Keyes v. City of Virginia Beach

In Keyes v. City of Virginia Beach, 16 Va. App. 198, 428 S.E.2d 766 (1993), an officer stopped Keyes in her babysitter's driveway at 10:45 p.m. for a traffic infraction. Keyes told the officer she was running late, was in a hurry, that her husband was a military policeman, and asked him to "just cut her a break." Id. at 199, 428 S.E.2d at 767. The officer permitted her to inform her babysitter that she would be delayed a few minutes. When the defendant returned to the police car, she asked what the officer was doing. When he replied that he was still issuing a summons, she stated that she was going to get her child and started walking fast to the house. The officer ordered her to return to the cruiser. Keyes "put her hands down . . balled her fists . . . straightened up" and "just started screaming" at the officer. The officer told her that he would arrest her for disorderly conduct if she did not calm down. The defendant said, "you ain't going to do nothing to me," and demanded the presence of a "real policeman," "screaming the entire time." Id. The officer arrested her because he believed she "was going to fight." An officer, who arrived to assist, testified the defendant was screaming, "very boisterous," and causing a big commotion. Id. at 200, 428 S.E.2d at 767. In affirming Keyes's convictions, this Court ruled that "such willful, intemperate and provocative conduct, in response to proper law enforcement activity, audible for several blocks and visible from a public street, clearly evinced the intent or recklessness contemplated" by the disorderly conduct ordinance. Id. at 200, 428 S.E.2d at 768. Because the officer "reasonably 'felt as though he was going to have to fight' to subdue defendant, her behavior had 'a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person . . . at whom it was directed.'" Id. (citation omitted).