F-Bomb Draws $200 Ticket for Michigan Teen

Authorities in Brighton, MI, warn that cursing and swearing in a popular children's park could earn teenagers and young adults tickets for disorderly conduct. (Patch file photo)
Authorities in Brighton, MI, warn that cursing and swearing in a popular children's park could earn teenagers and young adults tickets for disorderly conduct. (Patch file photo)

By Beth Dalbey

Brighton, Mich. – Cracking down to maintain decorum at a playground complex popular among families with young children, police in a small Michigan town have resorted to the legal equivalent of a parent threatening to wash a child's mouth with soap.

Colin Andersen, 19, found that out the expensive way. A  Livingston County magistrate fined Andersen $200 for reportedly dropping the F-bomb in the vicinity of the Imagination Station playground, the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus in Howell reports.

Brighton doesn’t have a specific law prohibiting the utterance of certain words, but its disorderly conduct law includes “language that causes a breach of peace.”

Andersen got the disorderly conduct charge after he reportedly mumbled under this breath, “This is f------ bull----” when his friend was ticketed for skateboarding in a prohibited area and the two were asked to leave. 

He said they were “just standing around” and that no children overheard him swear.

Perhaps not, Brighton Police Chief Tom Wightman told the newspaper, but it was audible enough that a police officer overheard him.

For it to have been mumbled "would require an officer with some incredible hearing,” Wightman said in a court hearing after Andersen fought the disorderly conduct charge.

Groups of teenagers and young adults hanging out in the downtown area has reportedly been an “ongoing problem," and playground users have complained to police about rowdy behavior by teenagers and adults in the area, Wightman told the newspaper.

He said all groups are welcome at the downtown pavilion and Imagination Station venue as long as they observe prevailing codes of conduct set by the people who use the area.

What do you think? Should bad language be enough to garner a criminal charge?

J. Dicks May 20, 2014 at 04:57 PM
Congrats Igor on a well reasoned response. I go against the grain, and therefore, am wrong. It would seem you contradicted yourself because instead of actually using critical thinking to generate a response to what I said you fell back to saying I am full of (insert one of those naughty curse words you are so concerned about here). Also, that thing that starts with a a capital letter and ends with a period at the end of your comment is not a sentence. You may have given what I said careful consideration but your careful consideration still missed the point of what I said entirely. That internet post isn't my best work. That I admit. But my point was not unreasonable and was simply that if people want to drag a kid through the mud for cursing those same people ought to not be so hypocritical as to then avoid having an actual conversation about why cursing is or isn't acceptable. Your response is to fling some of the language in question at me for arguing against its being censored with fines. Do you know what -your- point is, or are you just mad?
Igor May 20, 2014 at 06:16 PM
You talk a lot, but really nothing is coming out.
Margie Threadgill May 23, 2014 at 03:10 PM
John B. - "euthanize "??? How did you get that spelling pass spell check?


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