For John Coulter, last Saturday's Cowboys-Cardinals preseason game started off innocently enough. He and his 15-year-old son were in the stands at University of Phoenix Stadium, and the plan was simple: Have fun and enjoy the afternoon. That included taking some photos to commemorate the occasion.
But things took a turn for the worse when Coulter asked his son to hold his beer while he snapped some pictures. A few seconds later, undercover officers with the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control showed up and informed Coulter that serving alcohol to a minor is not only illegal but he could be arrested for it. Coulter and his son were then escorted from the stadium and served a citation for trespassing.
"I thought it was a candid camera joke, I really did,” Coulter told USATODAY.com. “We just watched the opening kickoff and I wanted to take a quick picture. I literally handed my son my cup and said hold my cup, I reached into my pocket, grabbed my cell phone, put it on camera mode and took a picture.”
Coulter says he tried to explain the situation to the officers but to no avail.
"I normally would support the police if I heard a story like this," he said. "However, in this case, I was standing right there and witnessed abuse and overzealous pursuing of this situation. It was totally uncalled for."
But according to a report released by the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (via the New York Daily News), Coulter was verbally abusive when acknowledging the responding officers, saying, "Who the f--- are you?" and "You just made a big f------ mistake, buddy, you don't know who I am!"
"I see you have your little f------ badge," Coulter said, according to the report, before adding, "And I see that you're wearing your cute little Marine Corps shirt, too."
Sgt. Wesley Kuhl of the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control told USAToday.com why Coulter was approached.
"Providing alcohol to an underage person or an underage person in possession of alcohol is a Class 1 misdemeanor," he said. "The consequences could be up to, and this is a maximum, of two years in jail, $2,500 fine and three years probation."
Officers stated in the report that while they didn't witness Coulter's son drink alcohol, Coulter's confrontational behavior prevented them from asking him any questions. Ultimately, it led the officers to remove the father and the son from the stadium because there were concerns that Coulter could become "physically aggressive."
"This is bulls---," Coulter yelled as he was led out of the stadium, according to the report.
"I did not know if Mr. Coulter was intoxicated or just very aggressive and agitated during our conflict," Investigator K. Turner wrote in the report, "but his actions [were] disorderly."
The lesson: Don't be a jerk, especially to guys carrying firearms. Also, adult beverages are for adults, even if the intentions are noble. And if you need both hands, cup holders -- there's one on every seat -- are there for your convenience.