Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sometimes being stupid has consequences.

Can't say as I feel sorry for this pinhead...nope. Not one bit.

Man must pay $489,000 after false distress call

A couple of years ago, Danik Kumar of Sandusky, Ohio, thought that it would be cool to call the Coast Guard and report seeing a fishing boat with four people on board sending up flares on Lake Erie as he was flying a small plane overhead. Both the US and Canadian Coast Guard responded, mobilizing 70 people and sending out three boats, a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft to search. Eventually they called it off, and when they pressed Kumar, he finally admitted that he lied and said that he kept reporting it because he didn't want to sound stupid and ruin his chances of becoming a Coast Guard aviator.

Well it's probably a safe bet that he'll never get that job, especially after he was convicted of making a false distress call, after which the judge sentenced him to three months in jail and ordered him to pay a whopping $277,000 to the U.S. Coast Guard and $212,000 to the Canadian Coast Guard to cover the cost of their Search and Rescue efforts.

And like everyone who takes full responsibility for their actions, Kumar appealed this sentence to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, arguing that it was too harsh. But bless that 6th Circuit, as they came back with a 2-1 ruling that said that although the ruling is "an onerous burden on the shoulders of a young man," U.S. law was intended to deal harshly with hoaxes to help deter future ones.

The government's prosecutor, Michelle Baeppler, argued that Kumar needed to be held responsible for every cost associated with the search, from the gas used in the boats and aircraft to maintenance and depreciation costs incurred from their use.

"His claim that he should only have to pay for a few items ... is truly a simplistic and naive notion of the cost involved in conducting a search and rescue operation," Baeppler wrote.

And that's the honest truth. What if one of the Coast Guardsman had been injured or died during this search for someone who was never in trouble? What if someone else called for real help and died because the Coast Guard was out of position? How do you put a price tag on that sort of loss? That's why the penalty for this sort of stuff is meant to be a swift kick in the junk--to make the next guy think twice before faking a distress call.

Still, Kumar's lawyer, Edmund Searby, sheds tears for him, because in liberal lawyer-land, people like Kumar are the victims, not society. Searby said Kumar had to drop out of Bowling Green State University's aviation program and is figuring out what to do next.

"Danik's dream has long been to be a pilot, but it's unclear now whether that dream can be realized," Searby said. "I'd hate for it to end like this."

Speaking as a pilot and one who frequently flies over that part of Lake Erie, I'm not bothered by this guy not being able to occupy the same airspace as me. I depend on that same Coast Guard should I ever have trouble on those flights, and while I hope that I never have to call upon them, I'd hate to think that if I ever needed to reach out to them for a quick response that they were busy elsewhere chasing shadows cast by some punk kid for kicks.

Yeah, it's a heck of a fine he's got to pay, but then again, stupid is supposed to hurt.

13 comments:

  1. Heh... Love it! Hope he can pay it off before he dies...

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    1. I'm sure that we'll see a bankruptcy filing before too much longer. But at least he'll be out of the running for any law enforcement aviation slots for a while.

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  2. Kumar should have gone to White Castle rather than phoning in false distress signals.

    A pity they didn't just sentence him to being dropped in a leaky rowboat in the middle of Lake Erie with some flares and with both Coast Guards being otherwise occupied.

    As you always say, if you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.

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  3. Stupid, indeed. One thinks of the story of a CA yacht operator who radioed a distress call. When the Coast Guard asked him his position, he replied, Vice President of Marketing".

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  4. Stupidity often provides its own reward ... but the court's ruling does quite nicely. :)

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  5. That's one of our problems today. Stupid doesn't hurt as much as it used to!

    Nice to see an exception to that every now and then.

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  6. He will file for bankruptcy and skate the fine.

    But you know, the old medieval method of stockade where they put you in a wooden stock with your head and arms locked in so people could come by and laugh at you.... well it ain't such a bad idea, right?

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  7. First, through bankruptcy, or another court, he will weasel out of the judgement. Next, he will write a book about how he was a mistreated victim. Receive large upfront amount from book publisher, buy an airplane. Join Clinton on making speeches, make more money. Only in Amerika!!

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  8. What an excellent precedence this is! Now, let's apply it to a few other groups. I think it would do wonders for the Justice System in this country. A prosecutor withholds evidence and is eventually found out. He, personally, pays for the defendants legal expenses plus the penal costs incurred by the state, plus additional legal costs incurred by the legal system in presenting a retrial.
    I think that would eliminate that problem fairly quickly.

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  9. If stupid is supposed to hurt, then this kid must be in agony. How's he get into college in the first place?

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    1. Why through government-backed guaranteed student loans, of course. Every kid is entitled to as much as he or she wants now, no matter how useless the degree. Want a PhD in Womyns Studies or African Culture? No problem! Can't get a job with it later? Just get you an EBT card and it'll be ok.

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    2. Well if they add to that government loan (read government cheese) free housing and a stipend, then maybe I'll go back to collage FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

      Yes they love that government cheese! Why it's almost like printing money, right?

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  10. This putz sound like an Obama voter

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