Two Float Pilots Arrested For Landing On A Lake Next To The Ryder Cup In 2016 Are Now Suing The Chaska Police Chief.
Dean S. Johnson, 61, of Chanhassen, MN and James R. Render, 64 of Wayzata, MN, who were both arrested on October 2, 2016 for allegedly trespassing on Lake Hazeltine during the 2016 Ryder Cup golf tournament are now suing the Chaska police chief Scott Knight and city alleging public humiliation and rights violations.
The two are claiming defamation and violation of civil and constitutional rights and are seeking $225,000 in damages plus reimbursement for the legal costs to bring the action to U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.
It was during the final round between U.S. and European teams when the two landed a seaplane on Lake Hazeltine near the 10th green of Hazeltine National. After six weeks the charges against the two were dropped because the prosecution believing that there was an “unlikelihood of success at trial.”
Take a look at a video of the landing below.
According to Knight, a specially passed city ordinance prohibited any activity on the lake during the event. But, Johnson claimed that he found no evidence of the lake being off limits and had checked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about any possible restrictions prior to flying.
At the time of the event Knight said, “I can imagine he didn’t” in response to Johnson’s claim that he didn’t know about the restriction and went on to say that the pilot’s actions were “imbecilic” and “stupid.”
The lawsuit claims that “There was no basis for Chief Knight’s statements to the press concerning Mr. Johnson, including those calling his actions ‘imbecilic’ and ‘stupid,” and goes on to talk about the following inquiries by press and social media that had the men worried about how the incident would affect their personal, professional, and aviation lives.