Update on the Bass Pro Diver

Law enforcement are still looking for the man who dove into the Bass Pro fish tank last week. I left his name out of the original post because I don’t think he has committed a felony, but the man they think did it has gone on social media to speak out. Daniel Armendariz posted on his Facebook account confirming that he is the one in the Bass Pro video, and proceeding to eviscerate Bass Pro for trying to charge him with a ridiculous felony. Multiple media outlets are referring to his post as a ‘confession’… but it’s only a confession if what he did was a crime. I’ll reiterate my previous post, it is not criminal mischief to jump into a giant fish tank. He did not willfully destroy any property, and it really shouldn’t be considered a felony, regardless of how mush Bass Pro claims they paid to disinfect the tank.

Mr. Armendariz says he will turn himself in… but not until he is ready. It’s also worth pointing out that Crimestoppers mentioned his previous charges for some serious offenses, but he says he beat those charges. It’s like they were trying to make him look bad as they are trying to sell the idea that his silly prank is a serious crime. Again, not a good look. You can check out his rant, but be forewarned, mature content:

 

Man Exposes Himself to a Woman trying to drink her Coffee

Florida gonna Florida. (It’s a verb now.) Man, you gotta respect someone when they need their cup of joe.

Jousua Echezarreta

Naples Police reported a man was pantsless and playing with himself when a woman came out on to her condo balcony to drink her coffee. He yelled up at her, insinuating that he had been watching or stalking her, then he laid down on a lounge chair and played with himself. Naples Police identified and arrested the suspect, Jousua Echezarreta, and charged him with exposure of sexual organs, loitering, resisting and officer and stalking. Creepy.

 

Dude Jumped in the Bass Pro Fish Tank and Now They Want to Charge Him With a Felony

Man Diving in Tank

You might have seen the video going around of the guy who jumped into the giant Native Fish Tank at the Fort Myers Bass Pro Shops. If you haven’t been, Bass Pro has a huge tank with fish from Florida- it’s a centerpiece of the store. It made all the local news, and got shared all over on social media, and everybody had a good laugh about it. Now, local crimestoppers is claiming they have identified the man, and that he is wanted for felony charges!

That’s the kind of overblown hooey that frustrates people about cops.

Apparently, LCSO is claiming that it cost Bass Pro $3000 to ‘decontaminate’ the tank, and that makes him a felon. I call garbage- both on the cost and the felony.

They are alleging that the cost makes it a felony criminal mischief. Unfortunately, whoever is alleging that has not read the criminal mischief statute. To qualify, an individual must “willfully and maliciously” damage property. I have been out there to check it, but it certainly doesn’t look like any damage was done. On top of that, for it to be willful, he’d have to know that jumping in the tank would cause a $3000 disinfecting bill, which of course he didn’t, because it’s ridiculous. This might be some trespass of property, but to charge this kid with a felony is willful and malicious prosecution, and the authorities should be ashamed.

Here’s the story and video on the news:

The News-Press indicates some high school kids got in trouble for doing that in 2011… it doesn’t indicate that they gave a bunch of kids felonies, though:

Man Jumps in Canal to Flee, Gets Arrested on the Other Side

Shawn Gilligan

A local man tried running from the cops, only to end up getting arrested in addition to being wet. According to NBC-2, Shawn Gilligan was allegedly driving a car when a deputy attempted to stop him for running a stop sign. He fled, ended up on a dead-end drive, where he got out and ran. He came across a canal and jumped in, trying to escape. It didn’t work, and he was arrested by deputies on the other side. He ended up having to be taken to a hospital.

It’s worth noting, the deputy initially was stopping him for a mere infraction- for which he would have gotten a ticket. Now he’s facing multiple criminal charges, including felony charges. Any jumping into a canal in Florida is dangerous… he’s lucky it didn’t turn out much worse.

Do You Have to Wear Pants to Check the Mail?

  • Maryland Police Issued a Warning to people to wear pants when they check the mail
  • My legal advice: please wear pants

The Taneytown police department in Maryland was apparently having a lot of complaints about people checking their mail without pants on. It was enough of an issue that they had to announce a ‘final warning’ to residents to remind citizens not to check their mail whilst disrobed below the belt.

Funny sure, but there is a legitimate legal question there… is pantless mail-checking against the law. It just so happens that I have dealt with this specific matter before, so I may be the authority on it, at least in Florida. We had a case come in when I was a prosecutor; a man charged with indecent exposure for checking the mail sans pantaloons. My supervisor thought it was a good file, but I wasn’t so sure. We had an intern working at the office at the time, and I tasked him with the legal research. As I suspected, mere nudity did not rise to the level of indecent without some sort of lasciviousness. So, in Florida at least, pantless mail-checking is not criminal, without something else.

However, I recommend wearing pants when you go out for a couple of reasons. One, a less-informed law enforcement officer may think it is indecent, and you could go to jail until the legalities are sorted out. Also, I saw a guy get charged with indecent exposure for skinny dipping, because somebody said he was waving his winky at them. There’s room for dangerous misinterpretation if you are not wearing pants, so I’d advise everyone, if at all possible, to wear pants when they check their mail.

Lee County has made its First Arrest for a Violation of the Safer-at-Home Order

John Demeo via LCSO

Lee County made its first arrest of an individual for violating the governor’s ‘Safer-at-Home’ order. He was not arrested just for being away from his home for non-essential activities; he was also arrested for multiple other offenses. That is to say, he was going to jail anyway, not just for the violating the stay-at-home order.

John Demeo was first warned to stay away, after he allegedly got intoxicated and threatened his girlfriend. Officer’s told him not to call her, but he called her again while they were still at her home and threatened her while the officer was listening. They tracked him by cell phone GPS to a parking lot, but agreed to not arrest him, and waited for someone to pick him up. About 10 minutes later, they got another call from the girlfriend that John had returned. When they detained him, they discovered he already had an out-of-county warrant for a DUI violation of probation, and proceeded to arrest him for disorderly intoxication, criminal mischief (for damaged property) and the violation of the governor’s emergency order, all misdemeanors. He was held with no bond until he went in front of a judge, but was subsequently able to bond out.

Todd Helton Sentenced to Jail for DUI

Wanted to share this as a reminder to take Driving Under the Influence seriously. Colorado Rockies legend Todd Helton pled to a DUI and was sentenced to two days of incarceration, in addition to probation and classes and all of the other requirements of a DUI conviction. The article doesn’t say if he had any credit, he may have done those days the night he was arrested, but it just goes to show that even rich and famous don’t get a break on DUI.

It’s worth noting that even with the public health emergency, law enforcement is still on patrol, and will still arrest for DUI. Even if you don’t go to jail tonight… that doesn’t mean you aren’t facing jail time down the road. The cases are not getting dropped… just pushed down the road. Be safe, and don’t drink and drive!