10-Aug-87 1947 MST Sb APtn 08/08 0239 Fortunetelling Arrest DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - Police sa
10-Aug-87 19:47 MST
Sb: APtn 08/08 0239 Fortunetelling Arrest
DECATUR, Ala. (AP) -- Police say Jimmy Breedwell came to town to tell
fortunes and wound up violating a city ordinance, but the Tennessee man says he
was only making psychic readings with the help of a crystal ball.
Whatever he was doing, police filed a misdemeanor charge against Breedwell,
who is free from the Decatur City Jail on $132 bond. Breedwell was back home
Friday in Chattanoogna, Tenn., following the ordeal.
Police said Breedwell, 37, was arrested Thursday afternoon when investigators
posing as customers paid him to tell their future. The man had been in the city
several days telling fortunes, police alleged.
But Breedwell contends his psychic readings are not fortunetelling. He also
said police violated his constitutional rights by preventing him from practicing
his psychic prowess.
"They considered it fortunetelling, but's it's not," Breedwell said in a
telephone interview Friday. "What I do is nothing different than what real
estate appraisers (do) or what a prophesier does from the pulpit."
Breedwell was charged with violating a section of the city code which
prohibits "the trade, business or profession of phrenology, clairvoyance,
palmistry or other business ... in which the future of any person is foretold or
attempted to be foretold."
Police Lt. Ed Taylor said an officer gave Breedwell $20 to tell his fortune.
While the man predicted the death of an elderly relative of the officer, Taylor
said, "Apparently he didn't foresee his own arrest."
Breedwell said that in his business, where a crystal ball is used as a medium
in the readings, a practioner would not necessarily be able to forsee his own
legal problems. Police said they confiscated the crystal ball and a deck of
"I've read all over the world and never had any trouble before," said
Breedwell, who added that he would not fight the misdemeanor charge in Municipal
Court because he lives in Tennessee. Breedwell could receive a maximum fine of
$500 and six months in jail if convicted.
Copyright 1987 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank