It Begins. St. Louis Man Arrested For Flipping the Bird in Traffic (Video)

A St. Louis area driver is fighting a ticket he received last week for giving another driver the one-finger salute.
The Florrisant man says the ticket violates his right to free speech.

KMOV reported:

A Florissant man is fighting a ticket he got for giving the middle finger to another driver in Ballwin.

According to KMOX Radio, the man said that he gave the finger to a driver who blocked an intersection when he had a green light.

The man is fighting the ticket based on a similar case in Pittsburgh. That ticket was thrown out as a violation of free speech.

In Ballwin, drivers are allowed to extend a hand or arm from a window for signaling purposes, and the driver says that is exactly what he did.

For the record… The driver is a friend of a friend of mine. He’s a successful engineer in St. Louis… And he likes to flip off ignorant drivers.

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  • RedBeard

    Surely, if they can find justification to ticket this man, there must be grounds under the law to ticket the cop for being a moron.

    If this ever catches on where I live, with the high percentage of loony and rude drivers I face every day, I’m gonna have a notebook full of “bird tickets.”

  • http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/ DMartyr

    Self Defense Is Now Illegal In an NC Town:

    http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/208446.php

    from the article:

    The Garner police responded to a break-in in progress at a home on Nellane Drive. Whitaker told them one of the prowlers had fired a shot at him and he retuned fire with his shotgun.

    Despite the fact that he was trying to protect himself, police cited Whitaker, 26, of Nellane Drive for violating the gun ordinance.

    They say there is no self-defense exception in Garner’s gun ordinance.

  • american patriot

    A Nanny State will insist that we all get along and play nicely. But that is NOT freedom.

    The right of free speech embraces the right to criticize, even the right to hate. The right means nothing, nothing at all, if the only speech “allowed” is polite speech. It is only un-welcomed speech that needs the constitutional protections.

    Would this cop have given a ticket if the driver had waved hello to someone he knew on the sidewalk?

  • big L

    If someone is an idiot and cuts me off or turns right from the middle lane, they get the finger from me. I didn’t realize it was against the law. Tho I am aware I could get some street justice
    and should be careful as peopleare armed.

  • Joe Camel

    I see this so much in Missouri, I thought it was a sign of saying hello. /sarc. I watched the local news cover this, and the man who did the salute got the ticket, the perp who broke the law, got nothing. Twisted logic in the world today me thinks.

  • Valerie

    Lazy cop. Ticket quota. Justified ridicule to come.

  • dwd

    Clearly all traffic was stopped since the intersection was blocked, so there was no danger from making a gesture, and yeah, free speech. Still, does making the gesture clear the intersection? Does honking your horn? The guy who blocked the intersection was an idiot, but this world is full of idiots… flicking them all off won’t do anything about that.

  • RKflorida

    He should not be ticketed and the police should butt out.

    However, Jim your friend is vulgar. Successful engineer or not, he is vulgar.

  • Max

    I do believe, if my memory serves me correctly, there is already fairly high court precedent that this is protected “speech”. The question remains how will the flipper be compensated for the false charges.

  • Pat the First

    On what basis was the ticket given?

  • Anonymous

    If I am reading the ordinance correctly, he wouldn’t have been cited if the signal was given INSIDE the vehicle.

    This is ridiculous. He had terrible manners even if he had the right of way. However, when did terrible manners become illegal? I see men with their pants hanging down and women scantily clad in St. Louis all the time. I would say that is terrible manners. I have to look at them. They offend my standards.

    Where do we draw the line? If someone is threatened? Well, people who dress indecently threaten my social code. So let’s round them up. sarc/ Jeez.

  • Ladue Pundit

    A couple followed me inside a store in Ballwin, then out to my car. Then they followed us to a friend’s street. My husband, who has a CC permit, pulled up to their car and asked them what they wanted.

    The husband said, your wife got in our way while we were shopping. My husband said get over it and stop following us.

    THEY called the Ballwin police who pulled US over on Manchester Rd. and detained US. For nothing…and they used THREE cop cars to do it. They surrounded us and told us to stay out of Ballwin. It was incredible. They asked us why we threatened these people, which we never did.

    Bottom line, our accusers lived in Ballwin. Back home in Ladue I went into the police station and asked what the protocol was here, and the chief said, “Let me call our friends out in Ballwin and make sure this never happens again.” Sweet.

    Ballwin has some real dirtbag cops…avoid Ballwin.

  • ahem

    I wouldn’t be too eager to flip other drivers off; you can never tell what they might do. I flip them off under the dashboard.

  • Joe Bean

    I like to flip off ignorant drivers too. Everyone on the road is ignorant but me. LOL

    Seriously though… This is just a stupid ticket. What has our country come to?

  • John03

    Wow if this is allowed to stand and anyone from NYC is reading the story they may have just solved all their budget problems.

  • Valerie

    “#12 June 30, 2011 at 10:23 am
    Ladue Pundit commented: ”

    The Ballwin cop sounds like the ones in Selma, Texas. The Selma courthouse is now a Hooters.

  • #1AMERICAN

    every time odumbass comes on TV I filp him off….is that so wrong?????

  • owl

    #17: every time odumbass comes on TV I filp him off….is that so wrong?????

    Look……….he flipped you back. No seriously, I would demand they call Obama to explain that is now acceptable behavior. Think how many times we have seen it do it. Just tell the court you were acting presidential.

  • Julie

    Obviously this is a bogus charge, but I learned the hard way that flipping off other drivers can lead to some bad situations. As a young woman, I flipped off a guy who was tailgating me and other drivers on a bridge. As he came up on my right, I flipped him off. He sped up, swung over in front of me, and then slammed on his brakes. Hard. I had to come to a stop so quickly I could smell my brakes burning. Thankfully I didn’t hit him. He was a nutcase, no doubt, but from then on I have never flipped anyone off, except below the dashboard.

  • http://www.federaleagent86.blogspot.com Federale

    What would have happened in the 50s in such a situation? The cop would have given that rude and obnoxious driver not only a ticket, but a beat down as well for his lack of Christian courtesy.

  • Mark

    A friend of mine’s cousin was shot and killed by dirtbags he flipped off. It ain’t worth it.

  • Militant Conservative

    My reply to the finger is. Age, I.Q. or number of white parents.

  • U Mad?

    Sounds like the guy has anger management issues. And he’s a dick.

  • Mark S.

    It’s Ballwin.. what do you expect? I’ve heard stories like #12 a zillion times. If you know a police officer as a buddy, you can pretty much harass anyone you like…

    I go through there on occasion, but only when I absolutely HAVE to..

  • Good Driver Dick

    Hey, I was just letting him know he was number one!

  • Good Driver Dick

    And if you argue, I will call you number two!

  • http://www.southernwolf.net S. Wolf

    Sorry, Mr. Hoft.. but flipping off people is not a free speech right, it’s a vulgarism. Would anyone in their right mind flip off a rumble of Hell’s Angels?

  • http://alaskapride.blogspot.com Anchorage Activist

    This incident merely illustrates how clueless and parochial law enforcement can be at times. Charging the driver under an obscure ordinance that only allows them to have their arms outside their vehicles if they are signaling? You have to be kidding! What a flimsy excuse!

    There is a legitimate pretext under which to cite a driver for extending a middle finger — pre-emption of road rage. Flipping off other drivers can trigger a road rage incident, leading to injury or fatality.

    Nevertheless, it is petty and I hope he gets the citation quashed.

  • Ehf-stl

    Just the finger? I would’ve pulled forward and leaned on the horn until the idiot cleared the intersection!

  • Rock

    #27 June 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm
    S. Wolf commented:

    Sorry, Mr. Hoft.. but flipping off people is not a free speech right, it’s a vulgarism. Would anyone in their right mind flip off a rumble of Hell’s Angels?

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    So Mr Wolf where you brave enough to instruct WTF on the proper use the single digit salute? Or do you only find the need to correct those on the Right.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUg2tokiqLA&feature=related

  • http://www.southernwolf.net S. Wolf

    Rock.. I don’t ‘correct’ those on the right since so few need correction. And there is no point trying to correct the left, those need abolished not corrected. I’m aware of Zero’s tendency to flip off people but see no reason to emulate him.

  • AuntieMadder

    Was he ticketed or arrested?

    Anyway, obscene language in public is illegal and punishable, so I suppose the same goes for obscene sign language used in public. Those of us who, when the occasion calls for it, flip the bird and sometimes even accompany the sign language with a shout of the words the sign means, must do so knowing that it’s illegal and we can be fined for it.

  • Rock

    #31 June 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm
    S. Wolf commented:

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    OK, seems fair to me, while I suspect I would not be as forgiving as you, no insult intended.

  • RedBeard

    Mr. Pogue seemed contrite about his hand gesture outburst. In addition, it’s not necessary to defend the vulgar gesture in order to condemn the idiot cop, or to find Mr. Pogue not guilty of the ridiculous charge.

  • http://www.southernwolf.net S. Wolf

    Rock #33

    No offense. And actually the Hell’s Angels hate the left and Muslims, so no one in their ‘right mind’ would flip them off. :)

  • Iconoclast

    Well, I only flip off idiots & those who still have Øshama insignia on their vehicles, but I’m repeating myself.

  • SandyfromChesterfield

    Ballwin must get a lot of money off of all of the tickets they give out. The ridiculous speed limits on Holloway and Baxter. Be careful going through the work zone on Baxter Road where no one is working at 3 in the afternoon but the police are in full force giving out tickets.