Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Police Dispatch Extra: The Dangers of Process Serving

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2006 at 3:34 PM


OCT. 23, 5:54 P.M.

An officer of the court who was attempting to serve a civil summons in a hit-and-run case accused an elderly man of threatening him with a revolver, a Pima County Sheriff's Department report stated.

The process server said he knocked on the front door at the address where he was supposed to deliver the summons, and an elderly man stepped outside after trying to keep a herd of small dogs from escaping the home. As the server was talking to the man, he noticed the gentleman was holding what appeared to be an older-model revolver by the barrel.

The man told the server the person he was looking for no longer lived at that address. The server, however, said the Pima County Assessor's Office indicated the individual in question actually owned the residence. In response, the elderly man said the assessor's office was wrong, but refused to give his name.

The server alleged that the man kept passing the gun between his hands as he was talking to him, and then he noticed he was holding the revolver by its handle in his right hand and was pointing it at his chest. The man, whom the server said smelled strongly of alcohol, then allegedly issued a profanity-laced directive to leave the property.

Two deputies went to the residence after the process server phoned authorities from a nearby Albertsons. The elderly man at first refused to come outside or answer any questions, but then opened up when one of the deputies told him he just wanted to get his side of the story. According to the report, the man's breath reeked of alcohol.

The man told authorities that the process server had "given him a lot of shit" after he had told him the individual he was looking for didn't reside at that residence anymore. He claimed the server never identified himself as an officer of the court, but did admit to answering the door with a revolver.

The man reportedly told deputies he "always" answers the door with a weapon, because his home had been burglarized numerous times in the past. He eventually gave deputies his name but refused to part with his date of birth or phone number. He said any further communication would have to be channeled through his lawyer.

No arrests were made at the time of the report. The officer of the court was still attempting to identify the gun-toting man who had answered the door, to see if he was the one he was supposed to serve.

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