Look, I’m no fan of Charleston Police Greg Mullen’s tee-totaling ways, whether he’s targeting wine-sipping ArtWalkers or Dave Matthews Band fans at the Joe. (Geez, isn’t the fact that that have to listen to “Dancing Nancies” bad enough?) But this time Mullen and his anti-booze brigade have gone too far: Now they’re targeting 50-year-old retired commodities traders from Coral Gables, Fla. Oh the humanity.

According to the P&C:

Ted Zellman thought his wife nearly getting knocked over by a horse on Wednesday would be the most excitement the couple would see on their two-day trip to Charleston. That was before he spent nine hours in jail for walking along Rutledge Avenue with an open bottle of beer.

The 50-year-old retired commodities trader from Coral Gables, Fla. said it didn’t occur to him that sipping from an open bottle of Red Stripe in a brown paper bag would be illegal. He said he politely explained that to officers as they cuffed him and put him in the back of a police car on a charge of having an open container.

He pleaded with officers to give him a warning or even a ticket. They took him to jail.

“Slapping handcuffs on me and taking me off to jail is not a little bit excessive. It’s a lot excessive,” Zellman said Thursday. “I’ve been fingerprinted and photographed like a criminal.”

Like a criminal? Um. I know that folks are innocent until proven guilty, but according to the cops, Zellman, committed a crime, so, if convicted, that would make him a, well, you know.

That said, I don’t know about you, but I’m outraged. The cops are only supposed to arrest girl-bike-stealing boozehounds and trick-turning crackheads, not 50-year-old retired commodities traders from Coral Gables, Fla.

Who’s next? You? Me? The South Carolina state treasurer? Oh wait. They already did that.

I don’t know about you but it seems to me that nobody is above the law, not even 50-year-old retired commodities traders from Coral Gables, Fla.

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