12 Year Old's Arrest For Eating French Fry Held Legal

In the ridiculous court decision of the day department,

A federal judge said this week that it was "foolish" for Metro Transit Police to handcuff a 12-year-old girl for eating a french fry on a subway platform, but he ruled that the transit system did not violate her constitutional rights.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan dismissed claims by Tracy Hedgepeth that Metro Transit Police Officer Jason Fazenbaker illegally searched her daughter's backpack and treated her unfairly when he arrested her Oct. 23, 2000, after watching her enter the Tenleytown-AU Station and pop a single french fry into her mouth.

Fazenbaker and other Transit Police officers were posted at the station as part of a week-long sting to catch students snacking and breaking other Metro rules. At the time of the arrest, Metro police maintained that D.C. law allowed them to issue citations of up to $300 to adults caught eating in the Metro but required that minors be arrested and taken into custody. Police seized Ansche's jacket and backpack, removed her shoelaces and transported her to the District's juvenile processing center, where the crying girl was fingerprinted and held for three hours.

Lawyer Terry Kindlon, who sent us the article, says, "This story should be entered in the "Kenneth Lay is Still Not Charged With Anything" file.

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