5 Arrestable Offenses All Runners Commit

Friday 5
Hooray for Friday!

So this is a little late to the party, but the story is so ridiculous we think it’s still prime for a Friday 5!  A couple weeks ago a man took photos of Austin police in action during a jaywalking “sting operation” – an admirable use of tax dollars since, as we all know, crossing streets in defiance of signals is a gateway crime that often launches perps into a life of bank robbing and jewelry heists.

Anyway, the spectator became concerned and started photographing when he watched police yell at a girl running by in headphones, then grab her arm when she didn’t hear them.  She freaked out, as women often do when huge burly men run up behind them and grab them unexpectedly, and somehow wound up on the ground.  Two very large officers proceeded to put this very tiny woman in cuffs and pack her into a cruiser, as two equally large bike cops approached to provide them with backup.  In the photos, the entire force over her looks to outweigh her by 800%.

And thus, in tribute to Amanda Jo Stephen of Austin, Texas, Salty herself has mandated that this week’s Friday 5 shall be: 5 Arrestable Offenses that All Runners Commit.  Follow the jump for the 5, plus the video of the arrest and the Austin police chief’s incredible response to the matter.

The overreaction levels by all involved parties are astounding.  Even more astounding was the Austin police chief’s official statement (for which he later apologized, although let’s face it – he can’t unsay it), that stated Ms. Stephen was lucky she wasn’t sexually assaulted by the officers.  Amazing.  He also claimed the arrest was because she failed to show ID, which isn’t illegal in her situation, as explained in the end of this report by Austin local news station, KVUE.

And now finally…

5 Arrestable Offenses that All Runners Commit

1. Disorderly conduct.  If you run on sidewalks, you know that sometimes it’s tough to get around walkers. Ever heard, “It’s called a sidewalk!” screamed behind you? Yep.  And occasionally…well…occasionally we deserve it.  Like that time I made bowling pins out of tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge (it’s exactly what it sounds like).  Oh, and then there’s the speed work at the local school track.  If you don’t hit a couple splits…#@$%!  The naughty words might just slip out of your mouth, and a ticket might slip into your hand.

2. Public indecency. Sure, it’s hot out in the summer and you’re super sweaty, but your uptight busy-body neighbor doesn’t like seeing your glistening bod galavanting all over town in not much more than a bikini.  And god forbid you have a sport bra malfunction – according to the Austin police chief, you’d better tuck the girls back in fast, ’cause you never know how the cops will react when they arrive on the scene.  Harumph.

3. Public urination…or worse. You’ve been suffering a lot of GI distress lately, and you have your spot.  It’s secluded, it’s private, and you’re certain nobody will mind.  That is until you see yourself on the local news, because the guy who owned the property caught you on camera (heh. remember that?).  You quickly decide to read the Salty guide to this particular problem to manage your butt so it doesn’t get sent up the river.

4. Fleeing the scene of a crime. It’s cold out, so you don’t even think about what you look like, you just layer up.  Black spandex, black techie, your warm, lightweight ski mask…and then suddenly you realize the sirens are coming for you, and look up and realize you’ve been lapping the parking lot of a bank for the last half hour.

5. Speeding!  Because you’re like lighting, you salty lady.  *wink*


And because I’ve been binge watching the last couple weeks of the Daily Show, here it is, your moment of zen:


Think the cops were justified in arresting Ms. Stephen?

Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. By day she's a camera assistant for films and tv in New York, and by night she's on a quest for zen in the 10k. Her writing is a mix of satirical humor, finding wholeness as an average runner, cheering for runners at all paces and more.

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  1. Hmm… note to self: don’t go running in Austin. Either that or engage in a “run in” with a large mob of people. Ok, note to self #2: find large mob of people in Austin.

  2. I have had the bra malfunction and flashed many on a busy street. I am thankful that is was before social media. I am also glad that no one saw my face so I have yet to be recognized for that episode. I have also run into a Starbucks to use the restroom at 6am with my black face mask on. The people inside gasped and I quickly revealed my face.

  3. I grew up running in Austin. The vast majority of my races have been in Austin. This could so easily have been me or my sister-in-law or any of a number of running friends. I understand that rules are in place for a reason, and jaywalking is technically illegal, but these officers were way out of line. Clearly she had been wearing headphones and didn’t hear their first warning, and had a natural, deep-seated, purely instinctual reaction to being grabbed unexpectedly. She’s lucky not to have been sexually assaulted? They’re lucky not to have been knocked the f*** out!

  4. I love you, Mo! That’s the kind of Texas girls I know and love! You and Kathy should plan a Run-In!

    Chipotle, I can’t say half this post wasn’t inspired by you. 🙂

    Jojo, some places maybe?? I’m not sure. I only know that jaywalking was a term invented to shame people out of walking in the streets to make way for cars, and that subsequently it was adopted by other states and municipalities to describe the act of walking in streets, and was made illegal to protect pedestrians from being harmed by oncoming automobile traffic. Certainly though no minor traffic violation is worth this kind of force? Or worth making police force you into a cruiser for that matter? Any way you slice it, the situation is pretty ridiculous and blown out of proportion. Amanda Jo’s reaction was nuts but she should nonetheless lawyer up and file some paperwork if you ask me.