WTF: Winona man cited for swearing in public


People in Winona should probably start watching their language now that the police have resorted to pulling out an obscure and ancient law to bust people who piss them off. Or you could just avoid swearing at cops in general.

A 19-year-old Winona man was cited Wednesday for swearing in public after he started yelling cuss words at police when they gave him a ticket for underage drinking.

The law dates back to 1887 city code that made it illegal to curse in public.

Lucas Charles Wilcox could face up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for the misdemeanor. Police say he was walking down the street cursing at officers who could hear him a block away.

The law is rarely enforced and one legal expert says the law might not hold up if challenged due to First Amendment rights. The law is so broad it could be used against people performing a play in a park, the Winona Daily News says.

The code states: "No person shall, in the city, in any place of public resort or within the hearing of other persons, use any obscene language."