WASHINGTON (AP) – A woman who was handcuffed and jailed for eating a candy bar on a subway station escalator got her day in court Thursday, but got little satisfaction.

Stephanie Willett, 45, was eating a Pay Day bar on a Metro Center station escalator July 16, and received a warning from Metro Transit Police Officer C. Curry Hagler not to eat on transit system property. She stuffed the last bite into her mouth as she approached the turnstile.

After another officer cautioned her, Willett said Hagler warned her she would be arrested if she continued eating. When Willett responded by telling Hagler she should “go looking for real crime,” Willett was detained, searched, handcuffed and arrested. After three hours in jail, the mother of two from Bowie, Md., paid $10 to be released.

“Once you post and forfeit (bond), that’s the end of the matter,” Magistrate Judge Richard H. Ringell told her Thursday. Ringell said he could sympathize, but had no authority to rule.

The forfeiture means Willett – who works at the Environmental Protection Agency – has neither admitted guilt nor been convicted. She has a year to request that the forfeiture be set aside, clearing the way for a trial.

It was the latest incident to raise questions about Metro Transit Police.

In 2000, a 12 year-old girl was arrested for eating a french fry on a subway platform. In 2002, a wheelchair-bound rider was ticketed for using profanity when he could not find a working elevator to exit the system. In September, an officer forced a pregnant woman to the ground, saying she was talking too loudly on a cellular telephone.

Associated Press writer Candace Smith contributed to this story.

On the Net:

Metro: http://www.wmata.com

AP-ES-10-07-04 1640EDT

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