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 Sahityaki Quizzes - 2001

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Robert (Bobby) Fischer

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Orage 2001

He had a strange incident, for which he was jailed. His story in his own words:

Bank Robbery...
About 2:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, May 26, 1981, description of a man who had just committed a bank robbery. I politely told him he had the wrong man and I hadn't committed any bank robbery, and that I didn't know anything about it whatsoever.
The policeman then proceeded to ask me a number of questions regarding my name, residence, age, etc. I answered all of these questions politely and truthfully. He then began to repeat the questions over and over again. I answered them over and over again. He asked for my identification and I showed it to him. 
Suddenly a second police car pulled alongside and I was soon surrounded by at least three or four policemen. On at least three or more separate occasions
The policemen became extremely hostile and threatening in their manner. They began to say among themselves, "He's probably wanted out of state." - "You think we should arrest him?" - "Yeah, I think so, let's take him down to headquarters," etc.


Brutally Handcuffed...

False Arrest...
I also saw the picture. With the exception of the fact that we both wore beards, the picture did not look in the least bit like me. The man in the picture wore glasses, his face was completely different from mine, the hair on his head was different, etc., etc.
It was absolutely impossible to mistake me for him.
On the way to the police station an announcement came over the police car radio on the police band. One officer said, "That's it - they just caught the bank robber!"

I was physically attacked.

The leader of the pack officer said, "We want to find out what this is all about!" Without any provocation of any kind on my part, he grabbed my throat with one hand and started choking me by the neck, pushing me backward in the chair (throughout all this "interrogation," savagery and physical assault, I was seated and with my hands handcuffed behind my back) and putting his face close up to mine grimaced and shouted, "Talk!"

Stark Naked...
I was led to a cell and they forced me to strip completely naked and leave all my clothes outside the cell. When I stripped down to my jockey mesh shorts, I said, "This too?" referring to my underpants, and the jailer nodded and said, "Yes." I took my underpants off and gave it to him also.

No Phone Call...
I was refused the right to make a phone call.

Horror Cell...
The cell had no sheets, no bed, no mattress, no covers - absolutely nothing except a few thin pieces of toilet paper. I was forced to lie stark naked on a painted metal bunk with little round holes in it everywhere. After a very short period of time, of course, this became unbearable and excruciatingly uncomfortable and painful. To add to my discomfort the light was turned on in the cell. I was kept locked up in that cell until some time Wednesday morning, May 27, when I was transferred to another cell that made my first cell seem like a picnic.

Isolation & Torture...
This cell was a kind of isolation cell. I was left in there to freeze to death or die from exposure.
I felt from the cold, the draftiness, and lack of clothes, at about noontime the room became extremely noisy from the street traffic. By any standards, the decibel level was such as could easily cause permanent hearing damage. 
After I had been tortured in this room for some time, some jailers came in and told me that if I'd talk to them and give them more information, they'd give me my clothes back, and that I was being punished for my "attitude." They said they couldn't take me down to the court to see the judge until the arrest form had been all filled out. They said the judge wouldn't even see me until then. I reminded them that I'd been choked by the neck and that I had nothing more to say to them, and that I'd do my talking to the judge.

Mental Hospital...
They told me that they might have to send me to a mental institution for observation. They asked me what year it was, what month it was, etc. I easily answered these stupid questions.

Starving & Freezing...
I was denied food for some 24 hours or so straight. I told them they were starving and freezing me to death. They said, "Die! We hope you do. You can die for all I care," etc.

Inside Mattress...
In order to save my life and to try to get out of the cold and draft, I crawled inside the linoleum covered plastic mattress. A jailer looked in through the peep hole and asked me what I was doing inside the mattress. 

T.V. Dinner...
The next thing I knew I was brought my first food for over 24 hours, which shows you never know what to expect next in a madhouse. It consisted of two T.V. dinners and a littie bit of a soft drink. I ate one 

No Water...

Police Indecency...


Finally some time on Thursday morning, May 28th, I received my breakfast, which consisted of a few tablespoons of milk, a small carton of sugar coated cornflakes, and a canned peach slice. This was the first liquid I had had in a very long time.

Same Questions & Answers...

The six questions were:
#1. Your name
#2. Your place of birth
#3. Your date of birth
#4. Your address
#5. Your height
#6. Your weight
I answered the questions and some time later was given my clothes back. I got dressed and was transferred to a big cell with several other prisoners.

Police Crimes...
The police now for the first time answered my questions about what the charges were. They told me the charges against me were interfering with the duties of an officer. 
I was also told that I had a second charge against me now I was brought into the jail, i.e., destruction of prison property, namely a prison mattress. The old white-haired chief told me the mattress cost $80.00 new. "You're going to be charged with destruction of prison property for getting in that mattress." They also told me that bail was set at $ 500.00 on each count, for a grand total of $ 1,000.00 (one thousand dollars) cash.

Phone Call...
I was allowed to make phone calls from the public pay phone in this new cell. I called someone and told them the situation, that I'd been arrested, choked by the neck, and held in the Pasadena jailhouse incommunicado and stark naked for the past 48 hours or so, etc. The person was shocked but relieved to hear from me since naturally the person had been very worried about my disappearance.

After the person came down to the jailhouse and put up the bail money, I was taken to a special room for a mug shot and to be fingerprinted. I asked the head jailer what if I refused to be fingerprinted, what would he do? He said they'd break every bone in my hands if they had to to get those fingerprints.

Signed Unread...
After the mug shot and the fingerprinting, thumb printing, hand printing, palm printing, etc., I was told to sign numerous documents, perhaps as many as 10 or more. I told the chief jailer that I like to read documents before I sign them. He insisted that I just sign them.
I reiterated my previous statement and started to read them. He demanded that I sign the documents at once without giving me time to even partially glance at them. He covered the document with his hand and arm and said, "All that concerns you is this here part at the bottom of the page," indicating what looked like a kind of stamp or form letter part of certain words which I did not have time to read either.

No Written Charges...
The charges made against me until now, two weeks later, are still all verbal. I have received no written accusation of any charges against me whatsoever. All they gave was two receipts for $500.00 bail on each one. No accusations on them, and as a matter of fact no clear command to appear anywhere.

(No) Money Back...

Legality is a sham at the jailhouse. There are No Smoking signs everywhere, and no smoking is rigidly enforced - for the prisoners. Bul I noticed a light-skinned colored cop/jailer smoking whenever he pleased.
Numerous interesting and curious questions arise regarding why I was stopped by the policeman as "a bank robbery suspect." The first officer who stopped me said, "There's just been a bank robbery...," etc. Then a few minutes later in the police car on the way to the police station, an officer told me that they'd just picked up the bank robber. My question is how could the police have had a photocopy of an artist's rendition of what the bank robbery suspect looked like in the short time that presumably had occurred between the time of the bank robbery and the time the first officer (photocopy of the artist's rendition of the bank robber in hand) had approached me?

about 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, 1981, and about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28, 1981. 

Robert D. James (professionally known
as Robert J. Fischer or Bobby Fischer,
The World Chess Champion)

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