Crime

What can you say in Myrtle Beach? Man calls police to test out some phrases

Cussing will cost you on Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard

The lewd, obscene and profane language ordinance — a misdemeanor — falls under the city’s disorderly conduct offense. It plainly states a person should not make, utter or direct any lewd, obscene or profane words toward another person.
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The lewd, obscene and profane language ordinance — a misdemeanor — falls under the city’s disorderly conduct offense. It plainly states a person should not make, utter or direct any lewd, obscene or profane words toward another person.

A man who called the Myrtle Beach Police Department was told he would probably be taken to jail if he said “F*ck the police” when he travels here for his golf trip, according to a police report.

The man also allegedly threatened to fly an airplane to Myrtle Beach with a banner that read, “F*ck the police,” the report said.

No arrests have been made in the case, which is still under investigation, said Lt. Bryan Murphy with Myrtle Beach police. Murphy said the suspect’s information could not be released since the case is still active.

A Myrtle Beach officer received a message from dispatch after 11 p.m. Tuesday saying a man wanted to speak with a supervisor in reference to the city’s “cursing ordinance,” a report said.

The officer called the man’s phone, but there was no answer, authorities said. The suspect then called back and started asking about the ordinance. The officer told the man there is no cursing ordinance, but a disorderly conduct/breach of peace ordinance, the report said.

The man asked if he would get in trouble for yelling, “I like kittens and fuzzy sweaters,” the report said. The officer said he would probably not get in trouble for that. What about “F*ck chicken?” the man asked. It depends on the circumstance, the officer said.

Continuing with more questions about the ordinance, the suspect asked what would happen if he yelled, “F*ck the police,” the report said. The officer said he would probably be taken to jail for yelling the phrase.

At that point, “the subject then continued on with a profane-driven argument,” the report reads. The officer told the suspect the conversation was now over since the ordinance had been explained.

Police said the suspect was told to call the city attorney’s office after inquiring about a legal question.

The report said the suspect “continued on” and the officer hung up. A minute later, the suspect called back, but the officer did not answer.

Dispatch later told the officer that the suspect called back and was making threats about flying a plane to Myrtle Beach, the report said. The suspect began by saying there was an “imminent terroristic threat” to the city and then said he would fly an airplane to Myrtle Beach with a banner that said “F*ck the police,” according to the report.

He said he would fly the airplane to Myrtle Beach if the officer did not call back, authorities said.

The City of Myrtle Beach has a lewd, obscene and profane language ordinance — a misdemeanor which falls under the city’s disorderly conduct offense. An individual who is caught violating this ordinance in public could be taken to jail or issued a citation.

The Sun News published a story Saturday, revealing the city profited more than $22,000 in 2017 from profane language citations. The topic has been shared nationally since initially published by The Sun News.

Each ticket averages about a $77 fine, and funds collected go into the city’s general fund.

Asked if the recent event stemmed from The Sun News’ story, Murphy said, “This case is active, so I can’t release information regarding a possible motive.”

Murphy said there have been no other reports filed in reference to inquiries about the ordinance.

Myrtle Beach police will not answer questions about what specific words a person has to say to be taken to jail or cited. The offense plainly states a person should not make, utter or direct any lewd, obscene or profane words toward another person. Those words include “libelous expletive” or “fighting” words.

The charge factors in context — using the unlawful language toward another person — and the language being said in public places.

Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765, @HannahLStrong

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