Stephen Nichols is an 84 your old retired cop and Korean war veteran who spends his days as the crossing guard at Tisbury Elementary School on Martha’s Vineyard.
He’s also the victim of a corrupt police department and a waitress who doesn’t know how to mind her own business, which you can read about in detail by clicking here. Here’s a TL;DR.
- Nichols was out to eat at Linda Jean’s restaurant in Oak Bluffs when a waitress overheard his conversation with a friend, in which he was expressing his concern about the Tisbury School resource officer making trips to the Xtra Mart while on duty. He voices his concern to his friend that somebody could “shoot up the school” if the cop kept leaving his post.
- The watiress complained to TPD about the out of context, private conversation that she listened in on, and Tisbury Police Chief Mark Saloio used this as grounds to fire him while he was performing his duty as a crossing guard at the school, then took him to his house where they confiscated his guns and LTC.
- Chief Saloio threatened to charge him and never gave him a receipt for the illegal seizure of his guns.
- In an interview with the MV Times Nichols said, “When I was in the United States Army, and it wasn’t just me, it’s anybody who’s in the United States service, if you are on guard duty for eight hours, you didn’t leave that position. And I’m just so accustomed to that, that when I see someone who’s suppose to be protecting kids…leave the school unguarded — if you’re on guard duty, you stay there.”
- Linda Jeans owner Marc Hanover vouches for Nichol’s integrity, said he’s a long time customer, and said one of his servers overreacted.
- The friend (Andy Marcus of Edgartown) who was eating with Nichols made it clear to the owner that there were no threats made.
- Nichols’ wife died two years ago, says his job as a crossing guard is his connection to the outside world, and as the grandfather of 11 he enjoys being around kids.
- The police chief, who is new, is not commenting on the matter
Imagine how heartless, incompetent, and evil you have to be to do this to an 84 year old man who helps kids, has served his country and community for decades, and recently lost his wife? This is what corruption looks like.
This is what government tyranny looks like. This is why “red flag laws” must never be enacted. Because you’re trusting police chiefs like this, and nosy, vindictive waitresses, to be fair and impartial when deciding your second amendment rights.
Guess how many people Saloio beat out for the job before leaving Sturbridge?
Saloio, a lieutenant with the Sturbridge Police Department and a 25-year veteran, was the lone candidate for the job. The screening committee selected another candidate, but he withdrew before being presented to selectmen.
Zero. He was literally the only guy who applied. Truth be told Tisbury doesn’t even need a police department, and the entire island should be overseen by the state police like towns in Western Massachusetts are. Saloio admittedly wants to retire on the island is looking for a way to pad his pension and violate some civil rights along the way. This is the kind of candidate the job attracts when they do an outside search.
What’s even worse is that the waitress who invaded this man’s privacy is still employed, and the manager is standing by her. I know this because called and asked for comment this morning. He told me that he thinks she did the right thing and that the chief is the one to blame here. Although I don’t disagree that the chief is largely to blame he can’t control what the chief does.
But he is responsible for his employees, and the fact of the matter is that one of them listened in on a private conversation two customers were having, misinterpreted it, and instead of just speaking with Nichols or the manager she went straight to the police. Why would anyone ever feel comfortable eating their again? What happens if I’m talking about my kids in there and this same waitress takes something out of context and reports me to DCF? The fact that they’re standing by this woman is a disgrace. Many people have expressed that line of thinking on Linda Jeans’ Facebook page.
I’m normally not one who believes in Internet mobs going after private businesses, but the fact that they’re standing by this woman is disgraceful. In my opinion it’s completely fair to blame Linda Jeans for this. It should never be acceptable to a business to treat customers like this. Especially on Martha’s Vineyard, where business comes a halt after September. They should be thankful for each and every customer they have, and Nichols is a regular there. The fact that the manager is OK with harmless private conversations between customers being reported to the police, who in turn disarm law abiding civilians, is alarming, since this is something that normally happens only in communist countries.
The posts on Linda Jeans’ Facebook page are so tone deaf too.
A side of kindess? One of your employees tried to ruin a man’s life and violate his civil rights. Besides that the wait staff is awesome though.
They like to hear from their guests. Not quite as much as they like to overhear their guests’ private conversations and report them to the police though.
Yes, the secret is out – if you say the wrong thing in Linda Jeans their employees will try to ruin your life!
We’d love to speak with the waitress who started this whole thing. The manager wouldn’t give us her name, but did say that “everyone knows who she is.” So if you would like to give us a name so we can contact her directly for comment, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a message on Facebook.
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