Huntsman Cited for Possible Marijuana Possession! 

Huntsman Cited for Possible Marijuana Possession! 
Posted by FoM on December 30, 1998 at 12:17:53 PT

 Newport Beach police stopped a young man for a minor traffic violation, searched his car and found small amounts of Marijuana and drug paraphernalia. 
 Former Corona del Mar student is suing the school district and Police Department over a similar incident in February.   Sound vaguely familiar?   History may have repeated itself Tuesday when Ryan Huntsman -- a former Corona del Mar High School student who has filed a $10 million civil rights lawsuit against the city in and the school district -- was cited by police for possession of marijuana in his sports utility vehicle.   Huntsman's attorney called the encounter a "retaliatory action." Tuesday's incident mirrors similar circumstances that landed Huntsman smack in the middle of a controversial lawsuit that claims a police officer illegally searched his car for drugs when he was stopped for cranking up his stereo in February.   On Tuesday, Huntsman, 19, was reportedly checking out the surf conditions shortly after noon on Seashore Drive near 46th Street. Two police officers noticed that his 1995 green Isuzu Rodeo was parked in a spot with a sign warning "No stopping at any time." Police said Huntsman saw the squad car and started his engine. Officers boxed him in and approached the car.   The officers reportedly spotted a six-pack of beer in the rear seat and asked Huntsman and his passengers to step out of the vehicle. One of Huntsman's friends, Micah Daniel Applebee, 18, of Newport Beach was patted down by an officer. Inside Applebee's pants pocket was a plastic container with about 0.2 ounces of marijuana, police said. The officers conducted a search of the vehicle and allegedly found another 0.15 ounces of marijuana underneath the driver's seat. Three pipes reportedly were also found.   "When the officers discovered one of the vehicle's occupants had marijuana on him, there was enough probable cause to search the car," Sgt. Mike McDermott said.   Huntsman was cited for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and carrying unopened alcoholic beverages without having anyone over the age of 21 in the car. Although he didn't have his driver's license with him, Huntsman wasn't cited for the violation.   Applebee also was cited for the marijuana charge, and a second passenger, James Nicholas Fahs, 18, of Costa Mesa received a citation for the alcohol infraction.   Huntsman's attorney, David Shores, said his client gave a different description of Tuesday's event. Shores said one of the officers recognized Huntsman and remarked "this isn't going to look good for your lawsuit." "They knew exactly who he was," Shores said. "It's a retaliatory action against somebody. The Police Department thinks a citation or a ticket is a hunting license, but it's not." McDermott denied that the officers knew Huntsman or the make of his vehicle. He added that the officer who made initial contact with Huntsman didn't recognize the name when it was revealed.   "[The officer is] relatively new on the force," he said. "Most of us wouldn't know who [Huntsman] was if we saw him walking down the street." Huntsman's lawsuit has been a thorn in the city's side.   The city and the Newport-Mesa Unified School District were named in the lawsuit dating to February for violating Huntsman's Fourth Amendment rights when he was stopped by a police officer. At that time, Huntsman was cited for noise pollution, and the officer found a pipe with marijuana residue in his car. A report about the marijuana pipe was forwarded to Huntsman's school, which enforced its zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy to suspend him. He later transferred to Newport Harbor High School.   Shores doesn't believe his client's recent encounter with police will affect the pending lawsuit, but others disagree.   "I think this vindicates us," school board member Wendy Leece said. "We tried to intervene in his life; I hope the judge who ruled against us gets this information." The courts have sided with Huntsman this year. An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled in April that Huntsman deserved an expulsion hearing, something that was never conducted. The school board appealed the decision, and the Fourth District Appellate Court found in Huntsman's favor.   Adding more weight to the lawsuit is a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that eliminated an Iowa law giving police blanket privileges to search a vehicle when the driver is stopped for a routine traffic violation.   Shores said that until the lawsuit is resolved, his client will be a moving target for the people he has sued.   "I think by the recent actions, Ryan is a target," he said. "It doesn't give the police the right to do an illegal search of his car again."
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