Hill Watch: HILL ARRESTED. TACOMA IN SHOCK. . .not really
Last week Robert (“the Traveller”/Jessie) Hill called to inform me that he planned to speak before the Rules and Operations Committee of the Pierce County Council. The purpose of his impending visit would be to protest a list of proposed ordinances dealing with public access television and Comcast franchises, specifically including ordinances: 2008-96, 2008-97, 2008-98 and 2008-99. Mr. Hill described all of these proposed ordinances as “bullshit” to me over the phone.
Expecting an interesting tirade, I made my way to the Pierce County Council meeting, which was being held at 930 Tacoma Ave S. But before I could even make my way to the tenth floor, I found Mr. Hill standing alone in the lobby, his hands neatly folded below his belt buckle – a somehow amused yet suppressed expression on his face.
“Are you ready for this morning,” I asked.
“Oh, I’m just waiting for the marshal’s to escort me up,” Hill replied.
Before I could fully digest Hill’s response, three imposing officers appeared behind me. One, seeing my camera, politely but determinedly obscured my view and communicated to me that my presence as a journalist was not appreciated.
From a nearby bench, I watched as Hill was placed in handcuffs and his belongings – including his signature metal briefcase – were confiscated. Turning out his pockets, the surgically gloved officer discovered, what appeared to be, two dozen or so rainbow colored condoms and related paraphernalia, all of which were promptly swept into a garbage bag. Hill did not seem to protest his arrest and the officers seemed somewhat amused by him. I didn’t get an opportunity to ask but my initial impression was that these particular officers had dealt with Hill before.
As he was led into an elevator to be taken upstairs, I made my way to room 110, where municipal records of bench warrants are stored. I asked the man at the desk if there were any outstanding warrants for Hill but everything he pulled up was old news: forgery (May 2008), driving with a suspended license in the third degree (Sept. 2008), Hill’s rap-sheet was extensive and labyrinthine.
There was nothing mentioned however, related to the supposed “death threats” that KIRO News reported Hill had made against Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor last week. (FYI, Congrats to KIRO for their amazing video montage.)