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back to article Ohio cops taze naked marathoneer

A 35-year-old Ohio man pleaded not guilty to "public indecency and obstructing official business" yesterday, after being tazed over the weekend after attempting to run a marathon while naked. Brett Henderson was collared during Cincinnati's Flying Pig marathon on Sunday, after a wardrobe malfunction left him pounding the …

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Probably lives with his parents...

35 years old and he was using a pair of shorts borrowed from his father? Ewwwwwwwwww... He deserved to be tazed for that alone.

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FAIL

Seriously now...

I think this is excessive force.

He posed no significant danger to anyone. The risk benefit of using a taser in this situation is ...?

My guess is the police couldn't catch him. Or more likely couldn't be bothered. This alone is a poor excuse to tase someone in this scenario.

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Alert

"...hauling his naked ass..."

Doing WHAT to his poor donkey? Hasn't he suffered enough?!?

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Coat

That's quite a length...

....the marathon, that is!

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Only in the USA...

...can one have the right to bear arms, but not the right to a bare todger.

And people think the UK is repressed!

What the cops should have done is scrounged a pair of shorts and gained some great PR. But no. This is the USofA. Shoot (tase) first and ask questions later.

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You can bare todger

Just has to be in the appropriate place - i.e., home, nude beach, etc. Are you saying that in the UK, on a warm, sunny day, people go to work naked if they want?

Also, in the article, they say the police actually did stop him first, and tazed him after, when he resisted them. I'm not saying that was OK - just that it was not 'shoot first ask later'.

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Not only in the USA...

I suspect that trying to run a marathon in the nude in the UK would have you tackled to the floor and jumped upon by police with CS and batons shouting "Stop Resisting!".

I'm not in which countries running nude through the streets is considered acceptable -- though, personally, I think it should be acceptable everywhere.

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Bared In The USA

The San Francisco Bay-To-Breakers run (not strictly a marathon, but nevertheless a long public race) certainly has many naked runners of both sexes; some with a bit of body paint, some completely skyclad, some women topless, and several women wearing nothing but a bra - presumably for comfort when running - but still looking very weird compared to the other categories of nudity.

Anyway, the point is, you can't generalise about the USA from one state.

On a related note, I saw a woman walking stark naked through Prague on Friday evening, apparently modelling for a photographer. The world didn't end, no one was tazed, and life went on as usual.

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Re: Not only in the USA...

@Cameron Colley: 'I suspect that trying to run a marathon in the nude in the UK would have you tackled to the floor and jumped upon by police with CS and batons shouting "Stop Resisting!"'

Having involuntarily witnessed the annual naked bike ride in London, I can assure you that the police appeared more interested in averting their eyes than tackling the tackle-out cyclists.

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Paris Hilton

publicly nude models

There is a certain web site that often photographs its models walking about nude in public, or wearing only body paint, and they usually do it in Eastern Europe. The lady in Prague was probably modeling for ALS (All Ladies Shaved.)

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@Cazzo Enorme.

That is verpry odd -- I've heard of many accounts of people being harassed by police in the UK.

Can you get some kind of event license here or something?

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Boffin

Nude-nited Kingdom

All laws making nudity illegal per se were repealed in 2008 (I think) but the police can use various Public Order laws to stop people appearing nude in public, which usually result in a "not-guilty" from a jury, so the police tend to turn a blind eye, or issue a caution.

Some protestors have got themselves convicted and gaoled for Contempt-of-court for appearing nude in court, but that is what you would expect..

Obviously flashing (indecent exposure) and public sex (Outraging Public Decency) are a different matter and will result in prosecution and getting put on the sex offenders register.

All in all, the British legal attitude seems quite sensible given our puritanical history.

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Legalities

"All laws making nudity illegal per se were repealed in 2008"

Repealed Sexual Offences Act 2003 actually.

"Some protestors have got themselves convicted and gaoled for Contempt-of-court for appearing nude in court"

That was in Scotland which has a different legal system. Nude appearances in England have been dealt with more sensibly.

"Obviously flashing (indecent exposure)"

There is no such offense ans "indecent exposure". Technically, for historical reasons due to the parliamentary process, s.66 Sexual Offences Act is called "Exposure" but "Aggressive exposure" much more accurately reflects the crime.

Outraging Public Decency is common law. It was invented and defined by the courts, not Parliament. There are worrying signs that the defining case, "outrage is a very strong word and goes well beyond merely offensive" (or words to that effect) is being ignored. It is being used to prosecute anything that somebody might not like. The Law Commission proposes that it should be replaced with a statute drawn so widely that nearly anything that somebody does not like could be a sexual offense. All of the justifications that the Law Commission put forward are already covered by other statutes so it is not needed at all. They just want yet another poorly defined catch all blunderbus.

The England and Wales legal attitude is moderately sensible but the law is so vague and poorly defined that nobody actually knows what it is. In practice that means that police officers can to a large extent make it up as they go along.

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Joke

"obstructing official business"

Does that mean he got in the way of their tazer?

It actually shows the UK police to be a bit more restrained. They only shoot people who have hidden "weapons", like a table leg in a bag, or a copy of Metro on the tube. How can you claim that a naked person had a hidden weapon?

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Well...

...he did say it was cold and rainy

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Coat

Don't forget UK Police .....

.... also think it acceptable to use a baton on a woman if she is carrying a dangerous weapon - or a carton of orange juice as we mere mortals think of it.

Presumably in this instance the cops considered he was blatantly displaying an offensive weapon?

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Anonymous Coward

I thought

that was the traditional dress code for marathon runners anyway?

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Coat

and Gymnastics

as the name suggests.

Yes, I'm leaving the coat behind too.

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Paris Hilton

Kinda confused

If he was determined to continue because he had invested so much into training.... well, what exactly does he train in that it couldn't be worn for the marathon?

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Anonymous Coward

going ...

balls out for victory?

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FAIL

Contains some characters, and some punctuation.

They probably thought he had a concealed weapon ...

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Go

If it had been a photo finish..

..between him and another runner, I wonder what part would have crossed the line first?

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Lucky man

I can only assume from the story that he had a lucky escape - with things flapping about the risk of a tazed todger is increased.

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Evidently these cops....

... haven't attended Bay to Breakers in San Francisco where nude "runners" (walkers, generally) can be seen frequently!

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Evidently these cops....

The Bay to Breakers is a "just about anything goes" run, with anything from total or near nudity to burkhas being acceptable, as well as multi-runner costumes (several people sharing a very large costume. Remember, San Francisco used to be the home of The Hookers' Ball, later renamed "The Exotic Erotic Ball when someone complained about using the name...

A couple of guys I worked with went to the Hookers' Ball one night, then called in sick to work the next morning (3:30 a.m. start time)... trouble was, their supervisor saw them on the tube on the 10:00 news... Ooooops...

Flames, because they burned a bridge or two with that one.

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Ohio eh?

Satan bless the bible belt where it is heresy to show a perfectly natural thing like a bare body. Something, incidentally, that their Guv'ner was supposed to have created.

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Tazing a naked runner?

Cops are getting soft.

Regardless of the rights/wrongs of nudity, he should have stopped when asked.

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Was looking for other reasons for the tazing...

.. from the photo in the link provided, he's not of .. non caucasian descent, but the article dosent say how ..er .... excited he was in the race. however , this would have impeded the er...gravitational inevitability of his wardrobe malfunction and contradicted his explanation.

On health and safety grounds, he does look like a guy who might suffer adverse effects when subjected to a half-million volt discharge. Especially if it was raining.

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Help help I'm being repressed

See the violence inherent in the system!

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Ugh, gross

Quoted from the Urbana Daily Citizen article:

"This is something that happens and is tolerated in the running culture, along with runners who sometimes (urinate) or defecate during a race. Shouldn't that be considered indecent exposure, too, if what I did was indecent? In fact, running naked was encouraged in a marathon I ran in San Francisco, so I don't know why this was such a big deal."

At least he was picked up before he decided to take a crap in someone's yard (or do you just pinch a loaf right in the middle of the road, and let the other marathoners run around it?)

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Legalities

"All laws making nudity illegal per se were repealed in 2008"

Repealed Sexual Offences Act 2003 actually.

"Some protestors have got themselves convicted and gaoled for Contempt-of-court for appearing nude in court"

That was in Scotland which has a different legal system. Nude appearances in England have been dealt with more sensibly, although sometimes with some silly comments from the bench.

"Obviously flashing (indecent exposure)"

There is no such offense ans "indecent exposure". Technically, for historical reasons due to the parliamentary process, s.66 Sexual Offences Act is called "Exposure" but "Aggressive exposure" much more accurately reflects the crime.

Outraging Public Decency is common law. It was invented and defined by the courts, not Parliament. There are worrying signs that the defining case, "outrage is a very strong word and goes well beyond merely offensive" (or words to that effect) is being ignored. In practice it has been used to prosecute nearly anything that somebody might not like. The Law Commission proposes that it should be replaced with a statute but their suggestion is drawn so widely that it will be even worse. All of the justifications that the Law Commission put forward are already covered by other statutes so it is not actually needed at all. They just want yet another poorly defined catch all blunderbus.

The England and Wales legal attitude is moderately sensible but the law is so vague and poorly defined that nobody actually knows what it is. In practice that means that police officers can to a large extent make it up as they go along and the consequences for the individual, even if there is no crime and no conviction, can be horrendous.

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