is only one way to win this one you gotta grabem, kick their tail and jab em with a pitch fork when no one's looking, not killem.
Later Bob


dg    Posted 08-14-2002 at 14:21:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tough one. Tragedy for all concerned. Knowbody wins on a deal like that. They could/should of used far less leathal means to stop 4 wheeling and still got their point across. Things that destroy the 4 wheeler not he rider. Two wrongs never make a right.


Hal/WA    Posted 08-14-2002 at 13:42:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
I doubt that the young people in these situations could legally buy or own the vehicles involved. If parents see fit to indulge their children with vehicles, then they, not someone else should be responsible for their children's conduct and safety when operating the vehicles.

Now stringing an unmarked cable along a road or trail is probably something that will cost the landowner or whoever strung the cable, a large amount of money. It is too bad that a young man was killed and another injured in these situations. But it is also too bad that people will not respect eachothers property. My guess is that this is not the first time those kids went down a trail that they were not supposed to.

I think that there should be laws that put parents in criminal jeopardy if they buy their children vehicles and do not closely supervise them. I do not ever expect such laws to be enacted--too many powerful groups and the industry would fight them tooth and nail.

There are no good ways to deal with unauthorized vehicles on your property. You probably can not catch them, and if you actively try to do so and someone gets injured, you will probably end up liable.

But you can help by not being part of the problem. Don't buy motorcycles or ATVs for your children, or if you do, make sure that they can not be operated when you are not supervising. And impress on your children that the FIRST TIME they operate the vehicles against your wishes, they will be sold or destroyed. And have the guts to do it.


Les    Posted 08-14-2002 at 12:10:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Got the same situation here in NH. Kid just got killed (the latest of many) when he ran into a gate to keep cars off an old RR R.O.W. Now they're experimenting with new softer gates and brighter colors.


Tom A    Posted 08-14-2002 at 11:44:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm very sorry the kid died--particularly feel bad for his family--but the bottom line for me is that he was somewhere he had no business being.

I'm frankly sick of situations where wrong-doers aren't responsible for what happens to them for being bad. Yep, the owner shouldn't have strung wire head-high, but if the kid had been where he was welcome and legal, then nothing would have happened. Remember the guy in the NY subway who was getting mugged by a bunch of hoodlums (for, as I recall, the second time)? He shot a couple of them, and then got arrested for it...just doesn't make sense to me.

Sorry to be such a hard-nose.


Dan    Posted 08-14-2002 at 12:48:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with you Tom.

I don't want to be a hard nose either, but I think the parents should be held accountable for not teaching their kid right from wrong!

It seems to me that in today's world, no matter what you and get hurt, it is someone else's fault! People need to take responsibility for THEIR actions. Several years ago in Florida (if I remember correctly), I man had his house broken into several times. So he rigged a shotgun by a window and shot an intruder. The CRIMINAL (intruder) was disabled from the shotgun blast. The CRIMINAL filed suit and won a large judgement! This is riduculas!! He should have been sent to PRISON but instead the VICTIM (homeowner) was sent to prison (again, if I remember correctly).

Sorry for the rant. You hit my hot button!


bob    Posted 08-14-2002 at 18:59:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Dan that same thing happened in Iowa 15 years ago and the intruder4 ended up with the farm and old guy sat in jail. susposly he had reported earlier breakin and law didn,t do nothing. Right as he[[ but wrong as sin. like the rest parents need to be accountable


ger    Posted 08-14-2002 at 11:58:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
hard nose, but you are right people have to start respecting other peoples property i too am sorry for the kid but what about the people that work their a$$ off ploughing seeding their fields an the money that goes into it trying to make a living, an these people feel like they can run rought shod all over,try walking through their backyard in town someday an watch what would happen or take your horse an ride across their lawn , be a different story then wouldn,t it .parents have to take some responsibility an teach their kids to respect other peoples property ,maybe then the car stealin, vandlism,etc. will stop . an the courts have a responsibilty to take stuff like this more seriously when passing sentence, all to often a kid takes a car runs amuck with it an is told he,s only a kid we, ll give him a break , next thing he,s back doing house invasions or something worse. thats my opion anyway later ger


Mudcat49    Posted 08-14-2002 at 09:04:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh but it can be against the law. If the state can prove that the cable was put up just to catch a unwarry ATV'er then they can file charges. Several years ago on a tract of land I had leased for farming, there was a cable stretched between two post in place of a gate. A kid on a ATV was playing chicken with the cable and lost. His parents were screaming to the law to have me arrested. The law told them that there was no criminal intent on my part because the cable was there to act as a gate to keep people out. But on the other hand, had I put the cable up just to catch a unwarry ATV'er then I would be arrested. It cost my insurance co. a million and a half before it was over.


bob ny    Posted 08-14-2002 at 10:54:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
when we had the farm i didn't stop hunters from entering untill they left the gate open and our steers got out in the road and caused an accident
i had to pay for damage to a car that went off the road so i stopped all people from going on the property some mad hunters cut the fence i happened to be in the next field called the troppers and b;ocked thier car in with tractor
had them arrested for trepassing and distruction of property they paid the fine and i had to fix the fence some justice huh


glen sw wi    Posted 08-14-2002 at 09:25:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Here in Wi the landowner has no obligation to inform trespasser of any dangers on his land. You don't even have to have no trespassing signs. The law was changed in 1984 in an attempt to open private lands to hunters. Many landowners wouldn't allow hunting on their lands because of the liability.


Salmoneye    Posted 08-14-2002 at 08:49:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Saw that on the news and it kind of hits home to me...

About 20 years ago the same thing happened to my cousin. He was told repeatedly NOT to ride down a lane behind this old Drive-In Theatre (think it was the 'Sunset') on his motorcycle. Coming into the setting sun one day he found the newly strung cable with his neck. Cut his esophagus and his trachea which both fell into his chest. Crawled/dragged himself to the road 100 yards away and was found there. He lived. To this day he still has a stoma (hole in his neck to breath through). Ruined his life for 5 minutes of fun. Took 4 years, but they finally 'won' the civil case against the Drive-In. Still wonder if they should have. Yes it paid for his hospitalization, etc., but I am torn as to who was at 'fault'.

I am betting that the present situation will turn out for the family and not the landowner in civil court...


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