Grandmother Arrested At McDonald's For Refusing To Pull Car Forward

75-year-old Jean Merola was arrested by Clearwater, Florida police after refusing to pull her car forward at a McDonald’s drive-thru, despite being ordered to do so by a police officer. She had ordered decaf coffee and “salt-free” french fries and was waiting for them.

Merola said the McDonald’s employees told her to wait there for her food. Merola was handcuffed behind her back and put in the cruiser. Another officer arrived and took her to the Pinellas County Jail .

Merola said she was searched, photographed and fingerprinted. Jail records show she was released about 90 minutes later on her own recognizance.

Merola says she was arrested after she refused to present identification and “cursed” at the officer when he radioed in to say she should be “taken to a mental hospital.” The officer’s supervisor later apologized.

Imagine waiting until 75 to start your life of crime. What a procrastinator.

Grandmother Arrested At McDonald’s Drive-Thru For Not Pulling Car Forward [Local 6 via BoingBoing] (Thanks, Everyone!)

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  1. astrochimp says:

    So, were the fries “salt-free” or salt-free.

  2. KingPsyz says:

    they sure weren’t assault free…

    I’m sorry

  3. morganlh85 says:

    ???? That doesn’t make any sense!

  4. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    So, no word on WHY she was asked by an officer to pull forward, or why an officer was at McDonald’s barking orders in the first place?

    Exactly the reason why TV Media is useless and untrustworthy.

  5. KingPsyz says:

    I’m guessing the cop didn’t want to wait an extra 5 minutes in line for her special order so hit the PA telling her to move along.

    Cops get away with quite a bit at fst food joints too, usually getting comp’d food and if they get to be dicks about it nobody complains cause they don’t want to be the one getting the “late response” when they’re being held up.

  6. pylon83 says:

    The article lacks enough facts to form an “Accurate” opinion, but on its face, it seems to be a clear abuse of power on the part of the police. First thing that pops into my mind was “sure they arrested her, she was trespassing after she had been asked to leave”. However, there is no evidence that anyone other than the cops told her to move. Next, the McDonalds is presumably on private property. I’m not sure the cops have any authority to tell her to move her car in that case. The only thing that conceivably justified arrest was her refusal to show identification. While most states don’t require you to present actual ID on request (just verbally stating your name and address is enough),the fact she was driving a car changes the scenario entirely. She was legally obligated to present ID on demand in that situation. Unfortunately, it seems that if it weren’t for some overzealous cop the situation would have never escalated to that point.

  7. Szin says:

    “Salt-Free” McDonald’s Fries? Does such a think even exist?

  8. KingPsyz says:

    Yeah if you watch the video they actually state it’s because she was parked at the curb in the parking lot. But again private property /= public street.

    Not even sure what business the officer had in aproaching the car of someone waiting for food on private property…

    I get asked to pull forward all the time, I’ll start telling them no I don’t wanna get arrested like the old lady in florida.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Clearwater, Florida = Scientology-ville.

    No, seriously, look it up.

    …now, how that’s relevant to this story, I have no idea.

  10. Fry says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: Don’t apologize, someone had to say it!

  11. takotchi says:

    When I used to work at a fast-food-type joint, some (rude) customers would try to order additional food at the pick-up window, which of course holds up everybody behind them. So if we were particularly busy, we might ask them to pull forward into the parking lot so we could keep the line moving while their additional food cooked.

    Some of assholes would actually refuse to your face and just sit there and hold up the drive-through while their extra food cooked, despite the fact it was their indecisiveness that caused the problem in the first place.

    Even so, we’d never call the cops on such a person. Just grit the teeth and roll the eyes.

  12. Parting says:

    @Szin: Exactly, sound like a hoax. Never ever heard about salt-free fries.

  13. Fry says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: I used to work at a Tim Horton’s in Northern Ontario. If any officers came in, we’d give them free coffee and a donut/muffin/equivalent if they were staying in. That was just a rule, for some reason. Bus drivers (for Greyhound and the like) got free coffee, probably for the extra business they brought in. Don’t know why, seems unfair if you ask me.

  14. topgun says:

    Speaking of procrastinators, this story is like 4 or 5 days old.
    And to think I just voted for The Consumerist for all 3 Bloggies.
    I hope it wasn’t a full body cavity search. Yuck I’m getting a bad visual.

  15. rdldr1 says:

    What an old hag. Someone who suffers from common sense AND memory lapse while driving should never be allowed to drive. Thank God I dont live in Florida to deal with these old fogies.

  16. camman68 says:

    Remember the Wendy’s commercials?

    “Park it and WAIT”.

    The same thing happened to me.

    I had already waited 10 minutes. They gave me part of my order but the nuggets weren’t done yet! I didn’t want HOT nuggets and COLD fries so I told them to either give me the rest of my food or give me my money back. They called the police and said I threatened them and threw my food at them through the window. The police were going to arrest me until I told them to ask the manager to see the video from the camera in the drive-thru.

  17. insomniac8400 says:

    Real article with details: [www.msnbc.msn.com]
    Basically the dumb cop got his car stuck behind hers and instead of waiting he decided to abuse his badge and try to force her to move.

  18. riverstyxxx says:

    Lesson learned: Don’t ever separate a cop from his junk food.

  19. Cary says:

    McBusted

  20. riverstyxxx says:

    @topgun:

    FOAD.

  21. deserthiker says:

    What was that cop doing at McDonalds? Do they serve donuts now?

  22. barfoo says:
  23. magic8ball says:

    @Cary: lolz

  24. burgundyyears says:

    Police report:

    [www.sptimes.com]

  25. DanGarion says:

    So what exactly is this a consumer issue?

  26. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    The police report says the manager asked her to pull all the way up, and she didn’t…I think the old lady has issues…but I’m sure officer McDonut was as charming as any other police officer on the usual power trip.

    I’m calling this one a stalemate. I think the two cancel each other out.

    Wait, this could be the idea for a great new sitcom!

  27. cde says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: Even on (semi/open to the public) private property, cops can direct traffic for 1) safety, 2) handicap parking violations and 3) Fire violations. (fire lane)

    That being said, they couldn’t give you a ticket for parking across three parking spots (when I say couldn’t, I mean it would get thrown out in court later)

  28. topgun says:

    @riverstyxxx: You’d feel bad if I did.

  29. forgottenpassword says:

    From what i read about this days ago & saw on the news…. the cop said she wasnt pulled up far enough for him to pass (or some such nonsense) & after confronting her he had some thoughts about the possibility of her being senile.

    When you really want to get down to it…. it is just another case of “respect my authority or you are going to pay” attitude that cops often have. She dared not uttery cooperate with the cop to his satisfaction so he was going to punish her to teach her a lesson. Cops do this alllllllll the time. Too bad cop’s cant actually use their brains instead of their egos to solve a problem.

    If I were a cop & some old granny told me to go fuck myself, I’d probably let it slide & not go actively looking for a reason to arrest & punish her.

    You know… if you interacted with a cop long enough…. he could probably find a reason to arrest you IF he wanted to. That’s why its best to have as little interactions with cops as possible. Rarely anything good comes from it.

  30. trollkiller says:

    OMG When I read the police report I almost fell out from laughing. God bless this old gal.

  31. jkaufman101 says:

    Um, I think some of the facts have been left out of this story. You guys at consumerist.com need to be a little more attentive. I read these incomplete stories from time to time here.

  32. kc-guy says:

    Lawsuit for emotional distress, pitch a fit until the officer is put up for review. The officer will be absolved of any wrongdoing, but he’ll have at least a day of administrative leave, and the smudge of the inquiry on his record.

    31 posts, and I’m the first to suggest a golden opportunity for frivolous litigation? What has The Consumerist come to?

    That said, I’m off to read the article :)

  33. EtherealStrife says:

    I’m split. On the one hand I hate cops, on the other I hate senior citizen drivers. But after reading this article, I have 0 sympathy for the old bag.

    “Oh my goodness, here I am, a poor little innocent woman waiting for my French fries.”

    After refusing, Merola yelled at Parco for about 20 minutes, calling him a “brat,” a “smart a–,” and a “dumb—-”

    Innocent my a–.

  34. Szin says:

    @chouchou: Seriously, the Fries are Drenched in the McCrack they call “Fry Salt.” It’s what made them so good.

  35. trollkiller says:

    @EtherealStrife: If you read the police report [www.sptimes.com] you will see she did not yell at him for 20 minutes (by the officer’s account) you will also see the officer trying to paint himself as a victim. (bullshit)

    The cop starts by blowing his horn at a lady that is parked in an area that the cashier told her to wait. He then yelled at her to mover her car. (The police report says he asked nicely, but please tell me how you can ask nicely when you are sitting in your car yelling to be heard over your running engine and hers?)

    I am not going to go over the whole police report. Turn on your bullshit detector and read it for yourself. You will see the officer escalated this due to his “I’m the law” attitude. The old gal called him on it. That is why she went to jail.

    A smart officer would have told her she needed to pull forward and would have directed her so she would not bump the curb. Then again a smart officer would not have been trapped behind a vehicle at the drive thru.

  36. coren says:

    @EtherealStrife: Who says she did that, her, or the cop?

  37. jedipunk says:

    she is lucky she wasn’t tasered.

  38. bodgy says:

    This is one of those cases where too much media is a bad thing. The Consumerist is sometimes the National Enquirer of consumerism…

  39. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    I am so glad that so many of us here know what happened despite the story and the police report.
    I think we should all volunteer for jury duty everywhere, we could do away with the whole trial bullshit and move right to sentencing.

    Say it with me, there are good cops and bad cops. Cops are people too. Except the power hungry little @#%!! who pull me over :)

    Seriously, most cops are pretty decent, but you hardly ever read about when a cop does what we expect them to. I have personally seen police take a lot of shit from someone to avoid escalating a situation, so just like people, you can’t generalize them as all bad (or all good).
    Holy @#$!!, I’m sticking up for the man!

  40. molife says:

    I don’t blame her for ordering McD fries without salt. My God! Even when you order them without salt there is enough residue on the fry scoop to tan your tongue. I get the idea that they are just trying to get you to buy more soda. But for christ sake the amount of salt is ridiculous!

    Just goes to show you crazy assholes come in every age and every color of dress – including blue! Old crazy bitch VS my daddy humiliated me so I’m gonna get me a uniform so I can take it out on every person I can goad into a fight!

    Or in this case maybe it was mommy.

  41. FF_Mac says:

    This entire incident happened because this moron police officer didn’t remember to leave an escape route for him to pull out of a line of traffic?

    That being said, the old lady definitely needs some psychiatric help. Too bad she’s only getting a bunch of crybaby recognition from teh interwebs.

  42. aka Cat says:

    She was driving a Lincoln Town Car aka land yacht. My guess is, she didn’t pull forward far enough so that the next car in line could maneuver around her from its position at the pick up window.

    I’m calling bullshit that she couldn’t move forward because there was a curb in front of her. If you look at the satellite view of the McDonald’s on google maps, there are no obstructions in the path of the drive through.

    I’m going to try to link directly to the google maps page, the address of the McDonald’s is 1934 N. HERCULES AVE, clearwater, fl, if that doesn’t work.

    google maps

  43. SexCpotatoes says:

    my favorite line is how they worked in “Grandmother of eight…” wow, if she only had seven grandchildren she’d be a failure as a person, but since her children reproduced eight times with their chosen partners, she should be nominated for a Nobel Prize!

    Kids are great, I only hate children on a case by case basis, I just hate it when the media HAS to mention how PRODIGIOUS the family line is!

  44. JGB says:

    The odds may be against it, but white trash can live to be old too…

  45. Murph1908 says:

    @JGB:
    Please stop spewing such racist remarks. If you used the N word or other racial slur, you’d be banned.

  46. PinkBox says:

    On the police report, the cop said he pleaded with her for over 20 minutes to move her car.

    So over 20 minutes had passed and she still hadn’t recieved her order??

    It seems obvious that if they’d given her the order, she would have taken it and left.

  47. yukonrye says:

    She really needs to work out some engrams.

  48. Snarkysnake says:

    She wanted SALT FREE FRIES ?!! At MC DONALDS ?!!!! I’ll bet that she swims in the unchlorinated end of the pool at the Senility Hilton…

  49. DMDDallas says:

    Actually, there has to be some sort of reasonable suspicion to stop someone and then ask for ID. If there was none, then the request for ID was invalid.

    For example, if a cop catches you speeding, he can ask for your ID and such because he believes you broke a law. However, refusing to let a cop get ahead of you in line so he can get his McHeartattack is not something the cop can use to ID you with.

    Assuming there is nothing more to this story, the cop might find himself on the bad end of a lawsuit and internal affairs investigation.

  50. pylon83 says:

    @DMDDallas:
    Not entirely true. While a normal
    “Terry Stop” does require some suspicion, that pretty much goes out the window if you are operating a motor vehicle. You are required, on demand, to produce an operators license in that case. No reasonable suspicion required. Furthering my point, she wasn’t even “pulled over” or “stopped”. He just approached her already stationary car.

  51. savvy999 says:

    Uh-oh. This troublesome granny didn’t happen to have a hammer, did she?

  52. snoop-blog says:

    what a cooky old lady. i mean it pisses me off to pull forward also, but i’ll reserve my energy for greater causes and just pull the damn car foward!

  53. MissPeacock says:

    @snarkysnake: I dunno, perhaps she has dietary restrictions. I had a really awful kidney infection when I was in elementary school and was not allowed to eat any salt for several weeks. They will make salt-free fries for you; it just takes longer.

  54. coan_net says:

    Ordering salt-free fries is a good way to get “fresh” fries – since basicly they cook a new batch, but when they are done – they simply do not put salt on them. (Same way that you can order a burger without pickles – or something else, so you know you get a “fresh” one)

    Of course asking some teenage punk to make you a special order is sometimes asking for problems, but usually not.

    I use to hate all the extra salt and ordered this way all the time. Salt does not bother me as much anymore, so I no longer order like this.

  55. Rukasu says:

    old people are funny when they are indignant.

  56. Rukasu says:

    @coan_net: Why the change of heart? The saturated fat just wasn’t bad enough, had to get all the sodium back too?

  57. bdgbill says:

    Only someone who has spent some time in Florida can really appreciate this story. I lived there for 12 years and I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that Florida is the worst place in America to drive.

    You quickly learn to watch out for the Mercury Grand Marquis, Cadilacs and Town Cars. I firmly believe that elderly people are a more dangerous menace than drunk drivers. They have a spooky ability to cause accidents that they themselves are not involved in.

    I once saw a Grand Marquis on its roof in an Arby’s parking lot with almost no damage. I have seen them driving the wrong way on the interstate multiple times, I have seen them floating in canals and driven through convenience store windows.

    My company had a $200,000 car wash completely destroyed by a 78 year old woman in a town car who inexplicably took a sharp left turn in the middle of the wash and drove through the wall.

    I once saw an elderly lady in ft myers pumping gas into a car whose left front wheel was completely on fire. Apparantly she had driven over a hundred miles on the interstate with one foot on the gas and one on the brake which caused the brakes to overheat. We had to call the police to keep her from driving the car (which now had no breaks and a flat tire) away.

    Before I moved to Florida I had respect for older people. When they represent 40% of the population they become very hard to live with.

  58. rustyni says:

    I don’t know, maybe it’s because I grew up among the trigger-happy LAPD, but when a cop tells me to move my ass, I MOVE MY ASS. Regardless of whatever I’m sitting around for, I don’t mess around when it comes to cops. Yeah s/he may be a penis and a half, but I’d rather grin and bear it than get a.) tasered, b.) smacked with a baton c.) thrown to the ground and taste the sidewalk, d.) arrested, or e.) all of the above.

  59. NotATool says:

    @Szin: Yes, but you have to request it. The fries actually taste great when they’re not oversalted. And, when you request no-salt, it forces them to make a fresh batch.

    So you get the freshest fries possible out of the deal, in addition to lower sodium. It just takes them an extra 2 minutes or so.

  60. floydianslip6 says:

    Tonight on FOX news: when assholes collide!

  61. mgyqmb says:

    I despise police..but this woman is a true bitch in every sense of the word. Even after she got her food, she just sat around throwing a fit.

  62. floyderdc says:

    Old people really piss me off sometimes. I mean why should people be treaded diffrently just because they are old?

  63. The Porkchop Express says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: I’ve heard interviews with this lady and someone who knows the cop.
    The lady’s story changed a few times in a couple of interviews with the same guy!
    It should have been handled differently but I think there is more to the story.

    And no, I’m not a cop. In fact, I don’t like them anymore than the next guy, but they do have a job to do and it isn’t an easy one.

  64. catcherintheeye says:

    @mgyqmb: I understand that some police are assholes, but please don’t hate all police officers. My father was a cop, was a good one, and did what he had to do protect the public. Sometimes it requires being an asshole, and sometimes it requires enforcing laws they don’t particularly want to, but it’s a dangerous job, and think of what it would be like without police.

    You may have had a bad experience, but please don’t despise them.

  65. ClayS says:

    @floyderdc:

    Exactly, and of course the fact that she’s a grandmother makes her untouchable?

    Grandmothers are a dime a dozen, especially in Florida.

  66. MercuryPDX says:

    @s0crates82: Maybe she asked for “SP Fries” and not “Salt Free fries”.

  67. shadow735 says:

    at least she wasnt tazed

  68. Curiosity says:

    This is a consumer issue b/c if you read the police report it was a McDonald’s employee who gave the statement making it vague whom exactly had the issue with the lady, the police or the business. I somewhat assume that this is private property.

    @pylon83:
    Generally the black letter law for stopping is the “Terry rule” [www.soc.umn.edu] :
    If there is no probable cause, no warrant, and no consent then: If there is a reasonable suspicion that a crime is about to take place, officers can stop and ask questions, and if the answers do not dispel suspicion, then they can pat down the outer garments and “create” probable cause (usually if identifiable weapons).

    Obviously though there is a lesser expectation of privacy in cars which is governed by probable cause and the ability of the police to seize and inventory the car.

    Here though this is probably governed by state law and local ordinances [www.municode.com] . Clearwater I believe has adopted the Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law, and empowered their police via ” It is unlawful and a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for any person willfully to fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any law enforcement officer, traffic crash investigation officer as described in s. 316.640, traffic infraction enforcement officer as described in s. 316.640, or member of the fire department at the scene of a fire, rescue operation, or other emergency.”

  69. Curiosity says:

    @DMDDallas:
    You may want to:

    1. Watch the Flexyourrights.org video entitled ” BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters” [www.youtube.com] and

    2. Print out the ACLU’s “bust card” that details what you should do when you are stopped [www.joshdale.com]

    They should answer your questions better. generally though keep in mind Courts recognize these levels of police-citizen contact: (a) community caretaking, or public safety – not a seizure and requires no legal justification; (b) limited, brief investigatory stop – justified if reasonable suspicion of criminal activity; and (c) an arrest – justified with warrant or when probable cause that a crime had occurred and person arrested was involved in the crime.

  70. mackjaz says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: That’s not true, at least in this area. We have strict rules about getting comped anything (It probably happens occasionally…).

    The truth is, cops are not usually able to eat at fast food restaurants for fear of “contamination” in their food. It’s a sad state of affairs that most FF workers are either incompetent or have had run-ins with the law.

    I think (hope) that the idea of cops getting free stuff everywhere under threat of slow response time is a thing of the past. Does anyone else see this happening?

  71. MarvinMar says:

    I remember a few years ago the McDonalds comercials were showing people sppeding through the drive-thru at like 50 miles an hour. Same with the radio adds.

    At the same time, our McDonalds had 2 big rectangles painted on the ground. One was painted red with a big 1 and another painted blue marked 2.
    They even had a sign saying “Parking for Drive-Trhu Customers Only!”

    How about this. If you so slow, that you cant give me my food, I really think the last thing you need right now is for me to go park somewhere while you take more orders and continue to get more backed up. Retards!

  72. aka Cat says:

    @MarvinMar: You don’t have the first clue how a fast food place works, do you?

    No, seriously. Just because one person orders something that has to be made fresh, or waits until they’re at the pickup window to change their order, doesn’t mean that the six people behind them in line can’t get their already made orders before they have a chance to get cold.

  73. Buran says:

    @FF_Mac: If you’re waiting in a drivethru line you KNOW you’re going to be trapped there until you get your order and leave — precisely BECAUSE idiots pull out of the drivethru line cutting off other traffic passing by, and also because pulling out of the line screws up the sequence for everyone behind you so that people get charged the wrong amount and/or given the wrong order, which leads to the restaurant getting in trouble for order mistakes.

    If you don’t want to be trapped for a few minutes, why are you in the drivethru line? We’ll have to start adding disclaimers now to the menus or something for dolts like this guy who think they’re special.

  74. bubbaprog says:

    I live in this neighborhood, and while the lady may have been a bit cranky, this is typical local cop behavior. Back in Ohio, police officers served because they legitimately wanted to protect the public. Here, they do it to enforce some kind of sick, twisted fetishes. It’s really crazy, and I’m not surprised a fatass cop went crazy on an old lady because he was stuck at the McDonald’s drive-thru.

    Oh, and it’s up to the person at the window to direct a customer to a proper waiting area. If she wasn’t waiting in a place appropriate for the other customers, that’s on McDonald’s, not the old lady. I’ve driven past this McDonald’s and I can see how it might be a tight fit.

  75. Szin says:

    @NotATool: Well I’ve learned something new today. I haven’t eaten McDonald’s fries in something like 8 years. Good to see they can reduce the Fry Salt.

  76. snoop-blog says:

    @floydianslip6: too funny! i bursted out laughing and everyone in the office was looking at me wierd. hilarious.

    @CatMoran: thank you for saying what needed to be said!

  77. trollkiller says:

    @bdgbill: Before I moved to Florida I had respect for older people. When they represent 40% of the population they become very hard to live with.

    Truer words were never spoken.

  78. veraikon says:

    @DanGarion: That was my thought too. This is a “Florida is a crazy state” issue. Nothing more.

  79. trollkiller says:

    @Curiosity: It was not a lawful order. The old gal was on PRIVATE PROPERTY negating his right to enforce most vehicle laws. Blocking traffic on PRIVATE PROPERTY is not traffic control issue. Besides it is a moot point because she was busted for disorderly conduct.

  80. CaliforniaCajun says:

    At least he didn’t tase her. That seems to be the most fashionable way for police officers to avoid “Protecting and Serving” citizens that dare to mouth off against ridiculous orders.

    Seriously – I caught a few minutes of Cops the other day. Three people were tased at a traffic stop – one, the sober designated driver who was pleading for a cop to leave her drunk, non-violent and non-threatening boyfriend alone (he’d been riding in the passenger’s seat), two the boyfriend, who upon seeing his responsible and now hysterical girlfriend abused by the police, and finally, a bystander who saw all of this take place (he’d originally stuck around to give an eyewitness report of the accident) and who was taken aback at the police use of tasers on two people who didn’t become upset/combative until they were tased.

    After all the eletrocuting was over, the cop said “we really hate to do this”. Right. And they hate to be patient enough to wait behind an old lady in the drive through, too.

  81. burgundyyears says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: Yeah, if it were me – I’d have taken a different approach. Who needs to argue with some crazy old woman for 20 minutes when he could have just rammed her out of the way?

  82. 5h17h34d says:

    And they wonder why they call them pigs?

  83. gretch9er says:

    Anyone else think its hilarious that her occupation on the police report is listed as “Retured”?

  84. trollkiller says:

    @gretch9er: Hooked on Phonics worked for him.

  85. algormortis says:

    I was always told by my mother when I growing up that Florida was the worst of the United States in one amoral, hateful package.

    This really only proves that my mother’s right about something. Yes, old people can be a pain. They can also be awesome. Either way, this is clearly a bad cop overstepping his boundaries, and it’s very curious that they haven’t dropped the charges and launched a media blitz to cover their tracks.

    Also, it’s furthermore curious that such a jerk as that cop still has a job “protecting” the public, but see the amoral and hateful part above. I guess they encourage that kind of crap in Pinellas County, eh?

  86. CurbRunner says:

    Why didn’t this cop use his Taser on her?
    After all, she’d be an easy target ya know…elderly, possibly frail, sitting in a car, obeying the request of employees on private property to wait for her food and apparently not bothering anybody else but the cop himself… all of the elements he could use as a pretext to fry her for waiting for her fries.

  87. JustAGuy2 says:

    Did the cop overstep his authority? Who knows.

    Was this woman at least being extremely rude? Definitely. Refusing to move forward by a foot to let someone (cop or not) get around you doesn’t make you a criminal, but does make you a jackass.

  88. Instigator says:

    Why do I suspect that if the vehicle in front of the cop was a big-ass Hummer with an equally big-ass dude behind the wheel, the cop wouldn’t have been in such a big-ass hurry? Because he decided that a frail, white-haired woman would be easy to intimidate?

  89. Lazlo Nibble says:

    I can hate on cops with the best of ‘em, but unless you’re willing to believe that the entire police report was completely made up — including the witness statement from the manager, which was taken by a different officer — this lady deserved exactly what she got.

    She blocked the drive-through exit (for EVERYONE, not just the cop);
    She wouldn’t move her car to allow people through when one of the McDonald’s employees asked her to;
    She wouldn’t move her car to allow people through when the cop subsequently asked/ordered her to;
    She continued to refuse to move her car after she got her food;
    At the time of her arrest she had the place so backed up that McDonald’s was having to walk peoples’ orders out to their cars and directing them through the other exit.

    Even assuming all the stuff about her haranguing the cop is complete BS, this is still more than enough to justify a disorderly conduct arrest.

  90. EtherealStrife says:

    @coren: Both

    @CaliforniaCajun: Exactly. People have been tasered for far less than what she pulled. And at her age a taser just might be lethal force.
    You comply with cops to the best of your ability while lining up as many witnesses as possible, then let the lawyers do the fighting in court.

  91. trollkiller says:

    @LazloNibble: Yep it was all made up or at least told in a manner that heavily colors it to the cop’s side. If you notice the witness statement was NOT a witness statement but a narrative by the cop of what the witness “said”.

    Now think about this. If she would have moved up a foot she would have now been the one not able to get out.

    Where she was smart enough to stop her car far enough in front of the curb to allow her to navigate around the curb when it came time to leave, the cop was not smart enough to do the same so he had room to navigate around her car.

    If the cop would not have been in such a rush to be “Mr. By God I am in charge” she would have recieved her food and been on her way.

    The cop was and asshat and the old gal called him on it. Try a bit of respect to old ladies and you will be surprised how nice they can be. Be a shithead brat like this cop was and expect to hear about it.

  92. sibertater says:

    @snarkysnake: Never worked in foodservice? Lots of people order fries without salt, as well as a lot of other things, too. If you have hypertension, you avoid salt.

  93. LionelEHutz says:

    Meanwhile, that cop’s lapse of judgment just got him a nice lawsuit. I hope he likes his new job making salt free fries.

  94. nardo218 says:

    Did y’all see the part where her hands and wrists were swollen and her arm ached all night? And old person can’t ride in a car with their arms pinned behind their backs, and go through the stress of the booking process (causing blood pressure and digestive problems), without significant bodily harm. Not saying we can’t ever arrest old people, but to have the same level of injuries, a young person would have to be really, criminally roughed up.

  95. coren says:

    @pylon83: In that case, was she even operating a motor vehicle?

  96. coren says:

    @EtherealStrife: Not in the article I read, it wasn’t clear who was saying that she said that at all.

  97. Curiosity says:

    @trollkiller:

    There is an obvious difference between why the police thought they could order her around and whether they could – note the article “Merola, a widow and 43-year resident of Clearwater, made no apologies for her conduct. She said she could not move her car forward as the officer wanted because a curb was in front of her. She denies that she was blocking anyone.” So despite disorderly conduct – it is pretty clear why the police thought it was ok.

    Private property, the conduct of the police, as well as other factors play into the right and wrongness of the police actions – you should not assume people who quote the law support the actions of the police at all times.

    Here a misapplication of the law quoted above by the police as well as Mcdonald’s lack of actually asserting their rights as property holders for the consumer was the problem.

  98. RvLeshrac says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz:

    Police do not get breaks or lunches. If they are on shift, they are responsible for every single call. That’s also why they don’t turn off cars unless they’re actually staking out a section of roadway.

    The comp’d meal serves two purposes: It means you don’t have to bother with refunds if the officer jumps up and leaves before the food is ready, and it also means that they’re going to be a visible presence in your place of business. You’re getting what is essentially a security guard for the price of a few burgers a day.

  99. RvLeshrac says:

    @Curiosity:

    There was a curb in front of her? At the drive through? Doesn’t that make it difficult to…. drive through?

    Are they putting curbs in the middle of the street now, too?

  100. RvLeshrac says:

    @CaliforniaCajun:

    That’s funny, I’ve never once seen a “reasonable person” pulled over and arrested on COPS.

    What I do see is a lot of useless idiots who think it is OK to scream and yell at the cop after they’ve done something illegal, and a lot of stupid women who seem to be of the mind that it is perfectly OK to have men beat on them and that the cops trying to arrest the guy who just punched her in the face are much more evil.

  101. RvLeshrac says:

    @s0crates82:

    CoS runs the Clearwater police. Maybe she wasn’t a scientologist?

  102. Arrngrim says:

    Police do the jobs no one else wants to do (for the most part). Yes, they might abuse their power occasionally, but when isn’t power abused? o.O Would YOU really want to deal with this situation? Some old hag screaming at you and calling you every insult her feeble old brain can cook up.

    Old people driving pisses me off, and he had every right as a police officer to take that hag in when she refused to provide identification. She could have been an illegal alien for all HE knew! He was just protecting his country. Zig Heil!

    Joking aside…all this cop bashing makes me sick. I want any of you to come back here and post about how much you hate cops when they show up in defense of you being robbed at gun-point….seriously, you’re all a bunch of hypocrites. Corrupt cop this, corrupt cop that. POWER corrupts at every level of our society!

    You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to live in Florida now, and I’m a poor working class fool…a million dollars would be a dream come true. But nope, to hell with that state. An old folks retirement “home” now, it’s been scientifically proven that old people are the worst drivers on the road. They should be forced to retest for their license once they get 60+

    Commence flaming me for my very true statements.

  103. trollkiller says:

    @Arrngrim: I won’t flame you I will just point out how stupid your argument is. j/k

    Police do the job THEY want to do. Nobody forces them to accept the job. Just because power is abused does not mean it should be expected, accepted or tolerated.

    The cop bashing is because this cop needs to be bashed. If the post were about doctors we would hear a whole bunch of doctor bashing.

    You wouldn’t take a million to live in Florida? You are a ‘tard. Not all of Florida is full of old people. In fact most of the state is beautiful. In my area I have to deal more with criminal aliens driving slow than old people.

  104. coren says:

    @RvLeshrac: She asn’t in the drive through line anymore, she was in one of those “waiting for food” parking spots that some fast food joints have.

  105. trollkiller says:

    @Arrngrim: it’s been scientifically proven that old people are the worst drivers on the road. They should be forced to retest for their license once they get 60+

    No argument there.

  106. BellaBionda29 says:

    Well this happened were I lived. I watched this women on TV at night. She seems to be a very sweet lady. She ordered her special “no salt” fries and coffee and was told to pull a head and wait. There is a special parking spot for this kind of thing next to the exit at Mc Donalds. So the cop behind her did not feel like pulling around her and exiting like a normal person he chose to harrass her and beep his horn forever. This lady stuck her hand out the window and waived for him to go by and he did not want to go around so he pulled up and got out. She refused to move because that is where they told her to wait and she was not going anywhere because she already paid. So he made her get out and he arrested her for faliure to obey a law officer. The lady called him a brat and some other words starting with dumb and smart. I am sure we can all figure those out but this was only after she was arrested and in cuffs. This is a total abuse of law and being a police man. You are right McDonalds is public property and supposedly cops are not allowed to do this there. She is going to file a lawsuit and sue the city of clearwater for this.