Friday, April 08, 2005

I hope this pisses you off as much as it does me

I read this one, and I was simultaneously angered, and amused (as I often find myself feeling when reading the news):

Mike Bolesta of Baltimore, MD, knew that paying his $114 installation charge to Best Buy in only $2 bills would cause a small stir, but he didn't think it would cause him to be arrested ...

After buying a stereo, finding that it would not work, having a new stereo model installed, and being told that he did not have to pay an installation fee, Bolesta was contacted by the store, and was threated with police action if he did not pay the fee he was told before did not exist. As a sign of protest, Bolesta decided to pay using only $2 bills, which he has an abundance of because he asks his bank for them specifically.

Unfortunately for him, the cashier did not seem to understand that the $2 bill is indeed legal US tender, since the bill itself is not often used. After rudely refusing to take the money, the cashier accepted the bills, only to mark them as though they were conterfeit. Supposedly, the suspicion of counterfeit was due to a smearing of the ink on the bill, but Secret Service agent Leigh Turner stated to the police that the bills were indeed legitimate, adding that "Sometimes ink on money can smear."

Perhaps the most galling aspect of this story is not the fact that it happened, or even the treatment that Mr. Bolesta endured, but the rationale used to explain the incident away, as stated by Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey: "It's a sign that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world." The "post-9/11 world" hardly excuses shackling a citizen to a pole or placing him in leg irons merely on one person's ignorant suspicions. In fact, there is nothing that should ever excuse this kind of treatment. ...

Now I'm not one for suing over everything, but as far as I'm concerned this guy has the best false arrest claim I've ever heard of. I guarantee you, name Best Buy, and the sherrifs office as co-defendents on the suit, and Best Buys insurance company will settle in a heartbeat.

What really gets me though, is instead of admitting their cashier was an idiot, and the cop that arrested the guy was an ever BIGGER idot (if that's possible), they actually had the gall to blame 9/11.

Man, one of these days I'm going to do a post on stupid cops, but let me just say this: If you look around and you see stupidity, venality, incompetence, and ignorance everywhere in your life; why would you assume the police (or the press, or the government), are any less stupid, venal, incompetent, or ignorant?