Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Arrest or not arrest?

Asked by john65pennington (29182points) May 15th, 2010

I observed this pickup truck transporting a load of wood pallets, illegaly. the pallets were not securely fastened to the vehicle, as required by law. as i approached the vehicle, i noticed the driver was an elderly man. i asked to see his drivers license and proof of insurance. the driver immediately open the trucks door and began urinating on the side of his truck. i did not smell the odor of alcohol. the driver did say, “excuse me, i have to go”. this had never occured to me before on a traffic stop, so i was a little shocked. the driver finished and said, “i take a water pill and i have to go often”. i issued him a citation for expired drivers license, but should i have also arrested him for indecent exposure?

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11 Answers

partyparty's avatar

Well in the UK he would most certainly have been arrested. Did you ask him to get out of the truck?
Don’t know what the laws are in the US.

bongo's avatar

Ive heard that in the UK it is legal to urinate in public as long as you aim for you back tyre and keep your left hand on the vehicle, wierd law but I think its fair. If you really need to go that much and willing to pee all over your own car its not like you are damaging someone elses property.
Wierd that he decided to do it just as you got there but if he was blatently doing it infront of you, he must have thought that there would be no problems doing it anyway. I would have told him not to do it in the future but sometimes when you gotta go, you gotta go. personally I think you did the right thing. A friend of mine has a bladder weakness and is starting to become a bit of a recluse, not going into town or coming out on nights out incase she gets caught short.

john65pennington's avatar

I have made many traffic stops. many are women that have told me “i have to go to the bathroom”. how could i question their statement? generally, i would let them go with just a warning. this played a big part in my mind, concerning this drivers situation. i guess i felt that if i let a woman violator go, because of the “need”, then maybe i should not arrest this driver.

Response moderated
partyparty's avatar

Here is what happened to a student who urinated in public in the UK. He only just missed being imprisoned.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/nov/26/student-urinated-war-memorial-sentenced

john65pennington's avatar

Partyparty, thanks for the article. the events leading this person to urinate on a wreath, were entirely different from the driver of the pickup truck. i think this is a good comparison between taking blood pressure medicene for a heart problem, rather than drinking beer and violating the law. good article.

tinyfaery's avatar

If it were a young black man would you have done the same?

wilma's avatar

@tinyfaery I think the more relevant question would be, “if it were an elderly black man would you have done the same?” and perhaps it was. John didn’t say.

LuckyGuy's avatar

No arrest.
My dad (72) had prostate surgery. He had to pee suddenly whenever he was surprised or got up from sitting for a while. He could hold for about 30 seconds but after that, it was either on the floor or in his pants. He wore pads to contain it but of anything unusual happened, he could easily overflow it.
No normal guy will pee on his truck in full view of a cop or anyone else. He clearly had a problem.
Last time I checked, peeing is totally different from sexual arousal. He was not trying to flash you.
I’d ask the guy about his PSA and give him the citation for anything else he deserved.
There are more men in their 70s who are incontinent. You’d be surprised. (It might even be you one day.)

perspicacious's avatar

Nah. Glad you gave the guy on break on the “had to go” issue.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@bongo My Dad did the same thing. He started to fear going out because of the incontinence. Our society really is not very understanding about things. He would not fly to my house because he was wearing an incontinence pad and thought airport security would see the liquid in his underwear.

Seeing what he went through, I am a lot more tolerant about the issue. I have even volunteered my house as a “rest stop” for participants in the Audubon Society’s Annual Christmas Bird Count . So many of the people doing it are retired. It is the least I can do.
My Dad would be proud.

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