Woman with ‘Fuck Trump’ truck decal arrested: ‘People abuse the badge’

A woman who was targeted on Facebook by a Fort Bend County Sheriff for a truck decal that read “Fuck Trump and fuck you for voting for him” was arrested on an outstanding felony fraud warrant for possession and use of a fake ID Thursday. Karen Fonseca, who was released on a $1,500 bail, told reporters outside the courthouse she wasn’t aware she had any outstanding warrants, and questioned the timing of the arrest in relation to the sheriff’s Facebook post.

“People abuse the badge, in my opinion,” she said. “And money talks.”

“I think it’s the sticker,” her husband, Mike Fonseca, said.

A photograph of Fonseca’s truck went viral after Sheriff Troy E. Nehls posted it to his private Facebook page asking for information on the truck’s owner. “I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359,” Nehls wrote. “If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you.

“Our Prosecutor has informed us she would accept Disorderly Conduct charges regarding it,” he added, posting the legal definition for such a charge in Texas targets “abusive indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place.”

“I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it,” Nehls wrote.

The post went viral, as many felt it was a clear example of an officer of the law attempting to punish speech simply because he didn’t agree with it. That was the feeling of the ACLU, at least, who noted federal free speech laws would likely overrule any local disorderly conduct laws.

Nehls eventually deleted the post, and the sheriff’s department released a statement:

“The objective of the post was to find the owner/driver of the truck and have a conversation with them in order to prevent a potential altercation between the truck driver and those offended by the message… Since the owner of the truck has been identified, the Sheriff took down the post. Due to the hate messages he has been receiving towards his wife and children, the Sheriff will not be commenting on the matter further.”

The department claims it received a tip concerning Fonseca’s outstanding warrant, and brought her in on the felony fraud charges. But even after being arrested, she said she had no plans to remove the decal.

“We wanted our statement out there. That’s our opinion on him,” she said. “A lot of females say ‘I wish I had the balls to do that’… I’m not going to remove it because I know I’m not violating any laws or rules.”

Fonseca said that while she had received some negative reactions, mostly from older white men, she gets plenty of positive feedback as well.

“It makes people happy. They smile. They stop you,” said Fonseca. “They want to shake your hand.”

[screenshot: ACLU]