This is a tale of an 18 year old named Austin Whaley. Remember the name, for this is not someone you would wish to encounter in the dark of night, or to stumble upon at unawares. He lives in the town of Convington in the State of Kentucky.
Consider this a disclaimer, for the crime that was committed was so grievous, it might be difficult for some readers to finish the article without suffering psychological trauma.
First, let us all be thankful that Police Sgt. Richard Webster was on the scene when this crime was perpetrated.
We know that teenagers are likely to pull pranks, but we all agree there are bounds of reason that must not be crossed. March 21st, 2013, a day that will live in infamy, Austin Whaley cried out ‘Bingo’, in a Bingo hall. But Austin Whaley did not have Bingo. It was a farce… a lie, one that lead to the disappointment of the elderly patrons of the hall, for momentarily they were convinced that their chance of winning the round was forever lost to them.
The confusion was short lived and replaced by outrage at the teenager for the callous, cruel prank. Fortunately he was handcuffed and arrested for the crime on the spot. Police Sgt. Richard Webster likened the act to yelling, ‘Fire!’ in a crowded movie theater.
Imagine if the calm and reasonable patrons of the Bingo hall had made for the exits in a panic at the false cry of victory. But instead they showed remarkable self constraint, and thus disaster was averted.
This young man faced up to 90 days in prison and a $250.00 fine for the offense, but for some inexplicable reason the judge in the case showed leniency, doling out a mere punishment of imposing upon Austin Whaley the restriction of using the word ‘Bingo!’ for six months.
Ok, enough of the satire. Though to be clear, the facts of the article do not come from The Onion. This really happened. Austin Whaley really was arrested for calling out ‘Bingo!’ in a Bingo hall when he did not in fact have ‘Bingo!’
If I had been the judge, I would have asked Police Sgt. Richard Webster to approach the bench, and explained if he ever wasted the time and resources of the courts again with this horseshit, I’d hold him in contempt. Then I’d dismiss the case, take Austin Whaley out for lunch and explain just how seriously the elderly take their bingo, and it would be best not to pull the stunt again. I’d pay the check, pat him on the back, and tell him to have a nice day.