Two news stories popped up in my feed this week that immediately caught my attention. One had me laughing and the other had me shaking my head.
I laughed at a story out of Massachusetts - a state that is impossible for me to spell correctly on my own – where a man was arrested for fleeing from the police at a traffic stop, and in the process, running over a state trooper’s foot.
The Mass. troopers have something called the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, and it was one of those guys who had his foot squished by Jose Jimenez. The story didn’t say if Mr. Jimenez was, in fact, a violent fugitive before the traffic stop, but he hurt a cop while fleeing from him, so he certainly managed to check off both boxes last Tuesday.
Unfortunately, that kind of story is not really news these days, but how Mr. Jimenez tried to hide from the police was. They found his Toyota Camry abandoned after the short chase, but Jose was nowhere to be found.
A witness reported to the police that he’d just seen a man run into a nearby Osprey Wireless store. When police entered the store they found Mr. Jimenez – I am not making this up – filling out a job application.
Unfortunately, the story did not provide any insight into what Mr. Jimenez’s plan was. I can only assume he figured a man of his qualifications would be offered a wireless store customer service job on the spot, they would quickly get him a uniform, and he would seamlessly blend in with his coworkers when the police arrived, thus, avoiding detection.
He would then begin his new life as a wireless salesman, possibly even starting a new family, in his new hometown, leaving his old life of crime behind him for good.
Solid plan, Jose. Sorry it didn’t work out. Maybe your new almost-coworkers could help you out with that $250K bail. We’ll put a fundraiser jar in the breakroom.
My joy from reading about Mr. Jimenez and his brilliant escape plan gave way to utter befuddlement when I read the next story about a hot dog vendor from Berkeley, California.
The story itself shouldn’t have been news at all. A man decided to sell hotdogs on the street without a license to do so. A cop stopped and asked him for his business license. He didn’t have one. The cop confiscated his $60 as evidence and wrote him a ticket to appear before a judge.
No news here. Man cheated. Police caught him. Man is in trouble now.
The story only made the news because some yahoo with a cell phone filmed the whole thing while berating the cop for “stealing this man’s livelihood while there are people down the street drinking alcohol in public and lots of other stuff and why can’t you just leave this poor proud man alone to support his family and boo hoo,” or something to that effect.
The internet then became outraged at the police officer who “stole the nice man’s money,” and the yahoo with the cell phone decided to start a GoFundMe page for the hot dog man to help him with his legal expenses, and maybe also other poor street vendors as well.
The GoFundMe page actually said, The funds raised will be utilized to cover legal and personal loses. In addition, funds in excess are to cover other vendors who have been robbed of their hard earned living through citations and removal of their carts. It is my goal to locate Juan in Berkeley.
Besides the fact that he can’t spell ‘losses’ and doesn’t know when to hyphenate, the cell phone guy doesn’t even know Juan the hot dog man, and he doesn’t know how to get in contact with him. AND PEOPLE ARE STILL GIVING HIM MONEY.
I wish I was making this up, but I’m not. The cell phone yahoo started with a lofty goal of $10K “for Juan’s (and maybe others) “legal and personal loses,” and as of this writing, he has raised $73,000.
SEVENTY-THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS, and climbing.
So, I would like to take this opportunity to announce my own GoFundMe page that I set up this morning. You can find it at:
Here’s why – Like Juan, I also happen to manage an illegal street vendor operation. My sons run a totally unregulated and non-licensed lemonade stand in our neighborhood, and I am their business manager and their original angel investor when they needed start-up capital. So far, their lifetime earnings are less than Juan the hot dog man’s daily take, but after seeing his post-police involvement success, we are encouraged. Maybe we can make a go of this unlawful lemonade business after all.
I would love for any and all law enforcement in our area to immediately descend on our illegal lemonade stand. Please write us a citation, take our nineteen dollars and book it into evidence, and shut us down. (Please just wait until I have my cell phone video camera ready.)
Again, our GoFundMe link is: https://www.gofundme.com/smidges-little-lemonade-stand-fund
The Berkeley cell phone yahoo has raised over $70K in three days with a target of only $10K. I have done some very simple math and set my target at $100K. That should get us very close to the one million mark in no time.
Here is the compelling verbiage from our campaign:
(GoFundMe gave me very helpful tips to raise as much money as possible, so I followed their template to the letter)
Describe who will benefit:
Me (and also my poor, deserving children, maybe)
Detail what the funds will be used for:
Possible legal expenses and loss of income if we are ever hassled by the police over business license issues.
Explain how soon you need the funds:
ASAP! Who knows when we could be unfairly ticketed or shut down.
Plus, we want tacos.
Talk about what the support will mean to you:
After the recent outpouring of support for the Berkeley hot dog vendor, I just figured, hey, people love to support other people who run non-licensed and totally unregulated street food operations, so your donation to this campaign will mean the world to me!
Share how grateful you will be for help:
I will be so grateful for your support, I might even "pay it forward" by giving this money (after any upcoming legal and taco expenses, of course) to my good friends at RPAL - the Roseville Police Activities League - an amazing non-profit organization that helps kids in need, and steers them in the right direction, so they don't grow up thinking they have the right to run illegal businesses.
Remember, our GoFundMe link is: https://www.gofundme.com/smidges-little-lemonade-stand-fund
Thanks for your support in this time of need.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2017 Marc Schmatjen
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