Today, Phillip Cargile plead not guilty to violating Manitou Springs traffic law, and is now scheduled for trial on Tuesday, July 21 at 11:30 a.m.
Cargile's known as the Wagon Man, but supporter Courtney James
, a local nurse who often sees the wagons during her west-side commute, calls him the Be Positive Man. James was in court with him today, and says Cargile could benefit from some legal assistance.
"Because of Traumatic Brain Injury and subsequent mental illness, [Cargile] has his own constructs of the world, and how it operates, and there's no sense in arguing with him that he might see things in a mosaic pattern," James says. "And he told me, 'No, that's not right. I didn't do anything wrong. I shouldn't even be in trouble. What I was doing was not wrong and I'm going to plead not guilty and I'm going to go to trial.'
"And I said, well, what about getting an attorney, because here's the deal: It's the legal system. I am a nurse, I know a lot about medicine and the medical field. I don't know anything about the law, and the law is a scary place. ... And when I threw it out to him, what about getting an attorney, he's like, 'Well, that costs money and I don't think that anybody should have to be paying money for this. It's not right.' ... And I said, 'What if we could get you a lawyer to work with you pro bono?' And he said, 'Well, I would be interested in that. That's something I would agree to.'"
If you're able and interested in assisting Cargile with his legal situation, message him through his Facebook page
——— Original post: Wednesday, June 10, 10:23 a.m. ———
If you've never seen the Wagon Man
and the Wagon Lady
— also known as Phillip and Cheryl Cargile — walking and waving on the side of the road, then you've been missing out on some random sunshine. Police have been less receptive, however, finding the pair's path in traffic dangerous to themselves and others.
Cargile is once again headed back to court in Manitou Springs, but this time a Facebook group has sprung up to support him.
"This is a social injustice and it needs to be stopped now!' the event page
reads. "Join me and my friends as we stand in court behind Mr. Cargile to show him our support, and that we will always 'Be positive' in the face of adversity!"
A call to the Manitou Springs court revealed the date and time is different than on the event page, one employee telling the Indy
the hearing is on Tuesday, June 16 at 8:30 a.m. at 606 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs.
According to the Wagon Man Facebook page, Cargile is having a hard time. An update posted yesterday afternoon says he has not been in the streets in the past couple days because he's running a fever and not eating. "may send him to the hospital tonight......love...hugs...and...Thank you for the Positive Vibes.....hope to see you in the streets," it reads
columnist Bill Vogrin
has been rocking the Wagon Man beat since December 2013, when he introduced the couple and said
, "Often, they leave their little home in Manitou Springs and walk all day. Doesn't matter if it's hot and sunny or cold and snowy." Here are some excerpts from recent columns about court encounters:
• Side Streets: Court lets Wagon Man walk free this time
"Why am I being prosecuted?" Cargile asked repeatedly, getting emotional as times. "I've done nothing wrong. I came here as a community-builder. My wife and I came to lift this community. I've been walking 14 years, and I've never caused a wreck and I've never hurt anybody. I can't take any more abuse."
• Side Streets: Wagon Man convicted of obstructing traffic in bizarre trial in Colorado Springs
Briggle finally became irritated when Cargile and his fans suggested the judge was not being an impartial arbiter of justice.
"I will not tolerate someone stereotyping this court as law enforcement," Briggle said, adding that judges like himself take seriously their responsibility for protecting the rights of the accused and viewing them as innocent until proven guilty.
• Side Streets: Wagon Man goes from hero to defendant for pulling wagons in Colorado Springs
Sitting across the courtroom, looking quite uncomfortable, was Colorado Springs Police officer Michael Zamonas, who has cited Cargile four times for walking his wagons in the streets and obstructing traffic.
Ironically, Zamonas was witness to Cargile's heroics last Thursday. Zamonas arrived on the scene to find Cargile holding a bloody hammer over his head, with the alleged assailant pinned to the ground beneath him.
This particular incident resulted in a letter from Chief Pete Carey, dated May 21, that reads, "Congratulations! The Awards Committee of the Colorado Springs Police Department met on May 11, 2015 and voted to recognize you for an incident on April 23, 2015, in the Garden of the Gods Motel parking lot. Your heroic and quick actions in engaging and restraining the attacker and taking away his deadly weapon, stopped him from continuing his attack and prevented more serious, possibly fatal, injuries to the victim." The ceremony is in January 2016.
• Side Streets: Wagon Man's latest convictions reflect on society, not him, expert says
But Gail Murphy-Geiss, professor of sociology at Colorado College, sees Wagon Man as the symbol of a much larger issue: our society's failure to properly deal with the homeless, the mentally ill and folks suffering from post traumatic stress.