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#*@%! Man convicted on swearing charge

By Jon Erickson
Published On: Feb 13 2013 04:48:13 PM CST
Updated On: May 15 2013 05:36:54 PM CDT
NEW BERN -

Update:

A man who was prosecuted for swearing has pleaded guilty.

Wesley Force pleaded guilty Tuesday to the charge of using profanity and abusive language.

He'd been charged under New Bern local law after an incident in February at an auto parts store.

The judge sentenced him to ten days in jail, but Force will serve the sentence at home by wearing an electronic monitoring device.

Force told a reporter he can leave for work, but must be at home between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Force said the charge is not a reflection of his character, and he plans to further research whether New Bern's law against public profanity is Constitutional.

Previous article:

A Craven County man was shocked to learn he could be arrested for swearing.

He learned that after he was cuffed and hauled to jail for saying the “f” word.

Wesley Force Jr., 36, is accused of using profanity and abusive language, which is illegal in public places in New Bern.

The situation developed when Force was at Auto Zone, 1707 Neuse Blvd, and was having an argument with the store manager. 

Police were called to the store, and officers told Force to stop swearing.

“I said, ‘I’ll say whatever the f--- I want,’” Force said.

An officer then arrested him and took him to jail, where he was released without bond.

Force has a March court date.

Public cursing is banned in New Bern under a section of code titled “Profanity and boisterous conduct.”

The section reads, “It shall be unlawful for any person to use loud and boisterous language so as to become a nuisance or use any form of profanity or indecent language on the street or in a gathering, audience or public assembly, or in any public place whatsoever.”

That section became a local ordinance in 1971.

A New Bern Police spokesperson said an arrest on this charge is rare.