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September 6, 2005     Cape Gazette
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September 6, 2005

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al n m Police Continued from page 1 Stephen Weber and Neel Singh, both students at St. Mary's College of Maryland, were arrest- ed at 1:30 a.m. near Munson Street and Country Club Drive in Rehoboth Beach, police said. Weber said he and Singh had been drinking and listening to a friend's band at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in downtown Rehoboth with two other friends. Weber said he and his friends were warned to move their vehi- cle from outside the bar because a manager told them it would be towed. He said they were planning to park Singh's van and return to Dewey Beach on the Jolly Trolley, where Weber's parents have a beach condo. After they pulled the van over, police found marijuana in the cen- ter console. They charged Weber and Singh, who were sitting in the front seats, with possession, but the two men in the back seat were released. "There was no proof that the other two had anything to do with it," said Banks, about letting two of the people in the car go. But Weber said he and Singh were singled out by police because they have long hair and beards. The other passengers, who were released, were more clean- cut, Weber said. "I was charged with possession, even though I didn't have marijuana on my per- son," he said. 'l'he thing that is so wrong is that the two boys in the back seat were let go and the two boys in the front were taken," said Stephen Weber's mother, Catherine Carpenter Weber, 53, of Catonsville, Md. Banks aid that after a plain- station because he thought he was driving behind a drunk driver. "When you pull a car over for any traffic violation, you don't know who is driving. Typically, we don, t know who we are walk- ing up to," said Banks. But, Catherine Weber said it was at the station that the boys were treated unfairly. "During the night, it was like they were already guilty before being convicted/' Catherine Weber said. The boys were released around 9 a.m. Banks said a letter to the editor, published in the Aug. 30 edition of the Cape Gazette, indicated only one side of" the story. Banks said his review of video- tapes, which have no audio, show a Styrofoam cup of water by Weber's feet. Apparently, the two men shared the water, he said. Weber also said while in transit to the police station, an officer turned around and told Singh, a second-generation American of Indian descent who has a darker skin tone, that he was not American. "The officer mentioned the word 'Taliban' about him being a member of the Taliban," Weber said Singh, the vehicle's driver, was taken to Beebe Medical Center for blood tests. Upon Singh's return to the station, he was escorted to the bathroom, said Banks. "We're definitely, not abusing anyone," said Banks. "The camera shows Weber lay- ing down on a bench, while one hand was cuffed," he said. Then, Banks said, Weber arose, unzipped his pants, urinated, and then re-zipped his pants and laid back down on the bench. "You don't see him making any attempts to contact any officer," said Banks. Banks said before he had been clothes detective saw the men detained, Singh accused the offi- driving, the officer called in to the cers of stopping him because he DELM,00 ' ?: t, & ,o. r'- ANTIQUE BOTTLE CLUB Presents Its Thirteenth Annual Antique Bottle, Advertising And Collectible Show & Sale Sunday, September 11, 2005 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes, DE Educational.Displays Refreshments Available Door Prizes Every Hour Admission $2.50 Children Under 12 Free Plenty of FREE PARKING Early Admissions: 7:30am $20.00 Dealer Setup: Saturday, Sept. 10, 1-4pro Sunday, Sept. 11, 6:30am I Table Contract & General Info Peter Beaman (302) 684-5055 email: was of Southeast Asian descent. "I do have audio and cameras in the vehicle. The statements he was making about attorneys, his moth- er and other incriminating com- ments, will be used as evidence," said Banks. "All our officers have sensitivi- ty and cultural diversity training - that goes without saying in this day and age under our profession- al organization," said Banks. Singh was charged with posses- sion of marijuana, driving under the influence of alcohol and fail- ure to stop at two stop signs. "There were comments that two clean-cut people were given a break," said Banks. The two men were not charged, he said, and were driven back by officers on duty to where they were staying, which is standard procedure. Banks also urged the defendants to file complaints, if they feel they have been wronged. "A crime occurred, they were taken into custody and detained," said Banks of the two charged men. "I take this very seriously. If our officers are wrong, we will admit we were wrong and take appropri- ate action and use it as a learning tool," said Banks. But, Bmks said, "I won't put up with a false report from a defen- dant." According to Weber's mother: "All night long they were verbally abused." "They called me. They were L CAPE GAZETTE, Tuesday, Sept. 6 - Sept. 8, 2005 - 9 hysterical, not because they were in trouble, but because of the abuse," she said, about receiving a phone call eight hours later. After the shift change atthe sta- tion, she said, the men were offered water and access to the bathroom and were treated kindly by incoming officers. Weber was charged with mari- juana and paraphernalia posses- sion and disorderly conduct. Georgetown attorney Tom Peterson, who is representing Weber, said Sept. 1, that Weber was arrested for misdemeanors. "We are very concerned in look- ing into how they were treated while they were there," he said. Peterson was not available for comment Sept. 5, but as of Sept. 1, no complaint had been filed. Before the boys left for the evening, Catherine Weber said she asked Singh why he had an "I love America" sticker on the van. Singh told her he placed the sticker to avoid racist confronta- tions. Singh could not be reached for comment. Catherine Weber also said that during an Aug. 31 phone call to Rehoboth Beach police, an officer yelled at her about her letter to the editor which accused police of brutality and racism. The officer told her she did not know the facts or the condition of those arrested, she said. "It's made me a nervous wreck," she said. A Sept. 8 heating on the misde- meanor possession charges will be held in Sussex County Courthouse in Georgetown. 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