About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, June 30, 2014

Instead of Kazoos, Nazareth Has a Perp Parade

Nazareth's annual kazoo parade has been canceled on Independence Day. It would be a joke, like the kazoo. Nazareth is hardly independent. It's under the thumb of a police chief with a thick Brooklyn accent who makes Captain Queeg look normal. Though he's been slammed with civil rights suit after civil rights suit in his short tenure here, Borough Council is afraid of him. He has just served notice that free speech is barred in Nazareth, at least when he's the object. He made that clear on Friday with a staged perp parade for three people who haven't been convicted of anything.

When Nazareth Police Chief Thomas Trachta arrested Trevor Gehret and two others on Friday over Stickergate, he detained them until both papers arrived. Then he paraded them outside, up from the police station to District Judge John Capobianco's courtroom. They were shackled and handcuffed, so the dailies could snap pictures of these desperadoes doing what is called the perp walk. The Morning Call video shows Jeremy Peters getting at least one shove by a cop who wants him to move faster.

It was actually more of a parade, along the entire length of the bank building. It was done to publicly humiliate this trio and impress a powerful image of guilt in the mind of the public. People charged with littering were treated as though they had just attempted to assassinate the President.

It was also totally unnecessary. Trachta could have easily escorted them up the stairway from the police station into the courtroom.

Trachta must have thought this would help his poor image. His plan backfired. Online comments in both newspapers have expressed outrage at this abuse of police power. The Chief has been called a megalomaniac, egotistical maniac, Nazi, moron, transplanted clown, Barney Fife and out-of-control.

I love it when jerks prove me right by their own actions.

I met Gehret on Friday, after his arrest and near immediate release by District Judge John Capobianco. He filled me in on his ordeal.

Police ignore signs on utility poles, but prosecute 2" x 2"stickers
Gehret was first called into the police station on Thursday night. He admitted to making the stickers, but nothing else. In a statement room, Chief Trachta called the District Attorney's office for permission to file charges, which is fairly routine. But get this. He made the call by speakerphone, and Gehret could hear every word.

Trachta apparently wanted to charge me, too, with harassment. He called me a "public nuisance" who dared report how much he paid for his home ($370,000) and where he lives (Bushkill Tp). This is public information. If I were like Trachta, I would have published his street address and phone number, too. An Assistant DA on the other end of the line had to explain that there's this goofy thing called the First Amendment. It applies even in Nazareth. It protects me. It protects Gehret, too, as the Chief will soon discover.

Trachta then tried to turn Gehret into a snitch. If Gehret would meet with me and find out where I am getting my information, he'd consider letting him off.  He even wanted Gehret to dime other Nazareth police officers, though Gehret had no discussions with any of them about this matter.

Gehret refused.

Showing his vindictive side, Trachta told Gehret he's a "retard." Very professional.  He threatened to perp walk Gehret

He still refused.

On Friday, Trachta pulled the trigger. Once again, he summoned Gehret, along with Jeremy Peters and Daniel Logothetis. They refused to provide confessions, instead asking for a lawyer. For exercising their constitutional rights, they were cuffed and tossed into a cell.

Gehret got to sit in the statement room again, while Trachta called the DA's Office and the press, inviting them to come for the show. Then they all waited for the newspapers. Once he knew they were all there, Trachta went outside and had an extensive discussion with them. Then, instead of taking the three defendants up the stairwell, Trachta conducted his perp parade along the bank building, creating a traffic hazard for the drive thru crowd.

All he needed was a marching band.

And a kazoo.

Let's keep in mind the charges here. They are all summary offenses, except for criminal mischief. That's a third degree misdemeanor, and that's a stretch. These defendants presented no flight risk. There really was no basis for an arrest. But they're townies, second class citizens. They get treated like garbage.

As the trio made its way up the hill, I couldn't help but be reminded of another trio forced to do a perp walk over 2,000 years ago. The original perp walk. Jesus Christ and the two thieves were marched along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. Even Imperial Rome had the good sense to wait until there was a trial and conviction before this public humiliation.

Past American humiliations have included the stockade, dunking stool and the scarlet ‘A’ for adulterers. But those also followed a trial and conviction.

Fourteen years ago, the Second Circuit ruled that staged perp walks like the one Trachta conducted, violate a person's rights under the Fourth Amendment. They also shatter the presumption of innocence and constitute a form of punishment before there's even a finding of guilt.

Of course that was Trachta's intention.

I suspect that Gehret will soon be able to buy lots of stickers.

In the meantime, there was no police coverage at all in Nazareth on Saturday night.

Let the civil rights lawsuits begin.  I want to tell you why Chief Trachta really has a hot nut for Gehret. It's more than the stickers. Gehret knows a dirty little secret. He even went to Borough Council with it. Trachta wants to silence him. I'll tell you about that tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

"a police chief with a thick Brooklyn accent"

Prejudiced bigot comment much there O'Hare.

Comparing these public miscreants to Jesus Christ. That will be at least five Hail Marty's you nut, you. You have really lost it again. You are funniest when you are like this.

Someone gets the better of you and you go into your frothing rage. Your old alky side comes out and you get all sanctimonious and crazy at the same time.

Your new "heroes'" have histories in town. I am sure his "tale" of the meeting is as accurate as most perps stories are.

These guys had their backgrounds written up in the papers.
For those of us in Nazareth they are well known. No tears for those guys.

Now I know you are all for free speech as you once again lament in this entry. Of course once again your hypocrisy will shine through and you will ensure that only your anonymous poison posse will comment with nice agreeable posts.

I am not your whacky nemesis from west Easton or your "blog mentor" whatever that is but you will claim I am, it is the only way your messed up psyche can handle your mania.

Hey Bernie , how about comparing the poor trio in the same light as the African-Americans in the south during "Freedom
Summer" in 1964. Fifty years and these poor misunderstood idle men have no freedom to litter and deface public and private property. Yeah that is equivalent to Mississippi. We need another "Freedom Summer". Just make sure they are not high when you schedule it.

You are a hoot Bernie. And I actually like you but you do go over the top sometimes with your anger and this is one of those times. I am sure your lackeys will make you feel better by kissing up. We could have a great discussion about all this but I seriously doubt that will happen.

Get a grip old boy, get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Hey Edgar you parochial twit maybe if you keep this blog barrage up Trachta will take a page out of the old NYPD playbook and start playing hardball I'll bet Orclownski is dreaming of an Abner Louima type scenario that allows the both of you to retire in style.

And it's a ducking stool not a dunking stool you rube.

Anonymous said...

This is anon 12:36, here to clearly state, I am not anon 12:51.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I am delighted with what happened. The Chief did not get the better of anyone. He showed the world what a vindictive, mean-spirited person he is and has opened up the borough to a civil rights lawsuit.

As for the backgrounds of the three persons charged, I am aware of the circumstances concerning Gehret. He was stiffed repeatedly by a man he worked for, so he took a check from the guy and paid himself. Hardly the kind of thing i would hold against anyone.

As for the thick Brooklun accent, that is a fact, and it was noted by Pamela Lehman in her account.

The reference to "poison posse" reveals who you are.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The dunking stool reference is correct.


It was a form of punishment that used to be used against common scolds. I would think that, as a common scold from West Easton yourself, you'd know this.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be interesting to see how Cap handles this.

Bernie O'Hare said...

12:36, You're just as whacky.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"It's going to be interesting to see how Cap handles this"

His role is limited. All he will decide is whether there is a prima facia case. He won't decide the summaries. That will go to Easton, and die there.

Anonymous said...

If he throws out the misdemeanors at the prelim, as he should, he will have to decide the summaries actually.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm not sure because a preliminary hearing and summary trials are two different things. His attorney would like want the summaries heard separately if the main charge was thrown out. Those summaries are very weak, by the way.

Look at the disorderly conduct charge. Disorderly Conduct 18 Pa.C.S. 5503(a)(4): "A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he: (4) creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor."

There was no intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. No hazardous or physically offensive situation was created. And there was a legitimate purpose, casting light on a bad cop.

The other offenses are even worse. Do these guys even read the Crimes Code before filing charges?

Anonymous said...

It was definitely not what the public would expect to be done to suspects who placed tiny stickers around town. Way over the top.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, lets not stop criminal activity if we like the crimes. Way over the top.

Anonymous said...

FT = Fire Trachta
FT = Fire Trachta
FT = Fire Trachta
FT = Fire Trachta
FT = Fire Trachta
FT = Fire Trachta
FT = Fire Trachta
FT = Fire Trachta
FT = Fire Trachta

Anonymous said...

Yeah, lets not stop criminal activity if we like the crimes. Way over the top.
You would have been comfortable living in Europe during the Dark Age.
It's called applying appropriate punishment for the crime. You don't use a sledgehammer when you only need a flyswatter.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I hope the judgment of Koury's comes in soon, so this woman has something else to focus on.

She's stalking you big time, something she has obviously studied from the looks of her bog.

You post a blog asking about aliases, because she is libeling you in a public forum using multiple ids. She responds by saying "you're stalking this woman (herself)."

Maybe reality will open the door a crack someday. She appears to be a total loss. A basket case. A blight on humanity.

Meanwhile you keep bringing us interesting stories. Glad to see this boat anchor is not weighing you down.

Anonymous said...

The chief oversee the biggest drug dealing sanctuary in the county and he's wasting time perp walking litterbugs because they embarrassed him? What an asshole. FT: Fuck Trachta. He's an embarrassment to law enforcement and a friend to town drug dealers. He should stop with his personal vendettas and try performing some actual police work instead of stealing his salary from taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Time for the Naz Boro Council to give this thug his walking papers.

Anonymous said...

His using borough resources to investigate a supposed crime in Bushkill Township would be enough to have him fired from any other municipality. What else has he been dishonest about?

Anonymous said...

Bernie. You bring nothing to the table that helps humanity in anyway at all.

Anonymous said...

Why do you have a hard on for this guy? Why is it that you have so much time to monitor him? Naz has not made a good decision in years. Why we have not allowed others to join our police force or us join another is ridiculous. Naz paved the roads in Fairview and all over town last year with the cheapest material after having the FV posted bond money for almost 15 years. The roads are full of stones continuously. Write about that.

Mentor's Hecubus said...

Email, Incoming, from Nazareth Borough Chief of Police Thomas Trachta.

Mon, Jun 30, 2014 9:12 am

Subject: [Redacted]

Thank you for your support.

Chief Thomas Trachta
Nazareth Borough Police Department
134 S. Main Street, Lower Level
Nazareth, PA 18064
(610) [Redacted]



My pleasure, Chief, give a holler if you need anything further.


Anonymous said...

Since these adult "boys" are very familiar with drugs, it sounds like the Chief is killing two birds with one stone. Who is the guy that keeps kizzing Bernie's butt on these comments. Another anonymous lover.

Oh MY!

Bernie O'Hare said...

With whackos like MezzacRaZy and "BV" on Trachta's side, he's in trouble.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Since these adult "boys" are very familiar with drugs, it"

... and your basis for that is???

One of the defendants has no drug convictions at all.

Anonymous said...

At least one of them is not a druggie. Is he the one who stole and cashed the check? Good start. Model citizens all. Carry on!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Why do you have a hard on for this guy?"

He's a bad cop who abuses his poer, violates civil rights, and uses borough resources to help himself and his buddies. Other than that, I have no problem with the guy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Model citizens all. Carry on!"

The constitution does not just apply to model citizens. It applies to one and all, even druggiers. And Trachta is no model cop. He has abused his office and should be fired before Nazareth goes broke paying off civil rights lawsuits and labor grievances.

The stages perp walk, the use of Nazareth resources to investigate a Bushkill crime, the paronia towardss other officers, his persecution of townies are becoming more and more clear. Wait until tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Cap has jurisdiction to hear an M3 case and sentence on it if I'm not mistaken? All MDJ's do?

Anonymous said...

"Chief Thomas Trachta
Nazareth Borough Police Department
134 S. Main Street, Lower Level
Nazareth, PA 18064"

... Is meth still being cooked across the street from this guy's headquarters? He's really on the ball.

Anonymous said...


State law authorizes MDJ's to dispose of M3s but they need co-authorization from their perspective county courts. Northampton County does not authorize this.

Anonymous said...

OMG really? I am a true Nazorian. I was born right here in Dr. Snyder's office and have been here most of my life. This is all childish bullshit, let the board grow a set of balls, look into allegations and fire his ass if he's doing things wrongly. Simple people, we all know we will never have officers such as Keller or Perog (sorry for the spelling) again, but we sure as hell just need to go back to the little 1 horse town Nazareth was meant to be.
Just my thoughts!

Anonymous said...

You are a hoot Bernie. And I actually like you but you do go over the top sometimes with your anger and this is one of those times.

Actually, this is not "one of those times/" This police chief in Bumfuck, Northampton County is obviously a tool using his small amount of power in an abusive manner.

Anonymous said...

I just figured out who "BV" is that supports Trachta.

Holy shit! If this were his kid that Trachta made do a perp walk for stickers, he would have another website up and be contacting the Governor.

Guess he is willing to take any position opposite yours, Bernie. Even to the point of supporting that which he has voiced anger over - cops that abuse power.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Anonymous said...

All nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Who is BV?