This Connecticut man really went to court at least three times, as a matter of principle and pride, that police got it wrong and that a hash brown was not a cellphone.
Conn. driver and resident Jason Stiber won one for the underdogs in his recent court case against local Westport Police. In a long and drawn out process lasting well over a year from the traffic stop, according to the Washington Post on their update on the case, a Conn. Superior Court Judge ruled in Stiber’s favor concluding “that the state was unable to meet its burden of proof, citing a lack of evidence that shows Stiber was actually on his phone at the time he was pulled over.”
Jason Stiber was pulled over by a police officer on Apr. 11,2018 shortly after exiting a McDonalds after buying a hash brown and caramel frappe. The Westport police officer claims Stiber was on his cell phone citing the glow emanating onto his face as proof and that he was, for the lack of a better term, jawing away. Handed a $300 ticket, Stiber decided to fight the ticket in court representing himself.
Despite phone records in hand, he lost. That’s when this story got picked up by local media curious to why a man hired an attorney for literally thousands of dollars when it would’ve been cheaper to pay the ticket. As mentioned, at this point, it’s a matter of principle.
After returning to court for a retrial and with an attorney, new facts were revealed including it was towards the end of a double shift for the police officer, that his lip movement was consistent with chewing, his Bluetooth device was on at the time of his ticketing, and that his phone records show he wasn’t on a call. His attorney also stated that his driving was of a man not texting, that is, he was driving straight and not swerving from side-to-side side.
This time and in light of the new information, Stiber won.
At the very least and with this story going public the way it did, perhaps police will get a good look at people they think are driving distracted to make sure they really aren’t on cellphones and are in fact, just eating.
What do you think about this long and drawn out case? How many other people do you think just end up paying for these tickets when they are in fact innocent? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.