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"Oh, but Officer, he's leaning ...

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Topics:  Viking Dodge

"Oh, but Officer, he's leaning ...

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 17, 2008

... against our mailbox."

This afternoon I visited with Wayne (remember Wayne?). Wayne's the man in Crystal Lake who is being sued for $500,000 by Viking Dodge. And the man who is picketing Viking Dodge and informing the public of how he was treated and letting passersby know where they can read more complaints about Viking Dodge. (www.RipOffReport.com)

Wayne has documented several acts against him with reports and complaints to the Crystal Lake Police Department. In one case an employee of Viking Dodge stole signs off his vehicle. That employee was prosecuted and convicted. And now that employee is a former employee.

On another day Wayne's Magnum station wagon was boxed in by three Viking Dodge vehicles until an officer of the Crystal Lake Police Department arrived.

Wayne and I walked over to the front grass area along the curb, because Wayne wanted to measure the width of the right-of-way and determine whether any of the cars for sale were intruding on the right-of-way. We knew the right-of-way was 22 feet from a zoning map on file with the City of Crystal Lake.

At no time did Wayne or I encroach on the private property of Viking Dodge. We remained at all time in the right-of-way easement, to which the public has access. Wayne knows this. I know this. The officers of the Crystal Lake Police Department know this.

After Wayne and I crossed U.S. 14 back to his car, two Crystal Lake PD squad cars rolled onto Viking Dodge property. And then the officers came over to talk to Wayne, because some Viking Dodge employee had complained that Wayne was leaning against their mailbox, the post of which is fully in the right-of-way.

Can you imagine that? A Viking Dodge employee (OK, who was it? a mechanic? janitor; lot boy? salesman? sales manager? general manager?) called the police department about Wayne leaning against the mailbox post?

The officers were polite and knew that no crime had been committed. I asked one of the officers what it would take to get them to file criminal charges against the Viking Dodge employee for a false report or harassment.

Viking Dodge must love the publicity that Wayne is getting for them. Many, many people honk horns and wave at Wayne. Many give him the thumbs-up and call out encouragement.

After two years of picketing, you'd think that the management of Viking Dodge would wise up. Oh, wait; they are car dealers.

What if someone had run out with a lawnchair and a beach umbrella for shade, brought Wayne a bottle of cold water or a can of lemonade, and said, "Wayne, you look a little tired; here, have a seat."

What if Jim Samaris approached Wayne and offered a genuine apology for the shabby treatment of Wayne, who had tried to buy a brand new car and trade in a car he had been perfectly happy with.

As I told one of the officers today, "Wayne's parking space" was covered with nails one day. And I don't mean just a few. How about a couple of boxes of nails? IDOT sent over a crew to sweep up the shoulder of the state highway. I'm sure no Viking Dodge employee had anything to do with that. The boxes of nails probably just fell over the side of a carpenter's truck, took a couple of good bounces and then split open, spreading nails evenly from the curb about five feet into the shoulder and for about 15 feet. Just a small mishap, of course...

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