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On Saturday October 5, 2013. My teenage brother, teenage cousin and her boyfriend went to a walkthrough haunted woods event. I am visiting home from Omaha and I wanted to do something Halloween related. We went to _____Trail because it was highly rated. When we got there we went through the trail without incident. However, upon exiting the trail the entire party of 4 was asked to step aside. The owner & an off duty Sheriff's deputy explained that one of the actors was hurt because a door was slammed back in his face. It was an outhouse scene where a guy throws open an outhouse door and mimic's urinating on the people walking by using some sort of water hose with a very thin stream. Apparently, they alleged someone had slammed the outhouse door on the actor which caught his pinky finger in the door and pinched it. There was no blood or any damage done, and the actor later stated he was required by the owner to report all occurrences where they were injured. After questioning us for about a minute. I stopped the whole nonsense questioning and said "we're all adults here, if someone did it I think they would confess." About that time, my brother said he might have hit the door in a reaction to the initial scare. The off duty sheriff's deputy questioning us was being pretty unprofessional and my cousin's boyfriend started talking back to the sheriff. This quickly escalated to a back and forth verbal argument between the sheriff's deputy and my cousin's boyfriend. The sheriff, who felt he could flex his authority asked my cousin's boyfriend for his identification.

That's where I got involved. Knowing a little about constitutional law, a police officer cannot ask for your identification without you being suspected of a crime. In the state I was visiting, there is a stop and identify law generated by a Supreme Court case years ago called Terry v. Ohio. That law says that a person must verbally identify themselves, but they still do not have to produce identification. Since my brother admitted to slamming the outhouse door, my cousin's boyfriend did not need to produce his identification for any reason. I stepped in because the sheriff was overstepping his bounds and his ego was now in the driver's seat of his actions. I instructed my cousin's boyfriend he didn't have to produce I.D. Then the off duty sheriff began arguing with me saying basically that the constitution is different in Nebraska then the state I was visiting. Yes you heard that right. The off duty sheriff's deputy thought that the U.S. Constitution that is a blanket of rights that covers the entire U.S. thought that it was different in Nebraska then the state I was visiting. I explained to him he was wrong, and he got irritated and basically requested backup by calling 3 other Sheriff's to the scene.

Once they arrived, I explained the whole sequence of events to the on duty sheriff. He admitted I was correct about constitutional law, but said it would be "easier for all of us" if we just produced ID when asked. I objected saying, what is easy isn't always right. I explained that his sheriff's deputy was out of control and needed to operate in the confines of the law. I also explained that his sheriff's deputy was unprofessional. He had made off the cuff snide comments about all four of us at some point. One of the sheriff's pulled the off duty sheriff aside and sternly lectured him for a moment, without knowing I could hear him. He said to the off duty sheriff "you know you can't be breaking the rules." That's all I could hear.
I felt I could have pushed the issue even further, getting badge #s and names of the sheriff's but I let it go and we went home.
BUT you guys that know me, know I don't give up that easy. I'm calling the elected Sheriff (that would be their boss) Monday morning. I'm going to ask him if I can come in and talk with him in his office. I'm going to explain what the sheriff's did wrong and how they are making their entire department susceptible to lawsuits and other negative effects by not honoring a person's constitutional rights. I'm also going to highly encourage him to check the off duty Sheriff's ego and make sure it's not interfering wtih his job. The End.

P.S. What haunt actor actually cries about being injured when they weren't injured? Just shut up and do your job. To me it's part of a haunt to have people react to your scares. As long as those reactions aren't abusive, flagrant, or cause an INJURY. Just move on...is it really necessary to report every little detail to the owner via radio?
 

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Wow, good for you for standing up for your rights.

It is unfortunate the Actor got hurt, but what do you expect when you fake urinate on someone? I probably would have slammed the door on him too. That is a disgusting scene and in my opinion does not belong in a haunted trail. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, good for you for standing up for your rights.

It is unfortunate the Actor got hurt, but what do you expect when you fake urinate on someone? I probably would have slammed the door on him too. That is a disgusting scene and in my opinion does not belong in a haunted trail. Just my opinion.
Yeah I didn't even touch the subject of that scene, but you are right. Just the impressions I got from the owner is that he is overprotective of his employees, he doesn't like his guests and it's just a business/hobby for him. We were banned for the rest of the year (like I care at all, there are hundreds of Podunk haunted trails throughout this state). But they were questioning us like we committed a crime, which is where constitutional law came in. I lost my temper and stopped the entire illegal proceeding in it's tracks. Not because it was unconstitutional but because they were being rude and abrasive about it. I think they thought we were all kids because I was wearing very baggy clothes and a football jersey and it was kind of dark outside. They thought they could walk over the other three teens and myself (30 years old).

Also, not sure if I mentioned this but the actor wasn't even hurt. He just said he was required by the owner to report occurrences like that. I thought he was a big wussy for actually calling something that minor in.
 

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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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my (entirely unsolicited) advice--let it go. you defused a touchy situation by standing up for yourself, but in doing so, you shut the whole thing down before anything happened that really cries out to be remedied. is this guy a jerk? yeah. will he still be a jerk after you go home? yeah. will you gain anything by wasting an hour of your time at the sheriff's office telling him what all you know about constitutional law? no.

pick your battles, man. right now you're the winner.
 

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Too bad your fun night had to get messed up like that!
Good for you for keeping a calm head and dealing with it the way you did, you set a good example to your group. I hope it turns out alright as you pursue it.
I suppose the actor was just following protocol by reporting the finger getting shut in the door, and probably had no idea cops were going to treat you guys like you intentionally hurt him. Now everyone is the wiser!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
my (entirely unsolicited) advice--let it go. you defused a touchy situation by standing up for yourself, but in doing so, you shut the whole thing down before anything happened that really cries out to be remedied. is this guy a jerk? yeah. will he still be a jerk after you go home? yeah. will you gain anything by wasting an hour of your time at the sheriff's office telling him what all you know about constitutional law? no.

pick your battles, man. right now you're the winner.
This was never a win, lose thing for me. Well, the following is going to sound a bit cheesy but it's honestly how I feel. The root problem here is Sheriff's thinking they can step outside of their lawful bounds unchecked. The person they exhibited this in front of (me) is an active duty military guy who helps to keep this country free. My part is not nearly as dangerous as some of my friends. But those friends and other services put their lives on the line for freedom of speech, constitutional freedoms, and individual rights. If I let it slide, and don't at least let their boss know then they may do it again. Heck, they may do it again anyway but it will be less likely if their boss refreshes them on training concerning individual rights.
 

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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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This was never a win, lose thing for me. Well, the following is going to sound a bit cheesy but it's honestly how I feel. The root problem here is Sheriff's thinking they can step outside of their lawful bounds unchecked. The person they exhibited this in front of (me) is an active duty military guy who helps to keep this country free. My part is not nearly as dangerous as some of my friends. But those friends and other services put their lives on the line for freedom of speech, constitutional freedoms, and individual rights. If I let it slide, and don't at least let their boss know then they may do it again. Heck, they may do it again anyway but it will be less likely if their boss refreshes them on training concerning individual rights.
don't get me wrong, i'm absolutely not defending what the guy did. there's a chance he was having a bad night (as all of us do) and just acted out of character. but i would guess there's a greater chance that he's just an [expletive]-hole. again, what he did was BS, but it's not anything that the sheriff's office is going to shut down over. even if you aren't ignored (and to their credit, law enforcement around here usually takes complaints seriously, so they'll probably listen to what you have to say with genuine concern), the action taken will almost certainly amount to a "cut that out"-type reprimand...the guy has almost certainly been told that (numerous) times before...and this will almost certainly not change his behavior one bit.

i tell people this all the time--there are good and bad cops, because cops are just people, and there are good and bad people. fortunately some people like yourself know enough to stand up to the bad ones. some don't. the system is set up to make sure those people are protected when they're treated badly. i suppose all you have to lose is some wasted time if you pursue this, but i guess i just don't feel it's even worth your time.
 

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JLW, I think if there is ANYONE who is in need of a good talking to, it's the haunt owner and/or whoever is responsible for inflicting that dumb, UNscary, childish prank on a bunch of paying customers. Ask him to explain what is remotely "haunted" about the idea of being urinated on by strangers?
 

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I agree that the type of behavior exhibited by the off duty was too extreme. I had a situation with a private security guard in my place of business who rudely got in my face on the elevator because my badge was turned around (she first accused me of not wearing it, then when I showed her I was wearing it, she rudely stated "TURN IT AROUND') I immediate went to the person who hired that security company and she was gone the same day. Sometimes you just have to stand up to bad behavior... and sometimes you do have to let it go. Your choice where, when and why. Maybe someday I will tell you about the school bus driver I got fired, not that my son was an angel or anything, but she went too far....
 

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Kudos to you for knowing your stuff. Definately seems like a bad attempt at a scare. the 'jump out' is a classic move, no problem. Fake urination? Well, get the right idiot and someone will attempt the real thing, so the trail owner should have discussed the pros & cons a little more. I might, in a quick reaction, have moved the door, never know.
I think we all applaud and recognize our law enforcement for their duty. At the same time, we all have had some over zealous, mean mannered one sour our appreciation for some time. Sucks that it happens but we all have flaws.
Really impressed that you were able to talk sense to a deputy that brought some order. Once I read "3 other Sherriffs" I thought you guys were going to County for the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds to me like all involved played a part in it getting stupid, especially the cousins boyfriend. Seems like a lot of egos were at play. Sounds like much ado was made of nothing
I agree actually. Even I played my part. The bad cocktail of all of our personalities mixed badly. But the boyfriend was just mouthy, not overly disrespectful and rude. I think the rudest comment he made was "I'm tired of Sheriff's thinking they can do what they want."

I still wonder what goes through the owner's mind. I think he dislikes haunters, but likes the money it brings in to have a trail.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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The lessons I've learned from this as a haunt organizer are:

Interactive urine scenes are a bad thing

put grab bars on the sides of a doorway so actors can grab those instead, eliminating any pinched digits, since no matter what the scene is, someone is eventually going to slam that door back in the actor's face.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The lessons I've learned from this as a haunt organizer are:

Interactive urine scenes are a bad thing

put grab bars on the sides of a doorway so actors can grab those instead, eliminating any pinched digits, since no matter what the scene is, someone is eventually going to slam that door back in the actor's face.
Yeah the owner didn't think much through. Not the brightest guy I gathered. But shockingly they said it was the first time in 3 years the actor had a reportable problem. I call B.S. on that.
 

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how is that haunt even open aftet one night of did u say pretend peeing on someone????? how is that scary? its just...forget it too many words to list...
 

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Honestly, all this over trying to establish how someone got injured? I don't know why any person trying to run a haunt or business would want to have to deal with any of this. I suspect the haunt owner had to establish this for his insurance in case a claim got filed and the guy had to have a fingernail pulled or a blood blister taken care of depending on how and where his hand/fingers got caught in the door.

As for the "peeing" outhouse guy shooting out a small stream of "water", I have read about many props here doing all kinds of effects and really haven't read much if any opposition to them. Just wow.
 

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Is it just me or does it seem like that outhouse might be too close to the guests walking by? It is, f one of them can push the door back on the actor. How dangerous is that for the actor and the guests? I forsee broken fingers, noses, etc.

The act of a door popping open is enough of a startle, just move the outhouse back far enough so the door isn't within reach of the guests.

All in all, though, I'm glad you and your friends got home without further incident.
 
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