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Old 08-14-2008, 02:55 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Foul-talking shopper stirs up a tempest at store in La Marque
Fire captain writes a ticket, tells woman to watch her mouth
By PEGGY O'HARE Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Aug. 13, 2008, 11:28PM


As Tropical Storm Edouard closed in on the Texas Gulf Coast last week, a storm of a different kind was brewing inside the sporting goods section of a Wal-Mart store in La Marque. It started with the F-word.

And now a 28-year-old single mother must go to court if she wants to fight a ticket for using profanity.

On Aug. 4, as local residents prepared for deteriorating weather conditions, Kathryn "Kristi" Fridge made a last-minute stop at the Wal-Mart at FM 1764 and Interstate 45 with her mother and 2-year-old daughter.

Finding the batteries shelf bare, she expressed her displeasure and disbelief to her mother.

"I was like, 'Dang.' I looked at my mom and said, 'They're all ----ing gone," Fridge recalled.

Suddenly, Capt. Alfred Decker, the La Marque assistant fire marshal, appeared from around the corner, dressed in a fire department uniform.

"He said, 'You need to watch your mouth,' " Fridge said.

Perplexed by who the man was his badge said "fire department" Fridge offered a scant apology.

"I was like, 'Oh, OK. Sorry?' " she said.

Fridge walked away, but said the man ordered her to come back. She then protested, telling him she was having a private conversation with her mother that was none of his business. When the man ordered her to come to him and she refused, she said he pulled out his handcuffs.


Chief defends the action
La Marque Fire Chief Todd Zacherl said Fridge made such a scene in the Wal-Mart that night, disrupting the peace, that Decker had no choice but to act.

"She cussed him, she cussed everybody. By now, we have a huge group of people looking," Zacherl said.

Fridge emphatically denied that, saying while she did curse in casual conversation with her mother, she never cursed at Decker, even during their confrontation. Her mother agreed.

"She never got nasty with him, she never cussed at him," said Fridge's mother, Kathryn Rice of Santa Fe.

Decker ordered Fridge to come out to his car because that's where his citation book was stored, Zacherl said. Fridge eventually complied, but admits she used the offending word again when she turned to a crowd of onlookers while being led outside and yelled, "Can you believe this? He's ----ing arresting me for saying ----!"

"When I got outside, I saw he was a fire marshal I saw his car. I said, 'You're not even a cop!' He said, 'I can do this,' " Fridge said.

Decker asked for her name, and Fridge said she began to spell it out verbally and in sign language, which angered him. As their confrontation continued, he handcuffed her.

Zacherl said the assistant fire marshal did so for his own safety because Fridge was being belligerent and because he had to turn his back to get his ticket book and check on the radio if she had any arrest warrants.

Ultimately, Fridge was released and ticketed for disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. She can pay a fine or appear in court to contest the citation.

State law says the use of abusive, indecent, profane or vulgar language in a public place, which causes an "immediate breach of the peace," meets the definition of disorderly conduct.

Because the municipal court case is pending, Decker cannot comment on the matter, Zacherl said.

Three days later, Fridge went to the La Marque Fire Department to speak with the fire chief and was given forms to make a complaint. She hasn't made an official complaint, but says she will contact a lawyer before deciding whether to pursue one.

"I'm not out to sue or get money I just want them to drop this ticket," Fridge said Wednesday. "Yes, I probably shouldn't have cussed in public, but he took it way too far."

Zacherl said the assistant fire marshal had no choice.

"When you're in uniform, you have to uphold the laws," the fire chief said. "It's like if he was on the way home and saw a drunk driver he had to act."


Public reaction
Decker is certified by the state of Texas as firefighter, peace officer, fire investigator and fire inspector. His fire department uniform also says "investigator," Zacherl said.

Zacherl said he has received about 15 phone calls from people reacting to the incident. Several accused the assistant fire marshal of abusing his power, but most calls have been positive, Zacherl said.

"The rest (of the phone calls) are, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you,' " Zacherl said.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:24 PM   #42 (permalink)
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"When you're in uniform, you have to uphold the laws," the fire chief said. "It's like if he was on the way home and saw a drunk driver he had to act."
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:14 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Should i laugh or cry?
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:50 PM   #44 (permalink)
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That is the most retarded and overtly biased piece of bullshit I've read in a while. It wasn't funny or enlightening at all. It just makes me sad that people still think that way.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:34 PM   #45 (permalink)
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I agree, rap isn't music.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:44 PM   #46 (permalink)
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You'd be just as biased and culturally depraved as the author, then. Learn to embrace foreign cultures. It will do you some good.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:49 PM   #47 (permalink)
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I wouldn't use the term culturally depraved. I just really hate rap, and hip-hop. Even at the height of the style it still sounds like garbage. I find even Sugar Hill Gang impossible to enjoy.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:37 PM   #48 (permalink)
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And I hate generic emo music in all its forms, but I will at least grudgingly acknowledge it as music.

But rap and hip-hop spawned from an African-American counterculture that fomented in the eighties. It wasn't a bunch of guys that desperately wanted to make money, but people who used their vocal emissions to express themselves. Saying that it isn't music is self-deprecating and ignorant.
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:57 AM   #49 (permalink)
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That is the most retarded and overtly biased piece of bullshit I've read in a while. It wasn't funny or enlightening at all. It just makes me sad that people still think that way.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:24 PM   #50 (permalink)
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And I hate generic emo music in all its forms, but I will at least grudgingly acknowledge it as music.

But rap and hip-hop spawned from an African-American counterculture that fomented in the eighties. It wasn't a bunch of guys that desperately wanted to make money, but people who used their vocal emissions to express themselves. Saying that it isn't music is self-deprecating and ignorant.
I agree, 100%
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