The Texas woman who drew media attention after the local sheriff threatened arrest for her profane Trump sticker has been arrested on unrelated charges.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office confirms that Karen Fonseca, 46, was arrested Nov. 17 after learning she was wanted on an outstanding warrant for fraud, according to WGHP.
But Fonseca was also recently threatened with arrest for an entirely different reason. On Nov. 16, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls suggested on Facebook the arrest of the owner of a white truck with a profane decal aimed at President Donald Trump.
"F**k Trump and F**k you for voting for him," the decal on the back of the truck reads. A middle finger is placed directly in the middle of the decal.
Nehls, a Republican who may be considering a run for Congress, posted on his personal Facebook page calling for the owner of the truck to meet with him. He has since removed the post or made it private.
"I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck.... Our Prosecutor has informed us she would accept Disorderly Conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it," he wrote alongside a picture of the truck, according to HuffPost.
The post sparked fierce debate over the truck owner's right to freedom of speech, even if her words could be considered obscene or offensive.
The American Civil Liberties Union responded to Nehls' post, saying the First Amendment protects a citizen's right to peacefully protest.
"No, Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, you can’t prosecute speech just because it contains words you don’t like," the organization wrote alongside a screenshot of Nehls' original post. "The owner of this truck should contact the ACLU of Texas."
John Healey, the district attorney of Fort Bend County, sided with the ACLU, saying the decal does not meet the qualifications for a charge of disorderly conduct.
"The words would have to ‘tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace,’" he said.
Charges could only be made if the decal incited violence toward the truck's owner. Because no police report confirmed that happened, Healey says that no charges can be issued.
Fonseca, who used to work with Nehls at the county jail, said she and her husband had the sticker made shortly after Trump's inauguration. She said it attracts all types of attention, and she has been pulled over by a number of police officers, all of whom couldn't find a reason to issue a ticket.
"It’s not to cause hate or animosity," she said. "It’s just our freedom of speech and we’re exercising it."
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office later issued a statement regarding the media frenzy.
"The Sheriff made the post on his Personal page," the statement reads. "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. Due to the hate messages he has been receiving towards his wife and children, the Sheriff will not be commenting on the matter further."
Sources: WGHP, HuffiPost / Featured Image: Oregon Department of Transportation/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Facebook via Metro, WFAA