False accusation is ludicrous

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Earlier this month we were enjoying the Austin Shopko, when a very unfortunate incident occurred. I was summoned over by a store associate we are somewhat familiar with, and she, along with an irate customer, accused me of parking too close and blocking in the customer. I was stunned and immediately told them it was not me. I had not in fact driven that day, my companion had.

They both continued to insist it was me. At that point, sadly, I lost my composure and a few choice words were uttered, some profanity I am not proud of.

But now the great city of Austin, at the request of this customer, has lodged a disorderly conduct charge for my language. Did I wake up in a third world dictatorship devoid of democracy? Or is the First Amendment still protecting our non-threatening speech? One would think with all of the serious crime in lovely Austin, as of late, this matter would never be criminalized, but I am sorry too say it has.

Email newsletter signup

This customer is an ex-jailer, who has reached out to her police pals for some guidance and special treatment, it would seem. I am apologetic for my language, but being provoked in a busy store and called over for an intentional argument and false accusation is ludicrous, and I did what most people would do to verbally defend myself.

We enjoy your city, but will not be shopping there anytime soon, regrettably.

Todd Harabedian

Albert Lea