NY's Top Court: Ranting at Police Is Not Disorderly Conduct

New York's highest court has thrown out the convictions of a subway rider who yelled at police.

The Court of Appeals says there's no record to support the disorderly conduct charge that led to the man's arrest. The court says under the law, the charge occurs where a dispute between individuals extends "to a point where it becomes a potential or immediate public problem."

Police say Richard Gonzalez in 2011 shouted obscenities and gesticulated at three NYPD officers as he mounted the stairway between subway platforms, saying they were blocking it.

One officer cited him for disorderly conduct, saw a knife in his pocket and charged him with possessing a gravity knife.

Gonzalez, a maintenance worker who said the knife was a work tool bought at Home Depot, was sentenced to 3 ½ to 7 years in prison.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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