A Houston woman is suing Harris County and a sheriff’s deputy for forcing her to listen to conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. When Bridgett Nickerson Boyd’s car broke down, she pulled over to the side of the freeway. At that moment, Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Goad pulled behind her and wrote her a ticket for driving on the shoulder (Houston already has the strictest rules for parking on the shoulder of a freeway). At that moment things started to get out of hand…
At some point during Goad’s encounter with Boyd, he decided to arrest her. Her heart began racing hard enough to prompt a call to the paramedics, and Goad followed her to the hospital in order to take her into custody again after she was treated. On their way to jail, Goad decided to expose her to Rush—and not the kind responsible for “Tom Sawyer.”
Boyd, who is African-American, claimed she was forced to listen to Limbaugh “make derogatory comments about black people” all the way to the jail. She filed a federal lawsuit alleging defamation, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suit also alleges “Deputy Goad was aware that Boyd had not committed a crime and her arrest was without probable cause.” The judge assigned to her while jailed apparently agreed and dismissed all charges.
While Boyd hopes to settle with the sheriff’s department, it would be interesting to see how a judge weighs what she viewed as unwanted exposure to the noxious audio waves emanating from the pernicious prognosticator.