Bikers love children. Children love motorcycles. And police hate motorcycles, children, bikers and letting people alone. So when all those elements get close enough the result is often a felony.
John Tuohy, who covers the police beat for the Indianapolis Star reported today that Edward Purnell, 47, has been charged with felony neglect of a dependent child for giving his two-year-old son a ride home from day care on his motorcycle. Purnell was observed by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Emily Perkins riding north on Centennial Street near 30th Street about five o’clock yesterday afternoon.
Perkins saw Purnell’s young son riding in front of Purnell on the neck of his gas tank. The child was not wearing a motorcycle helmet or eye protection. Indiana law requires riders under 18 to wear a helmet and eye protection. A passenger seat and passenger foot pegs are also required on motorcycles carrying passengers but technically passengers are not required to use them. And, there is no age restriction on motorcycle passengers in Indiana. So if the kid had just been wearing a helmet and a pair of sunglasses Purnell could have carried him in one of his saddle bags and still technically met all the requirements of the law.
Failure To Communicate
As so frequently happens in biker-cop encounters, neither Perkins nor Purnell seemed to appreciate each other’s point of view.
In her report Perkins, who apparently has never seen anything like this before, alleged that carrying his child in front of him impeded Purnell’s “ability to turn the motorcycle and his ability to see in front of him.”
Purnell also obviously has had a limited number of personal encounters with the police and is a not a regular viewer of Cops. When asked to explain why his two-year-old was not wearing a helmet Purnell replied, “It’s only from day care.” According to Perkins’ report, Purnell told her, “It’s not that big of a deal.”
According to Tuohy, Perkins was “going to let Purnell go with a traffic ticket” until he committed the unforgiveable crime of talking back. “Why don’t you go catch some real criminals,” he reportedly protested. “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Which is how Edward Purnell, 47, earned his very first felony charge.
A recent scientific study discovered that besides hating motorcycles, children, bikers and letting people alone, 75 percent of all police and 97 percent of all ATF Agents also hate God, free speech, America, the Constitution, veterans, apple pie, baseball, beer, boobs, puppies, people who shoot back, the wind, the sky, the stars and the sea.