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Man arrested for whistling too loud

By Mason White 12:38 PM February 26, 2013
Robert Smith 

By: Ryan Lee Hall
(Scroll down for video) Standing on a street corner and whistling can be annoying to people passing by, but is it a crime?

Robert Smith, of Portland, Maine, likes to whistle to a tune and he does it wherever he goes. People refer to him as the whisler.

His whistling did not sit well with store owners who felt that Smith, 32, was disturbing business.

Police officers agreed with the business owners as they arrested Smith on charges of disorderly conduct for “loud whistling.”

Smith argued that it is his constitutional right and that freedom of expression protects his right to whistle. Prosecutors disagreed since the whistling annoys people. “His whistling is no longer protected free speech as it annoys other people,” a prosecutor in the case said. Disorderly conduct carries fines ranging from $100 to $500.

Now, a judge ruled in favor of Smith, allowing him to whistle in public on the condition that he keeps walking and he does not stop and whistle in one place, so as not to disturb pedestrians and businesses in one area.

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