Feathered Bastard

Alleged public urinator Buffalo Rick Galeener's day in court draws near...

Buffalo Rick, just outside the Macehualli Work Center, nearby where he's alleged to have taken an illegal public piss.

Local anti-immigrant activist and alleged public urinator Buffalo Rick Galeener inched a tad closer to trial today on a March 8 incident in which Galeener stands accused of taking an al fresco whiz nearby the Macehualli Work Center near Bell and 25th Street. Galeener's lawyer Joey Hamby asked for and received another continuance in the case, stating he'd not had time to interview everyone he needed to interview. He also informed the court that he was lawyering on a capital murder case beginning at the end of July which was expected to run four or five months.

Judge Deborah Griffith warned Hamby that, "I'm not going to continue this case till the end of the year." She cut him very little slack due to the capital murder case he has coming up, informing Hamby that she wanted to see him in court representing his client, and not some other attorney covering for him. Griffith then set the next court date for August 15 at 8:30 a.m., telling Hamby that gave him "six weeks to get started on interviews" of potential witnesses.

Though Assistant City Prosecutor Sam Lesly stated that he only planed to call about three witnesses, Hamby indicated that he foresaw calling as many as 10 to 15 witnesses, and that he believed there was video tape related to the incident.

Video tape? I hope not of Galeener making water, which sounds nearly as unappetizing as the Verne Troyer sex tape.

In the police report of the incident, Buffalo admitted to urinating, though he said he did so in his truck where no one could see him. So are the 10 to 15 people going to testify during a trial that they couldn't see Buffalo enjoy the pause that refreshes? What would be the point of that? Only one person says she saw Buffalo in flagrante delicto, the victim Paulita Cortes. Her two-year old son was present by her side, but he's too young to have any sense of what may or may not have happened.

The suggestion that upwards of 15 witnesses might be called on a Class 1 misdemeanor citation, suggests that a three ring circus might be in the offing. Hopefully, Judge Griffith can keep it from becoming so. Later, when asked if extraneous issues might intrude on the banal facts of the incident, Hamby noted that, "Both sides have a right to be passionate about this case." Uh, OK. But at the end of the day, it's all about whether Galeener whipped it out and peed in his plastic container in plain view of others, rather than just moseying down the block to the nearby McDonalds or Taco Bell, where he could've done his biz in private.

Under the law, a Class 1 misdemeanor like this one can hypothetically be punished by up to a $2,500 fine, 6 months jail time, probation or any combination of the three. Hamby admitted that if Galeener simply pleaded guilty, he would likely only pay a fine of a couple hundred bucks with no jail time. Without getting too specific, Hamby confessed that his lawyer bill would be way more than the couple of hundred samoleons Buffalo would likely have to pony up if he pleaded guilty.

Which raises the question: Who's paying for all this? Galeener's not a rich guy, by any means. And Hamby told me he's not defending Galeener pro bono, nor is he giving Galeener some sort of discount. If the case goes all the way to trial, Hamby said, "It will likely be a very costly situation for [Galeener]. No two ways about it."

Makes one wonder if ex-KIA peddler and U.S.A.-founder Rusty Childress is picking up the tab. Childress is a notorious tightwad, though, so perhaps some anti-immigrant group with deeper pockets is helping Galeener out.

U.S.A. has parked itself in front of the Macehualli day labor center since the beginning of the year, forcing the Phoenix PD to keep a watchful eye on them, as most U.S.A. members are armed and belligerent. Now, add the cost of a trail to the public's tab to the PPD man hours. You can thank Buffalo Rick for that.

I can promise you that Galeener and his U.S.A. buds will want to make this trial, if there is one, into a huge hullabaloo, with toothless nativists and their beer-bellied, trucker-cap women making eyesores of themselves in the halls of city court. Buffalo was alone on this day, but you can expect that to change if the case proceeds to trial, as U.S.A. will look to pressure the city to drop the case. Or they'll exploit it for publicity.

To the nativists' minds, they can do no wrong, and a little Hispanic lady like Cortes has no right to accuse them of anything. But hopefully, at least one of them will soon be learning a very, very expensive lesson to the contrary.

Interestingly, Hamby said he knew nothing about Buffalo patty's sinister scribblings against a federal judge, in which Buffalo wishes that Judge Roslyn O. Silver "will be lucky enough to be hit by an illegal alien drunk driver," among other things. This, after Judge Silver issued a temporary order halting the enforcement of Cave Creek's anti-day laborer law.

What more evidence do we need that nativists have nothing but contempt for the law, the police that enforce those laws, and for the judges charged with making sure those laws are constitutional? Should Buffalo be convicted of this crime, you can anticipate the insane invective the knuckledraggers will level against Judge Griffith and the Phoenix PD.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons