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Neighborhood Protests in Defense of Drunk Teens

A wild scramble followed a disturbance on Duncan Road in Caledonia late Saturday night. Around 11:00 pm, a Lowndes County resident called 911 to report what appeared to be a party near her residence on Duncan Road. The caller told dispatchers that she was attempting to block several vehicles in with her car until Lowndes County Deputies could arrive on scene. According to the caller, one of the vehicles, a silver Toyota truck occupied by several teenagers, forced it’s way past her, hitting her car in the process. Deputies and Caledonia Town Marshals scoured the area for the truck.

Meanwhile, officers with the Lowndes Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of the party, where several juveniles were being blocked from leaving. Citations were issued concerning underage drinking and possession of alcohol by minors while the parents of the juveniles were contacted to come take custody of their children.

Minutes after the initial incident, Caledonia Town Marshal Lance Luckey spotted the silver Toyota speeding through Caledonia. He quickly initiated a stop with the truck on Lawrence Bridge Road. The driver of the truck (identified on scene as Seth Dement) crossed the Lawrence Bridge, striking another car in the process, and finally came to a stop in front of the first house once he crossed into Monroe County.

Once the truck was stopped, Marshal Luckey detained Dement and his three passengers and searched the vehicle. Inside the cab, he found several open containers, including beer and liquor bottles. The driver was placed under arrest and later transported to the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center. The passengers of the vehicle were released to their parents. All four youths are from the Hamilton area.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the scene to assist with the arrests and to take a report on the wreck over the Lawrence Bridge.

Seth Dement, who recently turned 18, was charged with DUI, Reckless Driving and Failure to Yield to Blue Lights. Dement is a star athlete for the Hamilton Lions, both on the baseball diamond and the football field. As pitcher and catcher, he was selected to participate in the State Games of Mississippi on the All-Star Baseball team that represented District 1 in June in Meridian, MS. In the fall’s football season, Dement took up the reins as quarterback leading the Lions to a disappointing 4-8 season.

[While I was at the arrest, several members of the neighborhood approached me to protest the youths’ inclusion in The Packet. When it became clear that the story would not pass beneath the watchful eye of The Packet, the complainants turned to insults and threats. Following are some highlights:
“You need to leave those kids alone. You don’t understand that, so you obviously don’t have kids.”

“Why are you taking pictures? You don’t know that they’ve committed a crime!” (At this point, the teens were already in custody, and the open containers were sitting on the toolbox of the truck.)

“I know Miss ******* that works at the Packet. I’ll just call her and this won’t go in the paper!”
“Man, I had to go put up my dog. He wants out REAL bad. Why don’t you just go on now?” (When told that I would leave when the officers left the scene) “Man, you’re a sh*t! I’m gonna stand right next to you. You won’t get no pictures.” (The man gave up after about two minutes and walked away to talk to other local residents.)

At one point, two local women asked a passing Monroe County Deputy (who took the report for the wreck) to tell me to leave. Regrettably, I did not get the deputy’s name.

Deputy: “What paper are you from?”

JD: “The Columbus Packet.”

Deputy: “Nah, this is Monroe County. You aren’t taking any photos.”

Whenever there are minors involved in arrests, we at The Packet receive numerous complaints that we are not allowed to take photos of minors. As we always point out, it is not illegal for the press to take photos of minors, nor is it against the law for us to print their names. When a juvenile is arrested, that only means that law enforcement officers cannot give us their names.

In regards to anyone who would like us to “take it easy” on youthful offenders: Seth Dement was charged for driving while drunk. This story could have had a much darker ending. It is quite possible that Lance Luckey saved these teenagers’ lives, especially when you consider the speed they were travelling at while trying to escape Lowndes County. I, personally, think it’s despicable that the local residents would defend a drunk driver of any age. If the teens had caused damage to their property, these complainants would be the first in line to crucify Dement.

Every year in Mississippi, there are over 200 deaths due to intoxicated drivers. Seth Dement and his passengers were very lucky to not be a part of that statistic. – JD]

The party on Duncan Road is still under investigation. Charges are expected to be filed against the adult(s) that supplied the minors with alcohol.

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9 comments

  1. The thing about the deputy isn’t going to change until the media stops it. An update with a comment from Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell about what this deputy said and did would help. Next time, a photo of the deputy would also help, or one of any LE who attempt similar intimidation. If media such as the Packet let these egregious government violations of the first amendment slide, it doesn’t help the private citizens who are also threatened by such illegal actions. Until, and unless, the sheriff corrects the statements made by HIS deputy, the public can consider Monroe County to be policed by a law breaking sheriff’s department. Let the public beware.

  2. Old Lawyer

    actually, you might want to read the statutes concerning Youth Court proceedings. It refers to the confidential nature of theh proceedings and forbids “any person” from making disclosure.

    However, “child” is defined as someone who has not reached their 18th birthday, so this young hooligan had exhausted his right to commmit mayhem anonymously.

    • @Old Lawyer- you refer to something called “Youth Court proceedings”, while John Douglas referred to taking photos and printing names of people, at the scene of an arrest, who haven’t been to youth court yet. I disagree that taking photos in the wild, so to speak, falls under the jurisdiction of the youth court. It might be a subject for state or federal civil court, in a lawsuit against the media or reporters, but not the youth court. Maybe you could help me (and some reporters) out by quoting any pertinent text of any state law that bars taking photos of minors at the scene of an arrest.

  3. Old Lawyer

    get back to me when you finish your law school courses. you haven’t done so well in past years on legal issues in your personal and political lives. read the statute and comprehend if you are capable. the arrest iis part of the proceedings. this is not complicated, but I wish you luck in comprehension. note that they did not identify the youths less than 18 who were referred to as “children” whose parents were called to come collect them. the photos of the other “children” weren’t published as far as I can see. I wonder why?

    • I see that while you still failed to provide the text that backs up your claims, you had to take the thing in a personal direction. Is that a result of the dehumanizing indoctrination process that goes with law school or is that merely a personal trait? Maybe it’s coincidence that I have heard it several times from different attorneys, from Hogan vs. MUW, to the MUW alumni controversy to the Facebook Four case, about how the layman has no comprehension of the law and shouldn’t try. Maybe you’re right and maybe you’re wrong, but you’re wrong on my personal record, which means either you don’t know me and made it up, or you do know and were untruthful.
      I’m well aware that attorneys have an ingrained need to protect their profession at all costs. No one can do what they do, or so they would like the public to believe. It’s still a tenet of the founding principles of this country that every citizen has the right to fight their own legal battles, if they so choose, or do you deny that? Considering the impact that cases such as Bilski and Prometheus will have on the everyday citizen, there are more civilians studying current federal civil case law than you know or will admit.
      Once again, for the record and hopefully for the last time, my personal record (representing myself, you have PACER don’t you?) is Federal District Court, 3 wins – no losses, Court of Appeals, one win – no losses.
      Your message reads like a mishmash of misinformation, misdirection and obfuscation. Some attorneys have spent so much of their lives doing it in the courtroom that they can’t converse in the real world without doing it.
      I doubt that any adult doesn’t know that a lawyer can pull any trick short of suborning perjury to win a case; attacking the victim no matter what their condition, age or vulnerability, making misleading and outrageous claims, promote junk science, slander and blame innocent people in the courtroom, all in the name of winning.
      Pity, conscience and empathy have no place in the legal profession. For all the talk about ethics, there really aren’t any, short of offending the attorneys who run the system.
      The bulk of practitioners of the legal profession have earned the disdain the general public shows them. With a lack of humanity a prerequisite and integral part of the profession, it’s not surprising that other humans consider the trade like they do. Attorneys can’t be human and do what they do to people every day.
      I doubt most attorneys will publicly admit it but the system is not about justice, or facts, or who is right or wrong. Any attorney can win any case, given the right argument and under the right circumstances, from the Twinkies defense to the victim asking for it. That doesn’t equal being right and doesn’t involve justice. It’s only a win and that’s what attorneys are paid to do. Truth and justice have nothing to do with it.

      • JohnnyPhillipMorris

        @Thom
        You rightly nailed Old Ben to the cross. If you want to see more of Ben’s record of ad hominem attacks, check out Tom Freeland’s blog at NMisscommentor. Those folks over there wallow in mismash, misinformation, misdirection and obfuscation, too.

        Jimbo Traficant on corruption in the FBI and the US justice system.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIFpzviZVT8

  4. JohnnyPhillipMorris

    Old Lawyer’s got Ben Toledano’s sarcasm and condescending manners written all over him. Ben reminds me of that sarcastic old codger with the Haiitian maid on Seinfeld who Jerry was assigned to help. Kramer and George take his discarded old 78 rpm records and try to them to an unintrested broker.

    Check out his posts at NMisscommentor.

    Thanks, Ben, for setting the record straight on that poseur Charles Durning. You might want to checkout David Irving’s website and archival material for the REAL history of Malmedy. Dig deep enough, and you’ll find that Elie Wiezel’s bio isn’t that Kosher, either.

  5. Johnny get a life

    Johnny once a again you ruin the comment section on a story on this website. Sir you are the ultimate TROLL and make absolutely no sense. I also wonder why you insist on posting youtube links. Do you really think any one will ever go watch those? PLEASE STOP THE INSANITY!!!!

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