A married father of three has been charged with disorderly conduct after offering two girls a ride home during a snowstorm in suburban Chicago. Though he maintains that it is all a misunderstanding, he faces a $750 fine if convicted.
Rodney Peterson said that on March 2, after getting gas, “I just noticed these girls, that they had no umbrella, no coats or hood or something of that nature and I just felt like I should help.” He said he rolled down his window, asked if they needed a ride, and after one of the girls said “We’re OK,” he continued driving.
Peterson said he thought nothing of it until three days later, when the police came knocking. According to the CBS 2 report, Peterson listened in disbelief as he was told that the girls had reported their encounter, and he was being charged with disorderly conduct for alarming and disturbing the girls.
Police maintain that if Peterson was worried about the welfare of the girls, he should have called 911.
Peterson wrote of the event in the Arlington Cardinal:
After I received the ticket for Disorderly Conduct I asked what I should do since I am innocent in the matter, was there anything that I could do… The officer almost mockingly replied that so long as I had a clear [conscience] with my maker that I would be fine. I explained the entire situation to my pregnant wife, my 10yr old son, my 7yr old and 4yr old daughters. I am very frustrated that in attempting to do something good for someone I am now accused of something very dark, evil and sinister, I do however understand the concerns of the parents and school as I would do the same if I thought my children were at risk, also I applaud the two girls for their quick thinking, I unfortunately failed to see the trouble my good intention would cause, my sincere apologies to the two teenage girls, their parents and the local school involved, you however can rest assured that this was a huge misunderstanding and that the girls were at absolutely no risk whatsoever.
Peterson, who is a Christian, also said that, “As it was originally God who gave me the idea and the heart to even care, I know [He] has allowed all of this for a reason and I know that in some way [He] will be glorified.”
Do you think the police are right to file charges, after seeing the bigger picture? Or are they being too cautious?
Carousel image courtesy Shutterstock.com