Driver of Truck With Obscene Anti-Trump Decal Arrested Day After Texas Sheriff Threatens Charges
The driver was arrested on an outstanding fraud warrant, but she denies knowing anything about the charges.
A day after a Texas sheriff was criticized for enlisting the help of the public to track down the owner of a pickup truck seen bearing a profane anti-Trump sticker, the driver was arrested on an outstanding warrant for fraud, according to CBS News.
Karen Fonseca was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon after the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office say they received an anonymous tip about the tip about the charges, which were reportedly filed in August in Rosenberg, Texas. She was detained at the county jail for several hours before her husband posted the $1,500 bond. However, Fonseca denied knowing anything about the warrant, telling KHOU she recently passed a background check, and that she believes the timing of her arrest was anything but a coincidence.
"I'm almost certain it does have to do with this," she said. "People abuse the badge, and in my opinion, money talks. When you're in politics, people know how to work the system."
Fonseca and her husband have reportedly had the "Fuck Trump and fuck you for voting for him" sticker on the back of their GMC Sierra for about a year, but it wasn't until Wednesday that Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls posted a picture of the pickup truck and a call to action on his Facebook page. In the now-deleted post, Nehls claimed he'd been receiving "numerous complaints" about the decal and stated that the local prosecutor was willing to bring disorderly conduct charges against the driver—if only the public would help track down the offender.
Nehls was immediately besieged with criticism over his decision, with many on social media pointing out his apparent disregard for freedom of speech. Among his detractors was none other than Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey, who told KTRK that the sheriff hadn't consulted with him on the Facebook post or the possible charges. Healey added that the sticker's language, while salty, does not rise to the standards of disorderly conduct.
Nehls took down the post as the furor grew throughout the week, but held firm in a press conference where he said he had no regrets about making the post, and still believes the language could provoke a confrontation out on the road. The sheriff's office later issued a statement saying the original post had simply been taken down because the driver had been successfully identified—and because of several death threats targeting the sheriff and his family.
"Many families have called that have seen that truck on our county roadways and are very offended by the language on the truck," Nehls said to the Houston Chronicle. "I think they're walking a fine line."
Among Fonseca's supporters was the American Civil Liberties Union, which weighed in with their own Facebook post reminding the sheriff of the existence of the First Amendment and telling her to get in touch should she need legal representation. And the way things are going, she just might, telling KTRK that she has "no plans" to remove the sticker.
"It makes people happy. They smile. They stop you," said Fonseca. "They want to shake your hand."