Real Mooney Grove Advocate Arrested, Released With No Charges

On June 18, a Visalia police officer, responding to an “anonymous tip” forced his way into the home of Mary Jane Bryant on suspicion of elder abuse. According to Bryant, she ordered the police officer to leave her property, but he responded that she had given him permission to enter the premises. Despite Bryant’s protests, and the officer’s lack of a legal warrant for entry, he refused to leave her property, and called for other officers and social workers to assist.

The original Visalia Times Delta police blotter report, dated July 19, stated that Visalia police arrived at her home at 4:30pm on Saturday, July 18. But, according to the Tulare County Inmate Booking Information, Bryant was not officially booked into the pre-trial confinement center until 11:53pm, nearly seven-and-a-half hours later from the time the Visalia Police Department arrived to her home and unlawfully entered the premises.

On Tuesday, July 21, at 8:30am, Bryant was supposed to appear before Tulare County in Superior Court regarding the custody of the elder in question, her cousin. A temporary change of custody hearing was scheduled. Due to her confinement on July 18, she was not able to attend the hearing and has temporarily lost custody of her cousin. She plans on appealing the temporary order as confinement was both unfounded and forced. At one point during lock-up, Bryant stated that she was sent to the psychiatric ward for prolonged evaluation. Tulare county officials held Bryant until a few hours shy of the maximum 72-hour hold.

As Bryant’s friend, and fellow Real Mooney Grove Project proponent, I and my husband, Eric Campbell, attended the pre-trial arraignment proceedings.

It was a debacle from start to finish. All pre-trial folks were set for 1:30pm regardless of when they were really to see the judge.

And for a pre-trial facility, they keep the general public as far away from the accused as possible; we don’t get to see them at all. Mary had no idea that any of us were out here to help her or support her, not until after they officially stated, publicly, that they were going to release her.

My husband Eric chimed in, at that point, “It was complete bull_. The whole thing was a mess. No marking as to where we were supposed to go; we basically followed the flags outside. We were stuck in a tiny, uncomfortable waiting room, watching a stupid TV to find out if our friends and loved ones were going to be charged or released.”

I said, “The judge took long recesses between groups of pre-trial inmates. It would seem that the folks who were going to be released, should have been processed during those gaps in time between arraignments.”

My husband responded, “And there were cockroaches running around the waiting area. One even ran near an infant carrier on the floor a few seats from us. It was disgusting, and I was not impressed.”

Bryant stated that she was brought over at 1:30pm as promised, then removed after a short wait, and returned to the holding facility without comment or reason. When she protested that she had a right to face her accusers and the judge, she was informed that she was going to be released. She was confused at that point and asked the officer why she was going to be released. The officer informed her that she was being released because no charges were going to be filed. It would seem that Tulare County got what it wanted: custody of her cousin, albeit temporarily, but custody nonetheless.

At 4:10pm, my husband and I were still waiting for word on what was to happen with Mary Bryant when the judge stated on the television that she was going to be released. At about 6:00pm, I approached the door of the pre-trial facility and asked for Mary, so we could take her home.

The female voice on the other end of the line was rude and stated that I needed to go wait in our car, and that they’ll release Bryant when she is done being out-processed.

I spoke up at that point, “I will not go wait in my car. You will send Mary Bryant out. She is no longer under your jurisdiction as she has been held without charge since Saturday night, and the judge has cleared her. You will send her out now!”

I waited for about two more minutes at their door, and Mary appeared, ready for release.

I was incredulous at the press this crime blotter received. Seriously people?! Mary is a private citizen who was accused of a crime, not convicted of a crime, and I found her police blotter report, from the Visalia Times Delta, had been re-posted in newspapers all over the state, two television stations, and some newspapers as far north as Seattle and as far East as Connecticut! And in all those reports, which included her name, by the way, no one had ever bothered to get her side of the story! Shame on them!

And, as a direct result of the broadcast of her name all over the media, her house was burglarized and ransacked. After being whisked away by armed men on a weekend night and being held without just cause for nearly three full days, with no contact provided to the outside, and placed in a mental holding facility, Mary Jane Bryant comes home to find her house ransacked and her belongings missing, to include her dog, Emma. It would seem that the news reports should be more careful on reporting alleged crimes in the future, so other innocent victims are not twice violated!

Mary Jane Bryant is the founder of the Real Mooney Grove Project in Visalia. She, along with other concerned citizens in Tulare County, have been working to help rebuild, restore and protect the Oak Groves at Mooney Grove Park, as well as bring light to bad or incompetent park management, as well as bad or incompetent County management.

On June 18, a Visalia police officer, responding to an “anonymous tip” forced his way into the home of Mary Jane Bryant on suspicion of elder abuse. According to Bryant, she ordered the police officer to leave her property, but he responded that she had given him permission to enter the premises. Despite Bryant’s protests, and the officer’s lack of a legal warrant for entry, he refused to leave her property, and called for other officers and social workers to assist.

The original Visalia Times Delta police blotter report, dated July 19, stated that Visalia police arrived at her home at 4:30pm on Saturday, July 18. But, according to the Tulare County Inmate Booking Information, Bryant was not officially booked into the pre-trial confinement center until 11:53pm, nearly seven-and-a-half hours later from the time the Visalia Police Department arrived to her home and unlawfully entered the premises.

On Tuesday, July 21, at 8:30am, Bryant was supposed to appear before Tulare County in Superior Court regarding the custody of the elder in question, her cousin. A temporary change of custody hearing was scheduled. Due to her confinement on July 18, she was not able to attend the hearing and has temporarily lost custody of her cousin. She plans on appealing the temporary order as confinement was both unfounded and forced. At one point during lock-up, Bryant stated that she was sent to the psychiatric ward for prolonged evaluation. Tulare county officials held Bryant until a few hours shy of the maximum 72-hour hold.

As Bryant’s friend, and fellow Real Mooney Grove Project proponent, I and my husband, Eric Campbell, attended the pre-trial arraignment proceedings.

It was a debacle from start to finish. All pre-trial folks were set for 1:30pm regardless of when they were really to see the judge.

And for a pre-trial facility, they keep the general public as far away from the accused as possible; we don’t get to see them at all. Mary had no idea that any of us were out here to help her or support her, not until after they officially stated, publicly, that they were going to release her.

My husband Eric chimed in, at that point, “It was complete bull_. The whole thing was a mess. No marking as to where we were supposed to go; we basically followed the flags outside. We were stuck in a tiny, uncomfortable waiting room, watching a stupid TV to find out if our friends and loved ones were going to be charged or released.”

I said, “The judge took long recesses between groups of pre-trial inmates. It would seem that the folks who were going to be released, should have been processed during those gaps in time between arraignments.”

My husband responded, “And there were cockroaches running around the waiting area. One even ran near an infant carrier on the floor a few seats from us. It was disgusting, and I was not impressed.”

Bryant stated that she was brought over at 1:30pm as promised, then removed after a short wait, and returned to the holding facility without comment or reason. When she protested that she had a right to face her accusers and the judge, she was informed that she was going to be released. She was confused at that point and asked the officer why she was going to be released. The officer informed her that she was being released because no charges were going to be filed. It would seem that Tulare County got what it wanted: custody of her cousin, albeit temporarily, but custody nonetheless.

At 4:10pm, my husband and I were still waiting for word on what was to happen with Mary Bryant when the judge stated on the television that she was going to be released. At about 6:00pm, I approached the door of the pre-trial facility and asked for Mary, so we could take her home.

The female voice on the other end of the line was rude and stated that I needed to go wait in our car, and that they’ll release Bryant when she is done being out-processed.

I spoke up at that point, “I will not go wait in my car. You will send Mary Bryant out. She is no longer under your jurisdiction as she has been held without charge since Saturday night, and the judge has cleared her. You will send her out now!”

I waited for about two more minutes at their door, and Mary appeared, ready for release.

I was incredulous at the press this crime blotter received. Seriously people?! Mary is a private citizen who was accused of a crime, not convicted of a crime, and I found her police blotter report, from the Visalia Times Delta, had been re-posted in newspapers all over the state, two television stations, and some newspapers as far north as Seattle and as far East as Connecticut! And in all those reports, which included her name, by the way, no one had ever bothered to get her side of the story! Shame on them!

And, as a direct result of the broadcast of her name all over the media, her house was burglarized and ransacked. After being whisked away by armed men on a weekend night and being held without just cause for nearly three full days, with no contact provided to the outside, and placed in a mental holding facility, Mary Jane Bryant comes home to find her house ransacked and her belongings missing, to include her dog, Emma. It would seem that the news reports should be more careful on reporting alleged crimes in the future, so other innocent victims are not twice violated!

Mary Jane Bryant is the founder of the Real Mooney Grove Project in Visalia. She, along with other concerned citizens in Tulare County, have been working to help rebuild, restore and protect the Oak Groves at Mooney Grove Park, as well as bring light to bad or incompetent park management, as well as bad or incompetent County management.

 

Use your voice

Your email address will not be published.