A Fayetteville man arrested Saturday after dropping his pants and allegedly making an obscene gesture at Waffle House spoke with WBTV to tell his side of the story.
According to the official report from Rock Hill Police, an officer working overtime at the Waffle House on S Anderson Road saw 26-year-old Ryan Smallwood sitting in a booth, making an obscene gesture with his middle finger to another customer just after 1:30 a.m.
Police said Smallwood had dropped his pants to his ankles, but still had his boxers up.
The officer approached Smallwood and made him pull his pants up, and told him that any further inappropriate conduct would result in him having to leave the restaurant, the report states.
A short time later, the officer said he heard Smallwood "talking about his penis" to two other customers, and told him that he could either leave the restaurant or face arrest.
Police say Smallwood argued that he had done nothing wrong, and was arrested and charged with public disorderly conduct.
After a clip of WBTV's Molly Grantham reporting on the incident was shown on a late night talk show, and went viral, Ryan Smallwood talked to WBTV to tell his side of the story.
Smallwood said that he did indeed drop his pants, but says he was just goofing around.
He says that he and some friends were at the restaurant getting a late-night bite to eat, and that they knew several of the employees that were working that night.
Smallwood says he was standing up eating when a girl told him to pull his pants up. "I was just being silly and I pulled them down and sat down at the booth," he said. He says he was standing while eating because of injuries he received while in the military.
He says he did drop his pants all the way down, but that his boxers were still up. "I dropped them all the way down," he said, "The whole restaurant was laughing."
The officer approached him and asked him to pull his pants up and he did. But, as the officer was walking away, he says, he told a friend, "It's not like my penis was showing."
Smallwood said that's when the officer placed him under arrest and told him, "I'm not allowed to swear in public."
Smallwood said he then requested the officer's supervisor come to the scene, and was later told by that supervisor that he had to be arrested because the other officer "had already written the ticket."
When asked about the mugshot, in which Ryan can be seen smiling, he said, "I knew the mugshot would be online, and I thought it was funny. So, I just smiled real big. And even the people at the police department thought it was funny. I wasn't being rude or drunk. I wasn't being crazy at all."
Smallwood said that the way people are viewing his is wrong. He told WBTV that he wasn't drunk during the incident, and that he doesn't take drugs.
When asked what he thought about the whole thing, Smallwood said, "I think it's funny."
But, he said, he is taking it seriously. Smallwood says he plans on getting a lawyer and will go to court in June.