Dispatch From OrbitRichard Powell arrested for 344th time.A guy in Miami named Richard Powell, 57, was arrested for the 344th time. The story said the charges “ranged from drinking in public and stealing a milk crate to strong-arm robbery and sexual battery.” Okay, okay, I’m going to include a link so if you suspect I’m making this shit up, you’ll be able to see for yourself it’s as true as anything you’ll find in “the news.”

As is typical of most “news stories” of this ilk, some things are not very clear. For instance, he’s been arrested 344 times, but the crack journalist who wrote the story didn’t mention how many of those arrests resulted in convictions. If he’s only been convicted nine times, this is a whole different story. Like, one of police harassment. From my vantage point (3000 miles away) I’m betting the only charges he wasn’t convicted on were those when the arresting officers couldn’t get to court.

I mean, how many milk crates can a guy steal?

In any case, these charges sound to me like stumble-bum kind of stuff. I’m betting the vast majority of his charges were of the public intoxication variety. I mean, how many milk crates can a guy steal? The more serious charges were undoubtedly the result of belligerent drunks shoving each other around on the sidewalk. If he was pulling a lot of armed robberies and doing a lot of sexual battery, they wouldn’t keep letting him out. He was convicted of five charges in the past 12 months. Yeah, probably drunk in public.

Apparently he likes a certain stretch of beach south of 40th Street and is under court order to stay out of there. He keeps going back and causing problems. I tried to find a video online of Powell getting arrested and couldn’t find one. So I’ve included 28 seconds of what it might have looked like when he was arrested. If he was arrested at a football game. And, ah, if he was a younger white guy…

Comedy gold: The stern talking to the judge gave the guy.

The original vital news report was brought to us by ABC News 10 in Florida. The real comedy gold here is the stern talking to the judge gave the guy. She told him: “You’re on the radar my friend.” She went on to tell him: “if you violate the order again, the state won’t even discuss a plea with your lawyers.”

What an angry female judge might look like.
Not the actual judge.

Hmmph. A guy is arrested the 344th time, what do you think he’s going to do? When they let him out, that is. The judge gave him 90 days. I think he might stay away from the beach the day they turn him loose, but the next day he’ll be at the beach south of 40th Street slammin’ Mickey Big Mouth malt liquor and raving.

The most delightful thing about this situation is the citizen group. There are a bunch of locals who show up at hearings of chronic troublemakers and try to convince the judge to just keep them in custody. One of this group is quoted in the story saying: “”We are focusing on the repeat offenders in Miami Beach that are making our beach unlivable.” Wow. Unlivable. That’s harsh. Some of us like hearing drunks raving in the street.

I’m a big fan of idiocy.

generic protesters protesting something or otherI’m a big fan of idiocy. First, we have a judge who thinks the stern talking to she gave Powell would have an effect, and then this group of hopeful citizens. You’re going to love this. This is a hell of a punchline to the whole affair. According to ABC 10, the spokesman for the citizens “hopes this stint in jail finally sends a message to Powell and others like him.” Wait for it…

“Hopefully it’ll sink in,” he said.

You gotta love it. The childlike innocence. The trust in the system. The idiocy.

You can’t make this shit up, folks.

M. Nick