Mitt Romney knows what it feels like to be on the wrong end of the long arm of the law, because in 1981 the Republican presidential candidate was arrested for disorderly conduct after launching his boat into a Massachusetts lake during a family vacation.
"As Romney prepared to put his family boat into the water, a park officer told Romney not to launch because his license appeared to have been painted over," BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski wrote Monday. "The officer told Romney if he put his boat into the water he would face a $50 fine. Romney felt that his license was still visible and decided to ignore the order from the officer and pay the fine. … Romney said the officer didn’t tell him not to launch his boat, just that he would face a fine for doing so. … After Romney put the family boat into the water, the officer reappeared visibly angry and arrested Romney for disorderly conduct. Romney was handcuffed on the scene, taken to the local police station and booked."
The story of Romney's arrest first came to light in 1994 when he ran for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass).
"The charges against (Romney) were dropped several days later and officially dismissed in February 1982 at Natick District Court," the Boston Globe reported in 1994. "At Romney's request, the judge also agreed to seal the records, making them unavailable for public inspection. "
An arrest for disorderly conduct isn't the only occasion when Romney's behavior has flown in the face of the status quo. Earlier this year, the Stanford Review revisited Romney's involvement in unpopular war protests during his freshman year at Stanford University.
"In 1966, Romney and some other students held a protest on campus — not in opposition to the Vietnam War, but in support of the draft," Kyle Huwa wrote for the Stanford Review. "Though they’re probably being used against him today, the photos … show a conservative willing to go against the mainstream in an era when such a position was very unpopular, an admirable act in my mind."