To the editor:
My co-worker and I were going to jobs in Illinois. My co-worker, since the age of 16, has worn his seat belt every day. Four months ago I got a seat-belt ticket in Illinois and have worn mine ever since. We weren't in Illinois long when an Alexander County sheriff's deputy pulled us over.
The deputy said, "Guys, you're supposed to have your seat belts on before I pull you over." We told the deputy we had our seat belts on. The deputy replied, "No, you didn't."
I stated that I had received a seat-belt ticket and that I had learned my lesson, but the deputy didn't want to hear it. He replied, "If you two don't agree with this, then you can go to court and take it up with the judge, and I will guarantee that you will lose." We asked for the deputy's name because we couldn't read his tag. He said that information was on the ticket, which turned out to be chicken scratches. As he walked back to his car, the deputy said, "Welcome to Illinois, gentlemen."
The actions of this deputy were abusive. I will be sure from now on that when I go to Illinois I will have a video recorder. I have contacted the Alexander County Sheriff's Department, which is sending us complaint forms. I have also contacted the office of the Alexander County state's attorney.
This needs to be put in the open for other drivers who travel to and from Illinois.
JONATHAN BEATTIE, Cape Girardeau