(Statement von Ricardo Urquiza)
The following statement was provided to AKIN via E-Mail by Richard Iyotte (Rosebud Lakota), who is a truck driver himself
February 20, 2005
I Ricardo H. Urquiza, owner operator currently employed by National Carriers with terminal located in Liberal, Kansas herby make this statement regarding the incident that took place on January 10, 2005 at the Neon Moon Bar located in the Gateway Inn Hotel in the city of Liberal, Kansas.
My truck broke down Tuesday, January 4th, 2005 in Dallas, Texas. The truck was taken to the Freightliner Dealer shop also located in Dallas, Texas. National Carrier’s offered me to take a rental truck back to their yard in Liberal, Kansas. Once I arrived there they would take me back to Dallas, Texas to pick up my truck. I arrived in Liberal, Kansas on Thursday night, January 6th, 2005. I stayed at the Gateway Inn Hotel where the drivers for National Carrier’s stay when in town.
I delivered the rental truck on Friday morning, January 7th, 2005.Dispatch advised me that they could not send me back to Dallas, Texas that weekend because they had no other driver going in that direction and that I would have to call on Monday, January 10th 2005 to check for routes going to Dallas, Texas. I stayed at the Gateway Inn Hotel that weekend and was called from the Freightliner Shop and advised that my truck was ready for pick up.On Monday morning I called dispatch checking to see if there where any available trips to Dallas, Texas and I was told they did not have anything available till Wednesday, January 12th, 2005.
Monday night at about 8pm I decided to go to the Neon Moon bar located in the Hotel to watch the Monday night football. There where about 4-5 people in the bar and the first thing I noticed where two guys where wearing a National Carrier cap. I sat at the bar and ordered a beer and one of the guys wearing the caps told me “We don’t sell drinks to Indians and Mexican’s. ”I did not pay attention to him and asked one more time for a beer. The same guy told me again “Hey fucken asshole, didn’t you hear what I told you, we don’t sell beer to Indians or Mexicans”. I turned around and asked him what the problem was.I told him I was in there just to get a beer and watch the game and that I did not want any problems. The other guy sitting with him then told me “Fucken Indian you better take off that T-shirt or I will take it off myself” I then asked him what his problem was and explained that I was also a driver for National Carrier. Then the other driver told me again that he if I did not take my T-shirt off he would “kick my ass”. Then he said “All Indians are thieves, I just lost a lot of money in an Indian casino two days ago” Then the bar tender told me to leave the bar because he did not want any problems. I then told the bar tender that I was not the problem but that the two driver’s where the problem and they should leave. He told me that if I did not leave he would call the police. One of the drivers got up and blocked the way to the door. The other National Carrier driver walked up to me and told me that he was going to kick my ass.At that moment I thought to myself, I’m in trouble. I was alone, had one guy blocking the door way and the other one in my face. I wanted to leave but could not.At that moment two Liberal, Kansas police officers came into the bar. They told me to step outside. They walked me to the parking lot of the Hotel.One of the officers returned into the bar and the other one stayed questioning me. When the officer that had gone in the bar came back out he walked over to me very angry and aggressive. He asked me for my ID and told me he was going to give me a “Warning Notice”. I gave him my California Commercial Driver’s License. He then told me in a sarcastic tone “This is not California, your in Liberal, Kansas now”. I did not reply and just signed the warning notice.He told me he did not want to see me around here anymore. He then put his hand on his gun and told me I will count to three and you will disappear from here. I tried to explain to him what had happened in the bar and that I was staying at the Hotel. He then became angrier and arrested me for trespassing. He placed me in the patrol car and I was then taken to the police station in Liberal, Kansas.During the ride to the station officer Ryan Kells made a comment stating that all Indians get crazy when they drink fire water. I was still trying to explain to him that the bar didn’t even sell me a beer but he would not listen.
I was booked. They took pictures and finger prints and I spent the night in jail.The next day, on Tuesday, January 11th, 2005 I called my dispatcher and explained the situation and asked if someone could bail me out.Dispatch went to the police station, paid $500 to post bail. I had to go to court to see the judge on Friday, January 14th, 2005.In court I was told I was facing up to a $2500 dollars maximum fine, up to 6 months in jail and a misdemeanor class B charge on my record. I pleaded not guilty and was sent another court date for March 23rd, 2005.I also had to retain a lawyer to help me with this case.
I later found out that the two National Carriers that had started this problem had gone to the safety director at the company and gave him their version of the incident with the intent of getting me fired.
All of this because “I’M INDIAN?”