June 29, 2016

Mostly clear

Parma police ticket man who warned drivers of sobriety checkpoint

CLEVELAND — A suburban Cleveland man says police violated his First Amendment right to free speech when they cited him for holding a sign warning motorists to turn if they wanted to avoid a police sobriety checkpoint.

Forty-three-year-old Douglas Odolecki held a sign Friday night in Parma that said: “Check point ahead! Turn now!”

He and his attorney are fighting the citation. Odolecki says police sometimes abuse their authority and he believes he’s fighting for a just cause.

A Parma police spokesman said city attorneys previously determined the part of the sign telling motorists to turn is illegal.

It’s not the first time Odolecki used the sign or got into trouble for it. Parma police arrested him in September 2012 for having a knife in his pocket while holding that sign.