The Ricky Veal Story
February 14, 2012
First let me say that it sickens me to have to take the time to defend myself against this outrageous assault on American Border Patrol and me. It takes away from time I need to finish important work on the border. But, alas, it must be done, if for no other reason than to set the historic record straight.
Let’s start with the story I posted on AmericanPatrol.com on Feb. 4, 2012...
Glenn Spencer on Appeal Story
February 4, 2012
Today’s Sierra Vista Herald includes this story about an appeal I made against a misdemeanor conviction against me last year. As I told the reporter (who I had notified of the appeal hearing), this case involves of the most outrageous misuses of our court system I can ever recall, and I will appeal.
The incident involved Ricky Veal, son of a neighbor just north of my property who has been on a religious vendetta against ABP and me for years.
I am linking a full transcript of the trial and my appeal (read this at least). In the end, judge Morales believed every lie that Rick Veal told and disbelieved every fact I offered.
More tomorrow about this attack on American Border Patrol and me involving religious zealots, a county prosecutor who bowed to influence and a Justice of the Peace named Morales.
Update and Background – Feb. 14, 2012
The Veal Incident
On Sunday, January 3, 2010, at about 5 p.m. I was returning home from a trip to Sierra Vista. My normal route would have been to drive down Kings Ranch Rd. to my home, but because Kings Ranch was in such bad shape I took the long route around via Smith Ave. (See map)
As I prepared to turn left on Apache Sky Rd. from westbound Clinton I noticed someone up ahead in the brush. As this is a famous pick up spot for smugglers, I decided not to turn left but continue ahead to investigate. As I passed the person I saw a fairly young man talking on a cell phone. This fit perfectly the modus operando of a drug or human smuggler calling to arrange a pick up of someone or something.
I decided to drive pass the person and make a complete circuit back to Clinton and Apache Sky Rd. This took about ten minutes.
When I approached the intersection of Apache Sky and Clinton the second time I saw the same individual still talking on a cell phone. He was about 200 feet ahead of me.
I pulled by Hummer off the to the side of the road and attempted to call the USBP. And, as is not uncommon, there was no answer. As I was redialing, the individual turned and looked at me and immediately walked in my direction.
As he approached I could see that he was not your typical illegal alien or scout. He was well-dressed and appeared middle class.
As he came up to my vehicle, I rolled the window down (remember this was January and it was cold) and he said, “If you’re going to take my picture, I’m going to take yours.” Thinking this guy might be a danger to me, I said, “I have called the Border Patrol.” He said, “So what?”
He then began an incredible harangue against me. He told me a cancer was eating me up my sole and I was going to go to hell and had to get right with god. I suddenly realized I was not dealing with a smuggler but some kind of religious nut who knew who I was and my work to protect the border.
I was really taken aback. This is something political, I said to myself. He knows who I am and what I do. He knows my loyalty to my country.
Religious extremists who oppose what I do - and this guy certainly sounded like one - argue that our nation was based on Christianity when, in fact, most of our founding fathers weren’t Christians at all. They invoke the Bible to prove that what I am doing is wrong.
In the past I had written about the influence of Isaac Newton on the thinking of the founders.
So I said: “Do you know who Isaac Newton is?” He said he used to teach school and new who Isaac Newton was. Testing his knowledge further, I asked: Do you know what F=MA means” He said he didn’t. I said: “It means Force equals mass times acceleration and you are ignorant and dangerous.”
(I took and passed engineering courses in calculus and physics, including Newtonian physics – F=MA was an important formula that launched the “Age of Reason.” (See The Age of Reason: Period of history from the mid 1600s to around 1800 that grew largely out of the scientific work of Isaac Newton )
(Veal testified that I mentioned F=MA because I was planning to run him over with my Hummer. A modern equivalent to F=MA is Einstein’s E=MC2. If I had mentioned Einstein’s formula, would Veal have claimed I was going to nuke him?)
The people involved in this case, including both judges, are most likely unaware the importance of F=MA, and thus couldn’t understand why I invoked the idea.
After telling Veal he was ignorant and dangerous, I then proceeded to drive home, turning left on Apache Sky Rd.
See Overall Route Map
At the time I pulled up to the intersection of Clinton and Apache Sky I did not know that the guy in the bushes was Ricky Veal. Ricky is the son of Jack Veal. Jack Veal has a 100-acre ranch just to the north of my property and, at the time of this incident, had been outwardly aggressive toward me for the past five years.
As I understand it, Jack Veal is a retired Army sergeant. I have been told he recently retired after held on active duty because of 911. Interestingly, Veal’s 100-acre ranch is well landscaped and his large compound is a thing to behold – complete with a recently installed solar power unit that gives him independence from the grid. Some question how he can afford all of this on a sergeant’s retirement pay.
I became aware of Jack Veal’s hatred toward me when he tried to stop me from putting a manufactured home on four acres I had purchased just south of his ranch. He claimed that I did not have legal access to my property via Apache Sky Rd. The claim was denied by the zoning people. Then he built a blockade on half of Apache Sky Rd. to try to cut off my access and tried to get his neighbor to the west to do the same.
His claim that the entire intersection had been abandoned was later rejected by the Cochise County Planning and Zoning Department. (I have not included documentation because it names people who want to stay away from Veal.)
Jack Veal denied access to Arizona Public Service to connect my power to one of their poles. Despite having the legal authority to sue to gain access, they installed a new pole instead and I have to re-trench a power line at a cost of $2,000.
Through the years Veal has seized on every opportunity to complain to authorities about American Border Patrol and me. This included complaining when a small radio-controlled hobby airplane crashed just a few feet inside his property – 1/4 mile from his ranch house -- after hitting a power line that runs along the property line. This led the county to issue an order restricting my right to fly model airplanes. He even complained when a portable tool shed was too close to the property line by a few inches. It was easily moved. I was told he complained to the U.S. Border Patrol that American Border Patrol had trespassed on his ranch carrying AK-47s. Nonsense.
Recently he protested a plan I had to operate a light sport aircraft off the southern end of my ranch – almost a mile from his house. He couldn’t have heard it – or likely have seen it. The idea was turned down by Cochise County. I understand he has a lot of influence with Cochise County people.
There is no question that Jack Veal hates me, and what I do. But, why? After the incident with Ricky, I learned that Jack and Ricky are active in the Baptist Church. The Baptist Church is opposed to Arizona’s SB 1070.
Jack and Ricky live under the same roof. Have they every talked about me and American Border Patrol and SB 1070? You bet they have. Do they both hate me, and what I do? You bet they do.
Confrontation with a hater
When I spotted the guy in the bushes on Clinton Rd. I had no idea who he was, but he admitted that he knew who I was. I was looking at Ricky Veal and he was looking at someone he hates.
(At trial – almost a year and a half after the event – I had forgotten that I had driven past Veal the first time. Later, after going over events in detail it came back to me. Too bad; because it would have strengthened my case.)
I don’t know why Ricky Veal was on a smugglers favorite pick up spot at the time, but he claims he needed to go there to get better cell phone reception. Likely story. He admitted at trial that he was using his cell phone during our second encounter – much farther south. If he had left his father’s house to get better reception, wouldn’t he have realized he had good reception on Apache Sky Rd? Yes. So why was he hiding in the bushes at a smuggler’s pick up spot? Was he involved in smuggling? Maybe.
So Ricky Veal looks up and sees me parked on the road. What does he do? He claimed in court that I drove up to him and said, “Who are you?” What nonsense. If I had thought he was involved in smuggling the last thing I would have done would be to confront him. Anyone who knows anything about the violence the smugglers are capable of knows that you don’t confront them.
Ricky Veal was lying on the stand and judge Morales believed him
What really happened was that Veal walked up to my vehicle, and, seeing that he was a white guy fairly well dressed, I rolled down my window (remember it was January and cold.)
He said: “If you are going to take my photo, I am going to take yours,” he said. I wasn’t taking his photo. I had my cell phone out to make a call.
Sensing a sort of aggressiveness I said, “I have called the Border Patrol,” - letting him know that help was on the way if needed. “So what?” was his reply.
All Veal had to say is: “Hey, I’m Ricky Veal – I live with my dad down the road. I know this looks suspicious, but I’m trying to get better cell reception.” That would have been the end of it.
But it didn’t end there because Ricky Veal didn’t want it to end there.
Veal said he could tell what I was thinking because of the way I was looking at him...
Transcript Page 35
18 A So I am walking down the intersection, and I am on
19 the phone with my friend still. Right? And then when I get to
20 the intersection, I see Spencer pull his vehicle up into the
21 intersection. And he stops. And he starts staring me down.
22 And it wasn't just a, oh, I wonder who this guy is? It's a why
23 are you here kind of a stare.
24 And I'm like why is this guy doing this to me? He
25 has no reason to treat me like this. Why is he doing this to
Transcript Page 36
1 me? And I said, I know exactly what he's trying to do. This
2 guy is trying to intimidate me because for whatever reason, it
3 makes them happy to do so. I don't have any reason -- he
4 doesn't have any reason to hate me or anything. He doesn't
5 even know who I am.
6 And for me, that really offended me because I'm
7 thinking, why are you doing this to me? I live in this area,
8 and you are not going to treat me like I know that you are
9 going to treat somebody of an illegal persuasion that is
10 walking around out there. And I felt like my rights were being
11 stepped on as a legal citizen of this country. And I said no,
12 we cannot have that. We cannot have that.
He was not in the intersection; he was well beyond it to the west. I suspected him of something that had to do with smuggling so I kept a good distance.
Ricky Veal was lying on the stand and judge Morales believed him.
Then he says “he had no reason to treat me like this.”
He says he can tell from the look in my eye that I hate him.
Then he says
I live in this area,
8 and you are not going to treat me like I know that you are
9 going to treat somebody of an illegal persuasion.
He never said anything about living in the area. If he wanted to identify himself, he would have at least said, I live just down the road – I’m Ricky Veal. He didn’t.
He said on the stand that I described him to deputies as a well-dressed man with a jacket and a cell phone. Ricky is White. Why on earth would I respond to him as if he were an illegal alien? And how does one respond to an illegal alien anyway?
This is complete nonsense and Judge Morales bought it.
Veal claims he approached me because he was afraid of me.
Transcript Page 40 (From the trial transcript)
21 A All right. No. 2, this is where, like I said, I
22 didn't want to do, but I knew I had to get closer to the guy.
23 And I knew that there was probably some jeopardy going to
24 happen to me either way. So I said at least I can have a
25 picture of who it is clearly that is initiating this harassment
Transcript Page 41
1 with me by staring me down and then pointing a phone at me as
2 if he's trying to take some kind of pictures of me.
3 So I walked up to him, and I started to take these
4 pictures. And then he kind of smiles and says, I reported you.
5 And I told him, I said, I live here. I'm not an
6 illegal resident or an illegal alien. That's what I told him.
He said he had to get closer to me to get a picture because he was afraid I was going to hurt him and he wanted evidence. This makes no sense whatsoever, but Judge Morales bought it.
During the second encounter he said “I live here.” Why would he say he lived in the area when four minutes earlier he had identified himself to me?
Ricky Veal was lying on the stand and judge Morales believed him.
Now for the really good part: this guy admits in court he told me I was going to hell.