NORTH AUGUSTA, SC — A woman was handcuffed and taken to jail when she was accused of using prohibited language in a grocery store.
Danielle Wolf, a 22-year-old mother of two, admits to getting frustrated while shopping on August 10th, 2014.
She admits that when her husband piled frozen pizzas on top of the loaves of bread in her shopping cart, she told him to “stop squishing the f***ing bread.”
But a busybody eyewitness thought the language was inappropriate. Wolf claims the female witness confronted her, and then phoned police.
“She’s like, ‘You used the F-word,'” Mrs. Wolf told WJBF.
North August Police Officer Travis A. Smith arrived at the Kroger grocery store and arrested the mom.
“He was like, ‘You’re under arrest’… right in front of kids, in front of my husband, in front of customers,” Mrs. Wolf told WJBF of the officer who approached her in the store.
“I didn’t harm nobody. I didn’t hurt nobody,” Mrs. Wolf said. “The lady said she was having a bad day. So, because you’re having a bad day you’re going to ruin somebody’s life.”
Danielle Wolf was handcuffed, placed in a police car, and taken to a local jail. Facing disorderly conduct charges, she is due in court in September.
The North August city Code of Ordinances defines disorderly conduct (Sec. 16-84) as “riotous conduct of any kind,” to “cry out in a noisy, scandalous, or abusive manner” in a public place, or to “utter, while in a state of anger, in the presence of another, any bawdy, lewd, or obscene words or epithets.”
The city’s prohibition of speech and the vaguely drawn ordinance allows police officers an excessively broad discretion in making arrests under this dubious, catch-all offense. If the ostensible reason for the law is to protect children, one might weigh the fact that watching their mother dragged away in shackles might be more traumatic than hearing an arbitrarily frowned-upon word.