18-Year-Old Cited for Waving Penis Out Car Window: Justified or Not?
Warning: Some may find parts of this post offensive. If you think you will find it offensive, please do not continue reading. It is a perspective post, based both on fact and opinion.
If your kid was charged with waving a rubber penis out of a car window, how would you feel? First, I am not saying what he did was right at all. Small children could have seen this, and I'm sure it offended people. Personally, I would have laughed if it were just me and Chris in the car or even my older kids. Obviously they already know what a penis is. Had my younger kids have seen it, well, I am sure they would have also known what it is. They start teaching sex ed in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade here, and I can just imagine the "eww, that's gross remarks" and questions that would follow with, "what is a rubber penis." Not something I would care to explain to a 12-year-old for sure, however, I would have attempted to answer each question without laughing so hard I cried. At the same time, even with kids in the car, I would not have called the police, but would instead came back and wrote a post like this.
Credit: dwightsghost, not a photo of the incident.
So this kid, yes, I say kid, even though he was 18, was charged with disorderly conduct. Not a huge charge but being 18 , it is a charge that will stay on his record unless he somehow manages to use pretrial diversion to keep it off his record and do 2-3 years probation and hundreds of hours of community service and pay outrageous fines, court costs, and probation costs. Maybe when he goes to court, the judge will dismiss the case and make him pay costs plus fines and community service. A teenage prank gone wrong.
Honestly, I could see many of my friends at that age doing the same thing, but being from a small town, the car would have been pulled over, the rubber penis in question would have been taken away, the kids parents would have been told, and the kid would have gotten a tough warning. At that point he would not see the inside of a court room because of this, but he will still learn a lesson. Even as a legal adult, an 18-year-old is still a kid, testing the limits of their newly found status as an official adult trapped in a kid's body.
This incident happened in Unity Township, PA. The "kid" in question was a backseat passenger. He had the rubber penis held out on top of the car, waving it at passing motorists. I can feel some of you already disagreeing with my earlier statements above now that you have read this far down. However, feel free to stop reading at this point, or feel free to voice your opinion at the end of the post in the comments, because I still have a lot more to say on this matter.
The article I read did not give many details, and I felt determined to find out more about what happened. Using my detective skills, I looked up the police department online, and gave them a call, fully expecting not to get more than a "no comment." But wow, they gave me their version of events right down to the kid's name, which I have no intention of sharing. I asked if the kid had any previous arrests or incidents, and learned that no, this incident marked his first offense.
The incident happened at a little after six o'clock in Unity Township on Route 30. A passing motorist called in the complaint. The police department even offered to send me a copy of the recording. Really? That's okay. I am writing an opinion post, but in said words, the motorist had his 14-year-old daughter with him and they were all embarrassed, very upset, and felt this was a crime.
At this point, I think to myself, okay, either the 14-year-old daughter has never had sex ed or the parents really are living in oblivion. A 14-year-old girl knows exactly what the object was, and I'm sure she was doing all she could do to hold back her laughter. I think my kids would have been laughing to the point of tears. Yes, I would have been a tad bit upset, maybe even a bit embarrassed at seeing this ungodly rubber penis hanging out a car window.
Personally, I totally disagree with this kid being charged with disorderly conduct. I could see a traffic ticket possibly, even though he wasn't driving, but I really disagree with something that could stay on this kid's record. Obviously, the kid can't lie. After all they have pictures, and I can see some sort of punishment for this. At the same time, I can see a court room full of on-lookers laughing until they cry when this goes in front of a judge. I am sure in the little town of Unity Township this will go down in the history books and be told year after year and never forgotten, .
I even considered a petition to have the charges dropped, having the kids do numerous hours of community service and paying a small fine instead of making a mockery out of the justice system. I am sure many of you disagree with me on this.
However, I have seven kids. Six of those are teenagers, one of the six is mentally disabled, but I guarantee even she would have laughed uncontrollably. Now, the 12-year-old would have been like, "eww, yuck, that's gross," and started asking questions. But as a parent, it would be up to me on how to handle those questions, and I would think I would have taken that as an opportunity to talk about the "Birds and the Bees." After all, she is in 7th grade and three girls at her school are pregnant. It is a subject I have been wanting to talk to her about anyway and have tried to find the opportune moment to bring it up. I think that would have been a good time to come home, grab some s'mores, bring her in my bedroom, and have the talk.
It would have also been a great time to remind my four older boys that live with us still to use precautions and remind them of what happens—even though one of those said boys is 21, has a child, works five days a week, sees his child daily, pays rent for his child's mother plus child support, diapers and utilities. Yet he and the Mother cannot get along, so he moved back home. Yet again, another blog post that I have strong opinions about, which would include welfare fraud. Again, save that in your mind for later because I may just air some family drama just to get some opinions on that subject.
So, in retrospect, my personal opinion, and that of two other adults I just asked as well as several comments I read on the original Facebook post about this and the subsequent article I read, and talking with the police department, I disagree with how the police handled this situation. Many of you may disagree with me, and that's okay. I would love to hear your opinions, but I would ask that you keep those opinions clean, as we are not here to offend anyone. You are welcome to state your opinions.
Is a rubber penis cause for a lifelong charge on your record?
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