Social Insecurity

When Robert Rodriguez decided to turn whistleblower and raise a stink about abuses in his federal workplace, he became public enemy number one

Castro, a self-proclaimed 18-year police veteran, was listed in 1991 as one of 13 city police officers with the most complaints from the public (ten complaints, three of them substantiated by Internal Affairs). Castro did not return a telephone message from New Times.

The arrest report cites Prezant for "Trepass [sic] after warning," and notes that "this officer observed the [defendant] acting very belligerent with the [federal] officer." Castro writes, "The defendant gave us no name of his employer because he didn't know his name," and claims Prezant refused repeatedly to leave the property.

"The funny thing is," responds Prezant, "I wasn't on the property. And I identified the New Times four or five times."

Regularly escorted to the restroom by a federal cop, Robert Rodriguez believes his boss is using intimidation to make him quit
Joshua Prezant
Regularly escorted to the restroom by a federal cop, Robert Rodriguez believes his boss is using intimidation to make him quit

Meanwhile workers in the Social Security office watched the drama of a news story in the making from second-floor windows overlooking the street -- for a while. Then they were told to get back from the windows, according to an employee. She asked not to be identified for fear of losing her job.

Prezant, forced to remain in the city jail for several hours until Castro completed his "paperwork," finally emerged in midafternoon, a free man. A free man with a broken camera.

"It can be fixed," he says. "The [rewind] knob was broken. Luckily I had another roll of film I'd already taken. It was in my pocket." Two of those pictures appear in the story above.

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