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Sheriff Refuses To Give Ozzy Osbourne An Apology

Photo of Ozzy Osbourne

Band Photo: Ozzy Osbourne (?)

As previously reported, Ozzy Osbourne recently expressed outrage following a police sting operation in Fargo, ND, that used his name to lure unsuspecting contest "winners" to a pre-show bash, where they were promptly arrested for outstanding warrants. Dave Kolpack of the Associated Press has issued a follow-up report, found below:

One Ozzy Osbourne fan thinks it's clever while another thinks he should sue. Either way, the Cass County sheriff who used Osbourne's concert as bait in a sting operation says he's not apologizing to the hard rock musician.

"If Mr. Osbourne has a desire and a need to speak to me, he can contact me at the Cass County sheriff's office," Sheriff Paul Laney said, in response to a statement from Osbourne demanding an apology. "I'm proud of my staff. We're not going to apologize for doing our jobs."

Laney's department sent out 500 letters to people with outstanding warrants, inviting them to a phony party at a local nightclub before Osbourne's concert with Rob Zombie last week at the Fargodome. The offer included two free tickets to the show.

More than 30 people showed up and were arrested. They were being sought on charges ranging from delinquent child support payments to traffic and drug fines.

Osbourne said in a statement that the sting tarnished his reputation by implying his concerts attract criminals. He could not be reached Wednesday for further comment.

Anthony James, 36, an Ozzy Osbourne fan from Fargo, said Osbourne should sue the city and the sheriff for using his name without permission.

"It's not right. It's not fair," James said. "It also implies that all of his fans are criminals and crooks. That's stereotyping us."

Fargo lawyer Michael Raum said North Dakota does not have "false light" laws that aim to protect against invasion of privacy, and it's unlikely that Osbourne has any legal recourse because he is a public figure.
"He would be facing an uphill climb," Raum said.

Troy Salonen, 39, who owns a guitar store in Fargo, is an Ozzy Osbourne fan and member of a local fan club for Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde. Salonen laughed at Osbourne's comment that the sting hurt his reputation.

"I think snorting ants and biting the heads off doves and bats has done more to damage his reputation than this sting," he said.

"I thought it was ingenious," Salonen said. "If somebody has broken the law they have warrants out for them, they should get picked up. It was clever and I think it was the right thing to do."

The sheriff's department was not specifically targeting the Osbourne concert, Laney said. "That show came up during the time we were dealing with the situation," he said.

Managers at Playmakers, the nightclub that hosted the sting, said they were assured the location would be kept quiet, and said they won't hold another one.

Rob Sobolik, executive director of the Fargodome, said he hoped the incident would not hurt efforts by the dome and its managing company, Global Spectrum, to attract concerts.

"I think it's important to point out that the Fargodome and Global Spectrum had nothing to do with this. We didn't support it. We didn't condone it," Sobolik said.

Sobolik said he was contacted by authorities about holding the phony party at the dome.

"We said, 'absolutely not,'" Sobolik said. "We didn't see any benefit by doing that."

Steven Mottinger, a Fargo public defender, said there may have been a better option for the sheriff's department.

"They knew where to send these people letters," Mottinger said. "If they were Cass County residents, don't you think they could just go out and pick them up?"

Source: BW&BK

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11 Comments on "Sheriff Refuses To Give Ozzy Osbourne An Apology"

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Anonymous Reader
1. coldiem writes:

Doing their jobs? Hardly. Doing their jobs would've meant actually going to the homes of these people and arresting them there. They spent the time to send out the letters, so they knew where to go to get them. This was just being plain lazy, and erring on the side of fraud. It is not ingenious or clever, as that "fan" claims. It was a terrible thing for them to have done. Trickery is not the right way to go about something like this. Refusing an apology is arrogant and gives cops everywhere a bad name. Congratulations, Sheriff d***head. And they wonder why people hate cops.

# Nov 8, 2007 @ 11:22 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

2. Diamond Oz writes:

The other f*** up I spotted here is this, they sent out 500 letters apparantly, and "more than 30 people showed up". So looking at it that way, it obviously didn't work that well did it? If over 90% of the people they sent letters to didn't show up.

# Nov 8, 2007 @ 11:57 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. brandedcfh420 writes:

well, considering this is, in my opinion, entrapment through fraud, why is the sheriff still being allowed to continue in office as of this moment??

# Nov 8, 2007 @ 1:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

4. deathbringer writes:

On one hand, I would agree that the lack of apology is arrogant. I suspect their pride stands in the way of that. Or that an apology would be some form of admission of wrongdoing. I don't think what they did was wrong necessarly, but I do think an apology is due to Ozzy for using his name in the scheme. If it was just the timing of the way it worked out, then it was not really intentional, and therefore an apology would be warranted.

On the other hand saying that the cops aren't doing their job because they didn't visit 500 homes is assinine. I'm glad to see they are working smarter for the taxpayers' money instead of doing things the slowest way possible.

It is clearly not entrapment because the crime was already committed and the warrant out. Try looking up the legal definition of entrapment.

# Nov 8, 2007 @ 1:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. coldiem writes:

I missed the part where it said they sent out a total of 500 letters. While I agree that it wouldn't be reasonable to go around to 500 homes trying to arrest the offenders, what they did is still not the best solution. If the offender doesn't bother to show up for their court date, they just wait around for them to get arrested for something else to enforce the warrant. There has got to be a better way of doing things. I wasn't implying that they weren't doing their jobs, I was implying they were doing it lazily. Maybe a little less time at the donut shop and a little more time knocking on people's doors trying to track down people with outstanding warrants would keep them from piling up so much.

# Nov 8, 2007 @ 2:22 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. coldiem writes:

Before someone picks apart my post, I'd like to point out that I know I contradicted myself at the end. I was being tongue-in-cheek.

I would also like to add that I wouldn't be at all surprised if the cost of their "sting" well exceeded what it would cost them to otherwise enforce these outstanding warrants. If they sent out 500 letters, obviously they needed a large police presence in case plenty more than 30 people showed up. That means a lot of officers who would probably normally be off-duty (i.e: overtime), as well as (likely) unruly costs for setting the whole thing up. In the end they arrested only 30 people? I can't see how this would cost the taxpayers any less.

# Nov 8, 2007 @ 2:32 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. Karnage writes:

that salonen guy should get his a$$ kicked

# Nov 20, 2007 @ 9:01 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. CrawfordTexasJingoJango writes:

Ozzy should jerk off on this f***in' pig.

# Nov 20, 2007 @ 1:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
9. rofl writes:

Ozzy is a fatass whiner.

# Nov 20, 2007 @ 4:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Dark_Funeral's avatar

Member

10. Dark_Funeral writes:

smell the bacon?

the sheriff fails if he sends out 500 and only gets 30.
ozzy should sue his a$$ off

# Nov 20, 2007 @ 4:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BLACKDOG's avatar

Supporter

11. BLACKDOG writes:

I wonder how long it will be before he sick's Sharon on him.

# Nov 20, 2007 @ 6:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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