Woman's speed trap warning lands her in jail

Natalie Plummer holds up a sign she says is like the one she held to warn drivers the day she was arrested near downtown Houston

June 27, 2012 10:12:51 AM PDT
A woman tried to save drivers from getting ticketed by police and instead ended up in jail, but she claims she was wrongfully arrested.

Officers were clocking speeders and pulling them over last week near downtown Houston. Natalie Plummer now says she fears police retribution. She says she was just trying to get people to stop driving so fast, and that instead of being seen as helpful, she was arrested for it.

Plummer admits she probably will never hold up a similar sign again near any road.

"I was completely abiding by the law," she said. "I was simply warning citizens of a situation ahead."

Last Thursday on West Dallas, Plummer was on her bike headed home from the grocery store when she saw Houston police pulling over alleged speeders. She took some video while riding by.

"I felt like he was just pulling random cars over," she said.

Plummer said she went up the street a few blocks, made an impromptu sign on a grocery bag reading, "Speed Trap!" and stood, she says, on the sidewalk.

"I for sure did not step into the street," Plummer said. "[I stayed] on the sidewalk the entire time."

After a few minutes, Plummer claims one of the officers drove up, jumped from his car and started pulling at her backpack. She says he searched it without consent and then arrested her.

"He was telling me he was taking me to jail for obstructing justice, that was an automatic three to five years," Plummer recalled.

She was instead only cited with a misdemeanor. Court documents show her accused of "walking in the roadway where there is a sidewalk present."

Plummer says, though, that she spent 12 hours in jail before bonding out.

A Houston Police Department spokesperson says Plummer was "in the roadway" and "was a danger to herself and others," and "...the sum total of which was is an arrestable offense."

"He couldn't take me to jail for holding up this sign or he would have. So all he could do was make up something fake about it," Plummer said.