Friday, June 5, 2009

Think twice before cursing on the island

Here's a travel tip for those of y'all planning on heading down to Galveston Island over the course of the summer -- don't curse in public.

Think I'm kidding? Check out this story from the Galveston County Daily News...
A man who used a four-letter word to describe to his neighbors how their cat left feces in his yard was acquitted Tuesday of a disorderly conduct citation.

Joseph Loflin, 48, was cited by Texas City police Feb. 8 after he went to talk to his neighbor, who was playing basketball in the street with his 13-year-old daughter.

A Texas City Municipal court jury of three men and three women deliberated 15 minutes before reaching their not guilty verdict, a court official and juror said.

Loflin said he used the vulgar term for cat dung three times when talking to his neighbors about the problem of their cats messing in his yard. He wanted to give them an opportunity to correct the problem before he called animal control to deliver humane traps. Loflin said his dogs would carry the feces in their mouths then entered his home.

“I was confident of the not guilty verdict and proud the jury ... saw through the smoke screen of dishonesty and manipulation,” Loflin said

Loflin, who was represented by defense attorney Calvin Parks, said it was never his intention to incite his neighbor Michael Rainey or his daughter.

“He could have said he would take care of it and thank you very much,” Loflin said. “I gave him that opportunity.”

The conversation with Loflin wasn’t casual, Rainey said. 

“A little piece of America died today when a jury of six says it’s OK to curse in front of a 13-year-old when asked not to,” Rainey said. 

“It’s a sad day for morality, that this type of behavior is condoned,” Rainey said. 

“We work hard to teach our children morals and teach them right from wrong.”

The jury found Loflin not guilty, because there was a lack of evidence, juror John-Paul Caro said.

“It was a he-said, she-said and we felt there weren’t enough witnesses,” Caro said. “Although it would have been better to use another word choice, he wasn’t doing it to incite disturbance of the peace.”

Loflin was at least the third person cited for cursing in public in the last 12 months in Galveston County.

On Aug. 4, a La Marque assistant fire marshal cited Kathryn Fridge after overhearing her drop the F-bomb in Wal-Mart, while she had a conversation with her mother. 

The city’s prosecutor dropped the charge March 19.

A New York man, however, pleaded guilty in Galveston to a disorderly conduct charge in March. 

The manager of Salsa’s Mexican and Seafood Restaurant heard the man use the F-word to berate his female companion during a late lunch.


Anonymous said...

Rainey said it was "a sad day for morality." More like this whole affair was a sad day for common sense.

Paul B. Kennedy said...

Thank you for your comment. It becomes even more outrageous when you think about the words coming out of the mouths of 13-year olds.