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Decorated Vietnam Vet Arrested Guarding War Memorial and American Flag in San Diego(#4) ^ | November 7, 2001 | By Dana Littlefield

Posted on 11/07/2001 3:59:48 PM PST by B4Ranch

Solana Beach 'bullying' homeless man, friends say

By Dana Littlefield

November 7, 2001

SOLANA BEACH -- Neighbors and local business owners are rallying behind a homeless man they believe is being treated unfairly by city and county officials.

Robert Thomas Northcut, 49, who has lived on the streets of Solana Beach for more than a decade, was arrested last week on suspicion of trespassing on a city-owned traffic median where a war memorial sits.

Sam Georges, a lawyer from Solana Beach, and Chris Tatem, owner of the Do-It-Yourself Dog Wash in Solana Beach, helped get Northcut out of jail.

Now they and several other residents are working to handle his legal problems, including reuniting him with his dog, which was taken to a county animal shelter when he was arrested.

"The only thing I own is that damn dog," Northcut said Monday while lying in the grass overlooking Fletcher Cove. "He's my dog and he's faithful to me."

Even before Northcut's arrest, neighbors banded together to help him out and bring him food. They even cared for his dog, getting it neutered, vaccinated and registered with the county.

"It's not one person; it's the whole community," said Tatem.

They said that Northcut doesn't panhandle or bother their customers and that he just wants to be left alone with his dog to live outdoors. Putting him inside a building, Georges said, would be like "taking a coyote and chaining it in the garage."

Northcut's German shepherd -- named Thomas Jefferson, or T.J. for short -- remains in custody at the county animal shelter in Carlsbad for lunging and barking at city and transit employees. The dog bit a man in May, according to animal control officials, and city staff members say it threatened several maintenance workers and one department head.

Northcut admitted that his dog has bitten people, but said T.J. was just protecting his master. The dog had been abused before being rescued in Tijuana and nursed back to health by Northcut and Tatem.

"He's a very feisty animal. He's addle-brained," Northcut said. "He's a lot like me. He's all nervous like me."

Members of the county Dangerous Dog Task Force are expected to decide today whether to issue a notice declaring T.J. a public nuisance. If that happens, a hearing will follow, and the dog could be required to wear a muzzle or be fenced off from the public entirely.

Northcut said he and T.J. set up camp at the war memorial after he heard reports on a portable radio of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. For the next few days, Northcut, who said he is a Navy veteran, raised and lowered the U.S. flag on a pole near the memorial to half-staff to honor victims.

"He was taking care of the war memorial," Georges said. "It was his effort to 9/11."

He said that the city is "bullying" Northcut for crushing plants that surround the World War II memorial where Northcut and T.J. had been sleeping, and that the county should return his dog.

"He's just lost without his dog," Georges said. "If the city doesn't want him around, there are definitely more humane ways to get him away from there."

City officials said the traffic median, on Plaza Street and surrounded by cars heading to and from Fletcher Cove, is not a safe spot to hang around. A "No Trespassing" sign is posted near the flagpole, which shares the crowded median with a large fountain and the memorial.

"There really isn't a place for people to congregate," said City Manager Bob Semple. "It wasn't meant to be used for people to gather there."

Northcut has been cited several times for trespassing at other spots in the city.

Jennifer Lynch, the Vista attorney whom Georges asked to appear in court last week on Northcut's behalf, disagreed with Semple.

"To say that there's no trespassing at a war memorial is unconscionable," Lynch said.

A court hearing on Northcut's trespassing charge is scheduled for Nov. 15.


Copyright 2001 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
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To: B4Ranch
Emails have been sent and thanks for the threads and information about this.He is one of ours !
41 posted on 11/07/2001 5:40:51 PM PST by FallGuy
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see post 19
42 posted on 11/07/2001 5:41:42 PM PST by RaceBannon
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: overseer5
Maybe you should go play at Disneyland, this is for the grownups.
44 posted on 11/07/2001 5:43:54 PM PST by FallGuy
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To: usmcobra
45 posted on 11/07/2001 5:46:03 PM PST by FallGuy
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub
Good post and links Tonkin.
47 posted on 11/07/2001 5:46:59 PM PST by FallGuy
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To: janetgreen; mystomachisturning; Native American Female Vet
"They don't sound too happy about having to respond to the many emails and calls they must be receiving."

His e-mail also conflicts with the "stories" told by Lucy at city hall
to mystomachisturning and Native American Female Vet on thread 3.
48 posted on 11/07/2001 5:47:28 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

Comment #50 Removed by Moderator

To: janetgreen
That is spin worthy of any Clintonista!!!
They monitored the patterns of his movements???
I am surprized they didn't put one of those radio transmitter collars on him like they do bears!
Ten years he lives in their town and all of a sudden they figure out that he has outstanding warrents,
and they have no idea what those warrents were?
Mark my words this super patriotic city will probably drop any and all charges only after their Veterans Day celebration.
51 posted on 11/07/2001 5:55:17 PM PST by usmcobra
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"I'm sure the city removed the sign immediately after arresting him."

IF they did, that means they just put it up to get rid of him.
Why wouldn't they have used some existing laws instead?
Seems like the city, once they felt the "heat" of Free Republic keep getting caught in their lies.
Sounds like need help also.
52 posted on 11/07/2001 5:56:55 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
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To: RaceBannon
I am confused about this guy. Why is he homeless? Has he turned down help? Is he deliberately choosing to remain homeless? Is he a drug addict or alcoholic? Has he ever had tretment?

Northcut suffers from being extremely claustrophobic. Exactly why, I don't know. Possibly he was in a covered section of the river boat that exploded under attack when he was in Cambodia. The roof or something else may have come down on him. I don't know.
He is NOT a drug addict or an alcoholic. He just cannot sleep under a roof due to his condition. To Doctors and us normal folks he would be described as mentally unstable, I presume.

Why would the Police "all of a sudden' arrest him for this?

November 11th is Veterans Day. I would guess that whoever is in charge of the ceremonies for Solana Beach on Veterans Day decided that Northcut would not fit into his/her plans.

His veteran status; is it confirmed? IS he a genuine vet? Are his awards legitimate?
Yes, Yes, Yes, and I don't know if or what awards he has besides the Purple Heart. He doesn't go around bragging from what I've been told.

this guy needs to spend time with a counselor. My understanding is that he is fed up with Veterans Hospitals and their counselors. If they haven't been able to cure the man after 39 years then their cure rate needs adjusting.IMHO

53 posted on 11/07/2001 5:57:09 PM PST by B4Ranch
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To: usmcobra
His trial date is 11/15. 3 days after Veterans Day.
54 posted on 11/07/2001 5:58:40 PM PST by B4Ranch
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To: FallGuy
He is one of us and that's why we are taking care of him.
55 posted on 11/07/2001 6:01:51 PM PST by B4Ranch
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To: SamKeck
I know of a Purple Heart. Any other awards have not been discussed with me, probably because I didn't enquire if there is any.
56 posted on 11/07/2001 6:03:15 PM PST by B4Ranch
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To: janetgreen
Thank Yor for posting this, wonder what took them so long to respond, wonder how many e-mails they have received. Wonder if Mr. Northcut and TJ will be reunited, I hope so.
57 posted on 11/07/2001 6:04:06 PM PST by deadhead
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To: deadhead
We have a police dog trainer who is willing, free of charge, to try to remove the U.S. Border Patrol training the dog had PREVIOUSLY received.
58 posted on 11/07/2001 6:10:01 PM PST by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch
That's great news B4Ranch! There are so many people helping Mr. Northcut, warms my heart. Thanks for all the work you have done. God Bless Our Vets
59 posted on 11/07/2001 6:15:03 PM PST by deadhead
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To: B4Ranch
Hmmmmm I'm no doctor nor do I play one on the internet,
but last time I checked this was no reason to place someone in a room and throw away the key, as some would suggest.
NAMMARINE You were at Khe Sahn after all your time there, can you say you aren't the least bit claustrophobic?
Every one has their phobias and most deal with them as they can, or in a way that they are comfortable with.
That doesn't mean we should pump any one full of seditives that has a fear.
60 posted on 11/07/2001 6:15:59 PM PST by usmcobra
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