Americana: Foul Call

John Westberg, 14, was skateboarding outside his house in Redford Township, Mich., when his path was blocked by two neighborhood boys on bicycles. There were angry words. Then John's father, Lawrence Westberg, went marching over to the home of the boys' father, William Scherrer. Westberg claims he simply shouted, "Goddamn it, Bill, start controlling your kids." Scherrer, on the other hand, swears that Westberg called him a "rotten, f— sonofabitch!" Scherrer called the police, who arrested Westberg. The charge: violating the township's ordinance on disorderly persons, which prohibits, among other things, "indecent, insulting or immoral language in the presence of others."

Even...

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