Karl "Jack" Frost pleaded no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct today stemming from his May 17 "citizen's arrest" of a man jogging in a bicycle lane.
The 47-year-old former British cop had been out for a morning bike ride in Gilbert that day when he became enraged at the sight of Kevin Thompson, 52, jogging in the bike lane. Witnesses saw Frost grab Thompson by the throat and pursue the jogger as he tried to run away. Frost caught him and held onto the man's arm, using his other hand to make an excited call to police. (Hear his 911 call by clicking here and scrolling down.) When police arrived, they arrested Frost instead.
He was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and unlawful imprisonment.
Today, a humble and non-raging Frost, dressed in a blue suit with a tie, stood before Gilbert Associate Judge James Dunham and agreed the state could've proved he'd committed disorderly conduct.
Town Prosecutor Lynn Arouh agreed to drop the other two charges as part of the plea deal.
In accordance with the deal, Dunham sentenced Frost to one day in jail, (with credit for the day he served on the day of his arrest) and three years' unsupervised probation. Frost has to pay $662 in fines and take an anger management class.
We were somewhat disappointed that the scheduled bench trial in the case didn't take place today, since it would have been interesting to hear Frost and his lawyer argue his case. Following nationwide media attention after his arrest, Frost told New Times and other media outlets that he'd been legally in the right to detain Thompson.
He was right about one thing: It's unlawful to jog in a bike lane.
However, it turns out that a citizen's arrest can only be made for crimes that meet the legal standard of a "breach of the peace." Being a pedestrian in a bike lane is a civil violation.
Thompson, a Gilbert resident who wasn't at today's hearing, filed a civil lawsuit against Frost in Gilbert Town Court soon after the incident, but quickly dropped it. Arouh told Judge Dunham that she'd talked to Thompson about the possible plea deal before it was signed, and that Thompson felt the deal was "appropriate" as long as Frost had to take that anger management class.
Frost, who lives in Chandler, is also barred from contacting Thompson in any way during his probation -- even, presumably, if they meet again in a bike lane.
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