A Montreal man’s decision to let loose and belt out a 1990s dance hit while inside his car has landed him a $149 ticket for being too loud in public.
But Taoufik Moalla said Monday he’ll fight the ticket and denies his singing was as deafening as authorities claim.
“Do you think that inside my car is a public place?” Moalla asked, adding: “And it was not very loud.”
Moalla, 38, said he was happily singing along with the windows mostly rolled up to C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” a dance staple and chartbuster from 1990, when he was stopped.
“I don’t think it was too loud, I was happy, I was in a good mood and I was just repeating the refrain (Everybody Dance Now),” the father of two said in an interview.
“It was one or two seconds, then I heard the sirens.”
He was on his way to do groceries on the evening of Sept. 27 and thought police just wanted him to get out of their way.
“Finally, it was my car they were looking to stop,” he said, adding that four Montreal officers pulled him over just a few hundred metres from his home.
“They asked me if I was yelling and I said no, I was singing,” Moalla said.
One of the officers walked away and returned with the fine for screaming in a public place.
Moalla said he was shocked and surprised at being stopped, noting he’d put the CD on just moments before leaving his home.
“It’s a retro song that reminds me of youth,” said Moalla.
Montreal police said Monday they wouldn’t comment on specific tickets and said Moalla can challenge it in court.
Moalla has formally contested the fine but won’t get a court date for at least six months.
A cousin who works as a journalist heard about the incident and asked if he wanted to share it.
The story has taken off since it broke over the weekend, with numerous TV and radio requests, most of which Moalla said he declined Monday.
“I didn’t think it (the story) was going to make so much noise,” he confessed.
Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press