My wife and I were in Austin last week to visit some friends and family, and took a trip with my wife’s cousin and their family to Canyon Lake. This is between Austin and New Braunfels, and we took a trip down the Guadalupe river. A lot of people go there for a leisurely float down the river in innertubes. It was a nice sunny Saturday and the place was packed. The river ride was (way) too slow for my tastes; when I heard ‘river raft’, I had a distinctly different and more adventurous idea than the snails-pace at which the tube floated. Nevertheless, off we went. There are a lot of websites on Guadalupe River tubing and some pictures here, here, and here.
It takes two hours to go from the drop-off point at the “top of the horseshoe” to the end. As we passed the middle of the ride, my wife says to me “honey look at all the cops!” Now, I thought she was kidding because she jokes around like that sometimes. I glanced towards the shore to look for the alleged cops, because there were a lot of rowdy partiers, etc. having fun. But she said “NO, right here! In the river!”
And I’ll be damned, she wasn’t teasing. Low and behold, there were six uniformed Comal County Sheriffs, wearing their hip-boots, forming a human blockade; a CHECKPOINT in the river, blocking every innertube from passing by. They had their sunglasses on, their hands on their hips and their arms folded, with smug attitudes. It was truly a “You gotta be shitting me” moment. Even I was shocked at the absurdity of it. I mean I’ve heard of checkpoints everywhere, but in a river floating in an intertube?!
My wife’s cousins had their own very extravagent raft since they ride the river a lot. It held two adults, their two kids, and had a special ice chest compartment in the middle. Our wives were tied to the big raft in their own innertubes, so they could sit together and chat. My wife’s cousin was first one to approach the overly-eager sheriff in her tube. “YOU GOT ANY GLASS BOTTLES OR STYROPHOME?” he barked.
“Uhh.. no?” she replied,
“Okay I need to look”, he said, as he gestured for towards the raft.
Unfortunately for him I was seated right next to the ice chest and I put my hand on it.
“You ever heard of the 4th Amendment?” I asked, very loudly.
This seemed to take them by surprise and one of the sheriff’s sheepishly replied “Yes, that’s why we ask!”
“Good. No, you can’t search nothin’,” I replied.
We continued to float towards the sheriffs and our raft was about to bump into one of them, since the idiot wouldn’t get out of the way. I said “Excuse me” and he moved out of the way before being bumped. I conjured up images of a trumped up “bumper boat assault on an officer charge” involved if the tube dared to bump the freak.
I then told them “have a nice day”, to which not a single one of them replied. (Gee, I wonder why the nice officers didn’t wish me a nice day?)
As we continued past the officers, my wife explained to her cousin that she is not required to let the police search her things. I added “yeah, but no one knows, so they just let them do it!” Everyone in the river was allowing the sheriffs to search their tubes and ice chests.
I then asked some young people in the river if they let the cop search their things and they said yes. As I explained, one young 20-something bikini-clad woman river-partier said “You don’t have to let them!?” as if she was greatly surprised by such a notion. That was very sad.
“That’s right, you don’t have to allow them to search anything. Tell them to get a warrant,” I said. “It’s called the 4th Amendment!” I held up four fingers and repeated “4th Amendment. It’s real short. Google it!”
She held up four fingers, copying my hand motion, and said “wow, thanks!”
I only wish I would have grabbed video of this river checkpoint. But who takes their spy phone in an intertube?
If anyone is floating down Canyon Lake, you do not have to consent to let the Comal County Sheriff’s search your belongings.
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The Comal County, TX Sheriff ‘Patrol Operations’ department can be contacted here or at (830) 620-3400.
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett’s Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.