At least this time the cops provided us with a humorous story while wasting our money. From WWSB in Sarasota, Florida–
Man in cooler for deflating Frosty
Frosty got flattened, and a man wound up in the cooler. Authorities say Lance Word, 18, tackled and popped an inflatable snowman decoration on a lawn Saturday in this suburban New Orleans community.
Police arrested Word and booked him with simple criminal damage to property. He posted bond and was released from jail.
Slidell Police Capt. Kevin Foltz said the blowup decorations, which came onto the holiday market in recent years, have been targets in the past.
“A lot of people seem to like to pop them, although that the boy tackled it … that’s something new,” he said.
Foltz said Word was apologetic. The decoration cost $120, he said. [emphasis mine]
So, we (as in taxpayers) paid at least one police officer to go out to the scene, another couple to book and process the guy, a Captain to talk to the press about the incident and who knows what all. The article states he was booked for “simple criminal damage to property”. Well, according to (Louisiana based) Babcock Law Firm–
Louisiana Simple criminal damage to property law
LA R.S. 14:56
A. Simple criminal damage to property is the intentional damaging of any property of another, without the consent of the owner, and except as provided in R.S. 14:55, by any means other than fire or explosion.
B. Whoever commits the crime of simple criminal damage to property, where the damage is less than five hundred dollars, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
Where the damage amounts to five hundred dollars but less than fifty thousand dollars, the offender shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years, or both.
Where the damage amounts to fifty thousand dollars or more, the offender shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than one nor more than ten years, or both.
So now this ‘criminal’ not only has to take up court time, but he may pay the state up to $500 in fines and may have to serve up to 6 months in jail (at an average taxpayer expense of $100 per night) none of which does anything for the victim. All of this over a $120 inflatable snowman! Does this seem like justice to you? Does it even seem rational? The victim would have been whole with a $120 check and/or a replacement snowman!