1/13/2006Colorado Court: Truckers May Swear at Police Officers
A Sterling, Colorado court acquitted a truck driver accused of using rude words and gestures toward a police officer.
The Sterling, Colorado Municipal Court found Douglas Hahn, 61, not guilty on Wednesday of any crime after he was accused of using expletives in a discussion with a police officer. The offended officer, Joe Lee, charged truck driver Hahn with "breach of the peace" on September 3, claiming he screamed dirty words and used "rude gestures" in his presence.
Lee had questioned Hahn about a fuel spill that another trucker had caused at a gas station. Hahn was angered by any implication that he might have been responsible, because being accused of causing a spill could have ended his job as an oil truck driver. Lee also testified that customers within 20 feet heard Hahn's tirade.
Hahn denied swearing at the officer and proved, with the help of the gas station owner, that customers were actually 81 feet away at the time of the discussion. "He made all that up," Hahn told the Journal-Advocate newspaper.
Judge Jay Brammer ruled the he did not find "that Mr. Hahn's words were intended to cause an immediate breach of peace as required by 12-7. It's a very difficult decision to make and a (hard) case, but a very important case."