Tossed cigarette butt lands woman in jail

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A North Fort Myers woman is in the Lee County Jail tonight after being accused of tossing a lit cigarette from a vehicle. 

Amy Townsend was arrested Thursday along North Cleveland Avenue. According to LCSO documents,  a deputy witnessed Townsend toss the cigarette butt from a vehicle. 

She  is being held on a $1,500. Her friend, Heather Cox, was in the vehicle when Townsend was arrested. 

"I'm sure 90% of everybody does it," said Cox.

For some smokers, like Cox, when she can't find an ash tray she tosses her cigarette butts on the ground. 

And while some might do this, it's illegal to do so if the cigarette butt is lit. 

"She just kept on saying I'm going to go to jail and I was like, why would anyone go to jail for that? and she was right. She went to jail," said Cox.

Townsend was arrested because tossing, or dropping a lit substance that can cause a wildfire is a first degree misdemeanor. 

"My mind is just like wow, you can go to jail for something like that," said Cox.

Much of Southwest Florida is currently under a burn ban.

Last April, officials say a wildfire which destroyed 4 homes and damaged 15 others in Lehigh Acres was sparked by a discarded cigarette.

After witnessing her friend's arrest, Cox suggests a car ashtray.

"Just buy one!," said Cox. 
 

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