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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Singing hip-hop leads to arrest
When a mother hears the profanity-laced lyrics, she calls over a nearby deputy.
By JOEL ANDERSON, Times Staff Writer
Published February 7, 2008
BROOKSVILLE -- Christopher Holder apparently rapped his way right into jail.
A mother overheard the 19-year-old's profanity-laced solo which included the word "motherf-----s" as he walked by her house Sunday evening.
She told a nearby sheriff's deputy, and soon after Holder was handcuffed and taken to jail, where he was booked on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct and breach of peace.
The mother said she "was extremely offended by it because her children were subjected to it," said Melissa Ciucci, a spokeswoman for the Hernando Sheriff's Office. "So, this does constitute a breach of these people's peace and quiet on their own street."
Holder pleaded guilty in court Monday and was sentenced to six months of probation, according to jail records.
The trouble started around 6 p.m. Sunday when Holder loudly broke into a rhyme by Louisiana rapper Lil' Boosie as he walked past Amy Churchill's mobile home, said the arrest report.
Churchill complained to a deputy, who was investigating an animal complaint in the neighborhood. She said she and her two young children did not need to hear such language. Deputy Scott Reak apparently agreed and called Holder over.
Holder told the deputy he had done nothing wrong, the report said, and that he was only reciting some lyrics from Lil' Boosie. But he agreed the children didn't need to hear such language.
Far from a hip-hop star, Holder said he is unemployed and lives with friends in his childhood neighborhood of rundown mobile homes and junkyards. Holder remains convinced he was arrested because officers have recently started targeting a group of friends who often hang out in the dusty county roads just east of Brooksville.
"They've been out there harassing us for the past few months," Holder told the Times in a phone interview Wednesday. "We're always getting pulled over. Tuesday I was stopped for looking at a cop wrong."
Holder has been arrested in the past for larceny, retail theft, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and assault on a police officer. But Holder insisted he wasn't targeting the deputy with his lyrics Sunday, saying "I wasn't worried about the police."
Amy Churchill's husband, Joseph, found that hard to believe.
"I think he did it on purpose because the cops were there," Joseph Churchill said Wednesday. "You really shouldn't talk like that in front of kids. But I don't think he should have had to go to jail."
A fan of rap himself, Joseph Churchill said he listens to some of the harder stuff on the radio in his truck, but not when his wife or kids are around.
Holder said he was singing a few verses from Lil' Boosie's latest offering, Touch Down and Cause Hell, on the night he was arrested. The word "motherf-----" can't be heard in an online video that accompanies the song. But Lil' Boosie does uses several curse words and waves around a semiautomatic weapon in the video.
Despite the profanity, Holder's choice of lyrics may not have warranted an arrest, said lawyer Jim Lake, who often deals with free speech cases. The deputy might have had a stronger case for arresting Holder had the teen tried to incite violence with his words, said Lake.
Meanwhile, Holder said he pleaded guilty to get the case behind him and to get the cops off his back. He promised to try to avoid deputies from here on out.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Joel Anderson can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 754-6120.