A North Carolina man who was arrested last year by a plainclothes officer for drinking iced tea in a parking lot is being strong-armed into taking a plea deal that he is reluctant to accept.
Christopher Lamont Beatty was arrested after a plainclothes officer spotted him drinking iced tea in a state owned liquor store parking lot last year.
Even though it turned out that Beatty was only drinking iced tea and not alcohøl, he was still taken into custody and arrested on charges of trespassing and resisting a public order. Now prosecutors are pressuring him to take a plea deal which includes probation and community service.
The arrest occurred on April 27, 2013 in the parking lot of ABC liquor store. Beatty and a friend were standing near a vehicle and Beatty was holding a can of iced tea and his friend was recording video. That’s when they were interrupted by a plainclothes police officer who insisted that Beatty turn over his can of iced tea. Beatty refused, explaining to the stranger that he was only drinking a beverage called half-n-half, which is mixed iced tea with pink lemonade.
As Beatty points out, the officer didn’t identify himself immediately so for all he knew, some stranger had just rushed over and demanded that he turn over his iced tea.
After Beatty continued to refuse to turn over the iced tea, the stranger wrestled Beatty to the ground and told him that he was under arrest.
The stranger, who was later identified as Alcohøl & Beverage Control Law Enforcer Rick Libero, placed Beatty in handcuffs, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
Beatty says in addition to being forced to take a plea deal even though he did nothing wrong, the charges caused him to lose his job and since the charges are still open, he’s had a hard time finding a new job.
If Beatty accepts the plea deal, he’ll be required to do 24 hours of community service and spend one year on probation.