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Pregnant mobile user arrested for talking too loudly

Knocked to the ground for good measure

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A pregnant woman was knocked to the ground, handcuffed and arrested at a Washington DC metro station for the crime of talking too loudly on her mobile phone.

The 23-year old woman was on the phone to her fiance when a transport policeman at the station told her to keep her voice down.

The woman, Sakinah Aaron, admitted she gave the officer "a little lip". The officer responded by grabbing her arm, forcing her to the ground and kneeling on her back while he handcuffed her hands. She was taken to the police station and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. After four hours in a cell she was released.

The police officer says he was "practising good customer service" because the woman was swearing loudly and upsetting other passengers. Aaron insists it was a friendly conversation with her fiance.

The story was picked up by the Washington Post which notes other examples of Transit Police exuberance. It points to "the July arrest of a 45-year-old woman for chewing a PayDay candy bar and the 2000 arrest of a 12-year-old girl for eating a french fry" as evidence that the police were guilty of over-reacting.

But Robert Smith, chairman of the Metro, told the paper that "ranting youth" were an increasing problem on the network and stronger enforcement was needed.

More at the Northern Virginia Journal. (Monday's edition). ®

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