You come to this blog for the unusual and this post will not disappoint (dog poop has led to an arrest). We have everything that people are drawn to: bad language and pets.
The story starts with a man named Tracy Smith who ended up in handcuffs after a neighbor complained about a dog that he didn’t own, pooping in a yard that wasn’t his. Yup, we told you it would be interesting.
Doing the arresting was Thomas Tinklepaugh (seriously) a Jackson Police Officer who was called to Smith’s home by an angry neighbor named Robin Robinson. According to the report, Officer Tinklepaugh initially spoke with Smith’s wife. After that conversation the officer spoke to Smith. Things got nasty and Smith began cussing at Tinklepaugh
Even with children present, Smith said “F*** you. F*** you. F*** you.” That’s when Officer Tinklepaugh threatened to arrest him for disorderly conduct.
There is a lawsuit in the works, and according to it, Smith claims he was treated badly. First slammed onto the hood of a police SUV, and then tackled to the ground during his arrest. He ended up in the emergency room at the hospital and required emergency treatment for his injuries. Then he spent two days in jail.
The charge? Smith was charged with assaulting-resisting-obstructing an officer based on his swearing. The charges were dropped since the Michigan Court of Appeals had thrown out the state’s obscenity law in 2004.
When the charges were dropped, prosecutors tried again by arguing that Smith interfered in the investigation when Smith interrupted the conversation between Officer Tinklepaugh and Mrs. Smith.
That didn’t work either. So prosecutors tried to argue Smith’s words were loud enough to violate the city’s noise ordinance. (Really?)
In the end, the Michigan Court of Appeals also threw out Smith’s charges, finding there was no probable cause for his arrest.
The saga continues, as Smith is now suing Officer Tinklepaugh. How and on what bases? For violating his Fourth and First Amendment rights. Yup, the claim is that he “arrested and sought institution of criminal charges against … Smith in retaliation for his use of constitutionally protected speech.” Smith is also claiming he was the victim of assault by Officer Tinklepaugh and was falsely imprisoned.
Because you really can’t make this stuff up!