The town of Hooksett, New Hampshire is abuzz today with the story of an overzealous police officer.
Back on July 26, Officer Dan Bray spotted the Carter family’s car going through Hooksett. And as he watched, he saw several objects go flying out a rear window — some wrappers, a toy, and a bouncy ball. He was on his way home, so he just made a few notes about the incident.
And last Sunday morning, he showed up at the Carter family’s home with a $288 ticket in hand.
The family is planning on fighting the ticket. After all, they say, what parent hasn’t had a four-year-old toss stuff out the car? And they’re a bit miffed that the officer didn’t pull them over and talk to them at the time, instead of waiting a week and a half to give them the citation.
If it goes to court, it could be a tough case. The Union Leader’s reporter interrogated the prime suspect, and she was not interested in cooperating.
On Sunday, Natasha was tight-lipped when asked about the alleged ball-out-the-car-window incident. At first she shook her head up and down, then side-to-side. She paused to push some stray hairs back from her face and then did a double-twirl on her way from the lawn to the sidewalk next to her house.
“I don’t know,” she concluded, as she skipped away clutching a bright yellow tennis ball.
But Hooksett’s people are pretty divided about the case. On the one hand, they find the situation a smidgen ludicrous. On the other hand, Hooksett has a real problem with littering. Merchants and residents along the main roads have been grumbling about it for years, and are sick of picking it up. And they have a real problem with those butt-heads who toss cigarettes out the window, fearing a brush fire.
I think I know how this story will play out. The Hooksett police will let the story get a bit more play, then drop the charges against the Carters. That way the message will get out that they’re now serious about people using the roadsides as their private dumpsters, but they won’t look like bullies for going after the Carters for the actions (er, alleged actions) of their four-year-old.
And from now on, I strongly suspect the Carters will keep the windows up when they’re driving Natasha around.