BUSTED! – Real Stories of Genuine Absurdity November/December 2017

James L. McClinton, Ph.D

I just learned where Grandpa got his lowrider golf cart… In Florida, a SWAT team from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department raided The Villages retirement community in the sprawling complex near Ocala, uncovering what they believe is a golf cart chopshop operation, along with illegal drugs. Souped-up golf carts are a popular way to get around in the community which is home to more than 150,000 people. Windshields, seat cushions, wheels, and tires were found in the garage, along with drugs “in plain sight” in the home, a deputy said. (So, retirement might not be so boring after all!)

Those beers aren’t going to rescue themselves… In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, several people were treated for smoke inhalation at an apartment building fire. While firefighters battled the fire, a man ran back into the building. He wasn’t trying to save a child or even a pet. “It is not advisable to push past [first responders] in an attempt to ‘save your beer,’ ” the Sioux Falls Police tweeted. Police said that, when the 56-year-old man ran back out of the burning building, he was carrying two cans of Bud Ice beer. He was arrested, charged with obstruction and – with a measured blood alcohol level of .082 percent – violating a court ordered sobriety program. (Wouldn’t the beer have been rather warm at that point?)

A hands-on, practical experience is always the best way to end police training… A number of police officers converged on Mission Valley, California, for a two week specialized narcotics training course. After a busy day of training, three of the officers were relaxing in the hot tub at their hotel when a man approached and struck up a conversation. He asked them the reason for their stay and one of the officers jokingly said that their crack lab had blown up. The man then replied that he was in the drug business, too. In the ensuing conversation, the officers arranged to purchase cocaine and LSD from the man in a sting operation. He later made good on his word and delivered the goods. The man was arrested and charged. (Well, he certainly got himself into hot water on that day.)

Sometimes, it really sucks to be an “Internet Sensation”… In Jacksonville, Florida, a man who was brazenly flashing money live on the Internet was suddenly surprised by police officers who barged in and arrested him for allegedly selling drugs. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the 22-year-old man went on Facebook Live to show friends a handful of money, saying, “It don’t stop, man, it don’t stop.” He then retrieved more money from another room and started shuffling it when he heard Jacksonville officers warning over a loudspeaker that they were about to raid the house. The stunned man ran out of the room, but officers burst in and arrested him. He now faces numerous drug charges and was jailed on $425,000 bail. (Karma doesn’t stop either, man.)

He should have worked there a few days longer to learn where the security cameras were located… In New Jersey, a security officer at a cash vault and armored car company has been accused of stealing $100,000 from the business on his first day of work, Fairfield police reported. The 19-year-old accused, who worked for Garda, was arrested after the theft was captured by company surveillance cameras, according to township police. Security officers reportedly found $85,900 in a vehicle parked in Elizabeth before police were alerted, the chief added. There was no definitive conclusion of what happened to the remaining stolen money. (His first day on the job and they left him alone with $100,000?)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… In North Carolina, the Surf City Police Department pulled over a 20-year-old man and asked him to exit his vehicle. They then spotted what appeared to be illegal drugs inside the car. Police said the man ran into the ocean and started swimming out to sea. Officers then deployed a camera drone to track the swimming suspect which managed to keep pace with him for about an hour before losing visual contact. The drone video showed a shark swimming near the man at one point. Fortunately, the situation did not spiral into a scene from the movie Jaws. The Coast Guard, the Surf City Fire Department, the North Topsail Police Department, and other agencies joined the search and the suspect was eventually located in North Topsail Beach. He was jailed and arrested on multiple drug charges. (Most criminals try to escape to Mexico; he was trying to swim to England.)