Obiter Dicta

Home S.W.A.T. Home

  • Print

As Julie Pyle was hav­ing a satellite TV system installed in her home, outside it seemed as though a blockbuster action thriller had materialized at her doorstep.

It was a difficult job for the two DirecTV installers in October 2006. One of them called the home office to say that it wasn’t going well. He said he and his partner were being “held hostage” on the job.

Merely an unfortunate choice of words or was he trying to be funny? No one seems to know. Reports indicate, however, that Pyle was actually in the kitchen baking cookies for the hardworking installers.

Minneapolis attorney Marc Kurz­man, who represents Pyle and her husband, Steven, says a DirecTV dispatcher called the police regarding a hostage situation at the home.

Several units responded and, Kurz­man says, police phoned Pyle and asked her to leave her Savage, Minn., home. Unaware of the situation, Pyle complied. She was met with drawn weapons and reportedly or­dered to the ground and subdued.

Pyle and her husband filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in May against DirecTV and one of the officers involved, seeking in excess of $75,000 for false arrest, loss of consortium and infliction of emotional distress. Kurzman expects the village to claim sovereign immunity.

DirecTV issued a statement saying, in part, “We sincerely apologize for any embarrassment or other dur­ess that the customer and instal­lers experienced as a result of this incident.”


Angry Eyewitness Gives K-9 Cop the Skunk Eye After Being Rebuffed, Then Ends Up Cuffed

Jayna Hutchinson wanted to let off a little steam. But she knew it would be unwise to direct her ire toward the policeman with whom she’d had a disagreement, so she unleashed it on Max the police dog.

Let’s back up a little. Po­lice were called in July 2006 to quell a disturbance at a market in West Fairlee, Vt. By the time they arrived the brawlers had dispersed, so police took statements from witnesses.

Kelly Green, an Orange County public defender, says Hutchinson, 33, of Lebanon, N.H., told one of the officers she had been assaulted the night before by one of the brawl participants. Green says the officer made a disparaging re­mark toward her and sent her away.

Will Porter, an Orange County state’s attorney, says the officer turned her away because she was highly inebriated.

Both agree that as Hutchinson left the scene she saw Max in a patrol car, leaned toward him and stared at him, maybe even made a few faces and gestures. She was promptly arrested for cruelty to an animal.

As the case was about to go to trial in June, a videotape surfaced. The audio portion of the tape, says Por­ter, revealed that Max had been barking and highly agitated prior to Hutchinson’s histrionics, making it difficult to prove her ac­tions harmed him. The case was dismissed.

Green says she admired Hutchin­son’s determination to fight the charge. “I was like, great,” she says, “rock on, sister.”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.