Regulation

Offer a Ride, Lose Your Car

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Thank God this criminal has been stopped before he strikes again:

A man who said he thought he was just helping a woman in need is accused of running an illegal taxi service.

Miami-Dade County's Consumer Services Department has slapped Rosco O'Neil with $2,000 worth of fines, but O'Neil claims he is falsely accused.

"I ain't running nothing illegal," O'Neil said.

The 78-year-old said he was walking into a Winn-Dixie to get some groceries when he was approached by a woman who said she needed a ride.

"She asked me, 'Do I do a service?'" O'Neil said. "I told her no. She said, 'I need help getting home.'"

O'Neil told the woman if she was still there when he finished his shopping, he would give her a ride. She was, so he did.

As it turned out, the woman was an undercover employee with the consumer services department targeting people providing illegal taxi services.

"She said the reason she targeted him (is because) she saw him sitting in his car for a few minutes," said Ellen Novodeletsky, O'Neil's attorney.

After O'Neil dropped off the woman, police surrounded him, issued him two citations and impounded his minivan. On top of the fees, it cost O'Neil an additional $400 to retrieve his minivan from the impound lot.

There are no prior complaints that O'Neil was providing illegal transportation for a fee.

"It's not entrapment because she didn't expect him to provide her transportation," said Sonya Perez, a spokeswoman for the consumer services department.

O'Neil claims he was just being kind and providing a ride to a lady in need.

"There's all kinds of possibilities, but the fact of this particular case, what our enforcement officers witnessed — because we had several on the scene, plus a Miami-Dade police officer — and all the information came back the same, that this was a business transaction," Perez said.

O'Neil said he never even discussed money until the woman insisted upon it.

"She asked me, 'How much you charging?'" O'Neil said. "I said, 'Anything you give me.' She said, 'No, I need a price.'"

NEXT: Global Warming to Reduce Atlantic Hurricanes? Debate Continues.

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  1. She asked me, ‘Do I do a service?'” O’Neil said. “I told her no.

    Everything after this is entrapment, IMO.

  2. “It’s not entrapment because she didn’t expect him to provide her transportation,” said Sonya Perez, a spokeswoman for the consumer services department.

    I’ve read a lot of retarded sentences in my time, but that gets a prize.

  3. LOL. So now the target is good samaritans?

    Get those damn goodie two shoes off the street before they spread goodwill! It’s for the children!

  4. A good thing there’s no real crime Miami.

  5. He should have been tasered.

  6. “She asked me, ‘How much you charging?'” O’Neil said. “I said, ‘Anything you give me.’ She said, ‘No, I need a price.'”

    And then he said…? That’s kind of the central issue here. If he said he needed a specific nonzero amount, then he’s screwed. The definition of entrapment that the courts tend to use is so narrow that unless you’re physically forced or blackmailed into committing a crime, it doesn’t apply.

    Obviously, this is a silly law and sillier enforcement and use of police resources. But when a person you’re offering a ride to demands a specific price, you ought to be suspicious that something’s going on.

  7. ‘No, I need a price.’

    DING DING DING DING *cop alert*

  8. We clearly need this type of arrest to put fear in the hearts of those who would threaten the jorbs of honest, regulated taxi drivers! I’ll certainly think twice the next time a woman at the train station asks what direction I’m going in.

  9. I’ll certainly think twice the next time a woman at the train station asks what direction I’m going in.

    Considering she could be part of a vice sting for prostitution, I would recommend that already.

  10. Yet another data point that shows why the state of Florida is the only one to have its very own tag on Fark.com

  11. Meanwhile … Al Quieta roam the streets while the public servants harass the neighborly.

  12. illegal taxi service

    Yet another in the long list of stupid things over regulated by the government.

    Lucky that buddy of mine who leant me his pickup to trailer a car last year went into ‘hiding’ to avoid that illegal vehicle rental operation charge in VA.

  13. DING DING DING DING *cop alert*

    Since the guy is 78 years old, and putatively innocent of wrongdoing, maybe his internal cop alarm klaxons sound tinny and distant…

    Personally the last thing that would enter my mind if I were giving someone a ride is “hey, maybe this lady is a fucking undercover cop looking to bust me for doing her a favor.” But maybe that’s just me.

  14. If I did a favor for somebody, and they got weird, I’d probably just try to get out of the situation as easily as possible, and so I can see myself saying something like “Oh, hell, just give me a buck for gas and we’ll call it good.”

    And then I’d be arrested.

    Of course, at today’s gas prices you could argue that I wasn’t profiting from driving that person home for a mere dollar.

  15. Of course, at today’s gas prices you could argue that I wasn’t profiting from driving that person home for a mere dollar.

    Even worse then, thoreau!
    You were guilty of unfair business practices!

  16. From the Protocols of the Elders of Libertopia

    “Always focus on the most extreme and outrageous examples of statist behaviour not because they’re useful tools of analysis, but because they reinforce faith in libertarian dogma.”

  17. Going to Miami…Nah I don’t think so.

  18. Radley,

    Nice Pinks ref. in title.

  19. “It’s not entrapment because she didn’t expect him to provide her transportation,”

    That doesn’t make sense. He was targeted because “she saw him sitting in his car for a few minutes” which apparently is suspicious enough to make her think he would provide transportation. When police go after prostitutes they don’t randomly ask people “how much?” They ask suspects that will most likely give a price and deliver the goods.

  20. Always focus on the most extreme and outrageous examples of statist behaviour not because they’re useful tools of analysis, but because they reinforce faith in libertarian dogma.

    Extremism of state action is *precisely* what should be of greatest concern, because unlike many situations where it may be better to consider the median and toss the outliers, in the case of the power of the state the outliers represent peoples’ lives and well-being being crushed into fine powder.

    When your local grocer gets something wrong, you might end up with salami instead of prosciutto; when the cop with the itchy trigger-finger gets something wrong, you might get dead. There ought to be a higher standard in the latter case, no?

  21. Well, at least he wasn’t charged with soliciting.

  22. “Extremism of state action is *precisely* what should be of greatest concern…”

    Focusing on “extemism of state action” while ignoring beneficial state actions is the stuff of libertarian evangelism–not much different from other evangelisms–not the stuff of rational analysis. It’s very typical of a cult.

  23. To the critics of liberterianism: Pointing out a case of abuse does not mean that the writer is concluding that all state action is bad, or is making any sort of wider statement.

  24. Always focus on the most extreme and outrageous examples of statist behaviour not because they’re useful tools of analysis, but because they reinforce faith in libertarian dogma.

    Even if you like the role of government as it is now, I think that you have to recognize that it’s important that SOMEONE focus on this sort of behavior. There is incentive among people working for government institutions to let less-than-justifiable actions pass in hopes that they will get the same treatment if they ever do something wrong (intentionally or unintentionally).

  25. Focusing on “extemism of state action” while ignoring beneficial state actions is the stuff of libertarian evangelism–not much different from other evangelisms–not the stuff of rational analysis. It’s very typical of a cult.

    Hey, your lips to God’s big, floppy ears. I mean, we should always look on the bright side of life, right? After all, even Nazism succeeded in eliminating unemployment. The state giveth and, um, go fuck yourself.

    Oh, did I just Godwin the thread? Damn you Edward, for making me do these things!

  26. Should have added:

    An independent mechanism (such as independent journalism) is useful in that it can uncover injustices and possibly help people that do end up getting screwed over by government action.

  27. edward’s back? (in classic edward form no less)

    when did this happen? why wasn’t i notified?

  28. “Focusing on “extemism of state action” while ignoring beneficial state actions is the stuff of libertarian evangelism–”

    Of course! There are so many beneficial things coming from this type of action we should tolerate a few elderly people getting their means of transportation taken away and getting hauled off to jail.

    BTW, what ARE some of those important benefits?

  29. “There’s all kinds of possibilities, but the fact of this particular case, what our enforcement officers witnessed – because we had several on the scene, plus a Miami-Dade police officer – and all the information came back the same, that this was a business transaction,” Perez said.

    And we simply cannot allow business transactions between willing buyers and willing sellers to happen without government “oversight.”

  30. why wasn’t i notified?

    edward doesn’t announce his arrival. He waits … (for just the right moment to show everyone the unemployable alcoholic loner he is).

  31. BTW, what ARE some of those important benefits?

    What if he gave a ride to a woman who decided to show her gratitude by cooking him dinner in an unlicensed, uninspected, kitchen!?

  32. And we simply cannot allow business transactions between willing buyers and willing sellers to happen without government “oversight.”

    Well, because then the State is afraid it won’t get its cut.

  33. edward doesn’t announce his arrival. He waits …

    You seem to be implying that Edward is in some way like Chuck Norris.

  34. P Brooks,

    Don’t forget that she could have been a lonely housewife looking to reward him in other ways once he dropped off her groceries at her house.

  35. He should have said “Gas,Grass or Ass no one rides for free” and then left it up to her. Seriously, targeting a 78 year old? That’s why ALL cops are assholes.

  36. Yes, but how is this McCain’s fault? Urgently waiting Welch’s response.

  37. edward’s back?

    How long before he promises to leave, like 10 times in a row?

  38. Okay, that’s it. I’m out of here. For good. Save this post.

  39. One in a row . . .

  40. Focusing on “extemism of state action” while ignoring beneficial state actions is the stuff of libertarian evangelism–not much different from other evangelisms–not the stuff of rational analysis. It’s very typical of a cult.

    Performance standards and then auditing performance based on those standards does sound all candle max on the nipple.

  41. Edward —

    Stop posting under multiple names in the same thread. I’m not going to warn you again. It doesn’t make your arguments any stronger when your multiple sock puppets are all making the same point.

  42. What’s the big deal about sock puppets?

    Did I mention that Dr. Thoreau is the nicest, handsomest, most intelligent poster on this forum?

  43. SF,

    That approach does not work for joe, no matter how much I joke about how ‘funny’ he is. Just check out the latest Ron Bailey thread on ‘global warming’ and hurricanes.

  44. Sock puppets belong over at The Plank.

  45. Oh, I’ve been reading that one. I just don’t comment because I’ve had my fill of giving joe stroke material. When we hate on him, he takes it as evidence that he’s on the right track. A good old-fashioned shunning is the way to deal with him. That and get him to understand that “denier” is actually pronounced “heretic.”

  46. Stop posting under multiple names in the same thread.

    Radley, he does this all the time. It’s no threat; he’s a joke and fun to poke. He’s not even good enough at it to change what he says, how he says it, or even to switch to bad punctuation and spelling or something.

    Now, Dr. T, he’s a threat.

  47. SF,

    He is doing his sock puppet thing over there too, as Neu Mejican.

  48. You seem to be implying that Edward is in some way like Chuck Norris.

    Yes. Both are irrelevant.

  49. Did Edward support Huckabee?

  50. Sounds like someone has never seen Lone Wolf McQuade.

    He drives a truck through the ground!

  51. woman hating is the commonest form of oppression

    “Commonest” as in ubiquitous, or “commonest” as in most mundane?

  52. You seem to be implying that Edward is in some way like Chuck Norris.

    Well, sort of, funnier taking it like implying that Jimmy Carter is Ronald Reagan.

  53. He drives a truck through the ground!

    Much in the same way that Edward attempts to drive his points home.

  54. “commonest” as in most mundane?

    Ah, ‘she’ is saying that men are so pedestrian!

  55. If “commonest” is meant to mean “ubiquitous” in that passage, isn’t “most common” more grammatically correct?

  56. P Brooks,

    Probably “most ubiquitious.” She goes on to say:

    It has refreshed my memory regarding the radical feminist slogan, “Feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice.”

  57. SF,

    So, in my effort to bring the sexes together, I invite the hot lesbians to practice at my place.

  58. I must also concur that Dr. T is the most insightful poster here.

    Anyway, on topic: Remember last year there was some blog post about a prostitution sting where a guy was flagged down by a woman on the sidewalk, so he pulled his car over and rolled down the window to see what was wrong? They busted him, even though he had his wife in the car with him.

  59. Same thread:

    Men entering politics should be chemically castrated and go through extensive conditioning before their party allows them to run for office. It would reduce these sort of incidents and drive men away from politics; both noble goals in my opinion. And if there was any group of men to test such techniques on before moving onto the general population, it’d be politicians.

    The incident is Obama calling a female reporter “sweetie” and immediately apologizing.

    No one takes any issue whatsoever with this comment. No one.

  60. They busted him, even though he had his wife in the car with him.

    Three-ways should be free! Or rented, either way.

  61. She actually says, “ubiquitous” immediately after that; but, as a dyed-in-the-wool elitist, I feel a need to find a more exotic segment of society to oppress.

    And besides, I plan to keep practicing my own peculiar brand of lesbianism until I get it right.

  62. Men entering politics should be chemically castrated and go through extensive conditioning before their party allows them to run for office.

    You know, by adding “entering politics” to this, she briefly had me nodding in agreement, but then I realized female politicians weren’t included.

  63. You know, by adding “entering politics” to this, she briefly had me nodding in agreement, but then I realized female politicians weren’t included.

    Think it might have something to do with the available population of their preferred partner type?

  64. 1. Geezers shouldn’t be driving.
    2. Can take a taxi, with his big SS check, to gobble up his almost free Medicare.
    3. Shouldn’t be talking to strangers, where was his mom? Probably at home, taking care of his welfare kids.

    These are the kind of people that make the rest of us more mature folks look bad.

  65. And then he said…? That’s kind of the central issue here. If he said he needed a specific nonzero amount, then he’s screwed.

    Not really. He just said he didn’t need a specific non-zero amount, or any amount at all.

    “Always focus on the most extreme and outrageous examples of statist behaviour not because they’re useful tools of analysis, but because they reinforce faith in libertarian dogma because any society that will tolerate extreme and outrageous statist behavior is in serious need of more liberty.”

    Focusing on “extemism of state action” while ignoring beneficial state actions is the stuff of libertarian evangelism–not much different from other evangelisms–not the stuff of rational analysis.

    When the adherents to the Cult of the State qualify every attack on freedom with a laundry list of the benefits of free minds and free markets, I will do them the same courtesy.

  66. Regarding picking up strangers in your car:

    Several years ago I was in the parking lot at Trader Joe’s, and a woman in her 60’s came to my car with some convoluted story about why she needed a ride down the street to Starbucks where her husband was waiting with a car, or something. The story made no sense to me, and she seemed to be in good shape despite her age. So I hesitated to pick up a stranger with a story that made no sense. She got impatient and asked if I would do it or not and the first words that came out of my mouth in my confusion were “I was always told to never get in cars with strangers.”

    She seemed disgusted. And it was a pretty silly response. But, honestly, the situation seemed sketchy, and while car-jackings are rare they do happen, and even if there was no revolver in her purse I had a hunch that I was about to get sucked into somebody else’s drama. People with convoluted and implausible stories who “just need [insert some small favor here]” often turn out to be trouble.

    Now that I know about stings for unlicensed taxis and implausible prostitution scenarios, I have one more reason to be wary of strangers seeking rides.

  67. It’s very typical of a cult.

    Ha ha ha! That’s funny.

    When I lived in San Francisco the supermarkets always employed some folks to drive people home for a few bucks. I don’t know if I was “breaking the law” by using them or not. Clearly, the point of bringing up “extreme” cases like this stupidity in Florida is to make sure it doesn’t spread to California and everywhere else.

  68. I have one more reason to be wary of strangers seeking rides.

    And one more retort for people who complain that America’s become “less friendly” or some such thing.

  69. Reminds me of the guy in Tucson who gave his neighbor a ride to the parts house. On the way they were stopped by INS (fuck that ICE stuff, they just made that up so they’d sound cool) and it turned out that his neighbor of ten years was illegal. Arrested, charged with transporting illegals, and had his car impounded.

  70. If libertarianism is a cult, it’s the most poorly run cult in history. You can’t find two libertarians that even agree what the word means, much less march in lockstep to some belief system.

    Then again, Goldwater said best: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

  71. Going to Miami…Nah I don’t think so.

    A good thing there’s no real crime Miami.

    I’ve been to a million beaches in California over the last forty years. I’ve been to the beach in Miami about six times. Guess where we were ripped off and completely cleaned out?

  72. it’s the most poorly run cult in history

    I’m not drinking the Kool Aid. Jesus Chrysler, the sugar in it is subsidized and besides, it’s red.

  73. Edward,
    Focusing on “ext[r]emism of [S]tate action” while ignoring beneficial state actions is the stuff of libertarian evangelism–not much different from other evangelisms–not the stuff of rational analysis. It’s very typical of a cult.

    Edward, there is nothing extreme about the actions taken by the officers in this case – it is fairly typical whenever regulations or prohibitions are put in place by force.

    From another perspective, it is not unreasonable to focus on bad actions, seeking to correct them – that is what internal auditors do in companies. It is unreasonable, however, to jump to the conclusion that any critical view of a State’s actions against citizens stem from a form of ideological extremism or irrationality – that view of things is manichaean.

  74. A former Troop Commander of mine picked up a young lady stranger on that main drag in front of Fort Campbell once. Claimed she flagged him down because he was “cute” or something.

    They stopped at a convenience store so he could get cigarettes and/or other supplies and he left the car running, only to return to a missing car.

    Added funny, he had the Annual Training payroll checks of about half the Troop in the trunk of the car because he did not trust leaving them in the unit safe!

    IIRC, the vehicle was recovered in MA NJ a few weeks later, but not the checks.

  75. er, MA or NJ

  76. Francisco, Edward is like a ball of yarn to a cat. It’s fun to bat it around every once in a while, but it’s impossible to have an intelligent conversation with.

  77. I used to visit Fort Campbell about once a year when I work for the Army Corp of Engineers (yes, I gained most of my hatred for the federal gov’t by working for them).

  78. Yea, there is still some residual hatred for the ACoE in the Tennessee River Valley too, goes along with the hatred for FDR taking all that land and flooding it.

  79. Did I mention that Dr. Thoreau is the nicest, handsomest, most intelligent poster on this forum?

    T. is very well-liked indeed!

  80. BTW, what ARE some of those important benefits?

    The benefits are that you can travel to any big city in America and know that you can easily find quick, convenient cab service, with clean vehicles, and honest, courteous drivers. And all at reasonable prices!

  81. Extremism? Ever hear of “man bites dog”? What are they supposed to do, fill pages with, “Nothing untoward happened at Winn-Dixie all week. People have been nice to each other all over town.”?

  82. Focusing on “extremism of state action” while ignoring beneficial state actions is the stuff of libertarian evangelism–not much different from other evangelisms–not the stuff of rational analysis. It’s very typical of a cult.

    In this case one of the “beneficial state actions” was broken, and the other was on a break. OTOH “extremism of state action” is a target-rich environment.

    The benefits are that you can travel to any big city in America and know that you can easily find quick, convenient cab service, with clean vehicles, and honest, courteous drivers. And all at reasonable prices!

    I missed the part where the undercover cop forced herself past all the friendly, helpful cabbies to get to her target. If every big city is indeed infested with quick, convenient, reasonably-priced cabs, why are the unlicensed jitneys such a problem that the police have to have squads of officers (what our enforcement officers witnessed – because we had several on the scene, plus a Miami-Dade police officer) cracking down on them?

  83. ML,

    LOL!

    The benefits are that you can travel to any big city in America and know that you can easily find quick, convenient cab service, with clean vehicles, and honest, courteous drivers. And all at reasonable prices!

    Shades of that pasturization story from the other day?

  84. I was engaging in sarcasm.

  85. ML,

    That is why I laughed in an audible manner 🙂

  86. On the bright side, at least she wasn’t offering to pay him back with sex.

  87. If the driver actually bought groceries, then I would think that lends credibility to his argument that he was there for the purpose of shopping, and not for the purpose of picking up a fare.

    And isn’t it a reasonable rule of thumb that if you have to ask, then he’s not an illegal cab service?

  88. That is why I laughed in an audible manner 🙂

  89. That is why I laughed in an audible manner

    (Let’s try this again): Sorry, Guy, you’re comment snuck in between LarryA’s comment and my reply to his comment.

  90. Who does he think he is, trying to help other people? What a scummy piece of shit. Doesn’t he care about the poor bureaucrats who work tirelessly to protect us from illegal axe murdering unlicensed cabbies?

  91. Right now, on the SPEED channel, the Barrett-Jaction car auction is on. Looks like they are beginning with Italian un-licensed cabs.

  92. Boy, I sure will sleep better tonight knowing this maniac is off the streets!

  93. This will only happen if you let it.
    Not even the worst tyrants can survive the passive resistance of the population.
    Read the “Discourse on Voluntary servitude” by Etienne de la Boetie
    Read about tax resistance. Read about the IV ammendment.
    Tyrants and Mafias cannot survive without gold and guns. They are always a minority.
    They cannot rule without your cowardice.
    Above all LEARN! Ideas can change the world.

  94. Watch, next giving a christmas gift you didnt buy from a major retail outlet is going to be a crime.

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