Residents protest South Lake Tahoe police


Corrupt law enforcement in South Lake Tahoe?

That’s what some people believe. And they took to the streets Monday to make their feelings known.

Ty Robben organized the Jan. 28 demonstration along Al Tahoe Boulevard. Robben’s issues started last fall when bounty hunters busted down his door. He’s been waiting for the South Lake Tahoe cops to finish the report. He even went to the City Council meeting last week to plead the electeds to intervene to speed up the process.

Within a week the report was done and passed on to the District Attorney’s Office.

But Robben said he is having a hard time getting a copy of the report.

One of the signs at the Jan. 28 protest in South Lake Tahoe. Photo/Provided

“I think this is the moment for Police Chief [Brian] Uhler to shine or sink. I think Chief Uhler seems like a nice fella based on my experience and I hope he’s legit. Perhaps some of the people below him are the problem,” Robben told Lake Tahoe News. “The PD does good things too and I would prefer to not be their critic or on their bad side.”

At the protest on Monday people were sharing stories of their run-ins with local law enforcement. Drivers honked their horns in support.

When an unmarked police vehicle went by and suddenly turned on its lights for no apparent reason one protester wondered out loud if that was to try to intimidate those who had gathered peacefully.

“I do think that the totality of my situation and others warrants some kind of future discussions. Most people are very, very intimidated to speak up or stand up for their rights because of retaliation by police, the DA or the courts. I have been retaliated against, but protesting is one thing I can do and I have certain control over that right. For some of us, that might be the only justice we ever get,” Robben said.

Robben hopes future protests are not necessary – but he said there would be more if he believes there is a need to raise awareness about what law enforcement is or is not doing.

The planning of the protest unintentionally coincided within less than a week of Officer Johnny Poland being arrested on five federal charges dealing with witness and evidence tampering. Robben was planning the protest before Poland’s arrest.

— Lake Tahoe News staff report


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Comments (47)
  1. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    “By the end of last week the report was done and passed on to the District Attorney’s Office.”

    It was done and turned in today.

    See the protest worked… Now, let’s see it.

    ‘But Robben said he is having a hard time getting a copy of the report.’

    Here, Robben says to SLTPD “Show me the report” akin to “Show me the money,” a well-known phrase uttered by characters in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire –

    Hillbilly justice will not be tolerated.

    An injustice 2 1 is an injustice 2 all.

    Show me the report! it is a “public record” and subject to the freedom of information act.

  2. Biggerpicture says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    I’m curious, and no mention above, about the number of demonstrators. In the pic I see two signs and no pic of the promised biggest crime seen tape banner ever.

  3. You Call THAT a Protest? says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    When I drove by, there were three “protesters” and they were all busy posing for pictures. The only car I observed honking his horn also had his window down with his middle finger raised in salute.

  4. TahoeJessie says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    I drove by this yesterday several times. There was about three people total. I did see a big “crime scene” tape. And I didn’t hear any honking at all. Wonder what the “trouble” is getting the police report. This is not a very good investigated or balanced article. I’m very disappointed.

  5. GRUNT'S says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Had to pass the demo 6X yesterday in the course of my biz day – saw 2 older guys setting up, max people there that I saw was 2 besides the 2 guys – the rest of the time it was only the 2 guys – once, I saw a gal with the guys, but that was it as far as the 6x I passed by.

    The biggest sign I saw was both irresponsible, vile and repulsive to me – – “STOP THE G** D*** CORRUPTION!”

    Real nice guys, real nice – you are not going to make any friends that way….

  6. Joe Doaks says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Please more info if possible. This story just wetted my curiosity and the people involved have no substance in the story.

  7. Christian Waskiewicz says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    So this fellow was wanted by bounty hunters? Did he break the law? What is he accused of? Perhaps he did break the law and is trying to divert attention away from his own shortcomings? This is not to say that he is guilty of anything, but the article is somewhat imbalanced for sure. Just sayin’.

  8. epicskier says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    The big bad bounty hunters knocked on his door …and it fell off the hinges. Maybe the building inspector should get involved :)

  9. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    RE: So this fellow was wanted by bounty hunters? Did he break the law? What is he accused of?

    Here Robben was hooked up on trumped up charges for serving the former Nevada NDOT Director Susan Martinovich court papers that she evaded by exiting the back door of her office and taking a decoy car to dodge the service. Susan Martinovich ran over Robben’s foot when she took off thus a hit and run. The corrupt Carson City Sheriff and DA trumped up charges 2 weeks later and used corrupt judge tatro to retaliate against Robben… The incestuous Carson City scandal was a racked and judge tatro, Martinovich and Carson Sheriff Kenny Furlong all went to Carson High School… Martinovich never gets charged for hit and run, and never even claimed she was “assaulted”… The charges were dismissed against Robben.

    See KRNV fact finder:

    However, along the way alleged alcoholic and breathalyzer-before-the-bench taking judge john tatro became upset at Robben for filing motions to disqualify tatro from the case. Tatro issued a warrant and $500,000.00 dollar bail for Robben! That shows how whacked John Tatro’s mind functions. Tatro then illegally sent bounty hunters to try to take Robben into custody using a Nevada warrant but they failed to comply with California laws including CA code 847.5. Robben was not a “fugitive” and never missed a court date and was not a flight risk as he was only charged with a minor misdemeanor and he hired a lawyer.Again, the charges against Robben were “dismissed” thus acquitting Robben.

    CA penal code 847.5 states “A bondsman or other person who is bail for a fugitive admitted to bail in another state who takes the fugitive into custody, except pursuant to an order issued under this section, is guilty of a

    Since the “bounty Hunters” who were really acting as private mercenaries failed to get the CA warrant pursuant to 847.5 all subsequent acts are crimes including felony burglary, assault WDW (with deadly weapon) Battery WDW (tased 3 times)and trespassing, conspiracy kidnapping and property damage.

    The felony charges once convicted will end the bounty hunters business and land them in jail or prison.

    The SLTPD witnessed the entire thing go down and they failed to check that paperwork and make sure these “bounty hunters” called 6 hours prior and and proper warrants per 847.5

    The SLTPD slow balled the investigation telling Robben to file the charges in corrupt Carson City when the crime occurred in S. Lake Tahoe CA. The SLTPD continued to delay the case and not properly investigate or complete the report correctly with the hopes Robben would go away and forget about the situation only to see there is no chance of that because Robben won’t back down.

  10. youhavegottobekiddingme says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Maybe Mr Robben should tell the whole story instead of referring to himself is the second person. It sounds like there will soon be an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter in South Lake Tahoe!

  11. Raised interest says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    I agree totally unbalanced reporting typical of Ms. Reed and lake tahoe news. Just trying to stir up dust and cause people to read this trashy form of news. You are being pointed in the direction by your readers to report of Mr. Robbens accused crime, why he is wanted by bounty hunters. Is that too difficult from the comfort of your chair. Real reporters go out and seek the news. They go in harms way in foreign countries and danger zones? Where is your pen now? I agree that was not a protest and now you made it news. Nice job!!!

  12. copper says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Sorry Kae, I was ready to leap to your defense, but that really wasn’t much of an article about Robben and his mini-kerfuffle. However, at least we got his name straight so we could get an idea of the background through Google.

    Meanwhile, at least on the internet, the Trib doesn’t seem to have covered it much at all. Probably, in retrospect, the wiser choice.

  13. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Remember before Johnny Rotten Poland was arrested for the litany of charges there was an attempt to coverup his crimes and keep him on the force.

    All the sock-puppets posting negative mojo are the same creeps that want officers like Johnny Rotten on the force – perhaps so they can keep corruption flourishing as they benefit from the kickbacks from the “Mexican mafia” and their kickbacks from meth and coke sales in addition to pedophilia.

    These people also drive by 6 times to stalk the protesters – if your so interested, why not confront us in person, ask questions and use your real names?

    Here you go:

  14. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Mr. Robben/Firebreaker:

    “I have been retaliated against, but protesting is one thing I can do and I have certain control over that right.”

    You claim that you have been retaliated against but you have never disclosed why you have had retaliation perpetrated against you. Your remarks to the City Council at their January 22nd meeting offered no specificity, nor did your website, nor does this article. I like many others would be interested to know the remainder of this story and what caused this retaliation that you say made the SLTPD purposely delay a report that involves preparation by more than one department in more than one jurisdiction during a time when you have acknowledged that local and county government departments are understaffed and overworked.

    Mr. Robben/Firebreaker, since you’ve made this matter so public would you please enlighten the rest of us on what occurred that made the SLTPD want to retaliate against you? It would be appreciated and informative to have the entire story instead of selected fragments.

    Thank you.

  15. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    RE: “the Trib doesn’t seem to have covered it much at all.”

    They will like their counterpart in Cartoon City covered the ANTI Corruption Movement:

    If they don’t we can take the CRIME SCENE banner and the other signage to the Tribs office right there on the main drag Hwy 50…

    That will get their attention ;)

  16. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Everyone on the comments wants to know the facts cited by SLTPD including me. I had to have Ben Brisco NBC KRNV news get the report from the CCSO (Carson City Sheriff) because they played the same game to chill transparency. My lawyer is also going to get the report, but it may take time.

    I’ll see if the media can get SLTPD to release the report so we can all read it. The notion it is confidential is B.S. and the confidential info like phone numbers or SS numbers can be redacted. Reports are always released regardless if the case is being prosecuted (unless an attempt to quash the info in an effort to conceal evidence) – see below for an example. Hmm, didn’t Johnny P. conceal evidence and tamper with evidence??? See the connections? Demonic minds at work?

    See that report here:

    and here:

  17. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Factfinder – KRNV has been requested to do a fact finder story on this. Ty Robben is willing to go on camera, show the evidence and get the facts into the public domain.

    I (Ty Robben) challenge to do a fact finder too. Here, will get the police report via CA public records request and offer a venue for the event to be livestreamed (live over the internet) – I have a livestream channel and all this can be done at no cost. The media invites the Police personnel involved, the DA, the perps and any skeptics. Volia, here the facts get out on this escalating story and takes SLT news reporting to the next level of truth & transparency.

  18. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Mr. Robben/Firebreaker:

    I was not requesting facts cited by SLTPD but rather why you’ve had retaliation perpetrated against you. Would you please disclose what occurred that made the SLTPD want to retaliate against you?

  19. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    “You claim that you have been retaliated against”… Yes by Carson City Justice court Judge Tatro and the CCSO using SLTPD to do their dirty work. Now SLTPD is caught up is Carson City Corruption polluting the Tahoe basin.

  20. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Grand Jury for SLTPD corruption next?

    Was the protest successful?

    Yes, since many people stopped and shared their stories and contact info. A clear and convincing pattern exists of PD investigation shenanigans, cover-ups, withheld evidence, tampering, etc…

    In El Dorado county we can convene a Grand Jury to tackle this omega concern.

    Stay tuned. Comments please?

  21. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Maybe I should change my pseudonym from Firebreaker to FireSTARTER :o

  22. buster57 says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    what you all thought poland is the only corrupt cop.

  23. SLTbusinessowner says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    I watch the video of Ty at the city council meeting and 2 things stand out.

    #1 One is this guy is right about the police slow-balling criminal investigations like robbery, fraud and break-ins. Getting a report from the police is an uphill battle, but yes he is right they are public records and he’ll get that report soon with persistence.

    #2 paid paring is a BAD idea and will kill business in the city and cause problems for locals. I also see more crime with frustrated locals both with people parking in front of their homes to avoid paying fees and locals parking in odd areas to avoid paying. The whole idea stinks

  24. SLTbusinessowner says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    #2 paid parking is a BAD idea that is.

  25. farkworth says - Posted: January 29, 2013


  26. fungi says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Any news on murder at Mo’s Place?

  27. Querious_George says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Just got an email about this thread and I know all kinds of crime goes unreported in the media like the fight at Fresh Katch in Tahoe keys related to drug dealing.

    A forum to bring up these community issues is needed and I applaud anyone sticking their neck out to get to police, sheriff and district attorney and even the State D.O.J. to do their jobs as well as the F.B.I.

    The press also has a duty to report all crime in the blotter.

    Keep up the good job guys, I think you are on to something.

  28. "HangUpsFromWayBack" says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    That picture of that Sign Is really “HASTY”!

  29. Ljamin says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    It would be nice if those of us who are not “in the know” or involved in this story could have the facts. This news report is totally incomprehensible. What ARE you talking about? Who, where, what and when were the key words they used to teach in journalism class. Apparently the rules of journalism, like the rules of grammar, have changed(?).

  30. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Mission Accomplished for SLTPD protest ;)

    The report is now with DA Hans Uthe. We want to see the report and demand transparency. Will the report and facts get out in the open and see sunshine? stay tuned.

    The bounty hunters violated CA penal code 847.5 – no warrant. CA penal code 847.5 was never repealed.

    Will the protest have to go to Hangtown and Sac next?

    The California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown just passed (is now law under CA 1299) tough new laws against BOUNTY HUNTING in the fine State of California – There is MASSIVE interest in my case from Cal news media.

    I am taking this story to the next level with TV spots.

    For Release: October 1, 2012
    Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
    Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Applauds Governor For Signing AB 2029
    Bill Will Re-Establish the Bail Fugitive Recovery Persons Act

    Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 2029, authored by Assembly Public Safety Committee Chair Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco). The bill re-establishes the “Bail Fugitive Recovery Persons Act” (Act) which requires that all bail fugitive recovery persons meet specified education, notice, and conduct requirements. The Act expired on January 1, 2010.

    “I am very pleased that Governor Brown has signed this important legislation regarding the re-establishment of requirements for the bounty hunter profession,” Commissioner Jones said. “This legislation will give necessary oversight of this narrowly regulated profession to the Department of Insurance in an effort to create important public safety mechanisms for law enforcement and protect consumers to the best of our ability.”

    Specifically, the Act will provide:

    Specified age, background, training, education, and documentation requirements for persons acting as a bail fugitive recovery person;
    That a bail fugitive recovery person may apprehend, detain, or arrest a bail fugitive only if working under the expressed written authorization of a licensed bail agent;
    That no bail fugitive recovery person shall wear a uniform or carry a badge that could imply that person works for a governmental agency or public safety organization; and,
    That the bail fugitive recovery person is to provide a local police or sheriff’s department with at least a six-hour advance notice of his or her intent to apprehend a bail fugitive, except under exigent circumstances, among other important public safety provisions.

    Strongly supported by statewide and local law enforcement organizations, civil rights groups, and crime victims associations throughout the legislative process, AB 2029 is widely seen as a fair and balanced approach to bring much-needed reform to the bounty hunter profession.

    “I would like to thank Assembly Public Safety Committee Chair Tom Ammiano for authoring this legislation and Governor Jerry Brown for signing it,” Commissioner Jones said.

    The measure becomes effective on January 1, 2013.

  31. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    I don’t mean to Spike the Ball ;)

    Go Niners!

  32. GRUNT'S says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Mr. Robben, I would suggest you NOT change your name to “FIRESTARTER,” – what I saw of your supposed protest was akin to trying to start a fire in a windstorm with a wet match.

    It is very easy to obtain credible info on people, and your info is just that…

    It is obvious that you are a bit disturbed,weak minded,a less than desirable charachter, and your past is solid evidence that you are always trying to get something for nothing.

    Your life reads like a constant “somebody done me wrong song.”

    At 40 something years old most people have things figured out, take responsibility for their selves and move in a positive direction with life.

    I don’t have much hope that will be the case with you.

    So keep on trying to start that fire if you must – and good luck with that…..

  33. Steve says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    What I don’t understand here is why the headline and opening of this article make it sound like the “Residents” of SLT believe the SLT Police Department is corrupt and they took to streets to make their feelings known. When in reality it’s just one guy with a beef about the efficiency of the way the police department is handling his case. Corrupt or not, this article unfairly makes it sound like more than one person was protesting and the residents of SLT believe our police department is corrupt. Inefficiency does not mean corruption. If I don’t get my paper delivered one day is the newspaper corrupt? Or if my mail isn’t delivered on time is the whole USPS corrupt? The article would have been more efficient and beneficial to Ty if it had read, SLT Man Protests Police Inefficiencies. He then would have received the media attention he was looking for for the right reasons. Instead of turning around the facts and making it sound like community problem with police corruption.

  34. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    PS – Because we do listen. We will change up the G_d D@!m sign to strike that word and replace it with END THE RAMPANT, WHOLESALE CORRUPTION

    However, the SLTPD has given the controversial report to the District Attorney.

    Right now, there is a chilling period to see what Vern Pierson does.

    Our issues with the SLTPD are basically now moot and unless we find corruption in the report when we finally get a copy to read, I will not protest the police going forward and I hope to not protest the DA next.

    We did give the El Dorado Sheriff a kudo:

  35. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Grunt, for the record I did sign up for USMC when I was 17 and I think you need to consider Voltaire:”I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.”

  36. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Hmm, since it appears they may be some stalking going on, is it time to get my CCW?

  37. Firebreaker says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    …and a few “John Doe” protetive orders against Grunt?

    I did have my video capturing the activity at the protest and the cars driving by. The guy driving by 6 times flipping me off – is that you?

  38. copper says - Posted: February 2, 2013

    Hilarious. Remember the sixties when a protest depended on . . .well, . . . people?

  39. thing fish says - Posted: February 2, 2013

    Now we have the internet copper. Far more powerful.
    I haven’t been following this issue much at all. However, corruption and abuse of power by the people who have been granted special privileges by all people, should not be tolerated at all. All of the people scoffing at the protest, the organizer, and everyone else is part of the problem. They let abuses slide. Firing cops should be very easy, but they get slaps on the wrist. No one is perfect. But there are some people out there in uniform who shouldn’t be.

  40. "HangUpsFromWayBack" says - Posted: February 2, 2013

    People just need to admit that ALL PEOPLE ARE SCREWED UP TO AN EXTENT.


  41. Doreen Williams says - Posted: February 7, 2013

    On 4th of July almost two years ago, my adult son was on a South Tahoe beach with his brother. We (his parents) were there too). Yes he had been drinking (we all drank margaritas at a restaurant. He was intoxicated. He was beaten up on the beach by a man who acused him of flirting with his girlfriend. When he stated that he wasn’t doing that, the guy punched him to the ground and took off. My son was a victim of violence and yet the officers took him to the jail and treated him like he had done something wrong. He probably had a concussion. He blacked out. There was poor communication between the police officers and custodial officers at the jail. They actually charged him with something completely unrelated and quickly dismissed that after I said “what”! “My son does not even have a spouse/girlfriend”. Evidentally the guy who beat him up was being abusive to his girlfriend (reported by beachgoers) and they got my son mixed up with him. My son was uncooperative about giving the custodial officers his personal information. Three officers shoved him to the ground, put their knees in his spine. They later tasered him. He had black burn marks in his back. His ribs hurt him for over a year from the knee pressure to the spine. You people in Tahoe have a problem with the police AND the custodial officers.

  42. Aaron says - Posted: February 27, 2013

    Doreen, You are correct. I am assuming that you are a visitor? That said Doreen, we have a lot of problems in this town, but the City doesn’t want our tourists to know. Obviously this could have an impact on tourism. Our bread an butter. I personally think tourists should speak up more often and use their dollars to make a point.

    Thanks for your input and I’m sorry about your experience. As you can see, nobody really responds to tourists. Shame on them. People here are narrowminded like that.