Vegas Drops Charges Against Preacher Who ‘Obstructed’ Sidewalk

(SM Chavey, Liberty Headlines) While street-preacher Ron Cardiel was evangelizing the Christian gospel in Las Vegas in March, police officers cited him for “obstructing” the sidewalk. He faced a $1000 fine and/or up to six months in prison. On Friday, the charges were dismissed.

Ron Cardiel/IMAGE: YouTube

Cardiel, known as “Brother Ron,” lives in Washington state but frequents Las Vegas to preach, particularly on the Las Vegas Strip.

On March 14, he was addressing passersby on the quad of Santa Ana College when campus security officers approached him and asked him to lower his voice and leave. Cardiel refused. Security threatened to call the police, and Cardiel told them to go ahead. Police arrived and cited him for a misdemeanor.

“What he was saying had no concern to us, whatsoever. Only the fact that he was loud,” District Safety and Security Supervisor James Wooley told the college’s newspaper El Don in March.

Students told El Don they didn’t like the preaching (one called the dialogue “hate speech”), but most acknowledged his right to be there.

“I understand he has freedom of religion, but it was annoying,” Desiree Bennett, a student who witnessed the incident, told El Don.

The charges against Cardiel were not for noise, however, but for obstruction.

A Clark County ordinance prohibits obstruction of the sidewalk. Cardiel was not actually standing directly on the sidewalk, but because he was standing rather than moving, officers told him to move along. He refused, citing his First Amendment rights, and an officer cited him for a misdemeanor.

“Pedestrians freely moved past him with ease, rarely if ever needing to sidestep around him,” the Pacific Justice Institute, which defended Cardiel, said in a statement.

Pacific Justice Institute attorneys claimed the ordinance was “unconstitutionally vague and overbroad” because it didn’t define what constitutes ‘obstruction.’ The officers enforced it in an “arbitrary and discriminatory fashion,” the statement said.

The institute submitted a motion for the case to be dismissed, and the request was granted soon after the case was called, according to the statement.

“What happened to Brother Ron was beyond ridiculous,” Pacific Justice Institute President Brad Dacus said in a statement. “The last time I checked, the First Amendment still protects the freedom of individuals to share their faith in public. PJI exists in part to defend that right, and I’m glad the Clark County D.A. had the good sense to dismiss Brother Ron’s case because he never should have been charged in the first place.”

Several other street preachers have been arrested for their actions on the Las Vegas Strip. They’ve had a variety of charges and outcomes.

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  • Jaime Antonio

    So just consider PJI President Brad Dacus’ statement “The last time I checked, the First Amendment still protects the freedom of individuals to share their faith in public”

    does he know that Islam calls for daily prayer, with calls to Allah – blasted over a loudspeaker at 5am in the morning, every single morning and repeats 5 times a day. I have lived this uncivl and unruly behavior in a developing world and how that that square off with the 1st Amendment.

    Western Civilization liberalism is asking for BIG TROUBLE!!!!

  • midogman

    the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few in the case of Muslims.

    • awaitingtherapture

      I hope you mean that the needs of the many TO HEAR THE GOSPEL MESSAGE outweigh the needs of the ones who reject salvation.

      • Brent

        That’s how i’m interpreting it.

  • Rkk O’Tilley

    when the ppl finally are fed up…with their own rights being trampled upon ( for yrs already ) it will be to late…as for me and mine….we are fed up

  • daveveselenak

    So let me get this right: the leftist anarchists at Berkley, Baltimore and Ferguson and on and on can burn,loot, riot attack people but it is their right to do so; but this non-violent Christian is guilty of disrupting the peace… beam me up Scotty, this country has become a joke! REVOLUTION will be the SOLUTION, guaranteed!

    • Brent

      Yup…nailed it 🙂

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    • Craig Vandertie

      Too bad it is not as easy as creating a virus that only kills the crazies and crazy is anyone believes allah is a divine being that loves all mortals, Muhammad his gracious prophet, and all those who support the Socialist, Sharia ideology.

    • Louie Rey

      Yes, it IS a joke but unfortunately no one’s laughing. On the contrary, there are many, many more tears being shed than even a smile gracing someone’s face. That sound you hear is our Founding Fathers spinning in their graves.

      • daveveselenak

        The sheeple haven’t the guts, sacrifice and fortitude needed to rectify the dire situation – another 1776!

        • Louie Rey

          A revolution is what’s needed but it’s completely unfeasible in today’s world. There are enough guns and firearms in the possession of everyday citizens that on a level playing field would have a chance. However, when you can’t even sext someone without a huge amount of people coming across it over social media sites how is a multi-million, multi-state conglomeration going to be formed without anyone, especially in the federal government, not going to be made aware of this entity’s intentions? It’s impossible. The ONLY mass of people that might be able to initiate any kind of revolution is this country’s electorate but even that’s a problem because there are so many voters who think that what’s taking place in this country is what SHOULD be taking place. They’re known as liberals.

  • Louie Rey

    Where was this guy when I needed him? I just got back Monday from a weekend in Vegas and I could have used some divine intervention because I lost my shirt. You have no idea how difficult it is to get on a plane topless!

  • jjmcl431

    Our Founding Fathers are committing suicide in their graves over the way the country they founded is being destroyed.

  • iprazhm

    Antifa and black lives matter block roads, interstates, schools, libraries, streets business’s and sidewalks. Code Pink can chain themselves to recruiter’s doorways. Without fear of being arrested.