#2,174 In our continuing series, "Carl Hiaasen doesn't actually write fiction, does he?"

A gentleman in Boca Raton ("The Rat of Boca"), Florida, decided he need a little break from being chased by police last week, so he stopped in at a complete stranger's house and played with the family's cats. Daniel Pinedo-Velapatino, 21, stole several thousand dollars from a friend after doing drugs all night, then crashed into several cars, including a police vehicle, as Boca Raton and Delray Beach police chased him all over hell and back -- but we already mentioned this was Florida, didn't we?

After abandoning the Lexus that he'd been driving -- and smashing into a police cruiser hard enough to knock its bumper off -- Pinedo-Velapatino fled on foot, "jumped multiple metal fences, swam in a canal and ran through yards" while police blocked off roads and searched for him.

He ended up knocking on the backyard sliding glass door of Candace Noonan, who was getting her kid ready for school. Pinedo-Velapatino told her he was mowing the lawn next door and asked for a glass of water. She left to get him some water, but when she came back she found that Pinedo-Velapatino had let himself in and was lying on the floor of her living room and playing with her cats. Let no one question the awesome crime-stopping power of playful kittycats. Or maybe, since he came into the house without permission, the awesome crime-enabling power of playful kittycats. They're kind of Chaotic Neutral that way.

“It was odd, very odd,” Noonan told teevee station WBPF. “He was stroking my cat. It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped.”

Because Yr Wonket would never make fun of the mentally handicapped, we're going to go with "on drugs."

Noonan's husband tried to ask Pinedo-Velapatino just what the ever-loving fuck he thought he was doing (we're extrapolating -- the actual question may have been different), and at that point, the puddy-petting perp ran out the back door. He briefly eluded police by jumping into a canal, but was fished out by a police boat.

Pinedo-Velapatino explained that he pretty much had to steal his friend's several thousand dollars in cash, because he owed his mother $2000.

The cats were reportedly untraumatized by the home invasion, and even expressed sympathy for Pinedo-Velapatino. "Catnip will fuck you up, man," said one, before dashing out of the room like a demon-possessed mongoose, then stopping to lick its ass.

[CBS Tampa Bay / WBPF / Palm Beach Post]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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