From the Do as I Say, Not as I Do files:

Retired police sergeant-turned-attorney John Clifford was acquitted of misdemeanor charges of attempted assault, disorderly conduct, harassment, and attempted petit larceny. That's because he yelled and cursed at Nicholas Bender, a 19-year-old kid, for talking on his cell phone, and for slapping the hand of another woman, Lydia Klein, after she slapped his (Clifford's) hand when he tried to take a business card she was handing Nicholas (that's the petit larceny charge.)

According to an Associated Press story, Clifford acknowledged "
that he was aggressive and overbearing when he approached Long Island Rail Road commuters he considered rude for talking too loudly on cell phones and for other behavior."

Also, Clifford told the AP he had ". . . been arrested eight times after being accused of throwing coffee, spewing expletives and getting in the faces of people whom he considered loud and rude on the commuter line."

While I hate loud cell phone talkers, how is throwing coffee, cursing and yelling, or getting in someone's face not rude? Who gets to slap this bozo around and throw hot coffee on him?

My favorite quote from the AP story:

"It took a lawyer and an old ex-police sergeant to stand up to it (public rudeness)," Clifford, of Long Beach, said as he left court. He said that unless lawmakers and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority do something, the lack of public civility will persist.

Lawmakers and the MTA can start by buying Clifford a car.