Stephanie Foltz was pulled over for speeding in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, when Trooper Thomas Manning accused her of smoking methamphetamine after catching a glimpse of her teeth (video below).
Stephanie told WTHR she simply inherited less-than-pearly whites and has never touched meth. The condition of her teeth reportedly deteriorated after she gave birth.
“What happened to your teeth?” Manning is heard asking in an audio recording of the exchange captured by Stephanie’s husband, Matt Foltz.
“Childbirth,” Stephanie, a young mother, replies.
“Are you saying your children did that to you?” Manning says.
“During pregnancy, they take calcium out of your body and the first place it comes from is teeth,” Stephanie responds.
“I don’t believe you,” the trooper says. “I know they do take calcium from your body, but they don’t do it in that way.”
Stephanie was issued a speeding ticket, but she said the real damage was to her self-esteem.
“After that conversation, it makes me not want to talk to anyone,” she told WTHR. “If he has that perception of me, who’s to say somebody else doesn’t, you know?”
Stephanie added that even if her teeth are bad, the officer had no right to tell her she was doing meth.
Matt said his wife was distraught following the incident.
“She was in tears,” he said. “She could hardly talk, let alone drive. I ended up taking off work early.”
When Matt couldn’t get in touch with the state police, he posted the audio recording on YouTube. Stephanie hopes making the interaction public will shed light on Manning’s actions, although state police have decided not to punish him.
“I don’t want the publicity,” she said. “I don’t want the attention. I just don’t think it was right the way he handled the situation.”
Stephanie’s friend, Heather Wolfe, started a crowd-funding campaign to help fix her dental issues.
“[Stephanie] is an amazing friend, mother, daughter, and wife,” Wolfe wrote on the GoFundMe page. “She doesn’t have the funds to get her teeth fixed. If we could all pitch in it would help tremendously.”
As of Sept. 30, $35 of the $1,000 goal had been raised.
Sources: GoFundMe, WTHR / Photo Credit: WTHR