OT - Sarrasota - Strange Days Indeed

Hey Robert, Is this guy one of your neighbors?
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SARASOTA -- John Coffin won't spend any more time in jail for beating up two
sheriff's deputies inside his house, striking one in the head with a Taser
gun he took from the other.
Circuit Judge Rick De Furia said at Coffin's trial Tuesday that he doesn't
condone the violence against the deputies.
But Coffin, 56, had a right to defend his family and property because the
deputies had no right to be in Coffin's house in the first place, De Furia
"Law enforcement was responsible for the chain of events here," De Furia
said. "I think in situations like this, officers become so frustrated they
go beyond what the law allows them to do."
The fight started when Coffin heard his wife screaming in pain, went into
the garage and saw two deputies arresting her on the floor.
The deputies were trying to serve Coffin with civil papers that had been
given five days earlier. They had entered the garage even though they did
not have a search warrant or arrest warrant.
And they arrested Coffin's wife, Cynthia, 50, on obstruction charges even
though she had no obligation to follow their orders to bring her husband
"The most critical is the fact the officers broke the law by stopping the
garage door from going down," and then entering the garage, De Furia said.
A jury was picked for the trial Monday. But the judge granted a motion by
Coffin's attorneys, Derek Byrd and Brett McIntosh, and acquitted John Coffin
on five of six felony charges Tuesday morning.
Coffin pleaded no contest to the remaining charge of taking a Taser gun from
one of the deputies during the fight.
Before handing down the sentence, De Furia asked how long Coffin spent in
jail after his initial arrest.
"You spent eight days in the Sarasota County jail," De Furia said. "That's
your sentence. No probation."
Relatives applauded, and Coffin walked out of the courthouse with only a
$358 bill for court costs. The sentence surprised even defense attorneys,
who had suggested De Furia sentence Coffin to probation.
Prosecutors had asked for more than a year of prison time because of "the
totality of the case" and the injuries to deputies James Lutz and Stacy
Ferris, whose name is now Stacy Brandau.
The two deputies testified about their injuries Tuesday -- three blows to
the head with the butt of the Taser gun knocked Lutz unconscious.
"I just ask that he doesn't get away with this," Brandau told the judge.
Assistant State Attorney Jeff Young told the judge the case "could have been
over in five seconds" if the Coffins "had simply come out and cooperated."
"That is a man who took it upon himself to beat up two police officers,"
Young said.
De Furia said that while he believed the deputies' mistakes were not
intentional, the Coffins had every right to lock doors, try to close their
garage door and not cooperate.
"What took place in the house was unfortunate," De Furia said, "but Mr.
Coffin ... had a right to resist."
Other stories.
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Reply to
Bob La Londe
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No, but I'd be happy to know him if he was. He defended his wife and his home against two armed, violent felons. It will be interesting to learn how the sheriff's department handles those felons next. They say they're "investigating" them but the department made no attempt to intercede on behalf of Coffin while he was being tried -- even though they knew he was innocent.
FTR, I generally respect police officers. They do a dangerous, often thankless job to make us safe and our communities better places to live. However, these two officers committed a criminal assault against Coffin's wife. They also burglarized his home. They continued by assaulting John Coffin twice with a taser.
When Coffin heard his wife (who had done nothing wrong at all) screaming in pain inside his garage, he ran to her aid. He bravely fought off two attackers. He and his wife could have easily been killed.
Although the SA claimed the thing could have ended peacefully had he "cooperated," the two off duty officers had already broken several laws by the time he realized they were inside his home (unlawfully). His wife was already screaming in pain -- pinned to the floor with her wrist being bent backward. What he saw was not two police officers making an arrest. He saw two people attacking his wife -- that is all. What would you have done? I'd have tried my best to stop them but I doubt I've come out on top. The difference is Coffin is a very strong man.
BTW, from what people are saying around town, he's become something of a local hero.
Reply to
Robert L Bass
Well, as I understand Florida law (not too well but well enough), an owner of a property is entitled to use deadly force to protect themselves against intruders forcing themselves into a home or automobile. And with most people (or a high percentage) owning sidearms, and with one in 17 people in Florida having a license to carry a concealed weapon, I imagine these deputies should be thanking their lucky stars they are still alive.
I certainly wouldn't condone the actions of either "side" here, but the whole thing sounds like a recipe for disaster that luckily didn't happen.
I plan to buy property here in Florida soon and I look forward to living in a place where I don't have to put up with the sheer anti-gun stupidity of the paranoid Canadian gun hating authorities( who make it extremely difficult to engage in the legal shooting sports in Canada).
Just an aside....
against two armed, violent felons. It will be
They say they're "investigating" them but the
tried -- even though they knew he was innocent.
thankless job to make us safe and our communities better
against Coffin's wife. They also burglarized his home.
pain inside his garage, he ran to her aid. He bravely
"cooperated," the two off duty officers had already broken
His wife was already screaming in pain -- pinned to
officers making an arrest. He saw two people
my best to stop them but I doubt I've come out on top.
Reply to
Hi Bob. It was great finally meeting you yesterday after all these years. Next time I'll fir up the BBQ. :^)
Reply to
Robert L Bass
Yeah, it was a nice bike run and visit all in one.Thank you again for the fine lunch on the island. You have a magnificent home, and I thank you and your folks for the fine hospitality.Give them my best regards....
I'm heading back to Canada first thing Friday morning...take about three days with a full load in the van and dragging my motorcycle and trailer. Gotta get back to work...seems we have loads of people waiting for installations so I guess I'm going to have to strap on the old tool belt for awhile until we catch up.
Just call me "Tommy Toolbelt" once again.....{sigh}....three months went so quickly.....
I plan to buy property here in Florida...
. Next time I'll fir up the BBQ. :^)
Reply to
Aren't things getting a little better with the new regime in power?
Or at least is there some hope that they'll recind some of the regulations?
With what little I've heard in the last number of months, at least it hasn't been any "bad" news. I'm thinking that the new party would let it "lay" for a while before begining to take some positive action.
Reply to
Well, at the moment, there is an amnesty extended until 17th May which protects long gun owners who havent registered their guns from prosecution. The Conservative government(like your Republicans) got in with a promise they would get rid of the $2 Billion dollar long gun registry, but they only got in with a minority, and it will take a majority government to actually pass an act of Parliament to unravel the mess. So they compromised to honour their promise with a temporary "amnesty". Come 17th of May, who knows what they'll do.
But after 30 years of Liberal rule (read urban based, gun hating, left wing socialist....Democrats by your terminology), they have so ingrained this anti-gun bias in Canadian society, that it will take nothing short of a miracle to bring some sense to our gun laws. At best, if the Conservative government gets in with the majority they need to clean up the mess, there is still a lot of ill informed pressure from the urban vote, who believe the "guns are evil" nonsense of the past 30 years.So it remains to be seen whether the Conservatives will do the right thing, but I won't be holding my breath.
Now if the Liberals get in, all hope for common sense changes is lost. They campaigned last time on the promise to "abolish the private ownership of handguns in Canada" when they were digging for anything to bolster their lagging fortunes. So it they do get in, I'm sure the idiot mayor of Toronto would remind them of this. And for sure, the long gun registry will remain to continue its useless bleeding of tax monies.
What neither government realizes (or more likely chooses to ignore), is that they have created a huge "grey market" of long guns changing hands within the shooting community, between previously totally legal and honest gun owners. And now that the penalties for ownership of an unregistered long gun are the same as those for an unregistered sidearm, people no longer go in to register the very many unregistered sidearms that they come into possession of. So the situation from the government "control" point of view has become much worse although they are either too stupid or uncaring to see the situation as it really is.
The only ones who have actually registered their long guns are the farmers and once a year shooters and they aren't the problem and never will be. But the geniuses who push this shit don't seem to understand that (or more likely don't want to, since their REAL agenda is the eventual total abolishment of all firearms from the hands of private citizens).
And any Canadian gun owner who doesn't see that at this point in time, had better wake up and smell the coffee.No government has the right to make criminals of honest people by changing they laws in such a fashion that honest people are no longer able to comply without endless beauracratic and conflicting rules !!!
But hey....at some point soon, hopefully I'll be living in Florida for a large part of the year where they don't assume you have some sort of criminal tendency simply because you choose to own firearms for legal purposes.
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