Odyssey Marine, Louis Montgomery (Updates)

Two interesting matters that have been dormant for some time, worthy of an update.

Odyssey Marine v. Spain update:

A report in El País newspaper has revealed that the 500,000 coins which the Odyssey Marine Exploration company found off the coast of the Algarve last April and May are Spanish coinage. …

The revelation was made by the company itself when if [sic] completed customs forms in Gibraltar on April 10 and May 16, the dates that they took their haul out of the colony and back to their base in Florida. …

The fact that the Odyssey company has admitted the coinage found is Spanish, does not, the company claims, mean it was found on a Spanish ship. On that point they insist that they still have not been able to establish the nationality of the vessel, a point key as to which nation or nations might later claim part of the treasure. (emphasis mine – the nationality of the ship is crucial to Spain’s claim to ownership)

One theory is that the ship concerned is the ‘Nuestra Señora de la Mercedes’ which sunk in 1804 in the battle of Cape Santa María during an attack from British ships, although this has been dismissed by the Odyssey director Gerg Stemm.

He told the EFE news agency that his company invited the Spanish Ministry of Culture to take part in his expedition last year. ‘At first’, he said, ‘they did not show any interest, now they do. They have tried to force us to give information which we consider could put the site where we found the treasure in danger’.

Louis “Outraged Octogenarian” Montgomery update:

The 81-year-old man accused of hitting a Sheriff’s deputy over the head with a paint roller is suing the county and the deputy involved in the case.
Louis Montgomery has filed a claim for personal injuries he says he sustained as a result of excessive use of force. Montgomery also claims his arrest in March was illegal.

He says the arrest by Deputy Steven Williams was not made with a warrant or based on probable cause. The claim was filed with the County on Sept. 4. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Montgomery became violent with Deputy Williams after Williams asked Montgomery to stop painting a neighbor’s fence.*

Montgomery claims he didn’t hit the deputy with the paint roller, it fell on his head. The 81-year-old man faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

If you haven’t been keeping up, let me point out the crucial point that Montgomery was painting his own fence, NOT his neighbor’s as reported in the article. Montgomery had build a concrete block fence under a court order related to his neighbor’s irritation with Montgomery’s mini pig farm. To annoy his neighbor, Montgomery was perched upon his wall painting the side facing the neighbor in the tradition of tasty, but unlovely Neapolitan ice cream. It is debatable as to whether this otherwise legal activity represented a breach of the peace in which the responding deputy could lawfully interfere, or whether it was merely a “so sue me” nuisance properly dealt by filing suit.