Carnie Crime

A carnival ride operator has been charged with simple battery after he allegedly “slapped [a girl] on her buttocks” while she started to get on a slide in the funhouse. Nicholas Berg, 28, worked the ride during Chasco Fiesta in the town of New Port Richey, near Tampa. According to police, Berg claimed he simply touched the girl on her back but did not touch her inappropriately. Berg, of Seminole, was arrested on a charge of simple battery and was later released from the Land O’Lakes jail on $500 bail.

So many questions. First of all, isn’t there an implied assumption of the risk that you might be groped while at a carnival? I am not approving of Berg’s behavior, I am just saying that there is at least a 97% chance that someone smelling like cabbage will pinch a cheek throughout the night. Second, how bad could have this been? Don’t carnies have extremely small hands? For all we know she might have been slapped on the buttocks by a young child. You aren’t going to arrest a small child are you?

Third, how did this guy pay his bail? I thought the only currency that carnival workers dealt in were those raffle tickets and tokens. Do courts accept those as payments? Then again we are talking about cops in Florida.  I suppose you could give them $500 worth of funnel cakes and deep-fried sticks of butter. In fact I might represent this guy if he paid me in funnel cakes. Throw in an Elephant Ear and a corn dog and I will represent you at not cost.

Fourth . . . (Are we on four? I said there would be a lot of questions). Fourth, there is a Land O’Lakes jail? Land O’Lakes is a real place? And it isn’t some butter sculpture palace in Iowa or something? Unreal. The more you know: da da dum daaaaahhh.

Douglas Stephan is a solo attorney and owner of the Law Office of Douglas A. Stephan. He received his JD in 2010 from Ohio Northern University and BA from Ohio University. His practice is located outside of Dayton, Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @stephanlaw.

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