Cops Can't Blame a Man for Peeing

Public indecency bust dismissed after a detained car passenger relieved himself by the side of the road


The Ohio Court of Appeals late last month overturned a man's conviction for public indecency after police refused to allow him to use the restroom during an overly long traffic stop. On March 7, 2011,

Springfield Police Officer William Evan pulled over a car that passed that had a stuck horn which blew continuously. Robert S. Wilcox was a drunk passenger in the vehicle. During the stop, he refused to identify himself to the officers.

This annoyed the patrolmen who ordered him out of the vehicle for a frisking. Wilcox did finally give them his name and asked urgently for permission to use the nearest restroom, which was five blocks away at a gas station. The police refused. Wilcox was told he was not under arrest but that he needed to sit inside the stopped vehicle. Wilcox could not hold it.