Ranger uses electric shock on man walking dogs off leash

February 1, 2012

A ranger shot a man on Sunday with a stun gun who was walking his lap-dogs off leash in a federal park after he tried to walk away, causing witnesses to claim the action was excessive. [SFChronicle]

Gary Hesterberg was walking his dogs off leash on Sunday at Rancho Corral de Tierra, an area that had long been an off leash dog park. In December, the park was incorporated into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area which requires leashes. Hesterberg, who was not carrying identification, allegedly gave a false name to the ranger who failed to tell him why he was being questioned.

The unidentified ranger asked Hesterberg to remain at the scene. After the ranger shot Hesterberg in the back, she called sheriff deputies who arrested Hesterberg for walking his dog without a  leash and giving false information.

A fellow dog walker, Michelle Babcock said the use of a stun gun and the arrest seemed excessive for someone walking small dogs without a leash.

“It was really scary,” said Michelle Babcock to the Chronicle. “He just tried to walk away. She never gave him a reason.”

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SHE. PMS and a stun gun.

I wonder if the taser made her feel “empowered?” Almost as if she had a penis for a few minutes? What a nasty crock of crap!

Another of my mom’s sayings:

“A woman with PMS is like a man is every day of the month.”

Everyone in our nation should have gotten the hint that something has gone seriously wrong with law enforcement in the U.S. when the Los Angeles Police Department officially abandoned their long-standing, classic motto: “To Protect And To Serve.”

The very fact it cost the LAPD tens of thousands of dollars to REMOVE that motto from their patrol cars should have generated widespread protests for financial concerns alone. Unfortunately, the spirit behind ending that tradition of “To Protect and To Serve” went well beyond simple financial irresponsibility.

The LAPD change was asinine and, I agree, a big waste of money.

Locally, I think “city waste” reached a new level when the City of AG installed big-brother cameras in the village.

I like to buy local. The more local I can buy, the happier I am. I probably spent a couple of thousand dollars in the village last year, excluding alcohol. That doesn’t sound like much, but our budget has been severely restricted, and, for us, that is a lot.

As long as the cameras are there, I won’t spend a dime there.

The extreme case of Rodney King is inheritly simular:

Rodney King was a x-con, hoodlum and thug and caused LE to converge upon him.

The on-going and widespread mis-behavior of and abuse of LEO to people carries a long memory.

Although The public despise the criminals they hated the police more, greatly more!

And when the city got hit with a giant law suit, the public tax-payers hated LE even more so.

Rodney King, the criminal was just a useful instrument to show between the two, who the public hated the most!

The beating was first aired on Channel 5, following that, all other stations with vedios disclosed unjustified beating and choking they had and aired it (I remember one showing a by-stander on his own yard who was told to go inside, the vedio showed the white young man just standinging silently, the officer immediately went in and choked him out – some of you may remember this).

LAPD unaffected purposed as usual and got higher salaries and more benefits to attract better LEO and provide better training each time one of their officer botch something.

Rodney King got $50 million in settlement, LAPD got higher salaries and benefits, the public got the bill!

The city probably decided the logo left them open to lawsuit. Police took the issue to court to establish that they are not responsible for protecting anyone. You can not then sue them should you call them for help and subsequently injured if they do not come to your aid.

In other words, you are on your own, responsible for your own safety should you be attacked. You can sue thebadguy if you live, but not the police.

Welcome to the POLICE STATE. Hope you like it! The next person to be shocked with excessive force may be you!

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Barack H. Obama

The Park Ranger is a “law enforcement officer” – check

The new rules require that all dogs be on a leash; were the new rules posted?

The Ranger was attempting to “educate” the public about the new rules – check

The Ranger demanded the man remain in the area – check

The Ranger did not explain why she wanted the man to remain there – why not?

The Ranger claims the man gave a false name – without identification, how would she know the name he gave was false?

The man started to walk away; the Ranger apparently warned him to remain in the area, but would not say why, so he kept walking, then the Ranger deployed her stun gun to disable the man; was she fearful that her confrontation would result in her being injured, or that she would not be able to restrain the man without a physical confrontation?

Perhaps a better outcome would have happened if the ranger kept the man under observation by following him and then either taking down his license number and turning it over to other law enforcement to track him down, or she could have intervened to stop him from driving away until she had “back-up” arrive to help her complete her arrest or instructions to the man about the new leash laws. Either way, both persons contributed to this outcome; the Ranger probably should have explained that she had to inform him of the new rules and she could have let him off with a warning and most likely the confrontation would not have escalated to what happened. Conversely, the gentleman in question could have requested why he was not being allowed to leave; is it a crime in the United States to be out in public without proper identification? Did the Ranger suspect that the man was trying to hide something? Did the Ranger present herself with an overly aggressive attitude which cause the man to have a negative reaction? This incident was a series of bad decisions compounded by an apparent over-reaction by the Park Ranger by using her stun gun; this type of situation is NOT what a taser or stun gun was designed to by used for. The taser is supposed to supplant the firearm as a non-lethal response to a potentially violent situation; if the Ranger had no thoughts of pulling out her firearm, why was she comfortable using the taser?

Each department usually has their own protocols. But even if the officer or ranger is acting out of protocol, that does help much while they pull their piece and aim it. My thinking is to comply and beef about it later. Kind of like trying to out run LE these days on the highway wild west style. It’s pretty much a no win situation given technology. I say lawyer up after the fact. Anyone that wants to cause a scene at the scene is likely to just auger in deeper poop.


No evidence she tried to educate him.

She did not even tell him why she stopped him until she tased him in the back.

It would be interesting and informative to read the protocol, if any, that is issued to rangers who are issued stun guns. I wonder what conditions are spelled out for using such, potentially deadly, force. Does it include leash law violations? Not furnishing I.D.?

If a law enforcement officer ask you to stop…… then follow all his/her commands.

You will not have to worry about tasers or firearms or batons if you comply.

You can sort out the issues later but on scene is never the time to not comply. It’s not a matter if you agree with the situation or not, it’s a common sense matter of not going through a bummer on scene. Take up your issues afterward in court or possibly later at the scene.

In this day and age, trying to power trip law enforcement at scene will get you nowhere except in deep poop.

I’m not saying I agree with what often goes down, I’m just pointing out common sense for our health and survival in 2012.

Get real, Jack.

I realize you are trying to help, but whether a person complies with an order from law enforcement or not, we still have to be concerned that an officer might use poor judgement and/or excessive force or other violent, uncalled for action. It happens all the time.

Your “easy answer” to a complex problem is unrealistic and in this context tends to reinforce and/or justify excessive force by law enforcement.

The fact is that most law enforcement is poorly trained in de-escalating violence.

Jack, I don’t think it is right to walk away from an officer, but only because there are weak officers and officers with power issues, or officers on steroids or too much caffeine, or whatever–who are not competent at that time to have the power entrusted in them. These officers cannot–at that time–handle the situation as a competent officer would, and so will resort to jacked-up tactics to make a fracking point.

It’s reality. It’s not right, it can end up with some tragic results, but it is what it is.

If a citizen runs into such a LE officer who has the citizen “in their crosshairs,” for whatever reason, the time to sort it out is at the station, and only when there are plenty of witnesses around.

Also, the issue of Mr. Hesterberg not having his ID is just plain stupid. Many people don’t take an ID with them. But then they probably wrongly assume they aren’t going to encounter an incompetent LEO on the dog walk who—-instead of just stopping them and saying, “Hey, this park last month changed hands and, you may not know it, so I’ll tell you this once: you have to walk your dogs on a leash in this park now, okay? Go forth and sin no more because if I see you again with dogs off leash, I’ll have to embarrass us both and issue you a citation,” and move on–will use their competence-prop weapon of choice to show you a thing or two, by god, even if the offense is something as asininely trivial as walking your dog off leash.

I understand there may be more to this story than we now know, but, as it stands now, this female ranger makes me embarrassed to be a woman. She should not be put on patrol by herself, and should not be allowed to handle weapons.

She used a fracking taser on a guy walking his dog? After never telling him why he was being stopped? She didn’t even try to make it a non-incident issue.

I presume an off-leash ticket is an infraction — a minor minor offense. For law enforcement to use deadly force in such a situation is beyond the pale.

I don’t know any federal park Rangers, but the State Parks Rangers are overzealous pansies.

Let’s hope the victim — and he is a victim — prevails in his upcoming lawsuit.

Do people realize that HUNDREDS of people have DIED from being shocked by “stun guns”?

“We regret to inform you that a law enforcement officer killed your mother after she was found to have let her dog walk without a leash.”

All you callous, violence-oriented people can try to justify such terrible judgement and lazy, violent response by law enforcement, but the fact is that such a response was absolutely unnecessary in this case and so many others. And what about the mental ramifications for the officers who end up killing people for such minor crimes?

In so many of these cases there were other, less-violent ways to handle the situation. Using a stun-gun is often simply the easy, lazy way out for officers.

In some cases using a stun gun IS a proper and effective way to deal with a situation, but the problem is that so many people, including stun gun industry representatives, down-play or actually lie about the dangers of using a stun gun. That is not healthy for anyone. It is a travesty that will lead to more unnecessary suffering all around.

Moral of the story: stay 21 feet away from state park rangers.