Video: Judge orders woman to hold ‘idiot’ sign
CLEVELAND –The Cleveland Municipal Court judge who ordered a driver to hold an ‘idiot’ sign on the streets of Cleveland said the way the first part of the sentence was carried out was “unacceptable.”
According to FOX8 Cleveland, Shena Hardin, 32, of Cleveland, stood at the corner of a Cleveland intersection for an hour on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
The sign read, “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid the school bus.”
But on Tuesday, instead of holding the sign as Judge Pinkey Carr ordered, Hardin left it propped against a fence, used it as a shield to light her cigarette and spent the majority of the time on her cell phone.
“For me it was just kind of a smack in the face,” Judge Carr said of Hardin’s defiance.
Hardin was caught on video driving on the sidewalk to pass a bus carrying special needs children. The portion of sidewalk she used to avoid the bus was the entrance to a day care.
When the bus driver noticed Hardin’s pattern, he notified Cleveland Schools and had his cell phone camera rolling during one of her episodes. Police set up a sting and cited her on Sept. 11.
Hardin originally pleaded not guilty to charges of not stopping for a school bus and reckless operation. She later changed that to a no contest plea.
“I felt like she was making a mockery of the whole case, and now the setnencing,” Judge Carr said, emphasizing the fact that she spoke with Hardin’s lawyer to make it clear that Hardin was required to hold the sign and refrain from smoking and texting on Wednesday.
Judge Carr said she chose the unusual sentence based on several things, including Hardin’s lack of remorse.
“I think this would be very fitting for her. And plus it was my first thought when I saw the story. I said, ‘Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk,’” Judge Carr explained.
“I never imagined that it would turn into this,” Judge Carr continued, commenting on the national attention the case has fetched. “Because at the end of the day as far as punishment, yeah, I want to punish the offender, but yet, you know, it’s about the community, too. I mean, she owes it to this community, she owes it to the children that were on that school bus, the parents, I mean it’s just a total disrespect, and I want to send a clear message that that’s not behavior that one should engage in.”