8 Stupid, Stupid Excuses Given By People Who Got Caught
There's such a thing as "justifiable homicide," like when you kill a person because they were trying to kill you or they were listening to music in public without headphones or something. Such defenses are commonplace in both criminal court and the court of public opinion, and sometimes, they're valid. Other times, well ...
The 2015 Paris Train Attack Shooter Said He Found An AK-47 "By Chance"
Ayoub El-Khazzani is the man behind the 2015 Paris train attacks, an event made famous in Clint Eastwood's 2018 movie The 15:17 to Paris in his ongoing quest to make a movie out of every single news story. El-Khazzani boarded the Thalys train with an assault rifle, nearly 300 rounds of ammunition, an automatic pistol, a box cutter, and some gasoline, with the intention of killing every passenger. Fortunately, he failed to achieve any of this, as he was restrained and apprehended by some American soldiers travelling onboard. (The movie starred the actual Americans involved in the event, in what was essentially a $50 million segment of America's Most Wanted.)
Authorities say El-Khazzani had ties to hard-line Islamist groups and was clearly planning an act of terror, but Khazzani denied the allegations, stating that he was merely a homeless man who found all the weapons 'by chance' in a French park. In fact, he was allegedly "dumbfounded" that his obvious act of terrorism was being called an act of terrorism. This is clearly one of those modern litter problems that many large cities have these days: scores of environmental ne'er-do-wells too lazy to dispose of their assault rifle in the proper receptacle. Hopefully, the French government starts issuing fines for casually tossing hundreds of rounds of ammunition onto the ground. After all, it leads to Clint Eastwood movies.
A Man Who Had Sex With A Dolphin Clamed The Dolphin Seduced Him
Malcolm Brenner started having sex with a female dolphin named Dolly at a now-defunct Florida water park in 1971. Sorry to just drop that on you, but there's no tactful way to ease into dolphucking. The "affair" that lasted a year was categorically not animal abuse, Brenner claims, because she seduced him. He didn't go into her habitat with the intention of getting all Shape of the Water with it, but Dolly had a "telepathic connection" with him through which she communicated her desires and even went so far as to "rub her vulva" on him. What was he supposed to do? Not have sex with a dolphin? Like you would have done any different.
In fact, the way Brenner describes it, Dolly was downright abusive. If he resisted her advances, she would "beat [him] up," once pushing him to the bottom of the 12-foot pool. She also physically threw his girlfriend out of the pool once. (Sidebar: Imagine being that girlfriend.) It still seems like the logical solution is to stop getting in the pool with the rapist dolphin, but we're not here to victim-blame, not that Brenner even sees himself as a victim. He's more than happy to tell you all about it in his steamy, self-published memoir, Wet Goddess, a title that is upsetting for a lot of reasons but mostly because that's the best he could do.
A Restaurant Owner Claimed He Didn't Have Enough Space To Not Be Racist
In 2016, residents of Londale, Minnesota were alarmed by the sign outside the Treats Family Restaurant, and not just because it advertised a mysterious item called "CB Fry." Alongside offers of "food" and "ice cream" were the words "Muslims get out," a presumed response to a recent incident in nearby St. Cloud in which a Somali-American man had stabbed eight people. As protestors gathered, however, owner Dan Ruedinger was shocked by the response to what he claimed was a perfectly innocent, non-racist message of support for his neighbors. You know. Specific neighbors.
"We were going to put 'Muslim extremists,' but we didn't have room on the board," Ruedinger explained. "Now, people started taking it the wrong way, thinking we were against Muslims in general." Truly, it is a mystery how anyone could interpret "Muslims get out" as an anti-Muslin sentiment. He also noted that "I didn't want to put 'terrorists' on the board" and then just ... didn't elaborate on that.
Sensing a teachable moment, the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Jaylani Hussein, sat down with Ruedinger to explain exactly how he done goofed. However, the discussion broke down almost immediately when Ruedinger "became agitated and shouted about his son's service in Iraq." "It was a short conversation," said Hussein, a man no doubt practiced in excessive politeness.
A Doctor Accused Of Sexual Assault Simply "Forgot To Wash His Hands"
Most cases of sexual assault are maddeningly hard to prove, but when Dr. David Newman's semen was found on a drugged patient, it seemed pretty open-and-shut. However, Newman told police that the, ahem, sticky situation in which he'd found himself was merely the result of forgetting to wash his hands after masturbating in a hospital lounge before treating the patient.
Even if it was true, then firstly, gross. What kind of doctor just forgets to wash their hands before treating a patient? Or put on gloves, apparently? Especially after masturbating? Wouldn't he notice at some point? Exactly how much does this guy-nope, we're abandoning this line of questioning.
The point is, there are several crimes being committed here one way or another, of public decency if not of law. However, four additional women later came forward, and it was revealed that Newman was up to something far more sinister than just acting out an American Pie subplot. He was convicted on sexual abuse charges and eventually sentenced to 2 years in prison.
A Man Caught Masturbating Publicly Blamed A Groundhog
In August 2017, a woman at a Kentucky park was just trying to enjoy a wholesome game of ... whatever people do in parks, probably frolf. (What even is a frolf?) Anyway, she noticed a weird dude hanging around and paying an inordinate amount of attention to the frolfers, and by the time she managed to get a real look at him, he had his pants down and his hand firmly on his own club. (Seriously, does frolf involve clubs?) She called the police to report Shooter McGrabbin', but he had already fled on a moped because sex offenders aren't allowed to have cool escape vehicles.
When they caught up to him, 53-year-old Robert McCoy who insisted it was all a misunderstanding. What appeared to be a sex crime, he explained, was actually the unfortunate aftermath of a groundhog that "startled" him out of his pants while he was peeing. It must be a coincidence, then, that McCoy had a long history of sexual offenses that had already forced him to register on some unsavory lists. That's one persistent groundhog.
A Governor's Aide Blamed His Tax Evasion On "Non-Filer's Syndrome"
Charles J. O'Byrne was secretary to Governor David A. Paterson of New York. That's the highest unelected position in the entire state. As Secretary to the governor of New freaking York, he obviously had a lot of responsibility and got the job done. Oh, he was also a former Jesuit Priest and a lawyer? You'd think he'd have his shit together, but in October of 2008, he was forced to step down when it was revealed that he hadn't paid taxes from 2001 to 2006. Even with such a prestigious position and background, this isn't too shocking. A corrupt politician barely rises above an especially cute koala in today's newsfeeds. What was shocking was his invention of an entire mental illness to explain it.
According to his lawyer, poor Mr. O'Byrne couldn't help it that he hadn't filed taxes in five years because he was the victim of a mental illness called "non-filer syndrome." Those afflicted with the "debilitating" illness are supposedly "high-functioning people who otherwise can complete all of the ordinary tasks in their lives. But there is something that they can't do, and many times that causes them not to be able to file their tax returns." Apparently, Mr. O'Byrne managed to go to law school, become a Jesuit priest, and rise to a top position in New York, but an afternoon at H&R Block was just not within his capability.
Whether or not you believe in non-filer syndrome, Governor Paterson sure didn't. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the American Psychiatric Association confirmed that there is no such disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is kind of a bummer. We were hoping for a diagnosis of "non-dishwasher syndrome."
A Man Blamed A Bear Attack For Violating His Parole
In 2016, Steven Boyd of Great Falls, Montana failed to notify his parole officer that he'd lost his job and moved out of his home. In fact, Boyd stopped reporting altogether. But he had a reasonable explanation: Recovering from a grizzly bear attack. According to Boyd, "he hit me like a Volkswagen with fur," which the bear probably took as an insult. He couldn't have been a Charger with fur? At least a Bronco? Come on, man.
But Boyd's bad luck didn't end with the ursine assault: He promptly got lost in the woods for three weeks, during which time he also ran afoul of some hornets, and wouldn't you know it? He's allergic to those. At the end of his ordeal, he finally reached his father's house hundreds of miles from Great Falls, where he manfully refused any medical treatment that would have corroborated his story. It was a story that surely captivated his fellow inmates over the next two years.
A Man Claimed Abu Dhabi Police Sent Him Child Porn
When Hani Al Askari was caught trying to enter Canada with 300 videos and almost 100 images of child pornography, he swore he was just holding it for a friend. It's the oldest trick in the book, but the prospective refugee insisted that it really wasn't what it looked like: The friend in question was the Abu Dhabi police. It might seem like "Abu Dhabi police distribute child porn to random dudes" is the bigger story here, but Askari claimed he received it as part of his work as a computer expert consulting for the police.
Since this isn't a list of innocent people caught in situations that looked really bad, it's probably no surprise that Al Askari couldn't come up with a shred of evidence for his claims. He claimed that he had attempted to contact the officer he worked for, but for some reason, the guy never got back to him. Maybe Al Askari made fun of his shoes one time and he's still holding a grudge. Maybe he just got lost in the shuffle. Whatever the case, Al Askari couldn't produce the instructions he claimed he received from the police along with the, erm, "material." They were totally on his hard drive, he said, but it would take weeks to find them. Either not willing to wait or just recognizing this as nonsense, the judge sentenced him to 18 months.
Chris Scott owns a bookstore in Regina, the city that rhymes with fun. You can also read her in The Prairie Dog Magazine.
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