Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Naked sailors at Busch Gardens, shooting your loved ones over potato chips, and guys who get framed by knife wielding ghosts...

They say the truth is often stranger than fiction.  I guess if you are a police officer, you run into that truism fairly often.  I read three bizarre stories about crimes that happened in the area where I grew up-- though not actually in my hometown.

The first case comes courtesy of hilarious Military Times reporter, J.D. Simkins, who also recently brought us that funny story about the Air Force Colonel who got drunk and belligerent at a Boy George concert.  I've noticed that Simkins has a writing style I could easily follow.  He finds the humor in things that may or may not be that funny.  Maybe things aren't so funny right now for 21 year old sailor, Adrian Gilbert Cardenas, who paid a visit last Friday to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Cardenas is currently assigned to the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, a funny factoid given what "bush" is a euphemism for sometimes.  

Cardenas' visit to Busch Gardens came to a dramatic end when he took off all of his clothes and ran naked through the parking lot.  The drunken sailor was trying to break into cars, some of which were occupied, and only stopped his escapade when he was surrounded by witnesses to the bizarre scene.  Things got worse for Cardenas when the police arrived.  He tried to fight the spectators, then made a dash for freedom before he got hit with a taser.  Because he was drunk, officers first took Cardenas to a hospital, then booked him for felony assault of an officer, indecent exposure, intentional damage and obstruction of justice.  He's now out on bond.

I worked at Busch Gardens for four summers.  My sisters also worked there, so I spent a lot of carefree childhood days roaming the park when it was still owned by Anheuser-Busch.  I saw some strange things at Busch Gardens, but never anything as odd as what was described in the news article, which was also accompanied by video.  How strange!  

Right after I read about the drunken sailor with a penchant for nudity, I encountered the equally bizarre story of Michael Autonberry, a 59 year old Louisiana man who summoned the police, claiming he had been stabbed in the head.  When the cops arrived, Autonberry was shouting at people who weren't there.  Officers also noted that Autonberry did not have any visible wounds, but they did see a gram of methamphetamine sitting in plain sight on the man's nightstand.  

Autonberry was then arrested and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and giving a false police report.  Autonberry claims that the drugs were planted by a ghost or intruders, whom he says he saw climbing out of a neighbor's window.  Not surprisingly, police also determined that bit of the story is also false.  As of yesterday, Autonberry was still in jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond.  

And finally, there's the most tragic yet funny tale of them all... the man who shot his cousin over salt and vinegar potato chips.  Actually, on the surface, as funny as this sounds, I really do think it's sad.  Imagine trying to kill a family member over your snacks.  How ridiculous.

19 year old Ryan Langdale of Colleton County in South Carolina turned himself in to deputies last Wednesday and is being held on charges of attempted murder, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and obstruction of justice.  Evidently, on September 29th, police were called to the home where Mr. Langdale's cousin had been shot.  Both Langdale and his cousin told the police that the wound was self-inflicted while the 17 year old cousin was cleaning the rifle and it went off.  

The cousin was taken into surgery where surgeons worked to repair his life threatening injuries.  As he began to recover from his wound, the young man changed his story about how he got shot.  Apparently, Mr. Langdale had told his cousin he would shoot him if he ate Langdale's salt and vinegar potato chips.  Although the cousin said he never touched Langdale's chips, Langdale reportedly shot him anyway.  Langdale also allegedly exchanged the weapon that was used to shoot the cousin for the hunting rifle that was presented to investigators.  

The police then obtained a search warrant and searched Langdale's home, where they were able to locate the gun that was used in the shooting.  They arrested Langdale and he now sits behind bars in lieu of $55,000 bail.  

I will admit that some of my relatives are annoying, but I can't say I'd go to prison over anything they've said or done.  I'm sure there was something else at play when Langdale decided to use his gun to solve his issues.  How tragic.  Langdale's life is definitely going to be altered after this little mishap.

Having lived in South Carolina for three years, I can see how this might have happened.  There are some truly gun happy people down there.  And maybe I shouldn't laugh about a guy being seriously injured over snack food.  On the other hand, if I don't laugh, I might cry.


  1. I've been on the Geroge Hw bush. My cousin's best friend's first duty was on that ship. he was even on it when it was commissioned or whatever it is called when a ship has been built and goes through some sort of ceremony before it is in service. I was impressive by the massive size of those things and by the tiny sleeping quarters,

    I don't think even my relatives would shoot each other over potato chips.

  2. Mahonri would steal the chips on the sly. So far no one has been angry enough to gun him down after the fact following his acts of theft though I don't suppose there is any guarantee it will never happen.


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