The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Crazy People Are Dangerous

Posted on | October 1, 2020 | 3 Comments


If you watch enough police chase videos on YouTube, you find yourself developing a thorough hatred of these lunatics who endanger the lives of others — and tie up traffic for hours — by their madcap vehicular misadventures. You begin watching a chase through L.A. (where such pursuits seem to be more or less routine) and find yourself hoping that the driver either dies in a disastrous crash or is shot to death by cops.

So I was watching YouTube of this 2018 chase from Arizona, which went for 60 miles, and ended in Tempe. The cops had backed off, letting a police helicopter track the suspect, while unmarked cars positioned themselves to box him in when he eventually exited the freeway. After the cops finally surrounded him, however, the suspect managed to drive out of the trap and took off at high-speed near the Arizona State University campus until — BOOM! — he hit another vehicle head-on:


Miraculously, neither driver was killed in that collision. The woman in the minivan suffered a broken hand and other non-life-threatening injuries, while the suspect walked away uninjured. In fact, he might have escaped, if he hadn’t hung around the crash scene until the cops caught up and witnesses pointed him out: “That’s him right here!”


Say hello to Mitchell Timothy Taebel, “sovereign citizen.” If you don’t know what that means, this is from the Wikipedia entry:

The sovereign citizen movement is a loose grouping of American litigants, commentators, tax protesters, and financial-scheme promoters. Self-described “sovereign citizens” see themselves as answerable only to their particular interpretations of the common law and as not subject to any government statutes or proceedings. In the United States, they do not recognize U.S. currency and maintain that they are “free of any legal constraints.” . . .
In surveys conducted in 2014 and 2015, representatives of U.S. law enforcement ranked the risk of terrorism from the sovereign-citizen movement higher than the risk from any other group, including Islamic extremists, militias, racists, and neo-Nazis.

These kooks are particularly dangerous to law-enforcement officers, considering any attempt to arrest them as illegitimate. While he was leading police on a 40-mile chase, Mitch Taebel called 911 to complain police were “trying to stop me without probable cause”:

“According to federal law you are allowed to resist unreasonable arrest. I just want to say so I’m not stopping. There seems to be a criminal conspiracy amongst the police to stop people without probable cause. And it’s unreasonable. It’s against federal law. Against, uh, 18 USC section 242 and section 241. I’m not stopping the vehicle.”

The word for this is crazy. If you get pulled over by the cops, you’re entitled to your day in court, and if you believe the arrest was “unreasonable,” the judge will hear your argument. Generally speaking, however, it’s impossible to “win” a traffic case, and most people just pay the ticket because most people are not crazy. Only crazy people could possibly believe they’re going to gain anything by telling cops about their imaginary “right” to resist arrest. You will probably not be surprised to learn that Mitch Taebel gave a remarkable press conference at the jail:


“It’s absolutely legal to resist arrest with force, to the extent of taking an officer’s life if necessary.”

Crazy? Yes. Dangerous? Extremely. His lawyer pleads insanity:

Anti-government statements that police say were made by a man arrested after a crash ended a Phoenix-area car chase stemmed from mental health issues, not political beliefs, the man’s defense lawyer said Thursday.
Mitchell Timothy Taebel of Long Beach, Indiana, and Los Angeles remained jailed on suspicion of endangerment, aggravated assault, unlawful flight and other crimes after being arrested following the crash Wednesday in Tempe on a street near Arizona State University’s main campus. . . .
Asked about the anti-government statements, defense attorney Brian Russo said, “I think it’s more that he’s been previously diagnosed with some mental health issues and they have not been addressed. I don’t think it’s one political issue or another. That’s not what is driving this.”
Russo said he couldn’t provide details on the mental health diagnosis. “We do know from the family he was being treated, he was seeing someone,” the attorney said.

There are different kinds of crazy, some of which are less dangerous than others. Documents filed by his attorney said Taebel was expelled from Arizona State University for “seriously disruptive and odd behavior.” Did I mention Taebel had an extensive criminal record?

Taebel’s personal website states that the U.S. Department of Justice is “unconstitutional” and links to an Indiana court record from earlier this month showing that Taebel sued the government for prohibiting marijuana use.
The document deemed marijuana prohibition unconstitutional.
In a Jan. 5 Facebook post, Taebel asked his followers if they would be interested in joining his effort to sue the government for a wrongful prohibition of cannabis. . . .
Taebel’s website also linked to a November 2017 letter he addressed to all United States governors which states that the Department of Justice is unconstitutional. . . .
Taebel also addressed a Nov. 7, 2017, letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, where he wrote that “the time has come to revolutionize societal standards of law enforcement.” . . .
Court documents on Taebel’s website describe several lawsuits both filed by and against him.
One of the records was a complaint filed by Taebel against the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office saying that he was pulled over by officers without probable cause.
Another record features a December 2017 letter written by Taebel to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval with a complaint that officers used “excessive … and entirely unnecessary force” while arresting him on an assault charge in Las Vegas.
Taebel also posted documents appealing an assault conviction levied against him for punching a doorman at a New York City apartment building in 2011.
Taebel said he punched Frank Martoni in self-defense after Martoni blocked him from entering an elevator and saying Taebel did not have permission to be in the building.
Taebel was staying with his girlfriend, Raquel Toro, at the time of the incident, according to documents he posted. Toro wrote an affidavit to the court saying she had received written permission from building management for Taebel to stay in the apartment.
Toro urged prosecutors to throw out the case against Taebel.
Court papers that Taebel filed earlier in December 2017 in the U.S. District Court of Arizona alleged that he was denied an application for an apartment in Arizona on the basis of his previous charges; he asked for $500 million in damages.

To give you the full story — because you want all the craziness, right? — I find myself compelled to quote the SPLC:

Two days before the [2018 Arizona] chase, Taebel cited [18 USC section 242] when he filed a complaint bringing a “claim against violations of the second amendment” in the U.S. District Court of California in Los Angeles. The complaint named [New York Supreme] Court Justice Michael Sonberg as a defendant and asked for $1 billion in damages.
Justice Sonberg convicted Taebel of 2nd and 3rd degree aggravated assault in May, 2013. The latter is a felony and took away Taebel’s ability to possess firearms. The charges stemmed from an incident where Taebel punched the doorman at his girlfriend’s New York apartment building for not allowing him up to her residence. At one point during the case, Taebel chose to represent himself and cross-examine the victim.
Continuing to claim self-defense, despite eye witness testimony to the contrary, Taebel has attempted to have the judgement vacated by filing frivolous lawsuits against the Department of Justice and the United States of America, among others
On April 26, 2016, the judgement against him was affirmed, but Taebel’s experience left him questioning the rule of law and refusing to follow it. It also left him fixated on the idea that police officers could be killed if his rights were violated, which he repeatedly believes has happened, even when his actions are considered criminal by law enforcements standards.
In January 2018, Taebel included Statute 242 in a civil complaint he filed against the City of Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. In it, he claimed that his rights were violated after he was arrested in April 2013 for attempting lewd and unlawful acts against an aspiring porn star in the Los Angeles valley. The woman alleged that after having a conversation with Taebel at a gas station about her possible new career, he followed her to a nearby parking lot and tried to pull her into his vehicle for the purpose of a sexual encounter. The case against him was dropped on December 5, 2016, though he remained upset to enough file the complaint two years later, ask for $1 billion in recompense, writing in it that the “arresting officer should be executed by law.”

If you’ve ever filed a $1 billion lawsuit pro se? You’re crazy.



3 Responses to “Crazy People Are Dangerous”

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