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Watch your Mouth in North Augusta, SC

Via WSPA:  SC mom arrested for using ‘F-word’ in grocery store in front of her kids

Wolf, age 22, moved to South Carolina with her family 3 weeks ago but a night at a grocery store has her wanting to move back to Ohio.

"He was like, ‘You’re under arrest’…right in front of kids, in front of my husband, in front of customers." said Wolf, of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety who arrested her.

Wolf recalls the night she was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at the Kroger store located on Knox Avenue, in North Augusta.

She says a woman shopping in the store followed Wolf and her family. "She’s like, ‘you said the f-word’, and I’m like, ‘when did I say this to my kids?" Wolf told us.

According to the incident report, Wolf was shopping at Kroger with her kids around 10:15 pm Sunday, going down the bread aisle, when they kept squeezing the bread — and that’s when she said the word that got her arrested.

"It’s seems a little extreme," said Amy Sawicz, who shops at the store.

Yes, I would concur with that assessment.

Although, technically, she broke the law (and the presence of her kids, regardless of the headline, would not seem to be the issue):

According to North Augusta law, disorderly conduct generally means, to "utter, while in a state of anger, in the presence of another, any bawdy, lewd or obscene words or epithets."

One guesses, however, that if that law were fully enforced the jails of North Augusta, SC would be overflowing with inmates.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Janis Gore says:

    Anyway, I was talking to this ole boy in Chicago yesterday, one of those call center things, and he actually said:

    error_reporting(E_ALL); ini_set(‘display_errors’, 1);
    2
    3 define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true);

    to me. Over MY phone. I nearly reported him there and then, but I figured it would be too much trouble.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  2. Janis Gore says:

    …wimeweh…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’d probably get “life in prison” there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Janis Gore says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: BWAHAHAHA! Share a cell, Sugar? Much more comfortable that way, you know.

    It’d tickle me pink.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  5. ernieyeball says:

    I have tried and tried to substitute the phrase “sexual intercourse” when I have the urge to say “fuk”. I wonder if I would get arrested for that in North Augusta, South Carolina?

    Who the fu…oops…sexual intercourse knows?!?!

    Oh yeah…Sexual intercourse the speech police!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Tyrell says:

    While I certainly think that arrest in this case is extreme and weird, it is disgusting and shocking to go out in public places and hear people using curse words so commonly. What has happened to our society? This type of language at one time would only be heard at construction sites or bars. People had better decency than to use that kind of language in front of women and children.
    A few years ago I was at a sporting event and some young people were behind us saying bad words loudly. Finally I turned around and asked them kindly if they would please refrain from that kind of talk as we had women and children with us. Some other adults turned around and thanked me.
    We live in an age of trashy behavior. We see it everywhere. Is there no shame anymore? My parents and friends from long ago would be shocked and saddened at this state of affairs. It is just so sad to see the things that go on now that would never be allowed when I was a child. What has happened ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Janis Gore: I’ll have to ask my wife. Something tells me she’ll have an objection.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell:

    Is there no shame anymore?

    Well, judging from the preferred policies of the vast majority of the GOP I’d have to say, “No.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  9. Janis Gore says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s completely understandable. Give her my regards, won’t you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell:..People had better decency than to use that kind of language in front of women and children.

    Oh, sexual intercourse. Women are a protected class? I don’t think so.
    I’m 66 years old and I have been hearing young girls and older women swear and curse like sailors since I was in grade school.
    As I have suggested more than once to prigs who try to control my speech.
    When you see me coming. stick your fingers in your ears.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. Andrei Vfeked says:

    “The woman who says she witnessed the incident said she saw Wolf use the f-word repeatedly and Wolf started cursing at her after she approached Wolf.”

    Yeah, something tells me that if any of us had been standing there and witnessed the mother’s behavior, we would have applauded her arrest as well. My guess is that she did far more than just use the f-word towards her children once or twice. She probably had a full-on Wal-Mart-White-Trash meltdown.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  12. Janis Gore says:

    @Andrei Vfeked: That could be the case. Some people don’t treat their children well, and that’s a fact.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Andre Kenji says:

    Let me guess: she was a Black Woman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  14. Andrei Vfeked says:

    @Andre Kenji: Sure looks white to me in the numerous pictures attached to the article.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  15. wr says:

    @Andrei Vfeked: I agree entirely that this woman that none of us know anything about should have been arrested for what you guess must have happened based on nothing but your prejudices and your imagination. What ever happened to traditional values?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. ernieyeball says:

    @Andrei Vfeked: My guess…

    No one is interested in your guess.
    If you were there and could report what happened first hand I might give you some credibility. Otherwise you are just spewing gossip.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  17. Janis Gore says:

    @ernieyeball: Woman could be me:

    Damn! I need some California Ranch EEVO for the salad tonight. It was right here last week. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. Andrei Vfeked says:

    @ernieyeball:

    I was responding to the contents of an article that was almost entirely based on the comments *the woman arrested* made in an interview with a local reporter. It is weak reporting from an incredibly biased source. My GUESS is that my guess about what really happened is probably as accurate, if not more so, than her carefully crafted recollection of events.

    My underlying point is that this sort of article is little more than sensationalist crap and the title of this post is somewhat misleading. The article contains no direct eyewitness details of the event at all other than the police report, which suggests that the woman was “yelling” at her children and using profanity multiple times in doing so while inside a store. She also, according to the complainant, used profanity towards her as well when she was approached *prior* to getting the police involved. This is very, very different than simply dropping an f-bomb on a misbehaving child.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  19. ernieyeball says:

    @Andrei Vfeked: I was responding to the contents of an article that was almost entirely based on the comments *the woman arrested* made in an interview with a local reporter. It is weak reporting from an incredibly biased source. My GUESS is that my guess about what really happened is probably as accurate, if not more so, than her carefully crafted recollection of events.

    But you were not there yet you somehow know what really happened. Guess again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  20. Andrei Vfeked says:

    @ernieyeball:

    Seeing as I very deliberately used the word “guess” (as you yourself pointed out), I think it was pretty clear to everyone that I do not, nor have I pretended to, know what really happened. I did, however, actually read the article and made note of its obvious bias and inconsistencies.

    I worked as a police officer in a small southern city for several years, one that was almost exactly the same size as North Augusta, SC (population ~22,000). If a woman called us or contacted us in person and told us that she witnessed a woman say, “quick squeezing the fucking bread” to a child and that was all, there is no way in hell that alone would lead to an arrest or even a citation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  21. Janis Gore says:

    Then the clerk comes over:

    Where the fuck is the California Ranch EEVO? It was just here last Friday.

    EVERY time I come to this goddamned store, you’ve moved something. How the fuck am I supposed to shop here? With a scanner?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  22. ernieyeball says:

    @Andrei Vfeked:..something tells me that if any of us had been standing there and witnessed the mother’s behavior, we would have applauded her arrest as well…She probably had a full-on Wal-Mart-White-Trash meltdown…I think it was pretty clear to everyone that I do not, nor have I pretended to, know what really happened.

    If you say so…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. wr says:

    @Andrei Vfeked: Nice to see a professional law enforcement officer explaining that he would have only arrested a woman for using bad words more than once. It shows that even Southern small town cops have a keen understanding of the constitution, particularly the part of the first amendment that explains that the right to free speech extends only to the first repetition of words the officer decides are “bad,” and that anything after that can be deemed criminal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  24. @Andrei Vfeked:

    Yeah, something tells me that if any of us had been standing there and witnessed the mother’s behavior, we would have applauded her arrest as well

    Seems to me that it might be possible to simply ask her to refrain from using profane language. Why do we have to jump straight to arrest?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  25. Andrei Vfeked says:

    @ernieyeball:

    “something tells me”

    “probably”

    Yup, I do say so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Andrei Vfeked says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The complainant allegedly tried to do just that and received more profanity in response. This happened *before* she contacted police.

    Seriously, folks, this is a pretty obvious there’s-more-to-the-story scenario. If the woman was engaged in a profane tirade in a public place, she can and likely will be arrested for disorderly conduct because…*drumroll*…it is disorderly conduct.

    I agree that the statute is pretty dangerous in how it is written, allowing an officer to cite for even very light public use of profanity, but I doubt very seriously that is what happened here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  27. ernieyeball says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:..Why do we have to jump straight to arrest?

    To keep the world safe for prudes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  28. @Andrei Vfeked:

    The complainant allegedly tried to do just that and received more profanity in response

    That last part (“received more profanity in response”) is not in the complaint (unless I am missing something). You seem to be embellishing the known facts to make your case.

    Likewise, I see no evidence of a “tirade”–I see an allegation of an f-bomb in reference to squishing the bread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  29. ernieyeball says:

    @Andrei Vfeked:…“something tells me”

    Hearing voices. eh? Better get that checked out!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. (I am no advocate for profanity at the grocery store. but it seems here that we have a busybody plus an unnecessary arrest).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  31. Andrei Vfeked says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    From the article:

    “The woman who says she witnessed the incident said she saw Wolf use the f-word repeatedly and Wolf started cursing at her after she approached Wolf.”

    From the police report:

    “WHILE SHOPPING IN THE STORE SHE OBSERVED A WHITE FEMALE YELLING AT HER CHILDREN…STATED THAT SHE HEARD THE FEMALE USE SIMILAR PHRASES MULTIPLE TIMES”

    While the latter obviously does not state that it was a tirade, it is not a far-fetched supposition on my part based on the typically understated text of a police report.

    Common sense should tell you that a lot more went on here than simply a woman telling her child to “stop squeezing the fucking bread”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Tyrell says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: In our town using that kind of language would get you possibly, maybe “watch that language please” from one of our 3 1/2 officers.
    They have more important things to do, like giving out citations for glas packs (loud mufflers), looking for little dog lost, and rolling up the sidewalks at 6:00 pm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “Likewise, I see no evidence of a “tirade”–I see an allegation of an f-bomb in reference to squishing the bread.”

    And here’s the really astonishing thing that our cop friend doesn’t seem to understand — just because people use the phrase “f-bomb,” these words aren’t actually weapons. They don’t actually do any harm to anyone, not even those who choose to be offended.

    It’s one more reason I wish we could eliminate this phrase from our vocabulary. It not only infantilizes all of us — suggesting that we are such fragile flowers that hearing this word that essentially everyone uses multiple times every day will cause us great physical harm — it allows members of the nanny patrol to classify its use as a crime.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  34. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    “We live in an age of trashy behavior. We see it everywhere.”

    This has been true for all of humanity’s existence. What seems to have changed is a certain collection of prudes are no longer calling the shots during an information age. I have no problem with even children using “cuss words” or racial epithets or whatever they want to say. Best to get word-slavery out of the system early.

    Because those goddamn kids are going to swear and grind their hips behind your back anyway. Duh.

    This arrest was uncannily stupid, another piece of evidence Americans refuse to grow up. The mental state of “being offended” is at all times a free choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  35. michael reynolds says:

    I curse. My wife curses. My two teen-aged kids curse.

    This obsession with so-called “bad words” is absolutely moronic. Idiots enforcing idiot laws for idiotic reasons.

    Listen: no word is bad. The intent behind their use may be bad, but no word is bad. There is no such thing as cursing. It’s imaginary.

    Grow up already. I hope this woman takes it all the way to the Supremes. I’d pitch in for her legal fund.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  36. ernieyeball says:

    “We live in an age of trashy behavior. We see it everywhere.”

    “The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.”
    …extract from a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274.

    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/398104.html#answer

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  37. Tyrell says:

    While I agree that being arrested is an inappropriate comsequence of using this type of language, there still must be some boundaries. If a parent doesn’t mind their child using that kind of language, fine as long as it is done in their own home or car, where my family and I don’t have to hear it. You certainly would not want me dragging up and down your street in the middle of the night in a hot rod with no mufflers. Your freedom to sleep “bumps” into my freedom of making racket.
    I would say that communities and cities have varying standards with different sorts of behavior. Some places don’t mind that kind of language. Ours does mind but you won’t get arrested for it. Some hard looks and most likely someone will express their strong disapproval. Some people do not want their wives or children exposed to that sort of stuff. It goes back to being raised in a time where women were respected and certain things were considered inappropriate, unmannerly: marks of a civil society. Some people still try to raise their children to show manners and respect. Certainly in schools using bad words will get you at the least in school suspension, several laps, a hundred sentences, picking up trash after school, or isolated lunch. There are still a lot of places and people who disapprove of that kind of language. That is why they have a delay on live tv programs so that type of junk doesn’t get through.
    Our community also does not allow alcoholic drinks to be sold. But people are perfectly free to drive twenty minutes up the road to the next county to buy it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  38. Church Lady says:

    Hello, I’m the Church Lady, and this is “Church Chat”.

    Well, you know, back to school has arrived. And, with it, a little letter from North Augusta, South Carolina. Let’s read that, shall we?

    [ reading ] “Dear Church Lady: I am shocked at the number of people who bring their children to the stores and allow their young ones to wander the aisles without proper supervision. Why, I even saw a woman CURSE within speaking distance of her children! What causes this mass hysteria?” Signed, Elaine.

    Well, Elaine, let’s examine the mindset of these godless people. Let’s see, what have we got here? We have promiscuity, lawlessness, disrespect…. Who could be causing all those problems in society today… Who would do all these things that make Baby Jesus cry? Who could it be, I just don’t know.

    Could it be.. [ echo ] Satan!!

    http://www.dailydevotionblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Church-lady.png

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. Doug Deal says:

    I hate profanity, particularly the extremely vulgar kind, but anyone who would support someone getting arrested for it needs to re-evaluate their priorities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. SC_Birdflyte says:

    I suspect it was Kroger management wanting to preserve their store’s image. I shop Kroger and I regularly use the f-word (mostly under my breath) at their attitude, which seems to be, “we’ll let you shop in our store as long as you don’t get in our way.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    No, I’m sorry, but you do not have a right to designate randomly-chosen words according to some formula that only you know, and then forbid me or my kids to say them in public. That’s nuts.

    They don’t cause you any damage. So deal with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. ernieyeball says:

    @michael reynolds:So deal with it.

    Stay home and watch TV Ty. There’s enough on the groove tube for you to complain about without leaving the comfort of your living room. You get the added benefit of being able to change the channel or shut it off if you get too agitated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0