Plain Has Been Arrested Numerous Times
Sunday, September 22, 2013
According to the Rhode Island Court website and other legal documents, he has appeared in four different courts over the past 16 years.
* Misdemeanor arrest for driving without a license, by North Kingston Police Department in July 2013. The status is shown as “case disposed.”
• Ordinance violation, by East Greenwich Police Department in 2000. He was found guilty by the judge on two charges - unregistered dog and animal at large – and had a failure-to-appear charge dismissed.
• Misdemeanor arrest for driving with a suspended license, by Charlestown Department in 1997. He plead “nolo contendre,” with the case status listed as “disposed.”
• Plain was also arrested as part of the Occupy Boston effort in 2011. “Last night’s clash over a kitchen sink between Occupy Boston and local law enforcement was pretty volatile – there were several skirmishes between police and protesters, including three initial arrests and one in which a man is said to have punched an officer,” wrote Plain.
As GoLocalProv reported yesterday, during the police interview at this most recent event on September 11th in East Greenwich, Plain threatened the police office that "he was friend with Chief Coyle." In addition, when asked about marijuana in the vehicle, Plain said the marijuana was not his "it was his girlfriends" according to a copy of the police report obtained by GoLocalProv.
The report, filed by Patrolman Patrick McCoy, states, "Upon approaching the vehicle I smelled a strong odor of fresh marijuana. I approached the operator and requested his driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. The operator identified himself as Robert Plain and stated he did not have his wallet on his person."
"Plain stated the marijuana [in the car] was not his however, it is his girlfriends,” McCoy further states in the report. “I advised Plain he is the sole operator of the vehicle therefore he is liable for anything and everything located in the vehicle.”
‘Friends with Chief’
Plain, who was previously a reporter and editor in East Greenwich and is a native of the town, threatened McCoy, according to the police report. "Plain began to have a poor attitude with me and threatened me stating he was friends with Chief [Tom] Coyle … ,“ McCoy states.
Asked by GoLocalProv about his alleged remarks to McCoy, Plain would not comment on the record.
‘Right-wing critics will be silenced again’
Plain tells GoLocalProv on the record, “There are several inaccuracies in the police report. An example of one is, it quotes me as using the word ‘weed,’ which isn’t even a term I use. What I called what he found in my car, is ‘medical marijuana.’ And that’s what it is, and it belonged to my partner, who was using the car earlier in the day. Real soon, this will all be cleared up, and my right-wing critics will be silenced once again.”
He says his partner was not in the car at the time.
Plain told GoLocal that he does not plan to file a complaint against Patrolman McCoy. “I don’t think anything like that’s necessary,” Plain said. “This is a super small deal that really conservative people are trying to make into a bigger deal, to try and smear my name. But the reality is, I was found with my partner’s medicine in my car.”
Does Plain plan to ask Chief Coyle to investigate and, if necessary, reprimand McCoy? “Why would I?” he asks, adding that “inaccuracies” can happen in police reports just as they can happen in RIFuture and GoLocalProv stories. “It’s not like it’s a giant deal or anything,” Plain said, acknowledging that he does not intend to ask the chief to correct McCoy’s report, which is a public record.
As far as Plain is concerned, is this matter over with? He declines to respond to that or any further questions, adding that he’s “at my cousin’s wedding.”
On September 11, Plain was arrested on a bench warrant for failing to appear in court on a suspended-license charge. The bust resulted after East Greenwich Police Department stopped him for driving without a seat belt.
While running a check on Plain, McCoy discovered that he was wanted on a bench warrant, East Greenwich Police Lieutenant Brian Clement tells GoLocalProv, so McCoy took Plain into custody. Also during the stop, Clement says, McCoy found less than one ounce of marijuana in Plain’s possession, which, because of the amount, constituted a civil violation.
Sometime prior to the September 11 arrest, Plain had his driver’s license suspended, according to Clement. The East Greenwich police, Clement says, “didn’t charge [Plain] with the suspended license. They only charged him with the seat-belt violation. So obviously his license has been reinstated.”
Clement told GoLocalProv he doesn’t have details of Plain’s suspended-license case, which was handled by the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal. Usually, when people get stopped by the police after having their license suspended, they must appear before a judge in state court, he notes, and the judge typically requires the person to pay any fines to the Traffic Tribunal, and return to court.
“So obviously [Plain] had paid all of his fines. He just never showed back up for his court case,” Clement says, adding, “At the time of the stop, he had a valid license. He told me he was going down to pay the fine and just forgot to show up for court.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: Bob Plain did freelance writing for GoLocalProv, covering the Occupy Movement.