Walking along a road : suspicious activity?

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LongIslandPiney

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Jan 11, 2006
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I've been walking along roads to access trails into the woods for years. Since I dont drive and the bus wont drop you off at the trailhead, I have to do some walking. I am not in the way of traffic and stay off to the side well out of the way of cars.
Yet since last summer I have been questioned quite a few times by police. In summer I was questioned along route 27 in Napeague (by the Napeague dwarf pines) by East Hampton PD. Then in the fall I was questioned by Southampton PD walking along route 24 to the bus stop from the trailhead of Hubbard Preserve.
In December I was questioned crossing route 25 going into Brookhaven State Park by Suffolk Co. PD. And today I was questioned walking along Rocky pt road to the bus stop from the end of the white trail in Rocky Point preserve again by Suffolk County PD. Today some nosy motorist decided to call 911 when they saw me walking.
Every stop has the same procedure. What are you doing here? Why do you travel all the way out here to hike? Where do you live? What do you do? Where is your ID? What's in your bag?
I usuallu always cooperate but complain politely that such an investigation is abit overboard since I am not breaking any laws. They just say they're "making sure I'm OK".
Does anyone experience this down in NJ? Or is it just a Long Island thing?
I really think I am on some list or something now. I know I should have a right to refuse questioning, but that only raises suspicions and could wind up to a trip to the stationhouse, but I am getting tired of getting "pulled over for doing nothing wrong".
I never seen to get questioned by forest rangers, not heavily anyway, they usually just offer friendly chat. I guess I now have to avoid walking along roads, though that isn't always possible. :mad:
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,630
2,386
Pestletown, N.J.
I walk 3 miles +/ in the woods around here almost every day of the year rain or shine.
I was questioned once about what I was doing by a young game warden, probably because I was dessed in camo but I didn't have a gun with me that night.
He ended up asking me if there were any known "violators" around the area. I told him there were a lot of late shooters around the bogs in the early part of the waterfowl split season.
He asked me where a good spot would be to park so that he could check late shooting hunters . I never saw him again and that was 4 years ago.
I came across a strange dude who ostensibly was sitting in his car masturbating. I had just spotted a brand new empty plastic box from a plastic penis laying in the middle of the road. As I came around a bend in the road, a guy sitting in a car started his vehicle and gunned it, leaving the woods going sideways.
I rarely come across any one but when I do we usually exchange a few pleasant hey yo how you doin's?
I think I would appreciate being asked by LE what I am doing maybe a just a few times.
It would make me think they were doing their job a little more diligently.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: manumuskin
Jul 12, 2006
1,141
170
Gloucester City, NJ
Unfortunately, it's a sign of the times. Nothing more, nothing less. Here's a similar story. One of pet-peeves and things to do is always have what many consider to be allot of "pocket money" on me at all times. Allot meaning anywhere between $200-$350. I do this for several reasons such as, 1) I can, 2) I inherited this trait from my Grandfather, 3) I like carrying enough cash with me, just because. You never know when you might need it. I recall the days when I didn't have a pot to p*ss in and my wife and I had to check the car for change in order to go food-shopping. Fortunately, that was a very long time ago and things have gotten much better, since then. I enjoy the fact that I able to have a few hundred bucks in my pocket at all times.

A couple summers ago, a situation presented itself whereas I had to empty my pockets. The next hour was devoted to me explaining why I had that money with me, where I got it, what did I need it for, etc. Why is that anyone's business? Why did I have to justify myself carrying that money with me? Talk about profiling. In that person's eyes, I had obviously done something wrong to get that money.
 

grendel

Explorer
Feb 24, 2006
561
2
Fredericksburg VA
one night back about 1993 my wife and I were out cruising wharton. as we were leaving a state trooper was sitting right there where hampton furnace rd. meets 206. he stopped us and had us get out and put our hands on the hood. He started frisking me and I asked him what we had done. He said " you were in the woods at night" at this point I dropped a name, I had a friend who was a state trooper. He asked a few questions to verify that I actually knew the guy and let us go. I never did ask him what was wrong with being in the woods at night.
 

Sue Gremlin

Piney
Sep 13, 2005
1,247
209
58
Vicksburg, Michigan
one night back about 1993 my wife and I were out cruising wharton. as we were leaving a state trooper was sitting right there where hampton furnace rd. meets 206. he stopped us and had us get out and put our hands on the hood. He started frisking me and I asked him what we had done. He said " you were in the woods at night" at this point I dropped a name, I had a friend who was a state trooper. He asked a few questions to verify that I actually knew the guy and let us go. I never did ask him what was wrong with being in the woods at night.

Wow. This would have resulted in some complaints from me to his department. Questioning? Sure. FRISKING? WTF? Seriously?

That would have really upset me.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,085
1,784
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I agree it's just a sign of the times. And I assume that Long Island is similar to New Jersey, where people drive everywhere. It is a little unusual to see pedestrians walking beside the main roads, most of which don't even have sidewalks or crosswalks.

Walking around the woods I've never had any problems. A couple times during the past 10 years a ranger has stopped to ask if I'm OK and I said I was just out for a walk and they drove on by. But unfortunately walking down a road in an affluent suburb is more likely to be viewed as "suspicious".

The easiest solution would be for you to buy a car, which would give you access to a lot more places. But from your previous posts I assume this is something you cannot, or don't want to do.
 

LongIslandPiney

Explorer
Jan 11, 2006
484
0
I guess I'm just gonna try and avoid walking along roads. I'm never hassled while I'm IN the woods, I'm lucky to come across a ranger and most of the time they dont say anything to me.
I guess because most people drive walking along a road is suspicious. I dont like it either because of high speed cars, all it takes is one car that aint looking and its all over.
I didn't have to walk along the road yesterday, I could've taken another path (out of the way) but the trails were muddy and I decided to go with the road.
You mention affluence, it has been getting more affluent as McMansion communities pop up, perhaps these rich snobs have nothing better to do, its a shame that many parts of LI are either getting rich or getting poor.
Years ago I'd never see LUV's (Luxury Utility vehicles) out there but now they're a common place.
Ski mountain is gonna bring more of that riff raff.
It seems there's a world of difference in my experience between regular police and park police (rangers). Park police are familiar with hiking, but the regular police, like most people, aren't familiar with hiking.
What bothered me the most was they couldn't understand why I'd come to the Pine Barrens to hike. I guess they dont understand the beauty of the place.
The only upshot of it was the female officer was cute. But I'd never ask a cop out, I aint that desperate.:siren:
 

LongIslandPiney

Explorer
Jan 11, 2006
484
0
Most cops I run into are nice. The jerks are the people who call them and the politicians that direct police to look into people doing perfectly legal stuff.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
23,471
5,366
You need to have more gear. Buy a metal walking stick, a small pack, and hang a compass around your neck and they will quickly form a different opinion of what you are doing.

My extra equipment is Jessica which causes people to relax and pass right by.

Guy
 

piker56

Explorer
Jan 13, 2006
634
49
65
Winslow
You need to have more gear. Buy a metal walking stick, a small pack, and hang a compass around your neck and they will quickly form a different opinion of what you are doing.

My extra equipment is Jessica which causes people to relax and pass right by.

Guy

Funny you should mention that. Last week I had a State Trooper slow down as I was backing in to an opening in the woods to start a hike. I think he thought I was dumping something. He turned around about 1/2 mile away, came back and stopped. When he saw my hiking stick leaning against the truck he waved and drove away.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
Funny you should mention that. Last week I had a State Trooper slow down as I was backing in to an opening in the woods to start a hike. I think he thought I was dumping something. He turned around about 1/2 mile away, came back and stopped. When he saw my hiking stick leaning against the truck he waved and drove away.

That's cool. At least he had his eyes open for illegal dumpers.
 

grendel

Explorer
Feb 24, 2006
561
2
Fredericksburg VA
You need to have more gear. Buy a metal walking stick, a small pack, and hang a compass around your neck and they will quickly form a different opinion of what you are doing.

My extra equipment is Jessica which causes people to relax and pass right by.

Guy

The gear and get up is all important. In 2004 While working at the US capitol building I found that a white hard hat , a clip board and a infra red thermometer was all I needed to go from the street to just outside the senate chamber completly unchallenged. I was wearing an I.D. but nobody looked at it. So much for homeland security! If you look like a "hiker", you know, like the people on the REI catalog cover, then that is what they take you for. Also having known alot of cops and military police over the years, some people ( right or wrong) just have a look to them that makes cops wanna check them out. Does not matter what they are wearing.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,066
367
Little Egg Harbor
Funny you should mention that. Last week I had a State Trooper slow down as I was backing in to an opening in the woods to start a hike. I think he thought I was dumping something. He turned around about 1/2 mile away, came back and stopped. When he saw my hiking stick leaning against the truck he waved and drove away.

About 20 years ago a buddy and myself were stopped by a Berkely Twp. cop who was actually patrolling a woods road with his squad car. We started sweating as he looked in the bed of the truck, as we were shooting clay targets on privately owned but unposted woods. He looked at the shotguns and clay target box filled with spent shells and smiled, saying he was glad to see we picked up our empties. He told us he was just looking for illegal dumpers and sent us on our way. Never even asked to see the firearm paperwork. Those were the good old days.
 
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