It’s unclear if the nature of the violation was a matter of volume, repertoire choice, or stylistic interpretation. It appears to be the first thing, but it could’ve been a clean sweep.
Taoufik Moalia, 38, a father of two, told CBC News Montreal he was motoring along, singing, when he saw flashing lights. And then four(!) Montreal officers approached his car to ask what he was doing. He said, “Nothing.” To which he says they replied, “Did you scream loudly?”
“No, I was just listening to my favorite song,” Moalla recalled saying. And then here is where he may have hurt his situation: “I repeated, ‘Everybody dance now!'”
The cops’ response was a $149 ($117 U.S.) ticket for “screaming in public.”
Here’s the song. Click if you dare.
Moalia says he can understand cops stopping him to see what was going on, but he was “really upset” by the fine.
“If they found that everything was OK and there was no danger, they should have told me to continue on my way … but not a $149 fine,” he said.
“I was singing loudly in my car. Is there something that forbids that, or did I really bother anyone?”
He put it in Canadian terms: “Imagine if the [Montreal] Canadiens won a game,” Moalla told CTV Montreal. “All the fans are going to scream out of their cars. They’re going to sing. Are you going to give them all tickets?”
The Montreal police aren’t commenting. But apparently, “screaming” is a violation of “peace and tranquility” with a fine up to $1,000 for a first offense.
Moalia plans to fight for his right to party, but he might not get a court date for a year. Meanwhile, he has already lost in a higher court. His wife told him, “If it was for singing, I’d have given you a ticket for $300.”