- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 21, 2013

A teenager in Covington, Ky., faced 90 days in jail and a $250 fine for disorderly conduct in a bingo hall last month. A judge, however, opted to ban him from a word instead.

Austin Whaley, 18, popped his head in the town bingo hall on Feb. 9 and screamed “bingo,” as if he had won the game.

“This caused the hall to quit operating since they thought someone had won,” Park Hills Police Sgt. Richard Webster, who was working an off-duty security detail at the hall, wrote on his citation. “This delayed the game by several minutes and caused alarm to patrons.”

Sgt. Webster said the joke wasn’t well-received among the crowd of mostly elderly women.

“At first, everybody started moaning and groaning when they thought they’d lost,” he said, according to nky.com. “When they realized it wasn’t a real bingo, they started hooting and hollering and yelling and cussing. People take their bingo very seriously.”

Sgt. Webster said he probably would’ve let the teen go with a warning had he apologized, “but he refused to say he was sorry.”

“He seemed to think he could say whatever he wanted because it was a public building. I tried to explain that that’s not the case.”

Kenton District Judge Douglas Grothaus “sentenced” the young man last week, albeit somewhat symbolically, saying he is banned from saying “bingo” for the next six months. The misdemeanor charge will be dropped if he complies.