by Joe Shea
American Reporter Correspondent
Sept. 30, 2008
HOW TO PASS OUT A BAILOUT BILL
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- As a typical Guy, I've complained loudly about the deadliness of another Guy's gas. Or joked about whether he would have to register an impact statement with the Environmental Protection Agency. Whether his butt should be registered as a lethal weapon. Whether the smeller is truly the feller. About whether - you get the picture.
What we never realized is that passing gas can be bad enough you can be charged with criminal battery. It's right up there with belting someone across the face or stabbing them.
That's what Josť Antonio Cruz of Clarksburg, West By God Virginia, found out this past week.
According to a story in the Charleston (West Virginia) Daily Mail, Cruz "loudly" passed gas at Charleston patrolman T.E. Parsons during his arrest, so Parsons charged Cruz with battery.
There are times in a humorist's life that God smiles down on us, where the heavenly lights break through the gray clouds of the mundane, and a choir of angels sings and serenely flap their wings. I don't get many moments like this. Moments where funny meets absurdity and hilarity ensues. Moments like when a guy is arrested for farting at a cop. A million jokes raced through my head, and I tried to capture them all.
"Ooh, how about 'a fart and battery,'" I cackled, scribbling in my notebook. "Assault and butt-ery? Maybe he'll get the gas chamber." I scribbled a few more thoughts, and finally slumped in my chair, exhausted from the effort.
It all started when Cruz was pulled over this past Tuesday for driving without headlights. When police asked him to step out of the car, they said Cruz was unsteady and smelled of alcohol, so they took him to headquarters.
The Daily Mail said Cruz was being fingerprinted while Parsons was preparing the Breathalyzer machine. That's when Cruz scooted his chair toward Parsons, lifted his leg and "passed gas 'loudly'" at Parsons. Then - and you really can't expect any less - Cruz waved the contaminated air in Parson's direction.
"The gas was very odorous and created contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Patrolman Parsons," wrote the insulted and provoked Patrolman Parsons.
According to the official report, Cruz'es breath sample wasn't enough to register on the machine, because he was suffering an asthma attack. So he asked to be taken to the hospital, but police say he resisted when the EMTs arrived, so they had to struggle to handcuff him.
All in all, Cruz was charged with a DUI, battery on an officer, and obstruction. (Although, if you think about it, "obstruction" really wasn't the problem.)
Cruz admitted his heinous crime, but said he never moved his chair toward Parsons or aimed at him. Instead, he claimed he had an upset stomach, but that he wasn't allowed to use the bathroom. That must be an awful feeling, not being able to breathe in one end, but having too much breath in the other.
"I couldn't hold it no more," he told the Daily Mail on Wednesday. He also said the other officers thought the whole thing was funny at the time, and laughed about it with him. So he was naturally a little worried when the charges were filed.
"This is ridiculous," he said. "I could be facing time."
Cruz (to his new cellmate): So what are you in for?
Prisoner: I killed a man in a bar fight and used his skull as a pretzel dish. What'd you do?
Cruz: I farted on a cop.
Cruz doesn't need to worry about it though. The next day, Kanawha County Prosecutors asked the fart charge to be dropped, either because they didn't want the media attention, or because the charges were just a bunch of hot air.
However, Cruz maintains that he was not drunk or uncooperative. He also says he is angry that the police were preparing him for a breathalyzer test while he was suffering an asthma attack.
Which makes me wonder, how was Cruz able to laugh with the cops about farting at Parsons, but wasn't able to produce enough of a breath for the Breathalyzer test?
But in the end, you know Parsons will earn a couple of great nicknames out of all of this. Which makes me wonder what the men and women of the Kanawha County police department will come up with for him. Smelly Harry? Farts Mulder? Or Fin Toot-tuola, Ice-T's character from Law & Order: SVU. Or maybe they'll use my personal favorite, Magnum P.U.