Fire Marshal Handcuffs Woman for Swearing

Alright, so I heard about this on the radio earlier this week, but I’ve been so busy getting ready for college and other stuff that I just haven’t had time to post this.

So, here’s what happened:

On August 4th, in La Marque, Texas, 28-year-old Kathryn “Kristi” Fridge went with her mother to the local Walmart (FM 1764 and Interstate 45) with her mother and 2-year-old daugter to get supplies in preparation for impending Tropical Storm Eduardo.

She went over to buy batteries, but there were none left.  Fridge told reporters, “I was like, ‘Dang.’  I looked at my mom and said, ‘They’re all f***ing gone.'”

Captain Alfred Decker, the La Marque assistant fire marshal (certified by the state of Texas as firefighter, peace officer, fire investigator and fire inspector) came up to her in uniform, and told her, “You need to watch your mouth” (quote from Fridge).

Fridge told reporters, “I was like, ‘Oh, OK.  Sorry?'”

Decker ordered Fridge to follow him to his car, because that was where his citation book was, but she protested.  She eventually listened, but as he led her to his car, she yelled to some on-lookers, “Can you believe this?  He’s f***ing arresting me for saying ‘f***’!”

She later told reporters, “When I got outside, I saw he was a fire marshal — I saw his car.  I said, ‘You’re not even a cop!’  He said,  ‘I can do this.'”

Decker then asked for her name, and she spelled it out both verbally and in sign language (according to her – Decker hasn’t commented because there’s a pending court case).  She said that this angered him and he handcuffed her.

But La Marque Fire Chief Todd Zacherl said that because Fridge made a scene, Decker was forced to act.  He told reporters, “She cussed him, she cussed everybody. By now, we have a huge group of people looking.”  Fridge denies this saying that she never cursed at Decker.  Her mother (Kathryn Rice, from Santa Fe) backed up her story, saying, “She never got nasty with him; she never cussed at him.”

Zacherl went on to say that Decker handcuffed her for his own safety, because Fridge was being belligerent and Decker had to turn his back to get his citation book and run her name to see if she had any warrants.

Fridge was then ticketed for disorderly conduct (a Class C misdemeanor) and then released.

On August 7th, Fridge went to the La Marque Fire Department to speak with Zacherl, and she took forms to file an official complaint, but as of last week had not filed the papers yet.

She told reporters, “I’m not out to sue or get money—I just want them to drop this ticket.  Yes, I probably shouldn’t have cussed in public, but he took it way too far.”

Zacherl disagreed, saying, “When you’re in uniform, you have to uphold the laws.  It’s like if he was on the way home and saw a drunk driver—he had to act.”

Personally, I think the fire marshal was perfectly in the right here.  He handcuffed her for his own safety.  He didn’t arrest her, he detained her.  This is a common practice that police officers use to ensure their safety.  It was HER who caused the scene, not him.  It was either handcuff her or call for back-up (which would mean calling the police department, since it’s not the fire marshal’s job to back somebody up like that).

As for the legality of the ticket, it’s perfectly within Texas law.  You can’t go around swearing.  The public as a whole has decided that they do not want profanity allowed in public (they did this by electing the officials who put that law into practice, and have not disagreed with that law by passing a citizen sponsored initiative to overturn it).

This was done in a public place where there are children who don’t need to be subjected to profanity.  I know little 3-year-olds who go around using the f-word because their parents just curse whenever they want to.

This isn’t a violation of free speech.  I can’t go up to a little 4-year-old and say, “Hey you little f****er!” so saying it within hearing distance of anybody else violates that principle of “breach[ing] the peace”.

On the radio show that I heard the story on, there was a caller who said she should file assault charges, since he touched her without her consent.  He is a certified officer, and has an obligation to uphold the law.  While upholding the law, he is exempt to some degree from assault charges.  He didn’t abuse her, he handcuffed her.  Criminals can’t sue cops for touching them as they are handcuffed, and this case is NO different.

The fact that there was an outcry because of this (although most reaction was in the fireman’s favor) shocks me.  Where is our sense of law and order?  There’s a difference between civil liberties and anarchy, but the two are beginning to become confused in the minds of many Americans.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
add to :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! ::


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14 Responses to “Fire Marshal Handcuffs Woman for Swearing”

  1. FarkU Says:

    Oh the harm of hearing the F-word! Poor youngsters irreparably damaged and doomed to a life of sin! Instead let’s show the youngsters the fascist, too much time on my hands, big band law man way of world. It’s a word! Where as the trauma of seeing your mother detained by a uniformed fascist is a much better example. FOCK YOU!

  2. inkslwc Says:

    OK, so where do you draw the line? Can I call a black person the n-word? Or, what about mooning somebody? After all, it’s just a butt. A butt only gets you a PG rating in a movie, so are we going to let people go around mooning people? You have to draw a line somewhere, and the line has traditionally been drawn at a point that says, simply no profanity in public. How is this WRONG if the government is simply enforcing the laws that we have elected our officials to make? If you don’t like the law, start a petition to get it on the ballot and overturn the law! Until then, it’s the government’s job to enforce any and EVERY law!

    And do you even know what a fascist is? Fascism has to do with a government run with the ideology that your nation’s race is the best race. It’s a combination of populism (social liberalism and economic conservativism [but they’re also opposed to laissez faire / capitalist ideologies]) combined with nationalism (pride for one’s country – in this case, extreme pride), authoritarianism (this is the only part of fascism that has to do directly with government control), mixed with a whole bunch of other ideologies.

    Fascism has nothing to do with this, and it’s clear that you don’t understand fascism.

  3. bcdemon Says:

    You will notice by multiple articles that he was ready to cuff her after she apologized and walked away from him. Her saying F— to her mom DID NOT DISTURB THE PEACE, it disturbed the power tripping fire marshal Decker (who was charged with this type last year, except he directed expletives and threats at his girlfriends ex-husband, he paid his fines). And spelling out your name and using sign language is not belligerent, it’s immature.

    The only time peace was disturbed was when Decker disturbed it.

  4. inkslwc Says:

    He would’ve pulled out the cuffs if she wasn’t going to listen him and follow him out. Again, that’s normal.


    § 217.003. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) The governing body
    of the municipality may prevent and may punish a person engaging in:
    (1) trespass or breach of the peace;
    (2) assault, battery, fighting, or quarreling;
    (3) use of abusive, obscene, profane, or insulting
    language; or …

    And what does his past have to do with anything? All I could find was that he was charged, never convicted. 2 wrongs don’t make a right. If he violated the law, he should be charged too.

  5. Calvin Says:

    Best of luck at college!

    Done Well Wishing!

  6. FarkU Says:

    At least two more Citizens have learned that the Orwellian society has arrived. The Fire Marshall should have provided his contact number to the child so she can report her mother if further though and speech violations transpire. Provoking people by using racial slurs is quite different from using a curse word that has been used for centuries. Say it loud, say it proud… FOCK YOU!

  7. inkslwc Says:

    How is a racial slur any different than a curse word? It’s insulting to some, but not others.

  8. Jackie Says:

    wow, I cannot believe the people who call themselves Republican these days. Republicans have lost ALL of their libertarian ideals except when it comes to paying taxes. When rich people have to give up a lil bit of their money to stimulate the economy and help the less fortunate (which ultimately help their own interests in the long term yet not the short) it’s a travesty and big government is EVIL. When government makes a mockery of civil liberties then all of a sudden government is great! Neo-cons and modern day Republicans have the most illogical ideologies I have heard of. It’s truly sad what people like you have turned your party into!
    Ron Paul is the only Republican who’s beliefs I have an ounce of respect for! I may completely disagree with him on many issues but at least he’s consistent!

  9. inkslwc Says:

    If you don’t like the law, overturn it. I’d have no problem with that. But when a law is on the books, it is the government’s job and duty to enforce the letter of the law.

  10. mike Says:

    The author is ignorant of the first amendment of the united states constitution, which is THE law of the land. Laws against swearing are unconstitutional. It’s called freedom speech. The arrested women would when a lawsuit of false arrest against the city. The fire marshal should be fired-he is unfit to serve.

  11. inkslwc Says:

    Laws against swearing are not unconstitutional. I’m a constitutionalist, but the First Amendment has been abused and twisted to mean ridiculous things.

  12. Male Reproductive System : Says:

    government jobs are still the best when it comes to job security -”

  13. ranting indepenpwnt Says:

    You’re a FUCKTARD ranting douchbag bitch ass stupid un-american ignorant fag republican. People cuss every ducking day, if you arrest someone everytime someone did peace would be MORE disturbed. Ask any cop, that’s why it was a stupid add firefighter who arrested her and not police, if they did show up to do THEIR job it wouldn’t be a big deal (aka what were talking about!). If someone’s in danger, a firefighter should uphold the law like everyone in this country, but in this situation he should of shut the duck up

  14. Kathryn fridge Says:

    Your so stupid! When I originally cursed it was a private conversation between me n my mother n a calm(not very loud)tone. He was just trying to flex his power! Also if he felt so threatened then he should have put me in handcuffs b4 we even went outside! Plus get ur story straight…he already had his ticket book out when he put handcuffs on me! I just love how people who don’t know sh** about a situation always have the most to say!!!!

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