This story definitely qualifies as a “News of the Weird” story. It sounds like a comedy act rather than something that someone would actually do.
A man apparently thought the threat of an infectious disease would be enough to get a cashier to cough up cash Monday night at a Sharon Internet sweepstakes cafe. “Give me the money or I’ll touch you” was essentially the threat.
Fred L. Parker, 41, was charged with robbery and making terrorist threats for walking into Lucky’s Internet Cafe and starting to touch the walls and machines, claiming he had a staph infection.
Police Chief Mike Menster said Parker then approached the cashier and demanded money. Parker told the clerk if he didn’t cooperate, he’d touch him and infect him with the antibiotic-resistant MRSA staph infection.
“It’s our first case of robbery by threat of an infectious disease,” Menster said. I am sure it is. I don’t even think some of the bigger cities with high crime rates have ever heard this one.
Parker also gave the cashier a note identifying himself as an “officer with the U.S. gambling commission,” Menster said.
Parker told the cashier he had a deadly and highly contagious disease and offered to walk away if the cashier gave him money, police said. The cashier refused to cough up the money and Parker uneventfully left the cafe.
Customers and the cashier gave police a detailed description of Parker and he was arrested without incident a short time later at Rite Aid. Maybe he was getting medicine for his symptoms. I doubt this guy has an infection, but if he doesn’t, he may be wishing he did. He might have a better chance of beating an infection than the charges he now faces.
Parker is being held in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond. He is awaiting a preliminary hearing set for Feb. 1.
Read story@ sharonherald