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'Truck Nuts' Get SC Driver Arrested

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on May 08, 2012 6:55 AM

A pair of “truck nuts” led to the arrest of a driver in South Carolina, where cops apparently aren't too keen on the kitschy decoration that some find obscene.

A sheriff’s deputy stopped Joe Cervantes-Rodriguez, 31, on Sunday night, apparently for no reason other than the “truck nuts” dangling from the back of his pickup truck, according to an incident report obtained by The Smoking Gun.

“The vehicle was displaying an obscene object from the rear bumper,” the deputy’s report states. “The object was a pair of large fleshy testicles.”

The report continues to describe why the sight of "truck nuts" warranted a traffic stop:

"The item was flesh colored, anatomically correct, approximately the size of a softball, and in clear view of the public," the deputy wrote in his report.

Under South Carolina law, it's illegal to operate a motor vehicle that displays "any sticker, decal, emblem or other device containing obscene or indecent words, photographs or depictions."

A device is "indecent" when 'taken as a whole, it describes, in a patently offensive way, as determined by contemporary community standards, ... parts of the human body" and "lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

The alleged obscenity of "truck nuts" -- also known by the trademark TruckNutz -- is being challenged in court by a 65-year-old South Carolina woman. Virginia Tice is fighting a $445 ticket for displaying truck nuts on her pickup last summer. Tice is claiming free speech in a case that's been delayed three times, with no new trial date set, The Associated Press reports.

As for Joe Cervantes-Rodriguez, the man removed the truck nuts from his truck -- but then admitted to driving without a valid license, which got him arrested and held in jail overnight. He's now free, with a warning citation for the allegedly offensive dangling display.

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