Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Disabled Vietnam Veteran denied Justice in Sturgis, South Dakota

Orginally posted on: Ed Schultz Show

Rick Thorne served in the U.S. Navy in the late 1960ʼs. He was discharged for medical reasons on 1/15/1969. Having struggled with countless jobs and his failing health, he and his wife moved to Mountain View Mobile Home Park in Sturgis, South Dakota early in 2008.

For the past 43 years Rick has battled the Veteranʼs Affairs for service connected disability. Finally in the spring of 2010 Rick was given 10% service connected disability. Heʼs now appealing for a 100% since Rick hasnʼt worked for 3 years and has mental issues stemming back from 1968 while in the Navy.

Rick has walked with a cane for sometime because he has arthritis in his ankles, back and now his left shoulder. This was do from a fall from a four story hospital window in 1984 that nearly killed him. Rick and Rose Mary Moved into the before mentioned mobile home park hoping too retire there in the peace and safety of the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.

Rick and Rose Mary moved into the mobile home sight unseen. They didnʼt know at the time there was no on site manager or any formal security. They had no idea there wasnʼt a park manager living on the premises. Before long, They felt like they were living in the “Wild West.” It never failed! Every few days police cars would arrive for one reason or another. The two senior Vietnam era veterans now realized theyʼd made a big mistake moving to Sturgis, South Dakota.

Now the Black Hills wasnʼt so pretty anymore as far as they were concerned. Even though there were animal control laws preventing them from freely roaming the mobile home park, no one was around to enforce the laws. In the summer of 2009 Rick had had enough of a neighbors cats spraying and defecating around his mobile home. It was making his wife sick so Rick placed a note on the neighborʼs car windshield.

Rick placed “NO TRESPASSING SIGNS” in front of his mobile home for safety and security reasons along with video cameraʼs. Suddenly this tall husky stranger came walking up too Rick as he tried to remove some snow from the front of his mobile home. Rick looked up and said, “How are you doing?”

Suddenly the intimating guy blurts out, “Iʼm gonna kick your ass!” Stunned, Rick Then said, “I donʼt even know you!” The insane stranger man then said, “You killed my sisters cats!” Rick then said, Iʼve never killed an animal in my life. Further more! You sisters cats keep coming over and spraying and defecating on my property. Donʼt you know thereʼs laws here in Sturgis that animals canʼt roam free?”

The stranger then blurted out with the smell of alcohol on his breath, “Iʼm still gonna kick your ass!” I raised my shovel hoping to scare him when he then shouted out, “Youʼre a dumb Kentuckian!” I then said, “Iʼm calling the police if you donʼt leave now!” The insane individual finally left my property.

Rick went into his mobile home and it was then his wife Rose Mary asked, “What in the world is going on. I heard a stranger yell out youʼre a dumb Kentuckian.” Rick then said some stranger came up and threatened too kick his ass because of a note he placed on the guys sisters car last summer about the cats.”

Rose Mary then said, “You need to call the off site manager and tell her what happened.” A few minutes later Rick called the manager and told her what happened and she said, “Bryan Vansickle is the person you described and weʼve had trouble with him before. Go ahead and call the police too protect you and your wife.”

Rick called the Stugis police department and spoke with a LT. Adam Martin. After Rick stated his concerns LT. Adam Martin replied, I will call Bryan Vansickle and get his side of the story.” Rick then said, Iʼll give you the managers phone number for a contact.” Lt. Martin then said, “Weʼre well aware of Bryan Vansickle and have his phone number.”

About an hour later LT. Martin called back and said Mr. Vansickle was extremely sorry and he would never bother Rick or his wife again. Rick then asked about a protection order and officer Martin said he didnʼt think it was necessary but if he wanted too he could go to the courthouse and file for one.

Rick then asked, “Can you warn Vansickle to stay away from my wife and I?” LT. Adam Martin then said, “I can document a “NO TRESPASS ORDER” and tell Mr. Vansickle about it.” Rick then said, “Please do it for the safety of my wife and I.” About an hour later LT. Martin called back and said he warned Bryan Vansickle to stay away from Rick and his wife.

The Police Record:
OFFICER LT. ADAM MARTINʼS ORIGINAL INCIDENT REPORT DATED 12-28-09, REFERENCE TO ORI NUMBER- SDO460100. “I returned a phone call to Rick Thorne who called dispatch and wished to make a complaint on Bryan Vansickle. Rick and Bryan live at 3220 Lazelle. Rick (lot 114) stated Bryan (lot 106) came over to his residence and threatened to ʻkick his assʼ leaving a note on Brianʼs sisterʼs car.

The note was reference Brianʼs sisters cat pooping in Rickʼs yard. Rick stated he left a note but it was some time ago. Rick had questions about a restraining order on Bryan. I advised him if he wished to apply for a temporary restraining order it could be completed at the court house. I answered Rickʼs questions and advised him I would call Bryan and speak to him about the incident. Rick also requested Bryan be given Notice of trespass from his lot.

I made contact with Bryan who stated Rick had left a note stating his sisterʼs cats would come up missing. Bryan apologized and stated he over reacted. Bryan stated he would not go back to the residence and has advised his kids to stay away as well. I also advised Bryan of the Notice of Trespass as Rick requested. I will pass this information on to Rick. No other action... (Rick said in the original note he would get rid of the cats by calling animal control. Last summer Bryan Vansickleʼs sister was evicted from Mountain View trailer court. and she took her cats with her).

NOTE: This document wasnʼt entered into evidence by my attorney or the prosecutor at the time of the trial.

On August 10, 2010 during the Sturgis rally, Rick was coming back from taking pictures and about a block from his mobile home. Rick pulled his vehicle to the side of the road and waited as his wife. Their neighbor, Lynne Bertalot and her three young children came up to the car. Rick was talking about taking photos when all of a sudden this dark purple truck slowly passed by and a stranger with two young children in the car screamed out, “Get the F- - - off the road!”

The man, seemingly insane, nearly mowed down Rickʼs wife and Lynne along with her three children. Rick and the others quickly realized it was Bryan Vansickle. All of them were terrified at that instant. A few seconds later the bully pulled into his mobile home lot. Rick drove home to drop a few things off and he then backed up his car to where Bryan Vansickle was standing and said, “You have no respect for my wife and should apologize!”

Rick took a deep breath then said, “Remember! Officer Adam Martin has a “NO TRESPASS ORDER AGAINST YOU!” Suddenly Bryan Vansickle aggressively approached Rickʼs vehicle and thatʼs when Rick pointed a mace weapon at the assailant to keep him from coming closer. Instantly, Vansickle screamed out at Rick, “I got you now! Oh boy! I got you now!”

Rick instantly realized Bryan Vansickle had a vendetta against him from the December 27th, 2009 cat incident. Rick quickly pulled away and drove to his mobile home. He dropped off his back back with the mace in it that he carried to protect him from rattlesnakes and other wild animals in the area. Suddenly Rick remembered his wife was not far from the Vansickle residence.

He got back into his car and saw Bryanʼs wife Tammy Vansickle on her cellphone. He stopped and said, “Your husband is going to be arrested.” Tammy Vansickle then declared, “You stay here because the police are coming!” Rick drove near his wife when all of a sudden 10 police cars and one motorcycle officer with sirens screaming came flying into the trailer park.

Rick waved one of the police cars down and suddenly several cops jumped out of their police cars with guns pointed directly at Rick. Officer Douglas Quarve approached Rick with gun in hand and said, “Where's the gun!” Rick then replied, “I donʼt have a gun but I do have a mace pistol.” Officer Quarve then asked, “Whereʼs the pistol?” Rick Then said, “Itʼs at my mobile home.”

Officer Quarve then said, “Show me where it is.” Rick removed his cane from his vehicle. Instantly, several cops started tearing Rickʼs vehicle apart and didnʼt ask for permission to search his car. Several more cops were milling around during this time disinterested in what was going on at the time.

Rick labored down the road with his cane with three cops in tow. It wasnʼt long before he entered the mobile home a gave officer Quarve the mace. A few minutes later Rick found himself in hand cuffs in the back of a sturgis police car. During this entire time Rick wasnʼt read his “MIRANDA RIGHTS,” and yet he was asked several questions concerning the incident at hand.

As Rick gazed out of the squad car window he noticed an officer giving Lynne Bertalot a witness form. At no time did any officer question Rickʼs wife or offer her a witness form even though she stood right by Mrs. Bertalot at that time. When arresting Officer Quarve climbed into his squad car Rick asked him, “Did you offer my wife an incident report form?” Office Quarve said, “NO.”

Rick could see his wife was distraught as the police car slowly pulled away with her disabled husband handcuffed inside of the vehicle. It wasnʼt long before Rick was removed from the squad car and wasnʼt allowed to have his hand cuffs removed. Rick also wasnʼt given his cane to help him walk. He limped down the steep stairs leaning his body against the wall.

Limping every step of the way and feeling very unstable. Rick finally made it into the booking room a short time later. It was then the cuffs were removed and Rick had to remove everything from his person. He limped through a scanner and was seated a short time later. It was there an inventory was taken of his possessions and he was photographed and finger printed, his DNA was taken awhile later.

Rick asked if anyone had taken a statement from his wife yet and the attendant said she didnʼt know. Rick had brought his VA medications with him but the Sturgis Police Department refused him his medication. He said he had to have the medication or he couldnʼt eat or sleep. The answer was still no!

About an hour later Rick was placed in a bleak jail cell. Several minutes after that officer Quarve entered the jail cell and asked, "Mr. Thorne! I feel the charge of felony assault isnʼt justified in this case. Therefore, Iʼm going to issue you a ticket for Simple Assault." Rick thanked the officer and then Officer Quarve asked Mr. Thorne, "Would you be willing to make a statement for me now?”

Rick then replied, “I would be more than glad to answer any questions you have.” Officer Quarve read Rick his Miranda Rights and asked questions over the next few minutes. During the course of the night Rick kept demanding his VA medication and he was ignored each time. Finally, around midnight Rick was given a couple of Tylenol pills. This was the equivalent of taking a couple of sugar pills as far as Rick was concerned.

During the entire evening several drunken, smelly unruly motorcycle bikers from the rally entered the confining jail cell. Several of them were laying all over the floor and there was hardly any room too move at the time. With no sleep, finally morning arrived and Rick had to be placed in a wheel chair because he was extremely weak from being denied his medication and having virtually no food in his stomach.

About an hour later Rick pleaded ʻNOT GUILTY” in the arraignment hearing and presiding Judge Percy then said, "Mr. Thorne! Are you aware that if youʼre found “GUILTY” I can sentence you too a year in jail and a $2,000 dollar fine?” Rick then said, Madame! Iʼm not guilty!” Judge Percy set another court date and Rick was finally wheeled into the processing room to be released.

About two hours later Rick, his wife Rose Mary, Lynne Bertalot and her three children were standing in the lobby of the Sturgis police department. All three of them filed formal incident reports with the Sturgis Police Department against Bryan Vansickle for assault with a vehicle and for verbally assaulting them by screaming; “Get The F- - - Off The Road.”

Suddenly Bryan Vansickle entered the Sturgis Police station. Rick quickly yelled out, “Get him out of here! He had me arrested!” Instantly, a Sturgis police officer escorted Vansickle off the premises. A short time later Rick found himself in the Sheriffʼs Office being served a protection order against himself from Bryan Vansickle.

About an hour later Rickʼs wife and Lynne Bertalot filed their own protection orders on Bryan Vansickle. On August 31, 2010, Rick , his wife Rose Mary, Lynne Bertalot and Bryan Vansickle appeared before Judge Johnson. During the course of the hearing Bryan Vansickle denied under oath he screamed out for Rick, Rose Mary, Lynne and her three children to: “GET THE F- - -OUT OF THE ROAD” which means he perjured his testimony.

The judge was extremely condescending towards Rick, his wife Rose Mary and Lynne Bertalot. The final ruling was that Judge Warren granted a five year protection order against Bryan Vansickle in regard to Rose Mary Thorne. He also granted a one protection order against Bryan Vansickle concerning Lynne Bertalotʼs children. Penny Nyberg, off site manager of Mountain View Mobile Park, instructed Mrs. Bertalot not to have her to be covered by the protection order.

For some strange reason, Bryan Vansickle removed the protection order off himself and placed it on his children. As witnessed in the 911 call made by Bryan Vansickle. He claimed to be terrified of Rick Thorne. Why would he remove his protection order off himself if he was in fear of his life at the time? Evidently! Bryan Vansickle wasnʼt so scared of Mr. Thorne after all.

Rick Thorne went through holy hell that night in the Sturgis Police Department jail. He appeared in 6 courtrooms within a 5 month period and all this nonsense for a SIMPLE ASSAULT CASE! Why? If Bryan Vansickle had followed the “NO TRESPASS ORDER,” issued by LT. Adam Martin of the Sturgis Police Department a year earlier and if Vansickle hadnʼt verbally assaulted and almost run down innocent victim's with his purple vehicle, none of this insanity would have taken place!

The following is the actual (INCONSISTENT) police report issued by officer Douglas Quarve of the Sturgis police department:
Case Report#: 10-5293 Date: 10 August 2010 Officer: Douglas Quarve 492-15
Narrative: Simple Assault

While on patrol I was dispatched to a “Man with a Gun” call 3220 Lazelle Lot #106. While in route dispatch advised an individual was holding a gun on the RP. Prior to arriving dispatch advised the assailant was leaving the trailer court in a silver SUV. I made contact with the SUV upon arrival in the trailer court.

I made contact with the driver of the SUV, Richard Thorn DOB 9-11-48, and asked him where the gun was. He stated he did not have a it on him. I asked him if it was in the truck, he said no. He stated further stated it was a Mace Gun and it was in his trailer. I asked him what happened and he replied he he lost his temper with his neighbor (Not true! Rick was scared for his family and himself).

His neighbor had yelled at him (Rick told the officer that Bryan Vansickle told all of them to “GET THE F- - - OFF THE ROAD) as he was sitting in his car talking to his wife and friend. He said he went back to his neighborʼs house and pointed the Mace Gun at him (I said I pointed the mace at Bryan only after he was coming toward me). Thorne was escorted to his trailer and the Mace Gun was recovered. The gun had a full cartridge of mace in the chamber and ready to use.

I made contact with the RP, Bryan Vansickle DOB: 06-14-69, at his residence Lot#106.

Vansickle stated his neighbor had pointed a gun at him and threatened to kill him (A LIE!).

Vansickle was visibly shaken and distraught: Vansickle stated he was arriving home to his trailer with his son when he passed Thorn on the road. As Vansickle passed Thorn (Rickʼs name Misspelled) he stated he swore at him, then pulled into his driveway at lot #106. As Vansickle was returned and pointed a gun at Vansickle and threatened to kill him (a lie!).

Vansickle thought Thorn had a gun and was in fear for himself and his son. Vansickle called 911 and reported the incident. Vansickle stated he wanted to press charges.

Thorn was placed under arrest--- NOTE: (NO MIRANDA RIGHTS WERE READ TOO RICK THORNE AT THIS TIME) and transported to the Meade County Jail. After he was processed I read Thorn his Miranda Warning at 1730 hours. Thorn agreed to waive his rights and talk to me.

Vansickle stated he lost his temper (NOT TRUE AS EARLIER STATED) and pointed the Mace Gun at Vansickle. I asked Thorn to fill out a statement and he complied. Thorn was charged with violation of 22-18-1 Simple Assault.

NOTE: Jennifer Beving, my attorney nor the prosecutor entered this document into evidence.

December 16, 2010 was a day in infamy in the life of DISABLED VIETNAM ERA VETERAN, RICK THORNE! After jury selection the fireworks finally began. After opening statements were heard Meade County States attorney Kasey Sorensen.

Bryan Vansickle was called to the witness stand and during his inconsistent testimony. Vansickle once again stated he didnʼt blurt out to the defendant and those with him on the day in question for them to: “GET THE F - - -OUT OF THE ROAD.”

During the trial, the defendantʼs attorney failed to introduce the 2nd Amendment and the Castle Doctrine. These laws would have
justified a “SELF DEFENSE CASE FOR THE DEFENDANT.” Instead, the prosecutor and the judge read a few case laws blocking the disabled veteranʼs right to a fair trial regarding, HIS RIGHT TO A SELF DEFENSE CASE. Because of this discriminatory ruling the disabled defendantʼs case was now destroyed.

Mrs. Beving, the defendantʼs court appointed attorney seemed ill prepared for the up hill challenge before her now. She also failed to introduce key documents that would have added further credence to the defendants case. The defendant also observed on several occasions. His attorney happily fraternizing with prosecutor Kasey Sorensen and her assistant.

On cross examination, Bray Vansickle admitted he did in fact scream out the above vicious statement against the defendant and those with him on the day in question. Neither the judge nor the prosecutor or the defendantʼs attorney brought this vicious lie out as a matter of perjury.

Testimony wasnʼt introduced that Bryan Vansickle and his witness, Chuck Loy transacted a business deal for a vehicle about two weeks before the trial. The defendant brought this to light through his attorney and the prosecutor, Kasey Sorensen ruled this transaction wasnʼt “WITNESS TAMPERING.”

Under oath, Bryan Vansickle stated he was driving a blue Ford truck during the August 10, 2010 incident almost running over Rose Mary Thorne, Lynne Bertalot and her three small children. Once again, Bryan Vansickle perjured himself. The vehicle he was driving was a purple truck of another brand.

Neither the prosecutor or the defendants attorney questioned this overt lie by Bryan Vansickle. Although the defendant photographed the purple truck. His attorney failed to introduce these photos into evidence on the day of the trial. Bryan Vansickleʼs purple truck disappeared several weeks ago and hasnʼt been seen since.

One thing prosecutor Sorensen asked Rick, his wife Rose Mary and Lynne Bertalot was; “You understand this case isnʼt about the defendant and the plaintiff Bryan Vansickle. This case strictly involves the State of South Dakota verses the Defendant Richard Thorne". That claim blew Rickʼs mind when he heard it.

Rick wondered how the case couldnʼt involve Bryan Vansickle since he was the one who originally instigated the original contact back in December of 2009 with the cat incident. It was as if the State of South Dakota was deliberately trying to destroy Vietnam Veteran, Rick Thorne.

Bryan Vansickle could have deliberately sold the truck involved in the August 10, 2010 incident knowing full well it would be implicated in the trial against the defendant. The defendantʼs attorney (Jennifer Beving) never once objected when the prosecutor Sorensen badgered the defendant and his witnesses.

On August 10, 2010, the Sturgis Police officers didnʼt get permission from the defendant to search his vehicle. They also failed to ask for permission to enter his home when they secured the mace weapon. As a disabled veteran, the defendant wasnʼt aware he could refuse the police entry into his vehicle and home unless they had a search warrant.

When the verdict was read, Rick was found guilty! The jury had painful looks on their faces at that instant. They had to go be the law even though true justice wasnʼt served that ungodly day. To add insult to injury to a disabled Vietnam veteran, nearly the full brunt of the law was administered.

The defendant had no prior record and NO MERCY was served on this broken man.



$84.00 court costs (the Judge did waive the $500.00 fine however that the state had asked;

$129.20 prosecution costs $$2727.88 attorney fees;

ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASSES (which could be several hundred dollars. Especially since the defendant has to drive to another city for the classes.)

The defendant is living in a 23 year old mobile home and driving 11 year old vehicle. The defendant pays back child support and he and his wife barely have enough money to live on. (Especially since Obama froze the cost of living increases for Social Security.) Itʼs shocking to think that Sturgis, South Dakota would financially destroy a Vietnam disabled veteran that is incapable of working.

No Veteran or military personnel should ever again come to the Sturgis Rally knowing how this disabled Vietnam Veteran was financially, mentally and physically destroyed by the legal system here. Rick and his wife plan to leave South Dakota when this legal mess has ended and they will never ever return again.

Rick plans to ask the governor of South Dakota for clemency. They are honorably discharged and donʼt deserve such harsh treatment so late in their life. Please pass this article onto everyone you know and you can listen to the original 911 call that follows:

Another Case of American Justice serving our citizens...Welcome to the United States of Hypocrisy.

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