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  1. #1
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    Talking 97-year-old handcuffed, jailed for unpaid traffic ticket

    HIGHLAND PARK, Texas (AP) -- Police say they had no choice but to go by the book when they handcuffed a 97-year-old woman and took her to jail for failing to pay a traffic ticket.

    Harriette Kelton was arrested last week after officers stopped her for having an expired registration and inspection sticker and realized there was a warrant for her arrest for failing to pay a traffic ticket.

    Kelton, a former schoolteacher who has lived in the Dallas suburb for decades, was in police custody for about two hours before her attorney arrived and she was released on her own recognizance.

    "Our real beef with this is that no real judgment was displayed or actually carried out in this incident," said Kelton's son Dr. Phil Kelton Jr., a plastic reconstructive surgeon with Baylor University Medical Center.

    But police spokesman Detective Randy Millican said the officers had no choice but to arrest Kelton's mother.

    "A warrant begins with the words 'You are hereby commanded to arrest,"' Millican said. "How do you decide who do you arrest and who you don't? How about at age 90 but not at 91 and up? How about between 17 and 20?"

    Phil Kelton Jr. said his mother lives alone, cooks her own meals, goes out to lunch regularly and is involved in the community. She has good eyesight, he said.

    "All of our enthusiasm should be tempered with judgment, and therein lies my problem with this, and basically Mother's problem with it, too," he said.

    Her other son, David, is a state district judge. He said it would be inappropriate for him to discuss the arrest.
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  2. #2
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    This is just unacceptable.. Hell she raised a Doctor and a Judge she deserves more respect, what a shame really at 97yr old that lady could have a heart attack.
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  3. #3
    The lady deserves what she had coming. She failed to pay a traffic ticket, just because she is old does not mean that she is exempt from laws.
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  4. #4
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    Personally I think at that age all adults should not be allowed to drive.
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  5. #5
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    rediculous..
    arent you supposed to respect the elderly?

    Damn.. cops have no judgement..
    how about this one..
    dont arrest her.. but instead give her a summons to court..
    anything.. just not arresting a 97 year old.. thats ridiculous.
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  6. #6
    Respect the elderly is stupid...
    it should be respect those who respect you, and respect them even if they dont respect you.
    That means we should be expected to respect everyone.
    ---
    Another reason to emphasize, she doesnt deserve special treatmeant because shes obviously a stable healthy woman.
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  7. #7
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    i can't believe she is driving.
    Alvin
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  8. #8
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    I'm sorry but we're talking about a 97yr old (I'm surprised to see she can still drive), she can really have an attack after being arrested that way. I think timechange.com's idea is the best in that case.

    Originally posted by konokohost
    Respect the elderly is stupid...
    it should be respect those who respect you, and respect them even if they dont respect you.
    That means we should be expected to respect everyone.
    ---
    Another reason to emphasize, she doesnt deserve special treatmeant because shes obviously a stable healthy woman.
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  9. #9
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    Big mama...
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  10. #10
    I think driving over 80 should be banned. As for this, the law must be upheld by everyone, no exceptions.
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  11. #11
    In what way was she arrested?
    I dont remember seeing that:

    Hold on....
    -----
    reread it
    -----
    It doesnt say she was treated badly or anything, therefore making there no reason she shouldnt be arrested.
    My grandmother was mentally insane, or whatever you would call it. She suffered from a couple of The Elderly Diseases, and if she was driving she could have vary well /tried\ to kill the cop with her hands if she was pulled over (She was very strong), the police had no way of knowing this, this is why they should have arrested her.
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  12. #12
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    Age is irrelevant. You commit a crime, you get treated just like anyone else.
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  13. #13
    It didn't say she was treated badly. The cops would likely of been nice to the old lady. If you break the law you break the law. So what she got arrested. Two hours out of your day isn't going to kill you. As for what timechange said about old people not driving. I would say they should get tested every 2-3 years on there driving skills. When you hit that age elderly diseases can kick in. So I wont say they shouldn't drive I say we just need to be careful. My 2 cents.
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  14. #14
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    The southpark where they try to take away all of the old people's drivers liscences just came to mind.
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  15. #15
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    "Two hours out of your day isn't going to kill you. " It might kill a lady in here 90s near a 100 lol
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  16. #16
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    Originally posted by ilyash
    rediculous..
    arent you supposed to respect the elderly?

    Damn.. cops have no judgement..
    how about this one..
    dont arrest her.. but instead give her a summons to court..
    anything.. just not arresting a 97 year old.. thats ridiculous.
    Give her a SUMMONS? She already had a WARRANT for the love of god...

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  17. #17
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    Originally posted by sirius
    Give her a SUMMONS? She already had a WARRANT for the love of god...

    Sirius
    Yeah, and what I also love is:

    Originally posted by ilyash

    Damn.. cops have no judgement..
    Umm... when you have a warrant out for you there isn't much judgement involved..
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  18. #18
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    I hit a bus on January 9th with my truck and send a 97 year old to the hospital. Hmmm.
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  19. #19
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    I agree with that your elders should be repected.

    The law however doesnt take age into account, nor should it.
    It is impossible to create laws that fit every case to the letter. As stated before, if you are 95+ should you get to go home? What if you are 94 and one day to your birthday? What if you are 70 but look and act like your are 100? The variables are endless and to create specific laws for single case would be impossible. Not to meantion a waste of money and time.

    We are also assuming this lady was a nice old lady. What if she got the warrent and threw it in the trash because she is old and figured knowbody would follow up because shes old.

    Im sure she was treated fairly by the cops who arrested her, and most likely treated FAR better than a person who is say 18 years old would have been.

    Would I be pissed if my grandmother was arrested? Hell ya. But after my initial reaction was over and logic set in I would understand.
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  20. #20
    Age, Race, Religion, Sex do not play a part in the legal system.

    Learn it, Live it, Change it, Fight it, or get over it. Complaining about it will get you no where..
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  21. #21
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    97 is cuttin it close though. She's lucky if she had another week left in her.
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  22. #22
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    Originally posted by konokohost
    In what way was she arrested?
    I dont remember seeing that:

    Hold on....
    -----
    reread it
    -----
    It doesnt say she was treated badly or anything, therefore making there no reason she shouldnt be arrested.
    My grandmother was mentally insane, or whatever you would call it. She suffered from a couple of The Elderly Diseases, and if she was driving she could have vary well /tried\ to kill the cop with her hands if she was pulled over (She was very strong), the police had no way of knowing this, this is why they should have arrested her.
    Dude your a jerk. The reason your so mad about not getting "respect" is because you have none for others.

    Poor women, the cop should of just gave her the ticket and made her go home for not having her insurance or whatever it was that was expired and warned her about the warrant and to pay the ticket right away.

    Ladies and Gentleman, always respect your elders !
    Linux Admins the name, troubleshooting and administrating Linux Systems is my game
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  23. #23
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    Compare the driving of a 97 year old to an 15-21 year old, and I would trust the 97 year old much more. They dont get all gung ho and think they are best drivers on the road simply because they can drive fast without having an accident.

    It could be said that 15-21 year olds should be driving either.

    About the old lady....had they simply put her in the back seat and taken her to jail, that would be one thing. However, they handcuffed her.....as if a 97 year old could possibly be dangerous to them or anyone else. Do you realize how fragile her bones probably are? I just hope they handcuffed her hands in front of her and not behind. Making a fragile old lady sit in a back seat with handcuffs on would strain her weak back, hips, wrists, and shoulders bones.

    The law may say they HAVE to arrest, but it up to their discretion on HOW they arrest. I seriously doubt handcuffs were really needed. I have been in cuffs before, and those suckers hurt my wrists, I know they HAD to hurt her...
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  24. #24
    handcuffing a 97 year old woman? ,, come on now
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  25. #25
    Originally posted by LinuxAdmin
    Dude your a jerk. The reason your so mad about not getting "respect" is because you have none for others.

    Poor women, the cop should of just gave her the ticket and made her go home for not having her insurance or whatever it was that was expired and warned her about the warrant and to pay the ticket right away.

    Ladies and Gentleman, always respect your elders !
    Always respect everyone.
    This isnt a forum for flaming.
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  26. #26
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    the law applies to everyone. Handcuffs were not nessasary though
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  27. #27
    Originally posted by Bub Host
    the law applies to everyone. Handcuffs were not nessasary though
    It all depends on what the departments policy is.. If their policy states that handcuffs MUST be used during an arrest, then thats what they have to do. The second you make ONE exception for ANY reason you will get people down the road playing all kinds of cards.. "Oh you're only handcuffing me because I am black" yada yada yada...

    I agree that it wasn't necessary, but if its their policy, I totally understand that they had to do it.
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  28. #28
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    Originally posted by Trifolic
    It all depends on what the departments policy is.. If their policy states that handcuffs MUST be used during an arrest, then thats what they have to do. The second you make ONE exception for ANY reason you will get people down the road playing all kinds of cards.. "Oh you're only handcuffing me because I am black" yada yada yada...

    I agree that it wasn't necessary, but if its their policy, I totally understand that they had to do it.
    yeah thats one thing I was actually thinking about. I believe it is compulsory to handcuff someone during arrest
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  29. #29
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    first off.. she's 97 years old. She doesn't need to be driving.

    Furthermore, she broke the law.. she didn't pay the ticket, hadn't updated her registration, etc.

    I'm glad.. now let's get anyone over 70 yrs old off the road.
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  30. #30
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    Originally posted by Rob83
    first off.. she's 97 years old. She doesn't need to be driving.

    Furthermore, she broke the law.. she didn't pay the ticket, hadn't updated her registration, etc.

    I'm glad.. now let's get anyone over 70 yrs old off the road.
    you dont want to be able to drive at 70 ? Surely you're joking. If not, i feel for you.
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  31. #31
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    Laws apply to everyone, no matter what age. If that was not the case, then I cant wait till I'm 97 and can do anything I want without fear of being arrested because I'm elderly and "should be respected"

    We have laws and regulations for a reason, if the police officer was required to arrest the lady, and required to put handcuffs on the lady, and he failed to do so and just sent her home, then I would want that officer relieved of his duty for his failure to "Protect and Serve". They are paid to do their job, and what some of you people are saying the officers should have done is not their job.

    As for old people driving... I think that EVERYONE at ANY AGE should be tested every 3-5 years. I know people in their late 20's who are worse drivers than 16 year olds and 90 year olds combined. And by testing everyone, the topic of ageism does not come into play.
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  32. #32
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    the Constitution says we are all equal...
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  33. #33
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    Originally posted by amish_geek
    then I would want that officer relieved of his duty for his failure to "Protect and Serve".
    Sign at Post Office: Wanted - Most Dangerous Menace to Society. 97 year old woman, could be armed and dangerous. Make sure you handcuff her so she cant go Bruce Lee on those you are sworn to protect!

    I talked to a couple of officer friends. They said yes handcuffing is procedure...but in such a case as this, safety and officer discretion comes before procedure, always. Handcuffing is for the officer's own protection while driving the person to be booked. A 97 year old woman certainly poses no threat to an officer, or anyone else.
    Last edited by Webdude; 04-29-2004 at 12:37 PM.
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  34. #34
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    Originally posted by Webdude
    I talked to a couple of officer friends. They said yes handcuffing is procedure...but in such a case as this, safety and officer discretion comes before procedure, always. Handcuffing is for the officer's own protection while driving the person to be booked. A 97 year old woman certainly poses no threat to an officer, or anyone else.
    I don't know where your "officer friends" work, but they're pretty lucky if they can get away with ignoring a departmental regulation like that. Regs say everyone being arrested has to be handcuffed; that's what you do. Why risk discipline by failing to follow a regulation especially when there's no harm that will result from following it?

    The fact is, you can handcuff different people differently, and with someone like this woman it's likely they they kept her hands in front and left them loose. There's no harm in it at all. A little embarrassing, I suppose, but it's a situation she put herself in.

    Whatever a person's age, a drivers' license is a privilege and it brings with it some responsibilities. If you aren't able to keep up with them, you shouldn't be driving. Being a resident of the country also brings responsibilities, and one of those is that you have to go to court when you're required to do so. If you can't do that, you should expect to be arrested for failing.

    And whoever you are, if you're arrested you should expect to be handcuffed. If you don't want to be, take care of your legal responsibilities and it's not likely there ever will be a warrant on file for you.
    Her other son, David, is a state district judge. He said it would be inappropriate for him to discuss the arrest.
    There's a guy who knows all of the facts and realizes that every official involved handled things the right way -- he has nothing to say because he doesn't want to embarass himself in front of his colleagues by saying that the police were in error, and he doesn't want to get on the bad side of his family.
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  35. #35
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    Originally posted by Rewdog
    The southpark where they try to take away all of the old people's drivers liscences just came to mind.
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  36. #36
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    Locally, a few years ago we had an elderly lady who was finally arrested and put in jail for unpaid violations. It turns out that she'd had not one, not two, but three different warrants put out for her arrest because of failure to appear in court or pay her fines.

    I may be wrong on the order, and perhaps even the actual offenses, but the scenario played out something like this:

    Little Old Lady got pulled over for driving on expired tags and was issued a ticket. May not have had insurance either....

    Little Old Lady never paid the ticket or appeared in court. A warrant was issued.

    Sometime later, Little Old Lady was once again pulled over, this time for speeding. Officers found that Little Old Lady had a warrant out for her arrest but rather than haul her in they just told her she needed to go and take care of the fine and court costs. Little Old Lady drove on home and once again never paid the fine or appeared in court. Another warrant issued.

    Later still, Little Old Lady was again pulled over for expired tags, with a repeat of the earlier scenario. Once again, she ignored the officer's advice and left the fines unpaid. Yet another warrant.

    Finally, Little Old Lady had an accident. Upon finding out that she'd been released twice previously the officers were placed on disciplinary suspension and Little Old Lady was tossed in jail.

    *******************
    My opinion on the thread's case? She was right to have been arrested. Driving is a priviledge, not a right, and if you want to continue to exercise that priviledge then you need to respect the laws that go along with it.

    The laws need to be applied equally to everyone, regardless of whether she'd spawned doctors and lawyers or just a couple of drug addicts. She'd obviously broken the law and should be forced to face the same consequences that everyone else would face. If she's too old to face the consequences, then she's too old to be put in a position (driving) where she may break the laws to begin with.
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  37. #37
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    Originally posted by case
    you dont want to be able to drive at 70 ? Surely you're joking. If not, i feel for you.
    Everyone wants to drive until they die, but gotta face it.. your judgement and quick reaction won't be as good when you're 70.
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  38. #38
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    Re: 97-year-old handcuffed, jailed for unpaid traffic ticket

    Originally posted by timechange.com
    HIGHLAND PARK, Texas (AP) -- Police say they had no choice but to go by the book when they handcuffed a 97-year-old woman and took her to jail for failing to pay a traffic ticket......
    Plain and Simply....Wow!
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  39. #39
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    You people arguing FOR the arrest keep missing the point. No-one is saying she shouldnt have gotten arrested. They are concerned about a 97 year old being put in handcuffs.

    On the other hand, we might not be hearing the entire story. If I were the officer, I would have wrapped a cloth around her wrists before applying the cuffs. Let's face it, if her wrists were fragile, and were broken or fractured by the cuffs, you have an instant recipe for a lawsuit for police brutality. I mean afterall, who is the public going to believe? A helpless fragile 97 year old woman, or two big tough male cops? I dont recall any recent stories of the elderly going brutal on anyone..

    And you know what, when it comes to safety, procedure always takes second place to that. Procedure is NOT law, they can be easily changed. Procedure is to be used upon the officer's discretion. Iit is procedure to handcuff someone with their hands behind their back. I'm sure they didnt do that to this little old lady, so I guess the officers should be fired for not following procedure.

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  40. #40
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    Definitely a controversial incident. Imagine, that old lady could be your grandma.
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