QUESTION: My friends told me there was something in PROBE about a man who bought gasoline cards so the family of the toddler with leukemia could take her to San Diego for treatment. I would like to set up a gasoline account for the Rebecca Juarez family of Seeley.
With four of its five members in the hospital, it's important to have relatives visit the injured family members in the hospital. That's doubly important for the 12-year-old son who was not injured in the New Year's fire in their home. — Good Samaritan, Imperial
We think our PROBE hero set up an account at McNeece Oil Co. to have two gasoline cards issued to the parents and grandparents of the leukemia-stricken tot, agreeing to pay for up to 500 gallons of gasoline for the family to take the little girl to San Diego for treatment.
QUESTION: When a police officer stops an individual driving on the highway, does he need probable cause to search the individual and the vehicle?
A little after 5:30 p.m. Monday, one of our employees was traveling near Niland on his way home from work when he was stopped by a deputy sheriff for a broken license plate light.
The driver supplied the requested documents — driver's license, car registration and proof of insurance. The deputy asked, "What's the worst thing you've ever done?" and the motorist confessed to a minor traffic violation.
When the deputy asked to search the vehicle and the motorist's possessions. the driver agreed. When he stepped out of the car, the driver was patted down.
The cop searched the car and the individual's luggage and then allowed him to go without even writing a fix-it ticket. Was this acceptable behavior? Our employee does not look like a suspicious person or drive a suspicious vehicle. — Angry Boss, Holtville
What does a suspicious person or a suspicious vehicle look like?
As long and faithful watchers of "Law and Order" on television, we think the cop had probable cause to stop the car (the broken light). He didn't need probable cause for the search because the driver gave the cop permission to search.
Still, if he thinks he has been wronged, tell your employee to file a complaint at the Sheriff's Office.