No matter who he thought the officer was, Peterlee, England resident Paul Harbord’s actions late last year are pretty reprehensible. The Telegraph reports that the 27-year-old rigger was drinking with friends at a local bar. It seems they had had too much to drink, because a female police officer, “walked in to investigate their ‘rowdy’ behavior.” This led up to Mr. Harbord’s big mistake.
The Sunderland Echo reports that Mr. Harbord and his friends were dressed up and were expecting “entertainment.” Harbord thought the female police officer was an exotic dancer. Prosecutor Vicky Wilson said that, “Harbord shouted, ‘Look, here is one of the strippers’ as he flicked a bar towel in the officer’s face.’” There’s a lot of poor behavior here (like, let’s say, treating any person like this). While acting like a cad can’t always get one in trouble with the law, this time it did. Harbord was arrested and would later plead guilty to obstructing a police officer.
Mr. Harbord’s attorney, Jaxon Taylor said, “He honestly didn’t believe it was a police officer until he was taken to Peterlee police station. He was quite embarrassed by the whole situation. It was an honest and genuine mistake.” According to the Echo, Harbord was given a six-month conditional discharge, and had to pay £100 ($165) in fines.