72-year-old East Moline woman arrested for 2008 seat belt ticket

The family of a 72-year-old woman is calling for change after she was arrested for a five-year-old seat belt ticket.

“They said, ‘You got a warrant.’ A warrant? A warrant for what?” said Carol Fulscher, the woman arrested.

“I never would’ve imagined in a million years that they would’ve arrested a 72-year-old woman,” said Jeanette Byrd, Carol’s daughter.

Fulscher, comfortably sitting on her couch at her home in East Moline, was sitting in a jail cell Saturday night, December 21, 2013.

“I was frightened to think that she was in a jail cell, with who knows who,” said Byrd.

According to the East Moline Police Department public arrest report, East Moline Police brought Fulscher to the Rock Island County Jail at 10:39 p.m. on December 21, 2013.

“I couldn’t imagine what she had been arrested for,” said Byrd.

Her charge was contempt of court. The reason for the charge was an unpaid seat belt ticket from 2008.

“What in the name of time? For a seat belt ticket?” said Fulscher.

Fulscher’s sister called East Moline Police when she couldn’t get a hold of her.  She asked police to do a well being check. When the East Moline Police officers arrived at Fulscher’s home, they ran her ID and saw the warrant for the ticket. When Fulscher couldn’t pay the ticket, she says they brought her in.

“I don’t know that I was scared. A better word would be, I was worried,” said Fulscher.

“I was so angry, I was just angry at the procedure,” said Byrd.

Carol’s daughter is angry that her 72 year old mom who is diagnosed with numerous conditions including dementia was brought to jail.

“We need to not have this happen to another elderly person, because I’m sure there’s somebody else that has an unpaid parking ticket or something that needs to be taken care of, and they need to do that,  but we need to not treat them the same as you would the common criminal,” said Byrd.

“What happens when someone’s issued a ticket, and what happened in this case, either she did not appear for the ticket in court or she did not pay the fine that goes along with it.  So, when that happens, an arrest issue is made by the court, signed by the judge and that arrest warrant is an order by the judge,” said East Moline Police Chief Victor Moreno.

Standard procedure say police.  Time for change say Fulscher’s family,

“That was plain humiliating,” she said.

Fulscher was in jail for approximately 90 minutes before her grandson paid her $242 bond.

130 comments

  • Mary

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. So many crimes go unsolved, but yet you’re going to arrest a 72 year old woman with dementia for a $200 parking ticket?!?! Yes…our hard-earned tax dollars at work.

      • J.J.

        First of all, mandating seat belt use is an infringement of personal choice. Perhaps appropriate for children, but an adult should be able to choose for themselves. Its MY choice to wear one or not and if I do not, I am accepting responsibility of myself and my decision. If I die in a car accident, well that is on me.
        License suspension upon paying fine is sufficient.

      • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Kate: Calling people names doesnt help your argument at all it actually makes it lose all credibility. Also did you know this woman? Did she have dementia when she got the seatbelt ticket and never paid it? When she answered the door did she say “Hello, I have dementia”. Her kids could have checked on her themselves and avoided this whole mess. Anyone can look up online if they warrents out for their arrest im sure she has several relatives capable of doing that for her. Now you learned a lesson never send LEO’s to a relatives house without a background check!

      • Riley Hontz

        putting a woman or man in jail over a seat belt i wrong..and anyone that thinks it is right is stupid. The very ideal of a law that make me or anyone wear a seat belt is wrong. What next they tell you that you have to buy health insur. Oh yea,,, they do that to.. when are you all going to wake up
        before they make that against the law too…

      • felix the cat

        If and that’s a big if, the ‘justice” system was “blind” and those that worked in it had a conscience all the bankers who cause so much misery on global scale would now be in prison, but alas it’s better to put 72 year old grannies in jail, or those that have no political clout.

      • LiveFreeorDie

        Sounds like a standard comments from a bootlicker. “Obey obey obey”… There are too many laws to obey them all.

      • Cathy McMahan

        The law is fine if you are a commercial driver, but I guarantee most of us aren’t. Transportation code is for commercial vehicles, all of this is fraud because they conned you into registering your automobile as a commercial operator. She broke no law Joe because she is not for hire. Law is fine as long as it applies to you.

    • Kenny Courville

      This could happen to any one. They’ll come up with any charge for a buck.. I don’t know where you’re from but where I live a seatbelt ticket costs 25 dollars. I got one in a small town with only one stop sign & a corner store. Lost my ticket & didn’t know where to go pay it.
      That little ticket got my license suspended & ended up costing me around $1125 dollars for driving on suspended license & 40 hours community service work. The money didn’t matter but to be forced to wear a seat belt like I’m a little kid still pisses me off. Anything for more revenue. Welcome to the police state where freedom is just a joke.

    • Dan

      72 yrs old…. 26 yrs old…. what difference does it make…why shouldnt she have been arrested for having a warrant… she was in jail for 90 whole minutes … get over it.. for all you ppl crying about how she has dementia and numerous other ailments. ..if thats the truth she should NEVER have been behind the wheel

      • Tionico

        We don’t know the details f the ticket. Was it sent to her in the mail? Did she appear, get fined, then not have the money to pay it? Was she a driver or a passenger? Did she sign the ticket? Was it from a venue far away, so she could not get there to appear? 2008 is five years old, at least. Most such things have a statute of limitations of three years. But n any case, the cops never should have hauled her in…. they should have told her of the situation, told her she HAS to take care of it somehow, left her something written, and left her in her home. This is an abuse of discretionary powers…. their judgement stinks. Has she been driving since that ticket? Probably not. I’ve had tickets I thought were taken care of my my employer (commercial driver at that time) but weren’t… MY license was suspended.. but the state DMV (not my state of residence) never told me, so I did not know until I was caught in a dragnet DOT inspection a year later. MY license is SUSPENDED? I had no clue. Almost cost me my rig. Because a former imployer failed to do as HE promised, and DMV of that state failed to do their bit and NOTIFY me. Until we know all the details, this woman never should have seen the inside of the jail. She should have been left alone at home, given options to deal with it on her own. threats to come back and take her in if she didn’t in thirty days, maybe. But not just show up, walk in, ID, arrest. THAT was stupid.

        Oh, and I do wear mine all the time, just as I carry my handgun all the time.. trouble never makes an appointment so I am ALWAYS prepared for it. But I believe the state have NO compelling interest other than revenue collection in requiring seatbelt use by adults.

  • Anna

    Glad to know that the police in this area are hard at work tracking down dangerous criminals… Jeez the woman is 72 give her a break.

  • Kelly

    This is news why…just to take a cheap shot at the local police department? Sorry the lady was embarrassed but the officers did nothing wrong…they were just doing their job.

    • Travis

      Kelly the “just doing their job thing” was the excuse the Germans used after they where found killing millions of Jewish people too..so glad you have chose to keep those words alive. Merry Christmas

    • Angela

      I personally have encounter’s with your finest officer’s in rock island who LIE and act as if they were crazy wolves with rabies!!!! I will never trust an officer again in Illinois after this happening! I will never purchase a home in Rock Island County! This is the worst county I have ever expierenced in my life when it comes to the police acting as ANIMALS and NOT being there to help!

    • jeannette

      Trust me Sheriff, Brittany did the leg work and in Rock Island County they do have some other options. It just another issue to waste time and tax dollars. She will be unable to pay the court costs and we will be unable to pay them for her so she will “do the time” as they say. The average daily cost of her life sustaining medications will cost more than the ticket. In addition she is contagious so they will have to keep her somehow out of general population. Again at a higher cost I assume. Her narcotic patch alone costs 20 dollars a day. She has lived in the same residence for several years. They could have easily found her before that night.

    • Brad D.

      If the officers were just doing their job, then WQAD was just doing theirs. Could they have not published this story? Sure. Could law enforcement and the judge taken this woman’s situation into consideration and worked with the family instead of jailing this person? Definitely! This is the problem with the legal system and law enforcement. They treat people like numbers.

    • richbrunelle

      When Law Enforcement supports the actions of the Courts, when the Courts actions should not be legal due to simple things like the “Statute of Limitations” Law Enforcement looks to be part of the problem. Frankly, until I have the right to jail somebody for failure to pay a debt owed me the Courts should not have such right. And no cop should jail someone so elderly for such a bogus offence. She didn’t pay a ticket from 2008 that had maybe a 1 year statute of limitation. But, the judge in effort to collect on passed due debts imposes a “contempt” charge so he can force money out of a citizens pocket. Why not just have your officers perform “strong armed robbery” for the Court instead. Cops are supposed to be smarter than this.

      • John Denton

        So what you are saying is that because I am elderly I should not have to follow the same laws that the young. That is a crock. As far as holding people accountable for money owed. What do you think dept collectors do destroying a persons ability is just as bad as the judge finding someone in contempt of court. at this point she isn’t being jailed for the ticket. She is being jailed for not going to court.

      • richbrunelle

        Yes, on a violation long past which should have exceeded it’s statute of limitations. And, you do not take little old ladies to jail for anything less than a felony. Health issues, medical needs, and risk of emotional breakdown and/or heart attack is a good reason not to arrest the elderly. Correction I do not mean to say they should not be arrested when necessary, I do not think placement in a jail appropriate for any elderly person short of a felony. So what if someone that has lived in the community for 70 something years owes for a traffic ticket, the placement in jail enough to destroy the rest of their life.

      • richbrunelle

        Do you really believe a person in their 70’s has any place within a jail, short of a serious felony? Do you really? Yes, subject to the same laws, but not to being placed in a jail cell because the Courts are unlawfully manipulating the law. (Just because nobody is doing anything about it does not make it less true. Currently in many States you can avoid prosecution for many felony crimes, but you cannot avoid prosecution for an infraction. It just demonstrates the Courts are operating under their own set of rules in violation of State and Federal law.)

      • richbrunelle

        You mean to tell me that you would jail a 72 year old lady with failing health, subject her to strip search, house her with violent young women . . . OVER A FTA on 5 Year old Ticket? Mind you the ticket is an infraction. If you would do such a thing, you should be a Cop, one of today’s cops. Because you have about as much common sense as the cops that took her to jail presently. And, the lot of you should be embarrassed to wear the badge. Real Cops are supposed to be smarter than the lot of you.

      • richbrunelle

        Nobody is saying she should not be prosecuted for her wrong-doing. I am merely saying that at some point common sense needs prevail. Putting this woman in jail does not serve justice. Our judicial system violating statutes of limitations is a violation of the law itself, but who is taking the Cop, Judge, and Mayor to jail. Do you realize that you can commit a whole bunch of felonies that you cannot be convicted for subsequent to their statute of limitations, but because local politicians and Courts want money you cannot get away with an infraction? Why do you see the infraction committed by a little old lady, but fail to see the bigger crimes committed by the very people we elect and hire to protect us from such abuse? Our laws were built with statutes of limitations as part of the law. So why are the Courts not protecting us as the should be? Because in every Court in America Boss Hogg is the Judge and a Kangaroo shares his bench. And We The People allow it to happen . . .

      • richbrunelle

        The Illinois Statute of Limitations:

        720 ILCS 5/3-5; 5/3-7 Felonies 1st or 2nd degree murder, attempt to commit first degree murder, criminal solicitation to commit murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, treason, arson, forgery: none; others: 3 yrs. Extended limitations when: victim of theft a minor or under legal disability, then during minority or legal disability or within 1 yr. of termination; misconduct in public office: within 1 yr. of discovery, max 3 yr. extension; incestual sexual conduct or penetration of a minor: 1 yr. after victim turns 18; child pornography, indecent solicitation or juvenile pimping of a child, sexual abuse of a minor: within 1 yr. of victim turning 18, 3 yr. minimum; sexual conduct or penetration in professional of fiduciary relationship: 1 yr. after discovery by victim; hazardous waste violations: 5 yrs. after discovery; criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse: 10 yrs, or 2 yrs. if reported; criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or failure to report those offenses under Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act: 20 yrs. after victim turns 18; any offense involving sexual conduct or penetration of a minor where DNA profile of offender entered in database within 10 yrs., victim reported within 2 yrs. (unless given longer under statute), and offender’s identity unknown: none Misdemeanors 18 mos. Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run Nonresident prosecution pending – See more at: http://criminallaw.uslegal.com/criminal-statutes-of-limitations/illinois/#sthash.HwJ6rtIP.dpuf

        I see nowhere that there is no Statute of Limitations for a five year old “contempt” charge.

    • Patrick Henry

      You say cops have no discretion at all? Oh yeah? I see them totally ignore Harley bikers and rice burners running without mufflers all the time.

    • John Banks

      There’s the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Cops aren’t supposed to be robots with no compassion. They’re supposed to assess a situation and follow their best judgement. She is an elder citizen with mental health issues, not a criminal. We need to get rid of gestapo cops like you.

    • Alejandro

      So your thug cops don’t have any discretion? In that case, when Google finishes it’s robot program you and your ilk will be out of jobs.

      Good riddance.

    • John Warren

      Yea, the nazi soldiers in the cc’s were just doing their jobs so they did nothing wrong because they were just following orders and getting a paycheck.

      People who blindly follow orders do wrong and arresting a person for not paying a parking ticket is wrong no matter what the age of the person, is wrong. Shame on the cops for this. Imagine if the cops mothers or wives or daughters were taken away by the police. I don’t think they would be happy. But the act like robots listening to whoever gives the orders. Stupid.

    • MC

      I cannot believe a Sheriff just used the Nuremberg defense (the excuse the Nazi’s used they were “just following orders”). That’s the reason you put an old woman in a cage? Because you were following orders?

      Worst excuse on Earth. “Just following orders…”

  • aj

    I agree with Kelly. They did their job. If grandma is that bad off maybe she shouldn’t be living alone. Or drive yourself over to her house and do a welfare check yourself.

    • jeannette

      It was snowing, and my 80 year old Aunt was talking to her on the phone when the phone went dead. You really do not want an 80 year old driving in the snow. Secondly she was unable to reach me-that is why she called them, and trust me she wont make that mistake again. By the time she was arrested, my Aunt had reached me and was able to let me know that she had been arrested.

  • Erica

    Sure they might be doing their job but they give warnings for tail lights out and sometimes for speeding. I know from personal experience.. Why couldn’t they have given this elderly lady a warning??Ive had a highway patrol officer come to my house and arrest me for a $10 hot check. Tell me how that all works while your at it??

    • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Erica, having a tail light out and having a bench warrent out for you are two competely different things you are comparing apples and oranges here. A bench warrent is issued on a person when a crime is committed that puts noone in immediate danger but the person is to be arrested whenever they turn themselves in or are run through the computer for anything else such as a minor traffic stop or in this case a wellness check. The LEO did nothing out of his bounds here and was just doing his job which if he did not bring her in he would have been fired…so your saying he should have been fired because she didnt pay a parking ticket back in 2008 and should have let her go?

      • richbrunelle

        Yes, for a violation that happened in 2008 they should not even have an arrest warrant in place. Do you realize that even a majority of felony law violations have statute of limitations that are applicable. The statute f limitations for a traffic violation is probably one year. But the Court violates these laws and gets away with it because they want your money. When the law lets me jail you for failing to pay me a couple hundred bucks, then I will see this as fair. Until then it is nothing more than the System intentionally violating the law themselves.

      • Warrior

        In this case yes they should have let her go but with the understanding that it needed to be taken care of. Maybe call a family member to let them know so that they could have handled it without her being processed and jailed. I’m all for taking responsibility but I have to put myself in their shoes – if this happened to my mother in law I’d be fit to be tied. Seriously it was wrong.

      • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Ok so you use the term “if that were me” or “if that were my mother” so you think that if your mother broke the law that she should be excused because she got older? Or if she broke the law then she should just lay low until the statute of limitations wears off and she can get away with it with no consquences? Then your mother did not raise you right. My mother raised me that if you wanna do the crime you gotta do the time no matter how small or stupid them may seem. We dont get to pick and choose what laws we follow otherwise what is the point of following any of them because im sure anyone can make an argument about any law of why not to follow it. Take some responsibility for your actions. I expect no slack when im in my 70’s and neither should you its called being a honest member of society if we had more people that didnt always look to play the victim card we wouldnt have some much hatred for other people especially LEO’s

  • gimmeafreakinbreak

    ‘Doing their ‘job’ ‘?!?!?! NO! They were making an example out of ANYONE! Doing their job would be arresting violent criminals not an elderly woman who was doing nothing but sitting in her own home & obviously forgot about the ticket due to dementia! Give me a freakin break!!!

  • Mac III

    Doing their jobs???? How about going out and arresting their fair share of the 12 million illegal aliens we have roaming this country instead of a 72 year old citizen and throwing her in jail? Do that and then come before the American people and justify their actions regarding doing their jobs.

    • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      If she was 71 would that have been ok to put her in jail? You realize people who are over 72 commit crimes every day…even murder. So this LEO was doing his job and you are mad because she is 72 with dementia? LEO’s do not get to pick and choose which orders they follow. A bench warrent was issued for her arrest which was the right thing to do regardless of age so the judge did not send anyone out to get her, LEO’s were simply asked to pick her up if they happen to come in contact with her which they did. Heaven forbid a LEO do their job and not catch heat from citizens. I hope you are not the same person to complain when a LEO does not do their job to your liking, its easy to criticize from a computer chair.

      • Warrior

        A minor traffic infraction is not even close to murder. Give it up. Most of us don’t agree with this. I’m a total republican and no bleading heart but this is horrid.

      • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Warrior why do you get to pick and choose the laws that get enforced? So you are the ultimate authority on what is right and wrong? Her life wasnt ruined she had a minor inconvenience for a few hours while being booked and like I said before if she was treated poorly or disrespected in any way it would have been in the article. For all we know the LEO’s knew this was rediculous and handled her with kid gloves every step of the way to help ease the situation since they are just doing their jobs which “most of you” seem to be forgetting. There are far greater atrocities in this world you should worry about than this. Also why dont you “give it up” with the political garbage…I do not care what party you are affiliated with nor does anyone else it does not define who you are because both Dems and Reps are responsible for running this country into the ground so leave it alone and find a new way to catagorize yourself.

      • Justin Baines

        LOL People like you are the people who allow the TSA to conduct themselves in the manner they do.
        If you love the iron-boot letter of the law so much feel free to strap on a Swastika and Goose-step out your front door.
        NO ONE AGREE’S WITH YOU!
        You’re a sad waste of a human life!
        There was no need to take her to jail, if these politicians and cops had brains, then they should have realized there were other ways to handle this.

      • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Justin: So following a seatbelt law allows the TSA to conduct themselves the way they do? A lot of people on here think its childish to wear a seatbelt…how is that? And i also think there is too much government in too many places but to whine about having to wear a seatbelt and blaming the government for something so small like that is insane. Are you the same person that will not pull out of the driveway until your child is strapped in yet you wont set the same example? Why is your childs life important but not your own? Last time i checked the reason i always wear my seatbelt without complaint is so i can stay alive longer for my children. You must have grown up in a house without consequences because rules are necessary, anyone to argue against that is ignorant. Also all rules must be followed or if you keep making exceptions then the rule will be pointless. Noone wants an example made out of them but it needs to be done so others will not do the same its simple. Not that difficult to click a seatbelt and avoid a ticket and maybe even some jail time. Pick your battles people a seatbelt is not worth getting on a soap box…now coming after our firearms thats a whole different story but thats not what this is about.

  • Kristin

    If a person is unable or unwilling to follow the rules that everyone else has to follow, then that person should not partake in that activity. If she is too elderly and frail to use a seatbelt, to go to court, to pay her fine, or serve the time for the warrant which is part of procedure for everyone who drives (and not a secret), then she should not be driving. Everyone has a case of why they should be an exception. The police are doing their job.

    • jeannette

      She most likely will “serve her time” and your tax dollars will be paying for it. Trust me when I say-they are obligated to provide her with life-sustaining medications while she is in jail. Since she will be unable to pay the court costs and we will be unable to pay them for her, she will be jailed. I believe our tax dollars could be put to better use. That is of course assuming that most of the people partaking in the conversation actually work. The cost to keep her will far outweigh the unpaid ticket.

  • Henry

    Laws are laws and in place to provide protection that need it and to keep people in line as to prevent worse crimes for happening. Police were just doing their job, whether anyone likes it or not. And maybe the elderly woman’s family should have gone over and checked on her themselves instead of wasting tax payer’s money to do it for them and then most of this would have been avoided.
    The police didn’t pursue her for her warrant. They were there so they followed their procedures. And if the elderly woman is so bad off anyways, then maybe she need to be having in home care, or frequent visits form her family, or be in a home where she can be taken care of.

  • Deena Thomas

    Gee it was a seat belt violation ……..another example of people deciding what is best for another person………but hey go ahead clog the system up ………….kill a tree…..get that police officers time that could be better spent………..blame the officer for doing their job…….whatever…….

  • Joe

    This was an order from a judge. The police do not have discretion on which warrants they want to arrest for. Don’t want the embarrassment hassle of being arrested? Take care of your obligations, 22 or 72. The law does not differ. All I want for Christmas is less ignorance in anonymous internet posters…

  • Lyle O'Rorke

    The woman was a common criminal. I know her family may not want to think of her this way. The fact of the matter is that in 2008 she broke the law, which makes her a criminal. She still had a debt to pay and a judge had ordered her arrest. Good for the cops

  • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    A warrent is a warrent who cares if the person is 3 or 103 the cop would lose his job if his superiors found out he did not carry out a warrent once he had knowledge of it. People say have compassion…how about have compassion for the officer just doing his job i doubt he was laughing all the way to the precinct he probablt treated her with respect the whole way or that would be in the article too. People can never be pleased with anything they always have to complain. Guess what if she just paid the ticket back in 2008 this would never have happened. If that was my mother i also would have went to her house myself instead of asking the cops to do it thus again avoiding this situation.

    • Ed

      It’s warrant, not “warrant”. Many mothers taught their children that “no victim = no crime. Are you really a doctor? If so, please tell me where so I can avoid you. You don’t know how to think.

  • Brian

    Yes the police where doing there yes the lady was in the wrong for not paying the fine. The real issue is the stupid ingorant law!!!! I had the same exact thing happen to me. I was arrested for forgetting to pay a $62 seat belt fine! Any other state would just suspend your drivers license for such a infraction. Not the great state of Illinois!!! Due to the fact that the state is flat broke, they are willing to receive income by any means possible, including taking an elderly woman to jail, having her family members post bail over $200 plus court cost! All for a measly $62 ticket. My arresting officer actually apologized to me!!!! If I was a police officer I would angry for having to in force such a stupid law. It makes them look bad in the publics eye! Suspend the persons driver liscense good enough!!!!

    • Drew

      No, you have not made any point. A few articles covering less than 1% of daily actions taken by Police is supposed to prove something? Do mistakes happen? Sure. Are there “bad” Police? Probably. Are all Police corrupt/evil/incompetent? Definitely not.

  • Phil

    We’re the officers doing their job? Unfortunately yes. Was the woman bailed out by a family member? Yes. Could the officers shown more compassion by phoning the family member and telling them that she is fine, but we have a problem? Yes. Could the family member then gone to her house to pay the fine instead of hauling her to the jail and causing all this embarrassment? Hell Yes. I understand our police Depts have a job to do, and I respect that, but this could have been handled much better and with lots less drama than it has. I applaud WQAD for bringing this to light (and I don’t applaud the media often). Maybe next time it can be handled more compassionately, especially at Christmas time.

  • John Denton

    I feel sorry for the lady, sort of. Age no matter how old does not exzempt anyone from the law. and just because someone is above a certain age does not mean they can ignore the orders of the police, judge or courts. They treated her the same as they would have treated a 22, 32, or 42 year old. the police did their job.

  • Dave W

    This could have all been avoided had she paid her fine. Why is this even being debated as to who’s at fault? Start being accountable for your actions, or in this case, lack of action. If you don’t want to go to jail, don’t commit a crime and if you do, PAY YOUR FINE!

  • Mike Land

    Our city has a division called City Marshal. All they do is handle traffic warrants, nothing else. They have a steel bench with rings in the wall where the person is handcuffed while waiting for bail. Only if the person can’t make bail before 6PM do they get a trip across the street to the jail. If the city did not operate this division, then no traffic ticket would mean anything. People would run lights, speed, drive drunk, and if they got a ticket, they could just toss it out the window and go on with impunity. Even with the marshals going out and arresting people all day long, the city still has more than $1.5M in uncollected traffic fines. Its not a totally safe job any any measure. Last year a marshal got shot by a lady who didn’t want to go to jail. I guess she thought she would shoot him and then the city would just decide to leave her alone. Wrong, they sent in the tactical team, busted nearly all her windows, arrested her entire family, and shot her drug dealing son dead in the back room. I guess she taught them.

  • Jinx7?

    When will WQAD post a positive story about our officers? When they save our babies and help our communities? Who really cares about some old lady’s unpaid seatbelt ticket? We have other things we should be proud of our officers for instead of freaking out because some old lady forgot to pay her fine.

    • Ty

      It’s such a rare occurrence usually they’re just going after the common pothead, and handing out tickets to collect more revenue for their city/county. Between that and the insurance companies pushing for more travel related statutes to save money it’s no wonder you have to wear you seat belt.

  • Torie

    Wow. I am amazed at the ignorance being displayed here. What the sheriff posted is absolutely correct. Once a warrant is issued by a judge, nothing can be done on the street when said persons name is run and they come up wanted. Unlike some of the assumptions and opinions on this page, there is no statue to limitations on arrest warrants. Just because this warrant was issued, it does not mean the police or the courts think she is a hardened criminal. Yes, she made a mistake by failing to appear or pay her fine, but there is nothing that can be done about it. what is done is done. And as far as treating the elderly different because of their age, that also can not be done. Accountability doesnt end just because you turn 70. By that logic, if a 75 year old man commits murder he shouldnt be arrested due to his age? The law doesnt doesnt discriminate. There is absolutely officer discretion that can be used for some things, but not with warrants.

    • Warrior

      It was a minor traffic infraction, doesn’t rise to the level of what happened to her. I get that the officer didn’t do anything wrong and his hands may have been tied but if that is the case things need to change. I don’t think that it should be a statute of limitation thing because that’s how they bust some REAL bad guys but officer discretion should be able to be used in these types of cases.

    • Mark S

      write her a new ticket and tell her to appear and let the judge handle it. she wasn’t a flight risk, did not need to spend EM police Gas money to drive all the way to the RI jail, process her and all the other time and money consumption that went into a SEAT BELT violation. Personally SEAT BELT laws are STUPID LAWS, you can’t stop stupidity with a LAW. I don’t cost society NOTHING not wearing a seat belt. IF I get in an accident and die or use police and ambulance services, guess what THOSE services get paid whether we USE them or NOT!

  • Derick

    I think statue of limitations only comes into play if you haven’t already been arrested for the crime. This woman had been immediately given a ticket for her infraction. You can’t just wait a long time to pay a fine and then say, oh! Statute if limitations.

    I recently had something similar happen to me out of Peoria for a seatbelt violaton as a passenger, about 13 years old. Nothing has ever come up when I renewed my Lic twice. Instead of a warrant. They sold the debt to a collection agency. They tracked me down for $106.

  • Chris

    richbrunelle: Statue of limitations only apply for charging someone with a crime. The seabelt ticket was already written, therefore limitations does not apply.Come on people and WQAD. If you know nothing about how the law works do not make a story out of it. Good job EMPD!!!

  • Adam

    i dont trust cops at all Rock Island are the worst got pulled over on my street by a cop he said he thought i had a tail light out and that was his reason for pulling me over after checking it again he was wrong anyways he wanted to just run a check on me he asked to see my license and insurance i reached into back seat for my wallet he found i was clean record he came back to car and said that i didnt have my license on me since it was in my wallet in my work coat in back seat he gave me a ticket for not having proper id on me at the time you drive and told me it has to be on your body man or woman no purses has to be on you he even brought me his rule book and showed me about a week or so later i was mower my yard with my riding mower he got me again in Illinois you have to have your license anytime you drive anything with a motor Mower, atv, car etc. total BS 2 tickets for BS

    • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Adam I am laughing hysterically from your comment but i do apologize if it is true because you were targeted by a bad LEO, not all of them are like that please dont let it turn your opinion the last thing America needs is more “US verses THEM” mentality. Now i dont know your whole story but it seems there would have to be more because I dont know of any law anywhere that prohibits you from operating a motor vehicle on private property without a license so im just gonna take it at face value and enjoy the comic relief.

      • adam

        I didn’t think there was a law on that but the cop showed me his law book and the judge wasn’t aware of it either when I fought it but once again cop show the judge the book and its a law I thought it was a joke but I got stuck paying for the 2 tickets even the judge said I keep my wallet in my center console when he was in his car and he would take note and keep it on him from now on

  • shamachen

    I love how everyone says the cops were just doing their job. If they just went to check on her welfare, what were they doing “running her ID”? Once they saw she was ok then their job was done.

    As for her age, I am less concerned that they locked up a 72 year old woman than that they locked up a 72-year old with Dementia. It’s perverse!

  • Mommyof3

    Wow this is a very heated discussion… I think we can all agree that some laws are absolutely ridiculous while other laws should be made…but I’ll get into that in just a second… I agree with Sheriff Thompson on the point of once a warrant is issued by a judge it’s out of their hands… however, I would be curious to know when this warrant was issued? If recently… is some sort of reprimand going to be made to the staff that didn’t take care of this 5 years ago? OR was it issued 5 years ago and the police department or whomever is supposed to seek out people with a warrant just “miss it” for that long? Maybe there were several people who acknowledged that the woman was elderly and bypassed it intentionally because they themselves felt bad. What I believe should have happened is once the acknowledgement of the warrant came through the officer allowed the elderly woman or the officer themself should have attempted to make phone calls while in route to the station or while in (booking) processing to attempt to reach a family member so they could be there once processing finished so she didn’t have to sit in the cell. Or (here’s what I said I would get to in a second) why didn’t you offer her the “snitch” option like the criminals with far more serious crimes? Sorry… one of those laws that should be made (people should NOT be given the option to “snitch” to get themselves out of trouble) Jeanette I’m sensing that you are somehow related to this woman… I’m sorry she had to go through this tramatic event and I wish it would have been handled differently in many aspects but no one should be exempt from abiding by the law (although we see it regularly… our local state’s attorney has been caught drunk driving and we never saw anything come of that) It is a learning experience for everyone and she’s safe at home now… however please do explain about her having to return to jail because she can’t afford to pay? I’m sorry if it’s explained on the video but I only read the article… To all the law enforcement reading this post… thank you for taking the heat for situations WHEN they are out of your control and thank you for doing your best to show HUMANITY (you know if you’re one that shows humanity within your limits of not risking your job)… I have a friend that is in law enforcement and he believes that you have to be a hard a$$ as an officer or people will walk all over you and you won’t last BUT he also knows which situations require that attitude while others he can show his compassion and heartfelt sympathy while still doing the duties of his profession.

    • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Mommyof3 I am gathering you have never had many run-ins with the law which is a good thing but let me clarify a few things for you: A warrent and a bench warrent are different. An active warrent is when someone commits a crime where people or property could be in immediate danger, those type of warrents are pursued and issued immedietly such as LEO’s using the “knock knock” approach (i.e. smashing your door in and raiding the place) or actively hunting you down. A bench warrent is issued when a person needs to be arrested but noone is in immediate danger so tax dollars must be saved thus meaning noone actively looks for you they will just arrest you if they happen to run into such as a routine traffic stop. Ever notice on the show COPS how a lot of times the LEO tells ther suspect that they have outstanding warrents thats why they are being arrested. You could have a warrent and not even know it which is what happened here but she should have just paid the ticket back in 2008. Also did you ask your LEO friend what they would have done? I am sure the answer would be that they would have to bring them in it is their orders redicoulous or not and they would treat her with respect. Be mad at the laws not the LEO’s. Lastly as far as the “snitch” option you refer to is stritcly designed to catch worse criminals not to simply get yourself out of trouble. For example a high school kid is caught with drugs, the LEO’s could care less about putting them in jail its a waste of time and money, however if they can get that kid to tell them who their supplier is then they catch a much worse criminal and stop the crime at the source and the only way to convince the kid to “snitch” is to offer them a get outta jail free card saving the taxpayer some money and getting worse people off the streets.

      • Mommyof3

        It’s true that I myself have never had a run-in with the law but I have been involved with people who have (not my proudest moments) I stated that I did not blame the officers for doing their jobs and did blame the laws for some being absolutely absurd. I agree that if this were to be paid 5 years ago this wouldn’t have happened however I don’t have all of the facts… Maybe she had dementia back then? I’m just making speculations and voicing my opinion… My officer friend would have done the same thing as far as following procedure but I don’t know that people in certain cities or counties have been allowed to reach out to family and friends in attempt to be bailed out before putting them in the hideous jumpsuits and locking them in a cell. Also, I know what the “snitch” option is INTENDED for but it doesn’t seem to work very effectively to me. Especially for the people that are given this option over and over again. They set someone else up to get caught and then either leave town and disappear, not testify or give such an ignorant testimony that the jury doesn’t believe them because they’re not credible… when someone is offered that option (to my knowledge) they are offered for all charges to be dropped for just testifying not if the other offender actually gets convicted and found guilty. Not only that but when you keep going after career criminals they know the law sometimes better than law enforcement. They’re eagerly waiting for the officer that’s so caught up in the arrest that they forget to read their Miranda Rights (it happens quite a bit). They watch for police reports to have minor detail errors to question the case. They will prolong the court process in hopes that somebody will mess up and then it’s a total loss including tax dollars. I feel bad for this woman because of her circumstances not because she broke the law (even if it was unknowingly)… This wouldn’t even be a story if it was a middle aged person.

  • Jonny Costa

    so obviously this police force is reliant upon sequestering the old and infirm especially if it took them since 2008 to go to her home and serve the warrant.

    Guess they to busy eating donuts for 5 years.

  • August

    I wonder whose little girl was brutally raped & buried alive while the cops & jail systems was throwing the book at this senile old lady…

  • Tom French

    So the ticket was given 5 years ago and it took that long to locate her being she is 72 years old now with dementia. They discovered that because they checked her out when they made the visit to check on her.
    Where have they been for the last 5 years? When was the arrest warrant issued on her? Then or last week? Was it not important enough to check her out about 5 years ago or were the police just bored? It really is sad that they let this go until now because if they had gone to her back then this would not have happened now. Why wait until it has taken so much time unless it allows the fine to grow!

    • PGTF

      There are good laws and there are stupid/bad laws. There are good people and there are stupid/bad people. Those of you with a heart know easily which is which, and will not support the evil of anyone in authority. If (just to make it clear) someone back 200 years ago was a runaway-slave would you say well it is the law so I have to turn you in, or would you say the law is evil so I will not turn you in.
      Blind loyalty to evil will eventually affect you as well. Wisdom is rare while ignorance as demonstrated by the cops, the judge, the law makers and probably their relatives, along with the idiots in this list of comments that agree in saying “if you do this than that no matter what” are all fools assisting the powers into the NWO.

  • Nick11766 (@Nick11766)

    Useless cops, busy arresting old white people while illegals run rampant, yet another violation of our rights. The gov’t constantly violates our rights.
    They violate the 1st Amendment by caging protesters and banning books like “America Deceived II”.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by allowing TSA to grope you.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars.
    Impeach Obama.
    Last link of “America Deceived II” before it is completely banned:

  • FusionCenter

    As that political conman Rudy Giuliani says… “THEY HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOMS!”

    Welcome to the POLICE STATE serfs!

    George Carlin was so correct, “The American Dream,, telling you what to think, telling you what to believe. All they want is obedient workers. Obedient workers, just smart enough to push the buttons and do the police paperwork and dumb enough to arrest their own and serve their masters.

    You know what? The government will get it all… as long as Americans willfully remain ignorant…”

  • Lynn House

    What I’d like to know is when they take the infirm elderly to jail, do they also take their bag of medications, their walker, their teeth and their adult diapers?

  • JV

    I feel bad she was arrested but I have had a seatbelt ticket in the past and I paid it, maybe she didn’t have the money to pay the when she received it so she just set it aside thinking I will pay it later and forgot. This is sad but seriously if that would have been a 25 year old they would have never made a news story about it, 72 or 22 when the law is broken you have to pay your fines or appear in court, we as tax payers agreed upon these laws and they have to be followed and sad to say there is no special treatment when a law is broken that is just how it is. Good luck in court and sorry you had to go thru that I know it was difficult. You would think thou if the court was worried so much about it they would have contacted her by mail long before an almost 6 year span of time, weird…

  • Paul W of Stamford

    What was that daughter thinking? Hasn’t she been keep up with the news on what the cops do? She’s lucky her mother’s even alive. Stupid daughter. Good thing there was no dog involved.

  • PGTF

    Many contributors here are saying in effect that “THE LAW IS THE LAW” in a very matter of fact manner.

    Well where is the law; when they brake into your home without a warrant, or arrest you for petitioning peacefully, or beat you up 10 or 20 at a time just because you stood up to for your Constitutional Rights.

    Where is your right to privacy when every phone call is government recorded? If you are all so LAW HAPPY, then lets see you start enforcing the laws that the government and the ELITE are suppose to be obeying.

    It is easy to arrest a little old lady or shoot and kill an unarmed civilian. But if many of you here in this comment chain are so LAW HAPPY, again “LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE!”

  • PGTF

    Many contributors here are saying in effect that “THE LAW IS THE LAW” in a very matter of fact manner.

    Well where is the law; when they brake into your home without a warrant, or arrest you for petitioning peacefully, or beat you up 10 or 20 at a time just because you stood up to for your Constitutional Rights.

    Where is your right to privacy when every phone call is government recorded? If you are all so LAW HAPPY, then lets see you start enforcing the laws that the government and the ELITE are suppose to be obeying.

    It is easy to arrest a little old lady or shoot and kill an unarmed civilian. But if many of you here in this comment chain are so LAW HAPPY, again “LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE!”.

  • Buster

    Ignorance in the above posts is comical at best. A good percentage of the posters have no concept of how the system works and keep pointing things out that do not matter. This woman would never had been arrested for not being able to pay the fine. She was arrested for not going to court. Had she went to court and told them she could not pay the fine, they would have worked something out with her. She forgot to go to court…… she ended up spending less time in a booking room waiting for bail then she would have at the courthouse anyway. Also, I’m sure her bail covered any money owed and she don’t have to worry about going back, unless she breaks the law again.

  • Mel

    Blame her sister. She’s the one who called the cops in the first place and started this whole mess. I was once arrested by a Rock Island County cop for an outstanding hospital bill. I was in jail for more than 8 hours, and I had to come up with $300 bond.

  • Paul Murray

    If she’s so demented that she can’t pay a ticket, then she shouldn’t be driving. Can someone please explain to me why this person should be exempt from the law? Because she’s old? Because she’s female? She spend an hour and a half in a cell.

  • mdak06

    This is as stupid as the “zero tolerance” rules that have kids suspended for having a tiny plastic GI Joe gun. Just blindly follow the rules, regardless of the circumstances.

  • ron

    Why did they not do it properly, full swat team helicopter overhead cordon area 1 mile after evacuating all the houses?
    They never know she could have had a nuclear bomb under the sink, or been a deep cover agent for a foreign government.
    Or even (shock horror) a reminder letter in the mail….

  • Ernest Erickson AEC

    If they FAILED to attempt to locate her through tax records, it is THEIR FAULT for FAILURE, not the woman.
    Besides, a SEATBELT violation is NOT a crime, it doesn’t even fall into the misdemeanor classification, it IS a VICTIMLESS offense ONLY, Not a crime.
    Crimes can ONLY be committed against a LIVING PERSON or against their property, they can NOT exist if there is no VICTIM!
    You Do have the RIGHT to face your accuser, and a seatbelt violation has no offender or victim, the woman is the VICTIM of PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT, and the retarded judge is GUILTY of FABRICATION and FALSIFYING LEGAL DOCUMENTS for the attempt of making a traffic citation a crime, as she already had been found guilty by the NAZI that wrote the ticket, backed up the charge by the COMPLICIT JUDGE, and because the judge wanted to make MONEY from this, he ILLEGALLY added a contempt charge to validate his warrant. I say SHOOT the judge, the cops and START OVER!
    We the people, are the only ‘law’ this nation needs, not the court assassins known as ‘cops’ driving around looking for victims to prey on!

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