D.M. man refuses to give ID to police, is arrested

DesMoinesRegister.com | December 28, 2006
By Tom Alex

A man who refused to identify himself to a police officer in downtown Des Moines changed his mind when he learned he was going to jail.

John Tenikat, 34, of Des Moines asked whether he could be "unarrested."

But it doesn't work that way, Officer Garth House said.

Tenikat was charged with harassment of a public official - a misdemeanor that involves willfully preventing or trying to prevent a public officer or government employee from performing his or her duty.

About 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, House spotted a man sitting on a bicycle between two businesses in the 200 block of Fourth Street. The man apparently was reading a bus schedule.

House said he asked the man why he was in the alley. "He became defensive and said that he wasn't doing anything wrong," House wrote in his report.

The officer explained there had been incidents of criminal mischief and urination in the area, and he wanted to know the man's name.

"He refused, saying that he did not have to give it," House said. "He claimed he was in a public alley and did not have to be harassed by the police."

House said he informed Tenikat that it was private property. He asked again for a name, and again Tenikat refused.

"I told him that if he did not give his information he would go to jail," House said. "He said, fine, take him to jail."

House then placed the man in custody. "He asked if he provided his information if I would unarrest him," House said. "I advised him that once someone was arrested I could not unarrest him."