MUSCATINE – A YouTube personality was arrested Monday afternoon at the Muscatine City Hall during a livestream after being told to leave the building several times.
Beau Bish, 30, of Brighton, Colo., who posts on the YouTube channel Flex Your Freedoms, was charged with trespass after a Muscatine Police officer removed him from the Community Development office.
On YouTube, the channel is described as “This is purely Educational and Comedic interactions with Government Officials. I travel to different Police/Sheriff Departments, Federal/State/County Buildings and I interact using different light-hearted comedic props to help bring education of the Rights we have as Americans. I love showing interactions involving good police, but I will also expose the bad ones as well, simply by videotaping their actions.”
Trespass is a simple misdemeanor punishable by between $65 and $625 in fines and not more than 30 days in jail.
No phone number for Bish was available on the citation. Attempts to reach him through the YouTube channel were not successful prior to press time.
Wearing an orange jumpsuit, a grey wig, sunglasses and lipstick in the guise of “grandma,” Bish is shown walking the streets of Muscatine before going into city hall.
People are also reading…
He films as he walks through rooms in city hall. In the Community Development department, Bish attempts to access a back room, only to be told it is private. He asks if there is a sign for that, and if there isn't, he says he will walk in anyway.
A second worker tells him he can't go in the back and asks him to leave. After several minutes, a police officer enters and asks him to leave.
Bish argues he does not have to leave the public building unless he broke the law. The officer informs Bish that City Administrator Carol Webb wanted him off the property and gives him the choice of leaving or being arrested. Bish says “make your move,” before being placed under arrest. The officer doesn't cuff Bish and simply says “let’s go.”
During the discussion, the officer tells Bish he is disturbing the peace, Bish tells the officer to look at code 719 subsections 1 through 9, adding “grandma knows the law.”
In Iowa code those sections cover interference with official acts and assisting with an escape. Trespass and disturbing the peace is covered under Iowa code 716.7.
One of the definitions of Trespass is “Entering or remaining upon or in property without justification after being notified or requested to abstain from entering or to remove or vacate therefrom by the owner, lessee, or person in lawful possession, or the agent or employee of the owner, lessee, or person in lawful possession, or by any peace officer, magistrate, or public employee whose duty it is to supervise the use or maintenance of the property.”
According to Iowa Code 716.8, “A peace officer shall consider arresting and may arrest the person under section 805.9, subsection 3, paragraph “c”, if the person refuses to leave the property after receiving a citation or immediately returns to the property after receiving a citation, or may arrest the person as otherwise provided under law.”
“We had a nice little discussion with him and he chose what he chose,” Muscatine communications manager Kevin Jenison said.
Jenison commented that in public buildings not every room can be accessed by the public.
During the video, Bish said that if he were arrested he planned to sue the city. In a follow up video he called the incident “an unlawful arrest.”