US man insists he wasn't on phone while driving, is adamant it was a hash brown

McDonald's sign.
McDonald's. Photo credit: Newshub

A man is claiming police in the US fined him after mistaking his McDonald's hash brown for a cell phone.

Jason Stiber, from Connecticut, was pulled over on April 11, 2018 and fined NZ$435 for allegedly driving while talking on his mobile phone.

However, Stiber and his lawyer say the police officer must have made an honest mistake in thinking his hash brown was a device capable of making phone calls.

"I have done nothing but criminal defense for 21 years and I have a very sensitive nose for lying clients," Stiber's lawyer John Thygerson told NBC News on Wednesday. "I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, that I firmly believe my client 100 percent."

Stiber has already spent $1450 contesting the $435 fine with evidence that he bought a hash brown and caramel frappe that morning as well as phone records indicating he did not make any calls at the time.

On top of that, his car had a hands-free system which meant he did not need to pick up his phone.

The police officer who pulled Stiber over told the court that he's sure the driver was speaking into a phone and not eating breakfast.

"The cop says he saw my client's lips moving - my client's lips were moving because he was chewing on his hash brown," Thygerson said. "He's fighting this because he didn't do anything wrong."


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