Jun 2, 2002
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
By David Swarts
Jake Zemke said that he came to a complete stop at the security gate at the entrance of the infield access tunnel about 8:10-8:15 a.m. Sunday morning, rolled down his rental car's window, showed the guard his AMA rider hard card, pulled his AMA season-long parking credential from the dash of his car and showed that to the guard as well. According to Zemke, the guard said that he needed a PPIR parking pass issued by the credentials office to get in.
Zemke said that he just continued into the track where he met another security guard in a golf cart in the parking area. Zemke said that he tried to explain what was going on to the second guard when the first guard sped up and stopped in a golf cart, approached Zemke's car, opened the door and tried to grab Zemke and remove him from the car. Zemke said that he instinctively pulled away, parked and got out of his car to speak to the guards.
At this point, the original guard, clearly agitated, approached Zemke again. "He was flipped out, all shaking and shit and threatening to charge me with a third-degree felony assault for hitting his arm when I pulled away with the car," said Zemke. With the angry guard in his face and showing his police badge, Zemke was instructed to turn around so he could be placed in handcuffs. Zemke said that he told the guard that he would, if the guard would calm down, which, according to Zemke, he did "somewhat". Zemke said as he turned, the guard forcefully grabbed Zemke's arms and put on the handcuffs; Zemke warned the guard not to put the cuffs on too tight because they might injure his arms in such a way as to affect his riding ability. The guard ignored Zemke's comment and Zemke's wrists were still showing red creases from the handcuffs two hours later.
The AMA official who track Vice President Dan Greenwood said cleared up the situation was Mindi Osowski, the wife of Bruce Transportation Crew Chief Joey Osowski, who volunteers to help the AMA with miscellaneous duties on race weekends and holds no title with AMA Pro Racing. Zemke said that he didn't overhear Mindi Osowski's conversation with the guards. Zemke said he did, however, apologize to the officer for hurting his arm when he pulled away.
Mindi Osowski later downplayed the incident, said Zemke was not upset at the scene, and said "it was no big deal."
Later, AMA Pro Racing's Ron Barrick said he also had trouble getting into the track at approximately 8:20 a.m. because the security guard at the infield tunnel entrance wouldn't recognize the AMA season-long parking credential. Barrick laughed, "I told him he better call Dan Greenwood because I've been using the same pass for the past two days and it's in our contract with the track." Barrick said that a nearby track official quickly instructed the guard to allow him to pass, without calling Greenwood. Barrick added that he wasn't aware of Zemke's problems until later.
This isn't the first time riders have been threatened with arrest by local police officers moonlighting as security guards at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Last year at the racetrack, a guard threatened to arrest John Hopkins after he saw Hopkins in the winner's circle celebrating a teammate's 750cc Supersport finish, without wearing his hard card credential. The guard did not believe Hopkins was actually a racer, despite the fact that Hopkins was wearing a team shirt, and, despite the protests of Hopkins' team manager, insisted that Hopkins leave the winner's circle and immediately produce his credentials. Hopkins went back to his team's truck with the guard, produced his hard card, then ordered the guard to get out of the team's transporter.
A complaint made by Hopkins' team manager to the track's head of security shortly afterwards did not appear to be taken seriously.