Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

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Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby dawidp » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:28 am

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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby Dutchkiteboarder » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:04 am

Seriously, this is a pretty crazy ass story. To be honest yes it is a little bit crazy to be out by yourself on the water now and no one keeping an eye on you. But getting busted because you enjoy mother natures gift!? More reasons to support the Surfer Foundation!
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby adseguy » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:16 am

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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby skysurfr » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:32 am

Unfortunately the surfer must not have read the rules. Surfing is legal at 4 beaches in the off season and two during the summer. Oak Street isn't one of them.
We all live under a giant "Test" program with our water sports agreements. We also agreed to follow the generally acceptable safety practices. REmember it's not you they really care about. It's the first responders who will have to put themselves in harms way when you need to be rescued that they are concerned about. IT's the person who falls in while watching you. It's the cars that crash etc.

There's a reason we don't kite at Oak Street. It's because the attention we would draw would cause accidents on Lake Shore Drive and generate police / fire calls. It's also way crowded in the summer.

Im assuming watch commanders wern't briefed in that area because surfing isn't allowed there.

How does this realate to kitesurfing....Well, I found out yesterday that the entire senior staff at the Park District has been changed. All our relationships and contacts are gone. We start over building trust and credibility. The good news is that Mike Kelly, the Supt., was there when we negotiated the first access for kitesurfing after the ban. I hope he remains friendly to our cause.

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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby zulutimer » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:12 pm

And it's already in Surfertoday.

http://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/6785 ... in-chicago

Regardless of the rules Surfer is right, Chicago is in the medieval times. This city continues to maintain its status as a national embarrassment in the water boardsports arena despite having probably the best freshwater shorelines for a major city in the whole world.

And how about the pathetic response of the Chicago Police? Arrest him, handcuff him, confiscate his board and throw him in lockup for 4 hours, with just his wetsuit on - for an ordinance violation. What's next? Will they be arresting people who park in tow zones? Guaranteed those bozo cops who were too lazy to go detect some real crime got ticked at the guy for not coming in when they waved at him so the typical CPD response - be complete assholes. A simple warning would have sufficed.
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby adseguy » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:59 pm

From the comment section of the SURFER MAG ARTICLE...

Several of us from Laguna Beach, CA and around the world are very upset about a Chicago surfer, Rex Flodstrom, who was recently arrested by the Chicago Police Department for surfing in Lake Michigan. Several years ago James Pribram and Dave Vanderveen traveled to Chicago and, with the help of many local activists, were instrumental in the reversal of the no surfing laws in Chicago. While surfing is only allowed at a couple of Chicago beaches, you can imagine the bureaucracy they had to deal with regarding the Chicago Park District. James is communicating with 11 time world surfing champion Kelly Slater and James is planning a trip to Chicago to support Rex at his court date on February 16th. Please let us know if you can be of any assistance. We appreciate your support. Surfing is not a crime.
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby skysurfr » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:26 pm

Wow. Now they want to grandstand in the press and courts.

What a waste of time and money. Perhaps they will get all sorts of sympathetic support and the beaches in Chicago will become a free for all....surf, kite, SUP, kayak anywhere!
Perhaps the city and PArk District will play hardball and close the beaches declaring the test program to be a dismal failure. No surfing, no kiteboarding, SUPPing etc.

The cuffs etc? I'm guessing it's policy to cuff anyone who's arrested and taken into custody. If you assume the cops knew nothing about surfing, then the only rational thing they might have been thinking... This guy is obviously nuts... he's in the water in January trying to surf in Chicago.....he's escaped from an institution? LoL.

With all the great success we've had over the years in dealing with the CPD in a professional and upfront manner, why go back to stunts and grandstanding?

We all know that we live in a restrictive city, but we've made so much progress over the years.

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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby adseguy » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:33 pm

I kind of agree, but also expect more from the city. I want the entire lakefront to be open to all sports. That means all beaches. I'm torn on whether to support the case or not. On one hand what he did was not defined in our agreement, but at the same time how do you enact change to greater water access? Small negative events like these in the past have had greater outcomes (Rosa parks?)

Here's a question to you. Why AREN'T they open access to the people that want it? I already hate the damn swimming rule, I mean I understand this is at my own risk anyway.
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby skysurfr » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:38 pm

Also.. many of you joined Surfrider. Now is the time to make your voices heard.

No matter what you think... call / email / meet... and tell them how you want them to respond. You are members!
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby skysurfr » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:50 pm

Here's what I'd do....

1. Ask the City to drop the charges in return for a Beach Clean Up Day from Surfrider.
2. Surfrider agrees to re-emphasize the rules to the surfers.
3. Both agree to meet and discuss access issues in the near future.


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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby zulutimer » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:13 pm

HAH!!! No way.

I refer back to your own statement. Rules are rules!!! And that's all those administrative judges (wearing blinders) who hear these matters care about.

GUILTY! ...be happy you got your board back!!

That'll be $125.00 plus another $60.00 court costs.
and he won't have to ask for community service - it'll be slapped on top of the fines!
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby Goatskull » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:41 pm

I undertand that Oak St. is not one of the beaches to allow surfing, but an arrest vice just a ticket? No wonder illinois is broke.
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby dbur » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:10 am

with all the respect to police for swift and prompt action, arrest in this case seems to be a a disproportionate measure bringing bad reputation to Chicago as a place hostile towards water sports...
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby FSP » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:01 pm

Its worth fighting for cuz each beach has its day somwhere on the lake in the winter. Heres some of those beaches around the lakes making surfing possible.

http://forum.thirdcoastsurfshop.com/vie ... =1&t=12329
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby adseguy » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:31 am

Interesting dialogue taking place:

Dave Meisinger:
yeah, I live in MKE, but I'm interested in the issue, exchanged a few emails already with Rex and james Pribram. Rex has his own personal lawyer. I think there may be a decent argument that the City / park district doesn't have the authority to ban surfing, only to regulate it in the name of safety (i.e., close beaches due to water quality, mark off areas for 'swimming only' during the beach season, maybe prohibit night surfing, stuff like that). Otherwise, its the state that holds the Lake and Lake bed in the public trust, and the public is to be able to use it for recreation, navigation, etc. I think the DNR is actually supposed to make sure these public rights are upheld. But either way, show me where the park district is authorized to prohibit surfing at almost all City beaches, I don't see the legal authority yet -- especially where, as I understand it, its still legal to swim right now (the park district website only discourages swimming in the off-season, it doesn't say you can't), and paddle, SUP, kite surf, etc. I think the argument to be made to the Park District is that its regulation is illegal, and that they can impose reasonable regulations upon surfing like they do all other water activities, but they cannot ban it across the board, not at any beach.

Dave Meisinger:
Right I agree. I guess, though, it comes down to whether the current policy is legal--if the City is not authorized to ban surfing, then its not authorized to ban surfing, and suddenly the playing field is different. Im not suggesting you file a lawsuit. But if I were representing Rex, or even surfers generally, I might go talk to the Park District's lawyers and ask what legal authority they think they have to impose an outright ban on surfing (and why surfing and not all of these other activities) as opposed to reasonable regulations upon surfing. Bottom line is, the city, park district, etc, they are entities created by statute, and they cannot act in a way that is not authorized by their enabling statutes. You can't just tell the public that they cannot engage in recreation on the Great Lakes, but if you do that, show me where it says you can---the fact that you've been doing it for X years isn't enough. Municipalities, gov't agencies, they overreach beyond their authority al the time, just because they pass a rule doesn't mean its legal, it sometimes takes someone to pushback and say not, "can we please have some leniency" but "wait a minute, who says you can even do that." I understand, however, that Chicago is a whole different can of worms, but they are still subject to the law.

Yeah we live in MKE but my son Blake and I surf everywhere, never in downtown Chicago though, but we know a good chunk of the Chicago/Indiana locals. If you've been to the new Patagonia store there is a picture of my son in three, taken by Mike Killion, from up in lake Superior.




Mike Urban (skysurfer) pointed out that we should use this situation as an opportunity to re-look at the city agreement and have a new approach to the current plan. We don't want to come off as demanding, but instead work jointly with the CPD to provide a safe atmosphere for us to do our water sports. I think pulling out the tools of legality and trials should be used as a last resort. It would be a waste if they are already on the same page as us and it would just get bad blood.
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby ironben » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:14 pm

I read this surf article on facebook and i was embarrassed to live in Chicago.
This city sucks as far as sport goes, people do drugs on beach and they wont go after them but try to be a sport enthusiast, they will arrest you like a terrorist.

Free country? lol
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby snowball » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:52 pm

Honestly I heard he stayed in the water after the cops repeatively told him to get out. I know a lot of cops and they let you get away with some pretty bad stuff in the city as long as you show them the respect you would want them to show you back. Like if you dont listen to a chicago police officer that is what happens.

It makes us look bad even though none of us were involved because someone could not listen. On the other hand i think we should be free to kite surf SUP where we want.

but still this plain and simple = Bad publicity for the sport.
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby skysurfr » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:27 pm

The park district has the authority to regulate and protect public safety within the parks and it's waters.

They actually suggested that we kitesurf out in open water...and they wouldn't or couldn't care less. However, inside the swim zone markers....the outside ones....is their water and park. Also it's their beach, road, and sidewalk. All which are closed at various times.


They aren't concerned with you. Tey are concerned with swimmers you hit, and the first responds that have to co e rescue you or your victim.

Some kids drown years ago and caused the flotation device ban. That ban is what stopped us in the past. That's all changed now. We have 4 beaches for surfing, a ton for supping, and 1 for kitesurfing. If we wanted another kite beach in the off season, we could have it....but where.... Everywhere else sucks. We've
Looked and tried.


The Park Distrist is better than ever and they are earning and growing with us. Honesty and Integrity have earned trust and credibility. Slow progress but progress none the less.

I'm coordinating with surfrider and windward and 3rd coast surf shop on this issue.


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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby FSP » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:45 pm

"Liability".

The city cant afford or does not want to spend on an insurance policy that covers swimmers and enthusiasts via a blanket policy along the entire city coastline so they must corral you into limited, restricted beach areas that they get in a much less expensive policy. While some allowances may be at your own risk, others they can be sued for, but on the otherhand much safer/lessexpensive for the city, so this is what you get for Chicago. The federal govt owns the open water so in that case there is no one to sue unless you got a supreme court level deal.

Some cities/states are richer than others and can afford such protection while others dont lease from the govt. The federal govt is a slightly bigger entity and can afford its ability to make waters at your own risk, so its city vs govt and the cost of pricey liability to lease your own beach that causes these restrictions.

Mt baldy under federal govt, for ex does not exempt dogs, kites, swimming or jumping off dunes with a hanglider, but just like in the ocean they have themselves covered whereas a city who is leasing must have insurance.

You want more access then you must convince the city to allocate more money to their insurance policy for a few of us to do dumb things-goooood luck watermen!!!
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Re: Cops bust man catching waves at Oak Street Beach

Postby V » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:48 am

And how about the pathetic response of the Chicago Police? Arrest him, handcuff him, confiscate his board and throw him in lockup for 4 hours, with just his wetsuit on - for an ordinance violation. What's next? Will they be arresting people who park in tow zones? Guaranteed those bozo cops who were too lazy to go detect some real crime got ticked at the guy for not coming in when they waved at him so the typical CPD response - be complete assholes. A simple warning would have sufficed.

Chicago cops have no backlash for their actions. Many are lazy, egotistical and waiting to exercise their power over you. After his release, he was probably left to walk out the door and find a way back to his car with no wallet. What a-holes.
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