Judge agrees with driver and rules that a hash brown is not a smartphone
by Alan Friedman / Apr 29, 2019, 4:35 PM
Back in November, we told you about a man named Jason Stiber from Westport, Connecticut who was pulled over last year for "distracted driving." The cop that wrote Stiber the $300 ticket didn't buy the driver's story, which admittedly sounds like it was cooked up. Stiber told the cop that what appeared to be a smartphone in his hand was actually a hash brown from McDonald's that he was eating. He said that he had no reason to put his phone up to his mouth since he uses Bluetooth in the car. In addition, the driver even showed the officer his phone, which revealed that he had neither made nor received a call during the time that he was supposedly driving distracted.
According to the Washington Post, Stiber and his attorney, who jokingly called it the case of the century, went the extra mile to prove that a McDonald's hash brown is not a smartphone. Stiber used the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to discover that the officer who pulled him offer, Westport Police Cpl. Shawn Wong Won was working on the 15th hour of a 16-hour shift (or tour as they used to say on NYPD Blue). This implied that the officer was too tired to tell the difference between breakfast and a handset.
The officer testified that Stiber's lip movements were consistent with talking. The defendant's attorney, John Thygerson, pointed out that his client's lip movement proved that he was chewing a hash brown. The judge agreed with the defense and found that the state had presented no evidence that Stiber was on his phone while driving. While Stiber was acquitted, it did come at an expense both financially and personally. He probably spent more on attorney fees than the cost of paying the fine and ended up missing four days of work. But he said that he fought the ticket so that others charged wrongly with the same infraction won't have to go through the same experience he did.
Posts: 122; Member since: Jan 13, 2019
Was this really worthy of an article
posted on Apr 29, 2019, 4:52 PM 3
Posts: 25; Member since: Dec 29, 2013
It's news. It was all over news outlets when it happened and this is called a follow-up. Besides, a man took his time, effort and money to make sure justice was served and garner a win against police saying whatever they think they see when there's clear evidence to the contrary. That alone is newsworthy and has implications beyond cell phones.
posted on Apr 29, 2019, 5:02 PM 13
Posts: 6490; Member since: Jul 11, 2012
Compared to some of the junk that is forced on us here, I'd say it was a welcome change (added a bit of humour that was needed especially on a Monday) lol.
posted on Apr 29, 2019, 6:59 PM 4
Posts: 30830; Member since: Feb 05, 2011
Have a protein shake next time bruh. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey.
posted on Apr 29, 2019, 5:02 PM 1
Posts: 288; Member since: Jan 25, 2011
The officer probably would've pulled him over for having an open alcoholic beverage in the car. Because a shaker bottle looks a lot like a beer bottle when you're holding it to your face. Maybe the officer would think that instead of a chocolate protein shake, he drinking a Guinness
posted on Apr 29, 2019, 6:40 PM 2
Posts: 212; Member since: Sep 18, 2012
Would he have been Locked Up if he had a HOT APPLE PIE? Maybe the officer would have considered that a Weapon? Because of things like this incident are why it Proves How Dumb some people are. It also gives a Bad Confidence in the dealings with officers because one Bad apple ruins the whole bunch in most people's eye.
posted on Apr 30, 2019, 7:10 AM 0
Posts: 714; Member since: Mar 29, 2019
The fact is, it doesn't matter if he was eating for not. His phone logs showed he wasn't on the phone, so the case should have already been dismissed. I hope he sues them to get whatever money he spent back. These over zealous cops. Even if his mouth was moving and he could have been talking on his phone, the phone would need to be in his hand. Talking behind the wheel is not distracted driving. This was just a piece of crap cop who thought he was gonna get away with writing a fraudulent ticket.
posted on Apr 30, 2019, 9:16 AM 2
Posts: 1; Member since: May 01, 2019
You probably don't think this is a big deal, but it is. People like this, who challenge the government constantly, are the people that keep the government from overstepping its bounds. Imagine if this officer had written 10 more $300 tickets? $3000 of innocent people's money, as well as their records, would have been tarnished. God bless heroes like this that are willing to sacrifice their time and money to do what's right and protect others!
posted on May 01, 2019, 3:51 PM 0
Posts: 197; Member since: Mar 13, 2015
I respect someone who sticks to their principles, especially in the face of it costing them more time and money than if they had just caved. I can't claim that I've done that all the time, but I'm certainly trying to be better.
posted on May 02, 2019, 2:43 PM 0
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