Jun 2, 2002
© 2015, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
Jake Zemke was handcuffed by an off-duty police officer working as a security guard at Pikes Peak International Raceway Sunday morning in a dispute that started when the guard told Zemke that his AMA season parking pass was not valid and that he could not take his car into the track infield.
Zemke said he displayed both his AMA hard card and the season parking pass, ignored the guard and drove through the tunnel into the infield.
At the infield side of the tunnel, Zemke was stopped by another guard, and the first guard came up on a golf cart and attempted to open Zemke's driver's side door and pull Zemke out of the car. Zemke accelerated away and parked. The angry guard chased him down again and handcuffed him, then telling Zemke that he was an off-duty police officer.
An AMA official confirmed that Zemke's season parking pass was valid and should have provided him with access to the infield.
When Zemke went out in the first Supersport practice session, deep, red handcuff marks were clearly visible on his wrists. Zemke was fastest in the early moments of the session and ended the session fourth fastest.
Pikes Peak Vice President Dan Greenwood said the following when asked about the incident:
Dan Greenwood: "I had a security report that the individual refused to show his credentials to get into the track which everyone has to show credentials. I have to show credentials and everyone working here knows who I am. He refused and blew by security. So they followed him inside. When they stopped him and asked him for his credentials, he started giving the security guy a lot of static. So they did put him in handcuffs. They took him to talk to an AMA official who said that obviously he has to show his credentials to get into the track. When the guy calmed down, they released him."
Roadracing World: Zemke said he displayed both his AMA hard card (rider) credential and his AMA season parking pass. Zemke said the guard told him his AMA parking pass wasn't good.
Greenwood: "That may have just been a mistake, but if the guy didn't see the credential and I don't know how…I was told he wouldn't show them. We don't have security people here attempting to arrest participants. I mean they do this five times a year. So they're not looking to get people in trouble."
Roadracing World: When I came in this morning, I was in a crew van with six individuals, we held up our credentials 50 feet away from the guard checking and he just waved us through. Difference?
Greenwood: "I can't explain that. I mean if you know what you're doing there's probably not a track in this country that you can't get in to. They're just doing the best they can. Most of the people that we have here have been here for four or five years and they're not trying to upset people coming to the racetrack. But they are, especially with increased security precautions, I ran a series once and one of our tech guys got into 13 different racetracks including four where this series runs and he held up a McDonald's milk carton every morning. So there are mistakes. But the only time they'll get, in generally, antagonistic, if you will, is if they feel somebody is just ignoring the rules."
Roadracing World: Is the use of handcuffs common procedure?
Greenwood: "If somebody does not have the proper credentials, we don't want them in the infield. That's simple. Yesterday, we had somebody in there that didn't have the proper credentials and refused to leave and we had the Fountain Police Department take them off the property.
"If so there was some sort of mistake made for which I would apologize to the guy, but our people…this is what they do for us and they generally don't make mistakes.
"Our head of security was well aware of it. As soon as we talked to an AMA official and saw that he did have the credentials, we released him."
Roadracing World: It took an AMA official to confirm that he had the proper credentials or this rider did have the proper credentials on him?
Greenwood: "It turns out he did have them. According to our people, he refused to show them.
"I think there might have been, it depends on the time, but…this was well before the practice session start. There was some confusion about the season-long parking credentials because quite frankly, we didn't know they had them.
"That was about 20 minutes to 8:00 a.m. this morning."
Roadracing World: So it's possible that what happened is as the rider said, that he showed his season-long parking credential and it wasn't recognized by this guard?
Greenwood: "No, I would've heard about it. And if he was in the first session, that wouldn't have been a time problem then. I don't know if there was a mistake made on either side, but hopefully it's rectified now."