Monday, November 24, 2008

Big Bust In St. Augustine

Report by undercover St. Augustine police officer John Niederriter. Badge #2707, 11-09-2008

"On Sunday November 9, 2008, I made contact with the subject in the Plaza, on the Northwest corner,displaying artwork. I began to speak with the subject about his dog and then I started to speak to him about the artwork he had with him. He began by telling me that the artwork does not like the sunlight, as he was arranging it in the shade. I started to talk with him about a print of fish he had on an easel, and then he showed me another print with blue fish on it in a stack of prints on the ground. I fingered thorough the prints on the ground and noticed that one or two had a price tag on them but there was a line through the price. I asked if the price was the forty dollars on the tag, or of it was a different price. The subject stated that the price was the forty dollars, if he was in his gallery. I asked what the difference was and he again stated that the price was forty dollars in his gallery. I asked if I could buy one now, and he said yes, but I would not give him the money, but instead place the money in a black canvas stand he had with him. We continued to discuss art with him and asked him what the deal with the signs was. He told me about the court battle with the city. I told him I was interested in the "blue fish" but I had to find my wife first."

About a half hour later four police officers arrived by bicycle and car with flashing lights. Suvo was arrested , handcuffed and taken to the St. Johns County Jail. His artwork was taken down by the police officers. This would've been Suvo's only sale of the day. Alas, it cost him 200 dollars to bond out later that night and 20 dollars taken from him by the jailer for "administrative purposes".


  1. hope Karl is ok man...
    Let us know if you need anything.
    Entrapment is a crime, and the city is just showing it's nefarious side...

    -Aramal Malik

  2. entrapment & no reading of your Miranda Rights....
    I was there...cuffs but no reading Suvo of his rights...
    the City is continually overstepping its boundaries.

  3. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  4. Let me help clarify. Contrary to what we've all seen on CSI, etc., Miranda rights do not have to be read unless questioning takes place after arrest. In other words, after they got Suvo to the jail, if they wanted to interrogate him, they have the obligation to "read him his rights" to an attorney during any questioning, etc. By the way, the most important right we have is "the right to remain silent". I wish more folks would exercise that right when encountering the cops.

    Secondly, entrapment is something you are enticed to do that you would not do without such enticement. Entrapment doesn't apply in this instance or any other undercover operation in the Plaza, I'm afraid.

  5. Correct info,
    Suvo tells me that the main"right" is his right to offer his fully protected first amendment artworks for sale on public property.

    Entrapment..... no, Suvo says that he offers his work for sale to anyone who is interested.This is not take tough policework. In this instance the officer was damn near begging the buy the artwork. Note that Suvo would not give him the price directly after he was questioned twice.

  6. Was Suvo selling his art or that of another artist. If it was his, the city was wrong, if it was another artist, the city was right.

    Miranda rights are for the sole purpose of making defendants statements admissible in court. Not a requirement of law enforcement but probably a good idea.

  7. Suvo was showing his own art. He does feelthough that he has the right to display and sell anyone's art just as he can display and sell the written word. He does not need to be the author