Bonfire of the Inanities

Where tears and pleas may not dissuade law enforcement officers, sometimes smoke and bits of paper will persevere. Just so with a man who called a 911 operator to request police meet him at an East Knoxville Weigels to drive him to the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission on Broadway Wednesday night. According to a Knoxville Police report, since it was not exactly an emergency, officers did arrive on the scene, but only to issue a citation to the man—which he ripped up in front of the officers, scattering the bits across the floor of the store.

Ordered by officers to clean up the mess, the man instead picked up a few paper bits and attempted to set them on fire with his lighter. Then, to drive home his point that he didn't deserve a citation, he tried to take apart the lighter to add more fluid to the small blaze before an employee ended the conflagration with a fire extinguisher.

When the smoke cleared, the officers decided to stave off a repeat performance by voiding the mutilated citation. So well did the man's fiery "argument" work, they decided not to issue a new citation, either.