Published on: Thursday, June 10, 2021

Oregon woman living with a degenerative eye disease and a pulmonary disease was using her electric mobility scooter on her way from karaoke when she was stopped by police for operating her scooter on a sidewalk and crosswalk and for failing to wear a helmet. Cops told her she could not use her scooter. She continues using her scooter so police trailed her with their lights and siren on in a low-speed pursuit that lasted two to three minutes. Prosecutor: felony charges. Nonunanimous Oregon jury: guilty. Oregon Court of Appeals: An electric mobility scooter is not a motor vehicle and trial judge should have granted an acquittal sua sponte.  “The actions of the state in this case—from the police officers’ decision to pursue defendant in a low-speed chase for the $25 specific-fine traffic violation of not wearing a helmet, to the prosecutor’s decision to pursue a felony charge under those circumstances, to the attorney general’s office’s decision to defend those decisions on appeal—should not be ignored.” Judgment of acquittal entered.