Piedmont, Okla., police officer Ken Qualls is out of a job after news of a ticket he issued spread and brought a flood of criticism to his department. On November 4, Qualls wrote a $2,500 ticket to Ashley Warden after witnessing her 3-year-old son Dillon pull down his pants and urinate in the Wardens’ front yard. According to the 21-year-old and her mother, Jennifer Warden, Qualls approached them and asked to see ID. When they asked what for, the 18-year police force veteran told them, “public urination.” When the Wardens pointed out to Qualls that Dillon is a toddler and the offending act took place on their 2 1/2 acres of private property, they say Qualls said that “it doesn’t matter because it’s public urination and in public view.”
Two days after the incident, Police Chief Alex Oblein stopped by the Wardens’ home to apologize and let them know that the charges would be dropped. “We told him we appreciated him coming and for all his help. He didn’t have to come by the house. That was nice of him to do that,” Ashley Warden told ABC News.
The absurdity of the event, and the exorbitant fine on the ticket, have led to an onslaught of angry letters–from places as far away as Australia–being delivered to the Piedmont police department. Following a hearing on November 14, City Manager Jim Crosby announced Tuesday that Qualls, 45, would be fired. According to his attorney, Qualls may appeal the decision.