Another Carl Hiaasen Character Escapes Into Reality, Guns Blazing, In Foiled Walmart Scooter Getaway
We'll admit it's no"Two Alligators, A Pole Dancer And Pot At Shooting Scene," but it's a close second: In Anchorage, Alaska, a double amputee named Daniel Pirtle got into a dispute with Walmart assistant manager Jason Mahi over whether Pirtle could bring his unleashed dog (named "Wookie," because why not?) into the store. Manager dude was all "Sorry, buddy, no dogs in our Walmart," and Pirtle was all "Oh yeah?" So Pirtle did the American thing to do: Pulled out his two pistols and shot the Walmart guy. His escape attempt was thwarted when police caught up with Pirtle's mobility scooter a short distance from the scene. Because it couldn't just be a story about an able-bodied loon who walks into Walmart and shoots a dude over his dog. That would be boring, man, and suddenly everywhere is Florida.
According to his roommate Susi Griffith, Mr. Pirtle lost both legs to diabetes but nonetheless had grandiose dreams of "breeding a dog team and running the Iditarod with his prosthetic legs." Ms. Griffith noted that over the past few weeks, Pirtle had become increasingly irritable. ""He has mental instabilities. He had medication that I believe he had quit taking."
And of course, once you start getting into the details, the baroque, novelistic weirdness starts giving way to more mundane, sad awfulness. Pirtle unsuccessfully sued the Postal Service after claiming he'd been hit by a maintenance truck in 2009; more recently, he was evicted from housing for people with disabilites for non-payment of rent. The dog is being housed by the Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center and will pe put up for adoption unless Pirtle can get someone to take care of it. And the guy he shot is in critical but stable condition. Pirtle faces charges of first-degree assault and fourth-degree weapons misconduct.
Actually, we would really much rather have our eccentric criminals stay safely within the pages of novels by Carl Hiassen or Elmore Leonard, because those characters don't quite so clearly call attention to how fucked up our system is when it comes to caring for people who are poor, unstable, and maybe not so bright. Stupid lieberal empathy.
[AnchorageDailyNews.com via alert tipster "Nicholas" ]
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