South Beach, Florida - Jean Merola, 75-year-old grandmother of eight, sat in her car at a McDonald's drive-thru waiting for her order of coffee and fries but not quite pulling forward to the pick up window because the cashier told her to wait, it was not ready yet. Meanwhile a cop behind Merola impatient to get his order, tells her to move her car forward, threatening to arrest her if she fails to do so.
Merola tries to explain to the officer that she is merely following the cashier's instruction not to pull her car forward to the pickup window because her order is not ready when the policeman handcuffs her and arrests her for disorderly conduct.
Ninety minutes later, after being booked into the Pinellas County jail, where she is searched, photographed and fingerprinted, Merola is released on her own recognizance.
"They gave me a full body cavity search," said Merola. "All the while, they kept asking me, 'Where's the Beef, Grandma?' Those bastards!"
"Our officers use the up most desecration when exercising their authority," said Sheriff John Blah of the Pinellas County Sheriff Office in Florida. "We are certain our internal the investigation will justify the arresting officer's actions. Just as they always have in the past, establishing that in this case, just like all the others, the assailant presented a clear and present danger to the safety and welfare of both the general public, and the officer at the time of her arrest or shortly preceding it."
The Pinellas County District Attorney's Office could not be reached for comment, as they were busy in court attempting to prosecute a 9-year-old Girl Scout on vagrancy and loitering charges and 7-year-old boy on animal cruelty charges for transporting a frog in his pocket.
"We are considering filing additional charges on Merola," said Sheriff Blah. "Such as fraud and theft for not paying for her order after she was arrested. As well as evading arrest when she went into full cardiac arrest while the officer apprehended her. And assault charges as the arresting officer felt a little tongue when he was administering mouth-to-mouth CPR to her."
Pending the internal investigation, the arresting officer will be placed on paid administrative leave in Cancun, Mexico as part of a mutual assistance cross boarder officer exchange program.
"It's not a vacation," said Sheriff Blah. "They have a lot large colony of retired Americans down there who are purchasing their prescription medication at a heavily discounted rate. I expect a large number of arrest reports of narcotic traffickers will be on my desk upon the officer's return."