Florida Legally Blind Man Arrested for Refusing to Show ID After Cane Mistaken for Weapon

Jim Hodges shows Deputy Jayme Lee Gohde his collapsible walking stick.

THE THIN BLUE LINE

Did I mention Jim Hodges was walking home from jury duty?

Lake City — The morning of Halloween, Columbia County deputies stopped a man walking across the street, with something in his back pocket. It turned out to be a walking stick, and the man is legally blind. Deputies arrested him for resisting an officer and obstruction.

According to the arrest report, the deputy stopped 61-year-old James Hodges, because she thought he may have had a gun in his back pocket.

Hodges objected to being stopped, and shortly after deputies confirmed he was carrying a walking stick. Hodges refused to provide his ID to the deputies, while objecting to being detained. He repeatedly refused to allow identification of the object in his his pocket as well as refusing to identify himself,” the arrest report says.

CBS 4

Despite quickly establishing that the walking cane folded in his back pocket was not a weapon but a navigational aid, the officer continued to badger him for his name and ID.

James Hodges responded “Are you a tyrant.”

Another officer appeared on the scene to back up the first officer’s illegal demands.

After being placed in handcuffs and having his pockets rifled through, Hodges asked for the officers’ names and badges. That’s when the second officer decided to have Hodges arrested for “resisting.”

Hodges was detained for more than 24 hours — he had to wear an orange jumpsuit and have a mugshot taken. The mugshot and his arrest are now part of his record. He has a meeting with a public defender this coming week to discuss what to do with the criminal charges he is facing. He has not found a proper attorney and is asking for help.

HOLLYWOOD LA NEWS

Deputy Jayme Lee Gohde

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