You may have heard the story recently about an Oklahoma mom who received a $2,500 ticket for public urination. It wasn’t she who was guilty however. It was her 3-year-old son. A police car pulled up to the Warden’s house just as 3-year-old Dillan had dropped his pants to urinate in the front yard. In spite of the fact that Dillan was obviously a youngster in potty-training mode and that he urinated on his family’s 2.5-acre private property, the officer said he didn’t care and issued Mrs. Warden the ticket anyway because the toddler’s act was “in public view.” RT.com reported:
“The Warden family attempted to file a complaint with the Piedmont Police Department but it was rejected by the force. Unwilling to fork over $2,500 to pay the fine, the family originally said they planned on going to court to fight the ticket and hopefully have something done about the office. ‘The outrage is not just the fact that it’s a 3-year-old, but many people see it as just an abuse of power; the officer was just writing a ticket because he could instead of handling it in a better way,’ Mrs. Warden said.”
The outraged and bewildered Warden family went public with the incident, which garnered international attention, bringing the Piedmont Police Department under the spotlight. The bad publicity and thousands of e-mails from around the world prompted the arresting officer to make a trip to the Warden’s house to issue not another ticket but an apology. After apologizing, he even offered to drop the charges against her.
His apology was too little, too late. As it turns out, the boy hadn’t even urinated, but the officer said that a teenager had lead the boy to a spot in the yard, and the boy was about to urinate. The District Attorney dropped the charges against the Warden’s, and the city manager Jim Crosby fired the 18-year veteran police officer, Ken Qualls. Police Chief Alex Oblein said that the ticket issued to the mother did not “fit the situation.” Isn’t that an understatement.