Dawn Herb was cited last week for disorderly conduct after a neighbor heard her shouting profanities. Although Dawn (who I'm going to call "Dawn" because calling Dawn "Herb" seems weird) was inside her own home at the time, she admitted she was near an open bathroom window so her neighbor could have heard the swearing.
She was near the open bathroom window because she was shouting profanities at her toilet, which was overflowing.
Dawn's neighbor, an off-duty police officer, asked her to keep it down but apparently the profanities continued. At that point, there was nothing he could do but call in the authorities. Dawn now faces up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300 for yelling at her own toilet inside her own home.
"It doesn't make any sense," she told the Scranton Times-Tribune. "I was in my house. It's not like I was outside [see "I was in my house," supra] or drunk. The toilet was overflowing and leaking down into the kitchen and I was yelling [to my daughter] to get the mop." She did not recall exactly what she said but conceded that profanity was involved.
It's unclear from the report whether the American Civil Liberties Union has signed up to defend Dawn, or whether they were just contacted by the Associated Press for comment, but it is clear that they are on the side of free expression. Said an ACLU attorney in Philadelphia, "You can't prosecute somebody for swearing at a cop or a toilet."
Link: San Francisco Chronicle