Now when we moms take our kids to a public water park, we can obsess about more than just the overpriced admission charges and bad food. There’s a new worry: Will we will be arrested if we get wet and our t-shirt and bra is deemed too provocative for toddler eyes?
Such was the fate that met Florida mom Janet Lovett, who concluded a spring day at the Tavares Splash Park with her seven-year-old autistic son by spending five hours in jail.
The saga begins with the prudish or clueless employees of the park, who say Lovett was a three time offender when it came to her t-shirt getting soaked at the popular attraction, resulting in her bra showing through her clothing. When police were summoned, they demanded Lovett reveal her identification for a “city data base.” There seems to be some confusion of what happened next. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Lovett told officers only her first name, saying she had committed no crime and did not legally need to tell police her name. However, the Examiner is reporting that the Peruvian native, who is not fluent in English, was leaving the park to change her clothing when approached by police. Nervous, she said her identification was in her car and asked to speak to her husband, who had remained in the play area.
In either case, the next thing Lovett knew police were putting handcuffs on her and taking her off to jail. She ultimately had to pay a $1,500 fine.
Lovett’s now hired an attorney, and plans to sue the city for malicious prosecution, false arrest, battery and violation of her civil rights. Her attorney, who claims Lovett was covered by a towel, says he believes that Lovett was targeted because police might have suspected she was an illegal immigrant, which she is not.
So what do you think? Is a wet t-shirt and bra really any more provocative than the permitted bikini top? Does it make a difference if the t-shirt is white? Would a Caucasian woman have been arrested for the same offense as Lovett? Should Lovett has simply exercised common sense and put on a bathing suit before the third offense?
Photo: Ken Thomas