Elderly Veteran Arrested for Asking Officials to Speak Up

Eddie Overholt got cuffed and taken away

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 22, 2014 5:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – When a 76-year-old veteran asked officials to speak up at a meeting, he got arrested for it. Eddie Overholt was at a county board meeting in Tennessee on Friday where officials were discussing a pipeline that would release water into the Nolichucky River, the Huffington Post reports. The audience was interrupting with shouts, laughter, and applause, and complaining they couldn't hear the board members, some of whom had their backs turned and were not using microphones. The mayor warned that the next outburst would get someone kicked out. Then Overholt said, "Would y'all speak up until the whole audience can hear you?"

So an officer handcuffed Overholt and marched him outside. According to Overholt, the cop walked him to the station instead of driving him, and when the elderly veteran asked to sit down because of his back and hip pain, the officer charged him with resisting arrest. Overholt says his elbow was bleeding and his right arm had gone numb when they got to the station. There, he was given a band-aid and released on bond, the Greeneville Sun reports. "This was a painful and humiliating experience to go through with a Police Department and county officials at the ripe old age of 76," he wrote on a Facebook page for Save the Nolichucky, a group that opposes the pipeline plan. City officials declined to comment, saying the case was an "ongoing criminal hearing." Overholt has also been charged with interfering with a public meeting. (In California, a 97-year-old veteran says he was evicted from a retirement home ... for playing the ukulele.)

  (Shutterstock)
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