Pistol Packing Radical Files Lawsuit Against the City of Evansville
The city of Evansville is facing a lawsuit over an incident that happened last year at Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden in which park employees called 911 because they witnessed a patron walking around with a gun strapped to his side.
After Evansville Police arrived, they were forced to remove Benjamin A. Magenheimer from the zoo because they say he became argumentative and disorderly when confronted about the firearm.
Now, Magenheimer is suing the city because he says that police were enforcing a city ordinance prohibiting firearms from park properties that infringes upon a state law passed last year indicating that local governments could no longer regulate firearms – except in places like schools, public hospitals and courts.
The city recently filed for the lawsuit to be dismissed because they say the state law was voided and that Magenheimer was escorted off city property for being disorderly.
In the dismissal request, city attorneys describe Magenheimer as a man radically determined to pursue his right to carry a firearm, as well as being “highly agitated” and a “time bomb,” as detailed in previous police reports.
Court records reveal a litigious Magenheimer, who reportedly began posting things around the Internet directly after the zoo incident like “What is the going rate for being kicked out of a City Park while OCing (Open carrying)?” which appeared on a forum on INgunowners.com.
Interestingly, the incident at Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden was not Magenheimer’s first run in with the law because of gun related issues.
In May of last year, police officers had to remove him for carrying a handgun in St. Mary’s Medical Center during a visit with his son in the Natal Intensive Care Unit, and in August of this year, he was stopped by Evansville police for carrying an AK-47 on his back while riding around town on a bicycle.
Magenheimer was not arrested in either incident because police say he was not breaking any laws.
City attorneys say that a review of a zoo employee’s call to 911 indicates that zoo employees were well within their rights to have Magenheimer removed for carrying a gun.
A trial to for the lawsuit is scheduled for January 7, 2013 in Vanderburgh Circuit Court.