ABC News’ John Muller reports:
The Cleveland woman who was caught on camera swerving onto a sidewalk to pass a school bus full of children and forced to stand at the intersection wearing an “idiot” sign as punishment refused to publicly apologize for her actions but says she understands she is an example.
“This is a learning experience for me and an example for my daughter that if you make poor or bad choices you have to suffer the consequences,” Sheena Hardin, 32, told ABC News in a statement. “I broke traffic laws, the same as running a red light or texting while driving. All have the potential for a dangerous outcome.”
That statement was the only comment issued by Hardin as she stood silent while fulfilling her punishment yesterday and today, standing at the corner of East 38 th Street and Payne Avenue in Cleveland for one hour during the morning rush hour while wearing a sign that said in bold print, “Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”
The silence from Hardin came after she pled no contest last week to charges of not stopping for a school bus and reckless operation on a street or highway. She was captured on video driving on the sidewalk last September so that she wouldn’t have to stop to wait for the children in the school bus to load and unload.
Onlookers who observed her holding the sign said she wasn’t taking her crime, or the punishment, seriously enough.
“She’s been texting, she’s been smoking, she’s got sunglasses on and it’s snowing outside,” Lisa Kelley, a bystander in the mix of locals and reporters watching the spectacle unfold yesterday, told ABC News. “You know, she don’t care.”
Today, however, Hardin gained a supporter, a man identified by local ABC affiliate NewsNet5 as Archie Berwick who stood by Harding with a sign that read, “If she’s an idiot, then so am I =)”
“I don’t agree with what you did was right but I still don’t believe you’re an idiot,” NewsNet5 reported Berwick, an employee of a local radio station, as saying.
Hardin replied to Berwick that she isn’t “getting sucked into this,” according to the station.
Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey S. Carr, who ordered Hardin to stand at the busy intersection, had said yesterday that she would personally supervise Hardin completing her punishment today, but did not appear on the scene.
Carr rdered Hardin to not only wear the sign from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. both days but also specified that the sign be written on 22 x 22 white poster board with the text written in all capital letters in black marker.
Hardin was also ordered to pay $250 in court costs and had her license suspended for 30 days, according to court records.