Flood Checkpoint

What do we think of this:

Flood Checkpoint

One resident, however, grew angry when he was not allowed to pass a checkpoint Monday, according to a news release from the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

After being denied re-entry to a flooded neighborhood, Rick Blazek, 53, returned to his vehicle as a state trooper used his police vehicle to block the checkpoint, according to the news release.

“Blazek drove his vehicle toward the state trooper and struck the state trooper three times with his vehicle,” the release said.

Police told Blazek to get out of his vehicle, and when he refused, “the driver’s window was broken out because the doors were locked and Blazek was removed from his vehicle,” according to the release.

The trooper was not injured. Blazek, who was arrested and charged with assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Account from CNN.

I don’t have any problem with someone being arrested for trying to drive their vehicle into a police officer. But the police weren’t allowing him to return to his property, and I’m not so sure about that.

I don’t think you can rightfully be forced to evacuate, and I would side with the citizen every time if police were trying to forcibly remove him from his property without charges. But are they obligated to let someone back in once they’ve left?

Crossposted from GunPundit.

UPDATE: Discussion at Sebastian’s.


  1. Guess it depends on how his state laws on that subject are written. I’m sure the police can legally bar you from some areas (crime scene, Haz Mat spill, etc). Bottom line though is even if they’re wrong, ramming the police car is a really idiot move, and is unquestionably criminal. If he thought his rights were being violated in some fashion I’m sure he could have found some legal representation that would like a piece of that. I’ll bet he’ll be able to work on his coping skills during the spare time he probably has now! LOL!

  2. It is wrong to prevent them from going back. Then again, police in the 21st century spend a significant amount of time enforcing wrong laws.

  3. I don’t think they should be able to prevent one from returning to his home. I can accept having to show ID to prevent looters, but homeowners should be allowed in. That being said his response was wrong. Unless he has a background of similar outbursts, I don’t think he should be prosecuted since the cop wasn’t hurt. Outside of this incident the people of Iowa have aquitted themselves well, especially compared to those in New Orleans.

  4. My understanding is that the area he was heading for was underwater and the police were trying to keep everyone out of the area till the waters receded. Flood zones are not healthy places to be. So the police was not denying him access to his property, they were denying him the right to drown or worse on his property. While I understand, its my property and all that, what police department is going to let people into a hazardous area (and idiots will be idiots- so the police will be sued for something..). The man clearly overreacted.

  5. After the tornado hit Hugo, MN the police evacuated everyone and kept them out until all of the gas lines were verified safe. Its hard to see the State as the bad guy in that type of situation.

  6. Without doubt the guy totally overreacted. Just to be clear I’m not defending what he did in any way. And it seems that Iowa law is rather clear in this case, too, as far as I understand (i.e., I read it on the internet) and I’m wondering more if it’s RIGHT that police were keeping him out than LEGAL.

  7. This reminds me of the Hayman Fire here in CO about 10 years ago. That’s the one where a Forest Service employee who was angry that her boyfriend left her burnt his letters, and the resulting fire burned down about 300,000? acres of forest. There are a myriad of stories of Government employees overstepping their bounds during the course of the fire, but here is one where the good guys won. The local sheriff, then the Forest service tried to force a bunch of 12 homeowners to leave their property. The homeowners refused. The Sheriff came back with a bunch of armed deputies To their surprise, they came up against 12 armed and angry homeowners ready to do battle with the guys who were there to do them harm (the Sheriff and Deputies). Wisely, the Sheriff called things off, and everyone lived. The homeowners went on to control the fire around their homes, and came out with most everything intact. Unlike those who allowed the Sheriffs to force them out of their homes.

  8. One of the principal functions of the state is the preservation of private property. To that end, we provide the government with a host of responsibilities. Such as registration of property ownership (deeds) and the duty to provide essential services – roads, power, and the like. Private property is not absolute. In certain cases the government is allowed to enter our property with or without our consent. Firefighting is obvious example. The police in pursuit of a criminal and so on. The possession and access to private property is normally a right reserved to the owner of the property, however in times when there is a compelling state interest, the possession and access to the property can controlled by the government. If the government take over is permanent or will substantially impair the private enjoyment of the property, the government must compensate the owner through the doctrine of eminent domain. In this case, the temporary denial of possession is supported by a substantial governmental need. In this case the preservation of life and the maintenance of order. In short, yes the government has temporarily denied an owner of property the enjoyment of said property. Is it the right thing to do? IMO yes. Otherwise we would have hundreds possibly thousands of people wondering through a flood zone doing what? … Getting sick, getting hurt, and getting into trouble mostly Now the idiots who saved their homes from the fire. Bully for them, they got lucky, but they still are idiots. When a professional fire fighter says its time to go, its time to go. Your things are cheap – and that is what insurance is for.

  9. That area was declared a disaster area, and you can see NG personnel in the background of the photo. It’s unfortunate, but restricting access to an area that has been evacuated and is part of a disaster zone is for the protection of all the people that live there, and their property. The governor made the declaration, and the troopers were simply enforcing it. This guy drove his vehicle, a large pickup truck, toward the troopers three times. He’s lucky he didn’t get shot.

  10. What the artical doesn’t say is that on June 16th these residents were told they could return to their homes at noon. They simply needed to stand in line at the check point.This all took place late in the day on June 17th after he had stood in line since June 16th at 11:00am.

  11. Now the idiots who saved their homes from the fire. Bully for them, they got lucky, but they still are idiots.’ Wrong. There are three things you can do to save your life in this situation. In order of increasing danger they are: leave early; try to stop the fire reaching you; leave late. If you need your property later to stay alive later, that swaps the order of the first two. The police were trying to impose the last, which has the greatest risk of you being caught in the open. ‘When a professional fire fighter says its time to go, its time to go.’ The whole point is, they aren’t professional fire fighters (or they wouldn’t have tried to enforce the worst option). There was a fire at a British football stadium where police good intentions and lack of expertise got people killed. In this game, the police are not the experts. Some while ago I read about a policeman here in Australia who forced someone out of his home in the face of a fire and got officially punished for it (I think it was just a reprimand). The report was a follow up some years later, and he said he would still do it all over again. He simply hadn’t learned the basics that everyone here should learn!