November 22, 2014

Rain and snow

Lorain blotter: Man charged with spitting on sidewalk

Lorain police

Friday, Oct. 4

  • 12:33 p.m. — Gary Avenue, police stopped two men walking and found Xanax on one of the men. He was taken into custody. The man also spit on the sidewalk, which is illegal, and was charged with spitting.
  • 3:00 a.m. — 1300 block W. 10th St., a window was smashed in a car and the car owner found a GPS that wasn’t his outside of his car.
  • 7:30 a.m. — 1600 block E. 29th St., a girl said she broke up with her boyfriend and he refused to leave her apartment.
  • 12:12 p.m. — East 23rd Street, a woman told another woman to stop setting off fireworks in the area and they got into a fight over it.
  • 1:38 p.m. — 2100 block W. 21st St., a woman said her daughter was jumping near a TV and the TV fell on her. Police are unsure if that’s how the daughter got lacerations to her head.
  • 2:51 p.m. — 2900 block Pearl Ave., a customer wanted to try a sample of cheese at a bakery before she bought it. The employee said she couldn’t, and the customer punched her in the face.
  • 5:00 p.m. — 1700 block E. 30th St., a man punched his friend when she tried to leave the house, so she punched him back, she said.
  • 5:16 p.m. — 5800 Cherrywood Drive, a woman said she got emails from what she thought was a tea company, telling her to cash checks and mail them prepaid cards with the money. She called the company and they told her it was a scam.
  • 7 p.m. — 5400 block Leavitt Road, a girl allegedly shoplifted items in a bag.

  • Phil Blank

    Spitting is still illegal?

    Since when, this dates back to 1896 and the tuberculous scare and should even be on the law books now.

    New York City’s novel anti-spitting law of 1896

    The nasty habit was commonly done on sidewalks and in streetcars. But health officials knew that spitting spread lethal diseases, especially tuberculosis, a leading cause of death in crowded, dank neighborhoods.

    So in 1896, forward-thinking New York became the first city to outlaw “expectorating,” as the practice was delicately called in the gay nineties.

    Signs went up on public transportation and other spitting hot spots, warning of arrest and a $500 fine. But the new ordinance generated controversy and wasn’t always taken seriously.

    “In New York, of the 2,513 arrested, there were 2,099 convicted, one of every seven escaping,” writes a 1910 New York Times article.

    “The total fines were $1,936.80, an average of less than $1.”

    Even citizens vehemently against the habit railed that the ban was understandable, but unenforceable.

    Not allowing people to spit might even be dangerous, according to one letter writer to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in February 1896, before New York adopted its law:

    “No law can be made strong enough to prohibit public expectoration. The health of the individual might often suffer from such a restraint. But it is easy for the many who must spit to do so in the street instead of on the sidewalk.”

    [Brooklyn Tuberculosis Committee clipping courtesy of J. Warren]