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  • Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call

    washingtonpost.com
    September 28, 2004

    Between Metro and Cell User, a Disconnect
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call
    By Lyndsey Layton
    Washington Post Staff Writer

    Sakinah Aaron was walking into the bus area at the Wheaton Metro
    station several weeks ago, talking loudly on her Motorola cell phone.
    A little too loudly for Officer George Saoutis of the Metro Transit
    Police.

    The police officer told Aaron, who is five months pregnant, to lower
    her voice. She told the officer he had no right to tell her how to
    speak into her cell phone.

    Their verbal dispute quickly escalated, and Saoutis grabbed Aaron by
    the arm and pushed her to the ground. He handcuffed the 23-year-old
    woman, called for backup and took her to a cell where she was held for
    three hours before being released to her aunt. She was charged with
    two misdemeanors: "disorderly manner that disturbed the public peace"
    and resisting arrest.

    Those are the facts on which both sides agree.

    They interpret the events of Sept. 9 very differently.

    Transit Police and some Metro officials say Saoutis was protecting the
    peace by removing a woman who had overstepped the boundaries of civil
    behavior because she was loudly cursing into her phone.

    They say that cell phones have become just another instrument of
    loutish behavior in the public space and that they are fighting a
    dramatic deterioration of manners in the transit system.

    "We need better enforcement to allow people to know we are serious and
    want to maintain the high-quality level of the system," said Robert J.
    Smith, chairman of the Metro board, adding that "ranting youth" have
    become a plague on the subway. "This isn't Montana. We live in a very
    dense region, and people are on top of each other all the time."

    Smith, who refuses to carry a cell phone, said he thinks Metro riders
    need to use the devices with care. "We wouldn't allow someone to come
    into the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and shout obscenities into a cell
    phone," he said.

    But Aaron and some defenders of free speech say the Transit Police are
    the ones who overstepped boundaries by making a crime out of
    conversation and pushing a pregnant woman to her knees. The incident
    took place out of doors and not in the confines of a rail car or bus,
    they note.

    And they point to a string of other incidents, including the July
    arrest of a 45-year-old woman for chewing a PayDay candy bar and the
    2000 arrest of a 12-year-old girl for eating a french fry, that are
    earning the Transit Police a national reputation as an agency itching
    to lock up riders.

    "Technically, the police officer is right, but the result is wrong,"
    said D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who represents the
    city on the Metro board. "How do we prevent minor transgressions
    escalating into major problems? It's not what any of us want. We don't
    want pregnant women booked for loud cell phone conversations. We don't
    want 12-year-old girls in handcuffs for eating a single french fry.
    Whether it's training or guidance to our officers, we have to do
    something."

    Johnny Barnes, executive director of the Washington area chapter of
    the American Civil Liberties Union, called Aaron's arrest "troubling."

    "There seems to be an unusual attention paid to activities of
    patrons," Barnes said. "One should be able to ride the Metro and
    exercise a range of rights without fear of intervention from Metro
    police."

    Aaron, who lives in Silver Spring and works as a clerk at the Food and
    Drug Administration, said she was talking to her fiance on her cell
    phone as she walked toward the bus bay about 4:45 p.m. Sept. 9 to
    catch the Route C4 Metrobus.

    "Our phone conversation had ended," she said. "I'm walking down the
    stairs and the transit cop said, 'You have to lower your voice,
    ma'am.' I said, 'You can't tell me how loud I can talk.' He said, 'I
    can arrest you,' and he grabbed my arm. I said, 'What are you doing?
    I'm pregnant! Oh, so you want to flex some muscle today?' He grabbed
    my hand, and we struggled."

    Aaron acknowledged that she was loud on the phone but said she wasn't
    cursing and lobbed a profanity only after Saoutis grabbed her.

    After her release that night, Aaron went to Holy Cross Hospital and
    was treated in the emergency room for a bruise she said was a result
    of Saoutis's pushing her to the ground and placing his knee on her
    upper back.

    Saoutis, who is about to complete his first year on the job with the
    Transit Police, was not available for an interview yesterday,
    according to Deputy Chief Tim Gronau.

    Gronau said his officer properly enforced the law and arrested Aaron
    because it was clear she wasn't taking his warning seriously.

    "We're not either pro or negative cell phones," he said. "The issue is
    [that] the volume of her conversation, coupled with the language, is
    not conducive to socially accepted standards of behavior."

  • concerned patron
    replied
    response to a bored LLT surfer...

    why not?
    Maybe I have a personal reason as
    to why I would comment on this?

    Are you going to take me in for
    commenting, officer blog?
    Last edited by concerned patron; 08-26-2008, 07:50 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • cbg
    replied
    And you are resurrecting a four year old thread because...?

    Leave a comment:


  • concerned patron
    replied
    this is dissapointing...

    This whole situation is dissapointing for many reasons. It's obveous that this young woman has little concern for others and is selfish to say the least. But I do believe she has the right to speak as she wishes. The rights of Americans are slowly being taken away. Granted, what about the rights of those who have to be around her?? My reply...They have a right to walk away. I believe there are such things as a true disturbance of the peace. But I fear that officer Saoutis is a little confussed about his role in this situation of his new career. Police Officers should be repected and for the most obeyed, they are supose to know best, right? Unfortunatley, this is not always the case. Sometimes lessons are hard learned for all. We need to look at our mistakes and be honest with ourselves! In this case, the officer became angry (makes for irrational discisions), the young woman became diffensive ( again, makes for irrational discisions), and a very avoidable situation occurs. They both need attutude adjustments. In the end... I think she had the right to speak her ugly, unwanted thoughts. From what I could tell from the article, she was not consitantly yelling or hurting anyone physically. The Officer maybe should have just, in concerned tones, talk to this woman for as long as need be till she calmed down. If you give people time and show them that you care things change, usually for the better. Isn't that what we all really want? A caring, concerned, old fashioned police officer? I know this world is messed up! It seems to get worse everyday... but the change must first start in the individual. We are each responsible to make that change. There difinately is need for force and discipline. This is much to often necessary! But in this case??????????
    Last edited by concerned patron; 08-26-2008, 07:46 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bart Bailey
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call

    In Message-ID:<[email protected]> posted on 8 Oct 2004
    12:40:53 -0400, tjab wrote: Begin
    In article <[email protected]>,Bart Bailey <[email protected]> wrote:
    In Message-ID:<[email protected]> posted on 4 Oct 200413:24:20 -0400, tjab wrote: Begin
    My theory is that a lot of people here are expressing opinions withoutlistening to the woman's side of the story. And that talking loud on acell phone is Constitutionally protected free expression. It may berude, but it's not a legitimate police matter.
    Curious;If there's some decibel level or grammatical content when spoken inpublic that could ever be construed as a disturbance, how does having anelectronic device placed next to ones ear provide dispensation?
    Unlike what some here appear to believe, the fact that there was a cellphone involved is utterly irrelevant. As for "construed as a disturbance,"there are a great many things that might disturb you or me that arenonetheless Constitutionally protected.
    I used the term "construed as a disturbance" to mean falling under legal
    sanctions, regardless of my personal preferences.

    (rhetorical)
    Are the generally recognized proscriptions against such utterances as
    the old "fire in a theater" or so-called "fighting words" rendered
    inapplicable when a cell phone is employed in the scenario?
    (/rhetorical)

    --

    Bart

    Leave a comment:


  • DevilsPGD
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call

    In message <[email protected]> "Child"
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    I expected to be just as lovely was the stereotypical Winston Churchilllookalike baby Or Alfred Hitch**** <g>Thats neither Winston or Alfred, its Uncle Fester
    Ouch.


    --
    I've given up on sigs. I just couldn't think of anything clever to say.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steven J Sobol
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call

    Joseph wrote:
    If he's enforcing metro rules whether you think it's "constitutionally protected" is up for debate.
    If the Metro is owned and operated by the government, it's not up for debate.

    On the other hand, I don't necessarily think this is a First Amendment issue
    anyhow.

    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / [email protected]
    PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
    Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob Ward
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call

    On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 00:28:27 GMT, "V" <[email protected]> wrote:
    "Bob Ward" <[email protected]> wrote in messagenews:[email protected] .com...snip
    What states require pedestrians to use hands free cellphones?
    I know it is in my states legislation right now. Another few months and itwill be enacted. Remember, a municipality can enact their littleordinances....also, tribal communties can enact their own laws.Here is something to look at.....http://www.nmoa.org/Products/phone.htmThirty-five states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico consideredmeasures to prohibit the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving.New York recently became the first state to pass a law outlawing handheldphones while driving.At least 13 municipalities or counties have passed restrictions that requiredrivers to use hands-free devices while operating a motor vehicle.An estimated 300 additional local jurisdictions including Aspen, Colo.; BocaRaton, Fla.; Santa Monica, Calif.; Philadelphia; Cleveland; and Chicago may beconsidering or already have considered similar ordinances. New York Cityprohibits taxicab drivers from using cell phones while driving.
    You really don't read these messages before you reply, do you? Ignore
    the words "hands free" for a moment and concentrate on the word
    "pedestrian". No one is watching - move your lips if it will help.

    Still no clue?

    Main Entry: 1pe·des·tri·an
    Pronunciation: p&-'des-trE-&n
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Latin pedestr-, pedester, literally, going on foot, from
    ped-, pes foot -- more at FOOT
    1 : COMMONPLACE, UNIMAGINATIVE
    2 a : going or performed on foot b : of, relating to, or designed for
    walking <a pedestrian mall

    Does that help?


    Leave a comment:


  • V
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call


    "Bob Ward" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    snip
    What states require pedestrians to use hands free cellphones?
    I know it is in my states legislation right now. Another few months and it
    will be enacted. Remember, a municipality can enact their little
    ordinances....also, tribal communties can enact their own laws.

    Here is something to look at.....
    http://www.nmoa.org/Products/phone.htm
    Thirty-five states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico considered
    measures to prohibit the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving.

    New York recently became the first state to pass a law outlawing handheld
    phones while driving.

    At least 13 municipalities or counties have passed restrictions that require
    drivers to use hands-free devices while operating a motor vehicle.

    An estimated 300 additional local jurisdictions including Aspen, Colo.; Boca
    Raton, Fla.; Santa Monica, Calif.; Philadelphia; Cleveland; and Chicago may be
    considering or already have considered similar ordinances. New York City
    prohibits taxicab drivers from using cell phones while driving.





    Leave a comment:


  • Bob Ward
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call

    On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 20:19:53 GMT, "V" <[email protected]> wrote:
    I am a woman! If she was talking in a state where they require hands free, itis illegal, if she was not using a hands free.There are noise ordiances isn't there? Freedom to drive your neighbors insanewith loud music? Nope. That, poster, is against the law.Our freedoms do not allow us to be obnoxious. They should be used asrespectfully as possible.VV

    What states require pedestrians to use hands free cellphones?


    Leave a comment:


  • Rob
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call


    "V" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:Jfi8d.8371$%[email protected]
    "tjab" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    In article <[email protected]>, V <[email protected]> wrote:
    "tjab" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,> V <[email protected]> wrote:> >> >"tjab" <[email protected]> wrote in messagenews:[email protected]> >> In article <[email protected]>,> >> V <[email protected]> wrote:> >> >> >> >"tjab" <[email protected]> wrote in message> >news:[email protected]> >> >> In article <[email protected]>,> >> >> Steve Sobol <[email protected]> wrote:> >> >> >Draco wrote:> >> >> >> >> >> >> He tried to cuff her calmy, she chucked a hissy fit.> >> >> >> >> >> >Just so I understand: was she simply yelling, or did she getphysical?> >> >>> >> >> And whatever the answer, whose word are you taking for it?> >> >>> >> >Do you trust a reporter, a police report, or oh....the video> >> >running
    in
    the> >> >car?> >>> >> Why do you ask?> >>> >> >Why is it that you are asking, young grasshopper?Whose word are you taking?V>> Because I'm not aware that any reporter witnessed the incident, nor> of any video from a car. Are you?No. I have not seen it with my own eyes, so I simply do not know who
    actually
    was the bad guy here, if there is one. Yet, studying criminals, andbeingaround them, observing behavior, they usually like to fight thepolice......::shrug:: an issue they all seem to have in common. 1) Begs the question. 2) Not true.
    Perhaps it isthe crack cocaine or just a nasty case of hormones in a pregnant lady. I
    was
    mean to a cashier the day before I went into labor with my son. I didnotswing at her, though.I wanted to so bad since she was so **** slo---------w.anyway....It does not seem that you are interested either, by the reply of ,..."And whatever the answer...."SO what is your theory? My theory is that a lot of people here are expressing opinions without listening to the woman's side of the story. And that talking loud on a cell phone is Constitutionally protected free expression. It may be rude, but it's not a legitimate police matter.
    I am a woman! If she was talking in a state where they require hands free, it is illegal, if she was not using a hands free.
    there are no ordinances anywhere that require you to be hands free
    when you're a pedestrian. she wasn't driving her car into the DC metro
    station.
    There are noise ordiances isn't there? Freedom to drive your neighbors insane with loud music? Nope. That, poster, is against the law. Our freedoms do not allow us to be obnoxious. They should be used as respectfully as possible. V V

    Leave a comment:


  • Child
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call


    "Bart Bailey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    In Message-ID:<[email protected]> posted on Mon, 04 Oct 2004 13:53:54 -0400, yaffaDina wrote: Begin
    I expected to be just as lovely was the stereotypical Winston Churchilllookalike baby
    Or Alfred Hitch**** <g>

    Thats neither Winston or Alfred, its Uncle Fester


    Leave a comment:


  • V
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call


    "tjab" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    .. Yet, studying criminals, and being
    around them, observing behavior, they usually like to fight thepolice......::shrug:: an issue they all seem to have in common. 1) Begs the question. 2) Not true.
    Is true. Why do you not believe that?
    V


    Leave a comment:


  • V
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call


    "tjab" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    In article <[email protected]>, V <[email protected]> wrote:
    "tjab" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    In article <[email protected]>, V <[email protected]> wrote: > >"tjab" <[email protected]> wrote in messagenews:[email protected]
    >> In article <[email protected]>, >> V <[email protected]> wrote: >> > >> >"tjab" <[email protected]> wrote in message >news:[email protected] >> >> In article <[email protected]>, >> >> Steve Sobol <[email protected]> wrote: >> >> >Draco wrote: >> >> > >> >> >> He tried to cuff her calmy, she chucked a hissy fit. >> >> > >> >> >Just so I understand: was she simply yelling, or did she get
    physical?
    >> >> >> >> And whatever the answer, whose word are you taking for it? >> >> >> >Do you trust a reporter, a police report, or oh....the video running
    in
    the
    >> >car? >> >> Why do you ask? >> > >Why is it that you are asking, young grasshopper?
    Whose word are you taking?V
    Because I'm not aware that any reporter witnessed the incident, nor of any video from a car. Are you?
    No. I have not seen it with my own eyes, so I simply do not know who
    actually
    was the bad guy here, if there is one. Yet, studying criminals, and beingaround them, observing behavior, they usually like to fight thepolice......::shrug:: an issue they all seem to have in common. 1) Begs the question. 2) Not true.
    Perhaps it isthe crack cocaine or just a nasty case of hormones in a pregnant lady. I
    was
    mean to a cashier the day before I went into labor with my son. I did notswing at her, though.I wanted to so bad since she was so **** slo---------w.anyway....It does not seem that you are interested either, by the reply of ,..."And whatever the answer...."SO what is your theory? My theory is that a lot of people here are expressing opinions without listening to the woman's side of the story. And that talking loud on a cell phone is Constitutionally protected free expression. It may be rude, but it's not a legitimate police matter.
    I am a woman! If she was talking in a state where they require hands free, it
    is illegal, if she was not using a hands free.
    There are noise ordiances isn't there? Freedom to drive your neighbors insane
    with loud music? Nope. That, poster, is against the law.
    Our freedoms do not allow us to be obnoxious. They should be used as
    respectfully as possible.
    V
    V


    Leave a comment:


  • Bart Bailey
    replied
    Officer Shoves, Arrests Pregnant Woman Over Loud Call

    In Message-ID:<[email protected]> posted on 4 Oct 2004
    13:24:20 -0400, tjab wrote: Begin
    My theory is that a lot of people here are expressing opinions withoutlistening to the woman's side of the story. And that talking loud on acell phone is Constitutionally protected free expression. It may berude, but it's not a legitimate police matter.
    Curious;
    If there's some decibel level or grammatical content when spoken in
    public that could ever be construed as a disturbance, how does having an
    electronic device placed next to ones ear provide dispensation?

    --

    Bart

    Leave a comment:

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