Man farts at officer, charged with battery


After being pulled over for driving with his car's headlights off, the gentleman pictured here failed a sobriety test and was arrested for drunk driving.

While being booked at the police station "[Jose] Cruz then allegedly moved closer to one of the officers and passed gas, the station reported. In the complaint, the investigating officer wrote that police noticed a 'very strong' odor."

As a result, Mr. Cruz was charged with battery.

West Virginia Man Charged with Assaulting an Officer


  1. Farting at an officer is battery, but tazering someone umpteen times is a harmless, necessary application of force.


  2. Hmmm… Battery requires offensive contact, like intentionally blowing smoke on somebody (the particles of smoke are making the contact). I’d love to be there for the argument that fart gas is composed of sufficiently sized particles to constitute contact.

    @2: LOL.

  3. I’m thinking the judge will have a small quick laugh about that before he chews out the officer for wasting his time.

  4. a) Yes, this is ridiculous. Preposterous, even.
    On the other hand . . .
    b) If department store employees ambushing me and spritzing disgusting toxic chemicals being shilled as “perfume” on me is assault (which it is, and rightfully so) then what’s the real difference?

    Where would you draw the line? What does and doesn’t constitute an “offensive touching?” Are farts less offensive than perfume?

  5. mdh, soon, yes soon they will be able to tase a man for squeezing out an’sbd’. then we will know for sure that the terrorists have won.

  6. According to Dean Edell (M.D.), farts contain no microscopic life forms. But, damn–a rotten one is worse than overly applied perfume (which gives me headaches).

  7. I don’t think you could call this offensive contact.

    I think the officer would have to testify he could feel the wind, or at least the warmth, from the fart in question. It has to be ‘contact.’

  8. Yes. all jelly, did he feel the warmth? Will he testify to it?
    McChud, you haf gotten your wish you lucky person.

  9. The Oxford Dictionary defines battery as:

    “Law: the crime or tort of unconsented physical contact with another person, even where the contact is not violent but merely menacing or offensive.”

    conSCENTed, maybe, but most likely unconsented

    physical contact:
    unlikely, as someone else pointed out – unless there had been lumps in it.

    another person:
    If the arresting officer counts as a person – yes.

    contact is not violent:
    One presumes that the fart in question was not violent. A “violent fart” would be something to see.

    menacing or offensive:
    Possible, but a bit weak, “Take your hands off of me, or I’ll fart!”

    Perhaps the guy was a skunk in a past life.

  10. Seriously though. If this guy was a heinous enough offender to merit more charges than DUI and obstruction, etc., couldn’t they come up with something better than farting at an officer? I mean if the cops thought he was being a jerk, giving them too much trouble, or taking too much of their time…

    I mean who ever even came up with the idea of charging the guy with battery for farting? What kind of mind is at work here? From what I see on cheap TV shows, cops are routinely spit upon, yelled at, violently assaulted, cursed at, vomited on and shown all manner of physical insult.

    Is it really worth ANYONE’S time to try and set a court precedent about passing gas? Aren’t there enough real issues in this scary world?

    (I’m trying to come up with a good closing line here, but they all seem to be somehow scatological or flatulence-related, so I’ll just stop).

  11. @#2
    if a fart is battery, my poor wife will sue me for major assault on a nightly basis.

    And if you employ the Dutch Oven technique, it could be upgraded to attempted murder.

  12. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t charge him with first-degree murder. I mean, I’m sure someone in the cop’s family has died at some point in the past, and it makes as much sense as this.

    Even very stupid and irresponsible people guilty of heinous (npi, I swear!) crimes (like DWI) are entitled to protection against this kind of miscarriage of justice (well, probably just a miscarriage of policing, but still).

  13. Instead of writing a note that the judge would see, the officer abused authority and escalated the jerk’s charge to a felony.

    There’s really no mystery here. It’s quite simple.

    The officer has a serious case of victim-mentality, and is abusing his or her powers.

    The officer is a Grade-A pussy.

  14. “Before you bleeding heart liberals weep and moan about this lousy criminal’s (sneering) civil rights, just consider if he had been holding a MATCH!”

    –attributed to Rush Limbaugh

  15. haha thats so stupid. farting is a natural thing. instead of charging him with battery he should have just embraced the smell.

  16. …Let us not forget that some bozo won a Darwin Award for farting himself to death. According to the story, the guy lived in a rather airtight apartment – he was one of those semi-reclusives who was paranoid about polution and airborne diseases – and according to the coroner’s report, the guy had apparently whipped up a large pot of boiled cabbage, ate the whole thing, and during the night asphixiated himself by farting so much he reduced the O2 levels in the sealed apartment. Normally this wouldn’t affect you or I, but the guy apparently weighed something like 450lbs, had severe asthma, and any reduction in O2 entering his lungs could be fatal. In this case, it was.

    Now, if the cops had shot this guy for the fart, I’d have been glad to have nominated him for a Darwin…:-)

  17. #34: you’re obviously not a lawyer or you’d be aware that the ruling in smelt-it v. dealt-it was overturned in the case of denied-it v. supplied-it.

  18. “…so I’m on a dime. What’d you do anyway?”
    “Farted at a cop.”
    “Wow. Hardcore, man.”
    Every once in a while, I wonder if I fell asleep and woke up in a Monty Python sketch.

  19. #37 The Myth Busters exposed that a crap and just a lot of hot gas. No one could die of farts in any room. Watching them capture the one guy’s farts was funny though.

  20. The guy was drunk and being a jerk. He was trying to see how much he could get away with. I don’t see any reason to stand up for him.

  21. @#45:

    Even if the guy was an utter douche (he was) it’s not a matter of him, it’s a matter of law. In this case, it was a dude intentionally farting on a cop. If this goes to court and the guy is charged, what oversight is there to prevent a cop from tasering and arresting someone who farts near him on a crowded street? It opens the door to further abuses of power– which would be legal, since battery is a violent crime!

  22. @#45,39,5

    That he was arrested for DUI has no bearing on the ASSault charges. Would you have the same opinion if he had been arrested for a lesser crime?

  23. @45

    So maybe he was seeing how much he could get away with. Or maybe he just had bad gas. Either way, it’s not illegal to be rude to anyone, which is why there is a reason to stand up for him – he is being charged with a crime, for committing none.

  24. Isn’t there anything like “insult to an officer”? That would stand up in court. Maybe even as “aggravated” if he smelled the baddest, and “premeditated” if he ate that burrito and got drunk with the intention of farting on the arresting officer.

  25. if a natural and necessary expulsion of gases was considered battery, that’s absolutely absurd.

    … unless i was a dark green cloud forming into a boot to kick the officer in the arse.

  26. This actually stumped Adam Corolla this morning in a round of “What Can’t Adam Complain About” due to its classic perfection.

  27. I can’t believe that a few people are popping up here saying the guy got what he deserved, etc!

    Can’t you see that this is an abuse of authority, a twisting of the law to suit frustrated authoritarians, and that to say it’s OK for this to happen means that you are also OK with other twistings of the law that may happen in the future.

    “If you tolerate this, your children will be next”, as the man said. Could be your arse on the line next time.

  28. We must protest this. Think what would happen if this kind of police action escalated.

    “Mr X was arrested today, in possession of ten cans of baked beans with the intention of flatulent battery.”

  29. Sorry to be late on this but I read on the story that it happened while he was being fingerprinted. I guess someone pulled a little too hard on his finger.

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