Man fined for using phone while driving proves he was just eating a hash brown
Been there, man.
A man who was fined by police for using his phone while driving has successfully proven that he was just eating a hash brown.
Jason Stiber was pulled over by police in Connecticut last year and fined $300 on a distracted driver citation.
The officer in question, Shawn Wong Won, said that he had seen Stiber holding a black phone to his face with the screen illuminated. Wong Won also said that he saw Stiber's mouth moving as if he was speaking to somebody.
Stiber represented himself in court last year and lost. However, this year, he and his attorney John Thygerson successfully proved that the 45-year-old's mouth movements were "consistent with chewing" and that he had, indeed, been eating a hash brown he had just purchased at McDonald's.
A Freedom of Information request showed that Wong Won was 15 hours into a double shift when he thought he saw the phone usage.
Stiber told The Washington Post that he fought the violation because he didn't want his insurance premium to go up.
"That’s why I did it, because I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through this," he said. "Other people don’t have the means to defend themselves in the same way."
"I definitely haven’t eaten as many (hash browns) as I have previously, but I still go to McDonald’s for other things. It’s been a long ordeal, but I’d rather avoid trouble in the future."
"It just is proof that police officers — there’s nothing nefarious here — but that police officers are human and make mistakes," added Stiber's attorney, Thygerson.