Connecticut man who said cop confused hash brown for cellphone found not guilty

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Friday, April 26, 2019

NORWALK, Connecticut (WABC) -- A Connecticut man was found not guilty of distracted driving after saying the police officer confused his hash brown patty for a cellphone.

Jason Stiber was cited in April 2018 on Post Road in Westport. He stopped at McDonald's on his way to work and says he was eating a hash brown that was mistaken for a cellphone.

In court, Cpl. Shawn Wong Won testified he saw Stiber holding a black cellphone with the screen illuminated and his mouth was moving.

But Stiber said he was eating and holding the hash brown by its white wrapping. He said he offered his cellphone to the officer to go through his call history.

The decision of not guilty was released Friday by Judge Maureen Dennis of the state Superior Court in Norwalk.

She cited a 2016 Appellate Court ruling in a previous case that cleared a man of driving while using a hand-held phone.

In that case, the court found there was not enough evidence that the phone was close enough to the man's ear to hear anything transmitted over it.

Stiber waged a court battle to fight the ticket after being initially found guilty.

"Not guilty! Justice prevails," Stiber wrote in an email to Eyewitness News.


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