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A Long Strange Trip …

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So it was for Mark Pannell of Buffalo, New York. Here’s how his day went, as reported by The Buffalo News:

… at about 8:45 a.m. Saturday … deputies stopped Pannell’s car on Grand Island Boulevard near Staley Road for what is being described as minor traffic violations.

Okay. A routine stop, then …

When Deputy Shaun Hediger returned to his patrol vehicle with Pannell’s driver’s license, Pannell stripped down to his underwear and fled into the woods.

Shazam! Surely he was quickly apprehended? Nope.

Deputies pursed Pannell, but lost site of him in the dense underbrush. Even bringing in state troopers, a Border Patrol helicopter and K-9 dog didn’t initially help. After about three hours, the search was suspended.

You gotta figure that he’s gone, at least for a while. Nope. He was spotted at 11:30 p.m., fully clothed. When the police chased him, he jumped into the river. He soon ran out of gas, though, and surrendered. What had he been doing all day – since 8:45 a.m.?

Pannell told police he was in the woods throughout the day, and even took a nap in a tree house at one point. When it got dark, Pannell told police, he returned to the south Grand Island Bridge.

Perhaps this is why he was running (though the stripping down to the underwear part remains unexplained): He was driving on a suspended license, and had outstanding warrants for marijuana possession and traffic offenses. Add charges for “obstructing government administration” to that list. Here’s the source.

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