Man charged after videotaping police
By ANDREW WOLFE, Telegraph Staff
Published: Thursday, Jun. 29, 2006
Michael Gannon stands outside his house on Morgan Street where he videotaped a detective who had come to his house investigating his 15-year-old son Tuesday in Nashua. Gannon said the detective was rude, and brought a surveillance tape to the Nashua Police Station to file a complaint. Instead, police arrested him, telling him he had violated New Hampshire’s eavesdropping and wiretap laws.
NASHUA – A city man is charged with violating state wiretap laws by recording a detective on his home security camera, while the detective was investigating the man’s sons.
Michael Gannon, 49, of 26 Morgan St., was arrested Tuesday night, after he brought a video to the police station to try to file a complaint against Detective Andrew Karlis, according to Gannon’s wife, Janet Gannon, and police reports filed in Nashua District Court.
Police instead arrested Gannon, charging him with two felony counts of violating state eavesdropping and wiretap law by using an electronic device to record Karlis without the detective’s consent.
The Gannons’ son, Shawn Gannon, 18, is charged with resisting detention and disorderly conduct, and his wife also was cited for disorderly conduct, she said.
Janet Gannon said the family plans to hire a lawyer, and expects to sue the police department.
The couple’s 15-year-old son also was arrested, charged as a juvenile in an unrelated robbery case, according to police reports and Janet Gannon.
The Gannons installed a video and audio recording system at their home, a four-unit building at 22-28 Morgan St., to monitor the front door and parking areas, family members told police. They installed the cameras about two years ago, buying the system at Wal-Mart, Janet Gannon told the police, according to reports filed in court. The Gannons have owned the property, which is assessed at $382,700, for the past three years, city records show.
Janet Gannon spoke with The Telegraph by phone Wednesday afternoon, before going to bail out her husband. She said they installed the system in response to crime in the neighborhood, and at their house.
“We’ve had two break-ins. One guy came right up our stairs and started beating on my husband, and we called the cops,” she said. Another time, after someone broke into a camper on their property, Janet Gannon said an officer suggested they were “too rich” for the neighborhood, and should move.
The security cameras record sound and audio directly to a videocassette recorder inside the house, and the Gannons posted warnings about the system, Janet Gannon said.
On Tuesday night, Michael Gannon brought a videocassette to the police department, and asked to speak with someone in “public relations,” his wife said and police reported.
Gannon wanted to lodge a complaint against Karlis, who had come to the family’s house while investigating their sons, Janet Gannon said. She said Karlis showed up late at night, was rude, and refused to leave when they asked him.
“He was just very smart-mouthed. He put his foot in the door, and my husband said, ‘Excuse me, I did not invite you in, please leave,’ and he wouldn’t,” Janet Gannon said. “We did not invite him in, we asked him to leave, and he wouldn’t.”
After the police arrested the Gannons’ sons, Janet Gannon said, they “secured” the house, and told her and her sister-in-law they had to stay out of it from around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday until about 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Police said they were waiting to get a warrant to search the house, Janet Gannon said.
“They were waiting for a warrant to seize the cameras and the tapes in my house . . . because they said having these cameras was against the law. They’re security cameras,” she said, adding, “They said they could do that. They could seize my apartment.”
Karlis went to the Gannons’ home at about 11:30 p.m. Friday night and again at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, police reported. Karlis was investigating the Gannons’ 15-year-old son in connection with a June 21 mugging outside Margaritas restaurant, for which two other teens already have been charged, according to police reports. The boy also is charged with possessing a handgun stolen three years ago in Vermont, and resisting detention, police said.
The boy wasn’t home when Karlis went there, and the Gannons were “uncooperative” regarding his whereabouts, police reported.
The Gannons felt police were harassing the family, Janet Gannon said.
“There were six cops in my yard,” the first time police came, she said. “My husband was very upset. How many cops does it take to talk to a 15-year-old.”
Karlis didn’t know about the security camera until his second visit, when Michael Gannon told him to “smile” for the camera, police reported.
Janet Gannon said her husband explicitly warned officers of the camera, later adding “smile,” as a joke.
“I heard him say it,” she said. “He said, ‘Gentlemen, there’s a camera right there.’”
According to police, however, Janet Gannon told officers she didn’t remember her husband warning police about the security camera.
Police reported that Gannon “has a history of being verbally abusive” toward police, and that after his arrest, he remarked that the officers “were a bunch of corrupt (expletives).”
***gee, it's hard to imagine where he'd end up with an opinion like that, all things considered***
Andrew Wolfe can be reached at *****