On 29 June, 2012, there was a hearing in Montgomery County District Court for a peace order petition that TDPK had filed against one John Norton. Brett Kimberlin was in his usual form. While I don’t have an official transcript of the hearing, Aaron Walker has transcribed portions from audio that he obtained from the court.
TDPK claimed that Mr. Norton had been lurking in the bushes in front of the Kimberlin residence. In the transcript below K is Brett Kimberlin and J is the judge. TDPK said that he was going to pick up his 8 year old daughter from a neighbor’s house—
K: And so I walked out of my door, to go pick her up, and I see a man lurking behind the bushes in the corner of my property and I was kind of taken aback by it. But I kept walking toward my car because I had to pick my daughter up.
J: Now was that in the general direction of where the man was in the bushes or in the opposite?
K: The man was facing the road, the— to the left of the— on the left side of my house there’s some bushes towards the road and my car was right in front of my house.
Lurking in the bushes? As I type this, I’m looking at the Google Street View image of the Kimberlin residence. Looking from the street, there’s a small shrub that appears to actually be on the property next door by the neighbor’s driveway. It’s “on the left” as seen from that point of view. There’s also a even smaller shrub at the opposite front corner of the Kimberlin lot. It appears to be about as tall as the fire hydrant in front of it. I’m not sure how one would lurk in those bushes.
K: And so I turn around, obviously I was concerned about my daughter. You know, I didn’t know if anything had happened to her, I was scared, so I turned around and I went to the neighbor’s house. She was right there in front of the house. I put her in the car and Mr. Norton is driving away, and so I—
J: Have you ever seen this man before?
K: Never seen him before in my life.
J: Every seen the car before?
K: Never seen the car before.
K: So I followed the car, and went around the corner, and there was a stop light. I pull up behind him and he’s… again it’s a convertible, and he reaches around with a camera, again, and takes more pictures of me. I gave him the finger, I admit it, you know, I don’t like a guy coming out in front of my house taking pictures of me and my kid.
He’s concerned that this lurker might be dangerous, so he puts his daughter in the car and chases after the guy.
So what was Mr. Norton’s side of the story? In the transcript below N is John Norton and L is his lawyer.
L: Did there come a time when you ended up coming into contact with Mr. Kimberlin?
N: Not any physical contact, but he did chase me down in his car, the picture he showed, shows him behind me, flipping me off. I don’t know why he chose to chase me down. I was not on his property, I have stopped my car on [Kimberlin’s street name omitted].
L: What brings you on [Kimberlin’s street]?
N: It is a bail out route on my commute.
L: And where is your commute?
N: I commute between Bethesda, Maryland, and Fairfax, Virginia.
Chased him down?
L: And on June… what’s the date here? June 15, is it? June 15, you said, what brought your attention— what caused you to take out your phone and take a picture of the car behind you?
N: When I was on River Road, I saw what turned out to be Mr. Kimberlin’s car driving erratically, cutting in and out of lanes, trying to catch up to me, tailgating me. We reached the stoplight at River and Burdette, he pulled up… you can see how close in the picture, how close it was. He… he pulled out a pen and [unintelligible] furiously scribbingly as if he wanted me to know he was writing something down, he was revving the engine in his car, and for me, I thought, “some crazy person is chasing me down, I need some evidence, I need some protection.” So I picked up my phone and shot about seven seconds of video, from which the picture of him flipping me off was taken as a framegrab.
TDPK claimed that he was freaked out when Seth Allen reposted the picture of him flipping off Mr. Norton.
K: The picture of my car, that was posted on the internet by the client of the man that I had the peace order against. So I get kind of freaked out that, you know, this guy is somehow related to the guy who I had a peace order against, Mr. Walker.
Note that Mr. Allen could not have posted the photo before or during TDPK’s chase of Mr. Norton. In any case, Mr. Norton had no association with either Mr. Allen or Mr. Walker.
L: Now, are you associated with Aaron Walker, any [sic]?
N: I am not.
L: Okay. And, did you go to his house on June 15, to take pictures, get out of your car and take pictures?
N: I did not go to Mr. Kimberlin’s house. I did not get out of my car. I did not take pictures at his house.
L: Alright. And what caused you to post the picture of Mr. Kimberlin flipping you off on the internet?
N: Well, first of all, for protection to make sure that it was publicized, that someone had chased me down and was flipping me off. And also, honestly, I thought it was kind of funny.
We have two different stories. One is told by a reputable citizen with nothing more that traffic tickets on his record, and that story is corroborated, at least in part, by other evidence. The other is told by a convicted felon, one of who’s crimes is perjury, and that story is contradicted by other evidence. Who would you believe?
So we have the records of nine appearances before judges in Montgomery County, and each appearance has something hinky about TDPK’s testimony. Some of his tales are, perhaps, merely flakey. Some are clearly false, but the State’s Attorney has given TDPK a free pass.
John McCarthy has not yet answered the letter I sent him asking about his decisions to refrain from prosecuting Brett Kimberlin for perjury. Fine. I’m not one of his constituents. Maybe he will have to explain his decision in 2014 when he’s up for reelection.
UPDATE–Spelling error corrected. @&#$ing autocorrect.