62 year old Peggy Hill, of Bradenton, Florida, spent her weekend in the Manatee County jail. For all I know, she is still there, awaiting payment of a bond set at $5,000. She is charged with Felony Battery on a law officer. Her crime?

She kissed a Manatee County Sheriff's Deputy on the nose.

Peggy Hill - Manatee County Sheriffs DeptSergeant Randy Lamb and another deputy had been called to Hill's residence over a dispute she was having with her neighbor regarding a fence between their properties. Apparently Ms. Hill, who later admitted to having consumed several glasses of wine, felt the Sergeant was being aggressive towards her, and “the thought just popped in her head to kiss him on his nose, so she kissed him on his nose.”  

Personally, I've never kissed a law enforcement officer on the nose, or anywhere else for that matter, on duty or off. Most in this area are male – my gate doesn't swing that way – and the female officers tend to all be built like little Mitsubishi's. They scare me. Still, I do not condone or recommend that anyone ever touch a law enforcement officer when they are on a call or engaged in official business. They have no idea of your intent, whether you are going for their weapon, or even if you have cooties. Kissing a deputy on the nose is a decidedly dumb thing to do.

And while I admit I was not there, and do not know all of the circumstances, charging a 62 year old retired woman with felony battery for such an imbecilic stunt is an equally dumb thing to do.

The charge of Battery can involve either harmful or offensive contact with another person's body. It does not have to result in an injury, but can instead be “offensive or insulting to the victim”. To put this in perspective, she could have grabbed his groin with both hands and received the identical felony battery charge. In his report, Sergeant Lamb indicated he had to wipe her saliva off his nose (ick), and that he and the other deputy then “gently” helped her to the ground. I suppose that is a nice way to say he didn't beat her senseless with his baton.

I have no idea if he has filed a workers' comp claim as the result of this blatant attack.

So our intrepid yet misguided retiree now faces up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of felony battery on an officer. It seems a tad out of proportion if you ask me. Should she face some sort of punishment? Absolutely. She should not have kissed him, no one would argue that. But the charge seems a bit over the top given the crime. She kissed him on the nose. Maybe we could just whack her on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, and call the whole deal even.

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