Charlton (Mass.) police have finally tracked down Hailey Benoit after months of fugitive hiding. This week the five-year-old went to the door and found justice waiting in the form of a police sergeant demanding to know where are the two library books that have been overdue for two months. I expect the prosecutor will take the next natural step and throw the book at her.
The police have been apologetic but insist that it was the local library who sent them on the trial of five-year-old Hailey. Her mother described a freaked out child who asked if she was about to be arrested. Remarkably, she was not placed in custody and given time in jail to consider her bibliophilic crimes. My assumption is that the prison librarian did not want her kind in the cellblock. It is probably for the best. Hailey would have just come out a hardened bookhorder with a prison Dr. Seuss tattoo.
We have previously discussed the over-criminalization of society, but this takes the cake. Charlton must have the lowest crime rate in the country if they have worked down to little Hailey as the felon of the day.
By the way, the family insists that it received no warning before the library police came knocking.
31 thoughts on “Massachusetts Police Nab Five-Year-Old Fugitive Bibliophile”
I loved the movie, and I still have the LP in a cabinet. Of course, one has to be of a certain age (and have a turntable) to appreciate this fully.
Just for fun, here’s a little background material on the Charlton Library.
“Twain did, calling them ‘the freaks of the Charlton Library’ in a 1907 letter signed with his real name, Samuel L. Clemens.”
I assume they drove up to the little girl’s front door in the nice shiny new tank that they got from the Department of Homeboy Security.
“Library materials are purchased using taxpayer dollars. We feel as library staff that it is our duty to safeguard those tax dollars. We have asked the Charlton Police Dept. to help recover items from those patrons who have been delinquent in returning materials for more than 6 months and who have at least $100 worth of unreturned materials at their homes. We follow our standard procedure of phone calls and/or emails to remind patrons to return their materials. A bill is sent out once an item is overdue for a month. Sending out the police is a last resort effort to get back some of our most valuable items. The police visited 13 families whose outstanding balance totaled $2634.00 in library materials.”
As pete rightly said, “tase the little scofflaw.” And add her name on the terrorist watch list while you’re at it.
My heart goes out to those poor, poor comics and satirists. Their job is to exaggerate the stupidity of things, to get a laugh. Thanks to things like this, it is becoming literally impossible to exaggerate the stupidity of “government” in this supposed “land of the free.” Jackboots shutting down lemonade stands? Having cops show up for overdue library books? Kids getting in trouble for drawing pictures of guns? Doing paramilitary raids of organic food co-ops? That’s okay, just close your eyes, plug your ears, and keep repeating, “This is a free country! This is a free country!” Gack.
(P.S. Hey Sgt. Dowd, you’re a stupid, cowardly jackbooted moron. You KNEW what you were doing was wrong and idiotic, and you did it anyway, like a good little mindless fascist.)
At least we know where adequate resources are available for other duty’s…such as potty patrol….
i want to see the little girl jumpin up and down yellin kill,kill,kill.
tase the little scofflaw. some pepper spray to the eyes should help her memory. look how well it works with college kids.
“… and he sat down next to me and said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay $50 and return the book.” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid?”
And I said, “overdue library book.”
And they all moved away from me on the bench there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I said, “And creating a nuisance.”
And they all came back, shook my hand, and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing, father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the bench…”
Professor, this should be the follow up to the abridged post…
“And even Sgt Dowd admitted he felt uneasy with his mission.
He said: ‘Nobody wanted to, on this end, get involved in it. But the library contacted us, and the chief delegated, and apparently I was one of the low men on the totem pole.’
“Her mom says the 5-year-old girl was so afraid that she burst into tears.”
“The police have been apologetic but insist that it was the local library who sent them on the trial of five-year-old Hailey.” So do the police always do what the librarian or some other petty government worker wants? Why not just say NO! you’re being ridiculous. They could have bought a bunch of books with the amount of money spent on time and paperwork to intimidate a 5 yer old. The cops are crazier than the librarian!
Just return the book. You’ll probably get your privileges revoked until you pay a fine but they’ll be happy to get the book back. At this point the fine may be more than the cost of replacing the book, in which case you will be “donating” a new book for others to enjoy. Support your library – one of the real deals out there.
“But state law does outline a misdemeanor for such things”
In how many states is it a misdemeanor for not returning library books on time?
That reminds me of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s most wanted list on his web site. I got a real laugh out of it since I expected to see a long list of bank robbers, car thieves, assault perps, etc.. Instead they were almost all for child support violations. He took it down after awhile, since I guess that he figured out arresting deadbeat mommys and daddys is not a particularly heroic bit of law enforcement. It sort of makes sense though for how he treats county jail inmates, since putting them out in the heat with no A/C and working them gives them an idea of what it is like for their kids and exs if they default on child support.
What is the statute of limitations on overdue library books? I took a book entitled “The FBI” out of the Brooklyn Public Library in 1980, moving to Queens a month later I forgot to return it. I discovered my oversight years later and I still have the volume. Had I realized my act was criminal it might have deterred me. What a wonderful life lesson for this little girl, I’m sure she will now go straight in the future.
somebody has to teach these treacherous scofflaws a lesson!
“throw the book at her” … Good one.
I assume the library will do what Wal-Mart does when they catch a shoplifter. They ban them from the place for life.
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