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Man arrested for cursing in front of police files free-speech lawsuit

A western Pennsylvania man arrested for cursing in front of police has filed a lawsuit saying his right to free speech was violated.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper reported Thursday that Richard Pustovrh was arguing with his employers in September 2012 and they called the police. Pustovrh lives in Houston, 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.

A complaint says Pustovrh used an obscenity to voice his frustration after a Canonsburg police officer warned him not to.

He was handcuffed and later found guilty of disorderly conduct and obscene language. The obscene-language charge was withdrawn when he appealed.

Pustovrh wants a declaration the police actions were unconstitutional. He's seeking punitive damages of $100,000.

Canonsburg Police Chief R.T. Bell can't be reached for comment.

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