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Apparently 18-year-old Jared Dylan Smith hasn’t learned to mind his manners while out in public or respect his elders.  The teenager was recently arrested in Louisiana on charges of disturbing the peace for swearing in the presence of a female senior citizen who did not take his offensive language lightly.

Teen learns the hard way to mind his manners
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An April 8th arrest report regarding the incident reads: “While standing next to my 75-year-old complainant, Jared yelled the word ‘f—k’ and clearly disturbed her peace.”  Smith has denied the claim, however, and there was no one else around at the time.  So, essentially, it’s the teens word against the woman’s whether he was minding his manners on the street.

The woman also stated Smith was standing next to her when he yelled an expletive and “clearly disturbed her peace,” according to a probable cause affidavit, which Smith vehemently denies.

The teen was booked at Ouachita Correctional Center for disturbing the peace through language and disorderly conduct.  His bond was set at $200.  If the court finds him guilty, he could serve up to 90 days in jail and be required to pay a fine of up to $100.  He is awaiting sentencing.

Teen learns the hard way to mind his manners
Image Courtesy of WSOC-TV

Disturbing the peace, also known as breach of the peace, is a criminal offense that occurs when a person engages in some form of disorderly conduct or in manners of contention, such as fighting or engaging in any other  behavior that another finds offensive or potentially harmful, or simply creating noises beyond a reasonable volume.  Louisiana law specifically defines disturbing the peace of another as “addressing any offensive, derisive, or annoying words to any other person who is lawfully in any street, or other public place.” One also cannot “call him by any offensive or derisive name, or make any noise or exclamation in his presence and hearing with the intent to deride, offend, or annoy him, or to prevent him from from pursuing his lawful business, occupation, or duty.”  The law further includes “engaging in a fistic encounter; appearing in an intoxicated condition; engaging in any act in a violent and tumultuous manner by any three or more persons; holding of an unlawful assembly interruption of any lawful assembly of people”, among many other conditions.  

The breadth of conditions in which one can be held responsible for disturbing the peace makes Smith’s offense seem miniscule, at least to social media users, who have commented extensively on the arrest.   One poster states, “How ignorant, like a 75 year old woman can’t handle language…” and another, “ If I lived there I would never see the streets again”. There is no indication that Smith was intoxicated at the time, nor acting belligerently in any other manner.  He was not aggressive with the woman, nor otherwise threatened her well being. However, under law, if a person finds another’s words uttered in a public place offense enough, he or she can report the offender.  So, the complainant in this case was within her legal rights to report Smith.  Regardless of the final outcome, the arrest should cause Smith, and anyone else for that matter, to be more careful in the future.

Sources:

Louisiana man, 18, is arrested for saying ‘f***’ in front of a woman, 75, which ‘disturbed her peace’

West Monroe man arrested for using expletive

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