If police officers arrested every person who broke the law, we would probably all be in prison right now. Some things we do every day are illegal in some cities or states, and we are lucky that authorities don’t seem to know about many of them. However, these petty criminals were so unfortunate that they ended up in jail for the littlest mistakes. Some of them didn’t even do anything wrong and were thrown behind bars because of a misunderstanding.
Did you know that something you did today could lead you in jail? You wouldn’t be the first one the be arrested for saying the “F” word, sending a friend request to the wrong person on Facebook, or skipping school. There are so many laws we don’t know about in different cities, states, and countries, and some severe police officers are just waiting for you to upset them so they can have someone to arrest today. Either you clearly broke the rules, or made a little mistake they can use against you, but either way, you could become one of these criminals, too.
Could you believe that a woman spent the night in jail because of a little crime involving a Twilight book? She was not arrested for her bad taste in vampire lit, but for something that she did with it. Stay tuned to know about what happened, and read about many other surprising crimes. Here are 15 ridiculous prison sentences for minor crimes:
15. Arrested For Saying The “F” Word
Wesley Force pleaded guilty after being arrested for using profanity and abusive language in public. He was sentenced to ten days in jail but served the sentence at home with an electronic monitoring device.
The man was having an argument with the store manager, as reported by ABC. Police were called and officers told him to stop swearing but he answered: “I’ll say whatever the f*** I want.” Did you know that swearing in public was illegal in the city of New Bern? This is how Wesley found out about it when he was cuffed and taken to jail. Having the right to leave his home to go to work, he still had to stay home between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. for ten days. It sounds like a punishment a mom would give a seven-year-old for swearing!
The New Bern Police spokesperson said it is rare to arrest someone for profanity, so Wesley Force was probably one unlucky guy. After all, we could have been there, too. Who never said the “F” word?
14. Accused Of Being A Bad Girl After Twerking
Valerie Dixon probably regrets twerking at a school bus full of children when she was arrested for “dancing in a vulgar manner” and thrown in jail for a few days. Or maybe it was because she was also screaming profanities.
The woman with no previous criminal charges twerked and grasped at her genital area as the children were watching, as reported by Time. This situation was certainly inappropriate when you know the details of this story, but she was not the only woman in trouble for twerking in Florida. Vlogger Carmel Kitten was arrested by an undercover officer while recording a video at a public bus stop. Are these dancers really interested in buses or is it just a coincidence?
Are the police officers just jealous when they see a woman having fun on her own? Next time you see a bad girl twerking in Florida don’t call the police, call the firemen, because that girl is on fire!
13. Jailed For Collecting Rainwater
Gary Harrington served a 30-day jail sentence after collecting rainwater on his property. It was apparently a violation of a state law that says that all water is publicly owned, according to the 1925 Oregon law.
The man wanted to collect rainwater for personal use and fire suppression, as reported by Fox News. He set up three reservoirs on his property and collected nearly 13 million gallons of water over more than 10 years. Even though the state approved permits for Gary’s reservoir, they took them back after. Gary had been fighting since that day to keep his water tanks, saying the state is infringing on his rights.
What can you do about something that falls from the sky on your property anyway? It’s not like you asked the cloud to rain in your reservoirs. Next time it is raining in Oregon, make sure you don’t collect any rain or you might be sent to jail, too!
12. Sent To Jail Because Of A Friend Request
Jacob Jock was dismissed from the jury after sending a friend request to the defendant. This punishment wasn’t that bad, but making fun of this situation on Facebook is what sent him to jail for three days.
The man said that he looked up the defendant on the social network to see if they had friends in common, as reported by CBS News. This is when – he claimed – he accidentally sent her a friend request. The young woman told her attorney and Jock couldn’t be part of the jury anymore. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the message that using Facebook was a bad idea as he posted “Apparently they frown upon sending a friend request to the defendant… haha.”
If you are ever part of the jury, make sure you behave well. No friend requests, no posts, no selfies. You better take this seriously, or you might be the next defendant in court. Would you tweet about that, too?
11. Behind The Bars For Ruining Wedding Day
Neil McArdle forgot to fill in the paperwork required for him to marry his fiancée, so he staged a bomb hoax on their wedding to make sure she wouldn’t discover it. He spent his 12 month honeymoon in jail, and his bride was probably not happy ever after.
The groom failed to be ready for his wedding day and he didn’t want his girlfriend to know, as reported by The Guardian. He claimed the wedding was all she talked about so McArdle felt really bad about it. This is why he went to a phone booth, disguised his voice, and called to say that there was a bomb in St. George Hall that will go off in 45 minutes. Neil thought he had a reason to miss the wedding, but he was arrested the same day.
A wedding can be very stressful, and this man had a bad idea to make everyone panic as much as he did. What excuse would you use if you forgot to fill the papers for your wedding day?
10. Incarcerated For Posting Rap Lyrics On Facebook
Cameron D’Ambroisio was held in jail without bail, accused of making terrorist threats in the rap lyrics he posted on Facebook. It seems like someone took it too seriously and thought the teen would really intend to kill someone.
This student’s lyrics read: “f*** a Boston bombing [sic] wait ’til you see the sh** I do, I’ma be famous for rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me,” as reported by Rolling Stone. D’Ambrosio was charged with threats to hijack a vehicle or make a bomb, which could get him 20 years in prison. He was not the first rapper to use provocation in his lyrics, but his amateur status was one of the reasons he was arrested. Anyone can pretend that their treats are song lyrics and police officers didn’t want to take the risk.
It seems like Cameron won’t be able to beat the murder charges against him if he manages to be arrested after posting the lyrics on Facebook. Bragging about your crimes is the last thing you should do if you don’t want to end up in jail.
9. Arrested After Cops Mistake SpaghettiOs For Meth
Ashley Huff spent a month in jail after she was accused of possession of methamphetamine when police found a suspicious spoon in her car. Turns out the residue was in fact sauce from a can of SpaghettiOs.
The woman was a passenger that was pulled over, as reported by Huffington Post. The police officers found a spoon in her bag and conducted a field test that confirmed it was meth. Even though these tests can be incorrect, in was enough for her to be incarcerated. She spent only two weeks in jail but had to come back for more than one month because she missed a court appointment. Huff stayed there until the lab analysis found that there was no illicit substance on the spoon.
This SpaghettiOs lover probably won’t put a spoon in her bag ever again after this terrible experience. This is a good traumatizing story some parents could tell their children to make sure they clean their utensils!
8. Accused Of Being An Illegal Immigrant
Briseira Torres, a US citizen, spent more than four months in jail because she didn’t have any identity card when police officers asked for her papers. She was quickly accused of being an undocumented immigrant and put behind bars for months.
The single mother was not only charged with being an illegal immigrant because of her ethnicity, but the authorities also thought that Briseira Torres was not her real name, as reported by Phoenix New Times. She was accused of forgery because her real name was on her driver’s license and they didn’t believe her. When Torres showed her birth certificate, they also wrongfully thought that it was falsely created and canceled. Briseira was finally released and the charges were dropped without prejudice, meaning they can’t be brought against her in case she one day becomes an illegal immigrant.
Torres had to rebuild her life after losing her apartment and her job while she was in jail. If you want to protect your country, you should get rid of dumb people instead of throwing someone in prison because she’s not white.
7. Detained For Damaging Police Car
Mary Arogynathan was shocked to know she was involved in a crime. It’s understandable for someone to be detained after damaging a brand new police car, but what is more surprising is that the three vandals were goats. You have goat to be kidding me!
Twelve goats climbed on the police car, damaging the wipers and glass, and also scratching the paint. It was not the first time these animals were responsible for vandalism but police officers were pretty upset when they damaged the car they got two days earlier. Three of the goats were grabbed and placed behind bars of a cage until they were released to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The owner said the police should not park their car next to a place where goats eat grass.
Even though vandalism is a crime, who can blame these three goats who just wanted to have fun? The situation goat out of hand, but this is not a reason to throw these three animals in jail. Just let them goat!
6. Thrown In Jail After Holding A Spider Hostage
Bryan Paul Smith was sentenced to 14 months in prison after demanding money to give back a pet spider. He threatened to shoot it if he didn’t receive $100. Even if most of us want to see a spider dead, its owner did everything to protect it.
The man was babysitting a pet for a friend. But when the victim asked for the spider back, Smith showed his desire to keep it in an aggressive way. The friend was afraid the man would hurt him and the pet spider, so he called the police. The authorities quickly found out that Bryan also stole a Siberian husky dog, and hid a fourteen-year-old teenager in his closet. He was sentenced to serve 40 more months, 54 in totals, for all the crimes he did.
This animal lover did everything he could to add new members to his family. Years in prison will maybe give him the time he needs to understand that adopting these creatures legally is probably a better idea to be appreciated by them.
5. Behind The Bars For Skipping School
Serena Vela spent nine days in jail because she had been skipping school. Ironically, she was kicked out of her school as soon as she came back because authorities don’t really care about her education.
The high school student owed $2,700 in truancy-related fines because she was cutting school but couldn’t afford it because her mom was unemployed, as reported by Buzzfeed. She was dispatched to an adult lockup, probably next to inmates charged with violent crimes. Not only did she miss a week and a half of classes, but she couldn’t come back to school after either. What a good way to learn a lesson from what she did.
The worst thing is Vela is not the only student who was incarcerated for skipping school. More than 1,000 Texas students were thrown in jail too in the last three years. Those who made this law should go back to school to learn about logic.
4. Accused Of Bomb Threat After Farting In A Library
Harold Wayne Hadley could face 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of threatening to blow up the school with a bomb. All of this was caused because he farted in a library and joked about it.
The student wrote on a piece of toilet paper “I passed a bomb in the library,” as reported by Huffington Post. With a bad choice of words, Harold was talking about passing gas in the school, but someone else interpreted it in another way. They gave the paper to a teacher who recognized the handwriting and called the police. Police officers responded to the school, but there was – obviously – no bomb to be found. But did they find a strange smell in the library?
One thing is sure: Hadley will always think twice before writing something that could lead to so much trouble. A simple shitty mistake on a piece of toilet paper and his future could blow out. 10 years of prison is a lot for a fart that lasted less than a second.
3. Sent To Prison For Failing To Predict Earthquake
Six Italian scientists were found guilty of multiple manslaughter charges, not because of what they did, but because of what they didn’t do: they failed to predict the risks of an earthquake that killed more than 300 people.
The group of scientists faced six years in jail and had to pay more than $8,000,000 in damages, as reported by The Telegraph. The victims and their families were happy to see someone punished for what happened, but the scientific community was not pleased to see this. After all, it was impossible to determine whether several small tremors would be followed by a massive earthquake or not. Six days after trying to reassure residents, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated L’Aquila in Southern Italy. Saying that they did their best wasn’t enough according to the judge.
Nothing will ever be able to erase what happened, and victims just decided to ruin someone else’s life because they were upset. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not available to appear in court, so they had to put the blame on scientists.
2. Incarcerated For Overdue “Twilight” Library Book
Lori Teel was summoned to appear in court after she forgot to return one Twilight book and two DVDs of the set Twilight: New Moon. When she failed to do that, a warrant was issued for her arrest and she was incarcerated for a night.
The woman said she never received any notices to go to court because they were sent to an old address, as reported by L.A. Times. When the police came to her home to investigate a disturbance, they discovered the warrant for Lori. This is when they arrested her in front of her five young children to send her to the detention center, releasing her the next morning. The mother said this experience was awful and her 3-year-old child was traumatized over it. She planned to file legal action for her arrest.
But what happened to the Twilight book? The public library had already replaced it, and Teel doesn’t even remember checking them out. It seems like Stephenie Meyer‘s story was not that memorable. Don’t become a bad girl to please vampires!
1. Jailed For Complaining About Bad Mugshot
Tonya Ann Fowler didn’t like her unattractive police mugshot, so she called 911 to complain. She got arrested and had the chance to have a new mugshot before spending three days in custody.
The woman wasn’t happy when she saw her picture in the local magazine Bad & Busted after being arrested for threatening behavior, as reported by The Mirror. Tonya even prepared herself for a new picture before complaining, cutting and straightening her hair, and applying some makeup. The story doesn’t say if she was satisfied by her new pictures or not, but the police officers probably made sure they wouldn’t have to see her again.
If you don’t want people to see a bad picture of you, making the news because you want to complain about it is the last you should do. Fowler probably learned this lesson because she didn’t call the police again for a new mugshot.