‘The police can’t even stick a loitering charge on this guy, and they’ve gone and ruined his life’

Folsom, CA–Background: In my March blog post Can Anybody Figure Out What on Earth This Guy Did Wrong?, I discussed the Victor Emmer case. According to one newspaper: “After an El Dorado Hills mom reported observing a strange man speaking with her two children at each of three children’s-story events, deputies arrested the man at his Folsom home. Victor Emmer, 49, was arrested March 13 on suspicion of loitering where children gather. “‘It’s an odd charge,’ said sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Byers, noting the statute intends chiefly to protect school-grounds neighborhoods.
“‘The family was at the Folsom Borders Books story-telling time, where he (spoke to one of the children), and for lack of a better term, he creeped the mom out. Then, a few days later at the El Dorado Hills Library story time, she saw him again striking up conversation with her children. And then, he does it again. We felt it justified a criminal complaint, she signed it and he was arrested…’ “When investigators heard a low bail amount set for Emmer, they explained to a judge that they believed it was too low. Now bail in the case is set at $100,000, and Emmer has bailed out of custody, Byers said. “Investigators want to hear about any similar incidents, he said. “‘He is not a registered sex offender in Folsom or California and we have not found any information to indicate he has any prior offenses,’ said Lt. Sheldon Sterling of the Folsom Police Department.” I wrote, “If anybody can explain to me what this guy did to deserve to be arrested and held on $100,000 bail, I’d love to hear it.” Colin, a Canadian reader, writes in with an update: “Glenn, regarding your article on Victor Emmer, after Folsom and El Dorado police issued a public plea for assistance in building a case on this guy, a ‘pattern of creepy behaviour’, this has been the fruits of their labors — Emmer not yet charged with loitering (4/8/08). “The police can’t even stick a loitering charge on this guy, and they’ve gone and ruined whatever life he’s been trying to build in that community. “Bad police work, and I really feel sorry for this guy who is stuck in the middle of a witch hunt.” Apparently many people in the area aren’t happy about the way Emmer is being treated–see Widespread ire over decision to arrest Folsom man (Folsom Telegraph, 4/1/08). To write a Letter to the Editor of the Folsom Telegraph, the newspaper which has been covering the story, click here.

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