Monday, July 29, 2013

Weird Crime: Collateral iPhone Hostage

(photo @

Naples, Florida

On Wednesday, July 24 of 2013, a 22-year-old man named Devin Joseph Henderson was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of refusing to return lost or stolen property. By itself this doesn't seem like much of a story. But a report from the Naples Daily News (the only report to date on Henderson's arrest) reveals that there was quite a bit more to how things transpired...and that Devin might not be the only bad guy in this ordeal.

For starters, Devin's public records show that aside from one time when he forgot his boating license and some unusual traffic violations, the young man had a pretty clean record (and no arrests) prior to last week. What he did have on July 23, however, was a good time at the bar with a friend of his.

Unfortunately for Devin, his friend was unable to hold his liquor once they got home and threw up all over his bathroom. He then ended the evening by passing out in a lawn chair while waiting for a ride, leaving Devin to clean up the mess.

The next day, Ralpher McPukerton realized that while making a violent offering to the porcelain gods the night before, he had completely forgotten about his iPhone and left it at Devin's house. As you might have guessed, Devin was more than a little bit pissed...and in no mood to speak with the man who had vomited all over his lavatory. Instead, he texted his friends' brother and informed him that the clean up had cost him $100 out of pocket.

Right here is the first part of the story where I wish we had a little more information.

Whether it's our own vomit, someone else's, or from a pet, we've all experienced the misery that accompanies having to scrub layers of undigested food and bile from the floor and walls (and maybe even the ceiling if things got really crazy).

The bathroom, however, is one of the few "fortunate" places that this can happen. It is infinitely easier to clean vomit-stained tile than it is to get that stuff out of the carpet or various pieces of furniture. 

And while I still don't begrudge the task Devin faced that evening after his friend left, I still have to wonder how in the heck it cost him $100. Was Devin lying...or was his friend's bout of vomiting truly that bad?

Pea soup is pretty difficult to clean once it dries

Devin went on to say/text that he had his friend's iPhone and would not return it until the $100 was paid back. After being informed by his brother about Devin's demands, the friend decided not to pay up and instead called the police.

At this point, it's worth mentioning that some of you may remember an iPhone hostage case we covered earlier this year. In that incident there was a very clear villain; a woman found someones iPhone and threatened to sell it on Ebay if her ransom demands were not met.

But in this case, I have to be honest....part of me gets where Devin is coming from. Yes, it was a pretty douche move to hold the guy's phone from him in lieu of a suspect $100 cleaning payment. But the man in question did vomit all over Devin's bathroom and leave him to clean it up. More than a few of us would probably be in some sort of  vengeful mindset if we were presented with the same set of circumstances.

But according to the the letter of the law, what Devin was doing (refusal to return lost/abandoned property) is a crime. He also made the same mistake that the woman from the first iPhone hostage story made: Falling for a sting operation that was set up for him at Walmart.

Walmart: A hotbed bad produce, tight mom jeans, and shady criminal dealings

When Devin arrived at the store to collect his fee and return the phone, his friend and a deputy were waiting for him. 

Devin Joseph Henderson was immediately arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for failing to return lost property. He (wisely) refused to speak to the deputy and instead asked to his attorney.

Devin's bond was set at $2,000 and paid on July 26. He is due to appear in court on August 21.

Post-arrest note

There are two Facebook accounts belonging to someone named Devin Henderson in Naples, Florida that are either the same person or related to each other.

The profile for the first one features a profile picture of the man above surrounded by terrible lightning effects.

Devin Henderson

But I'm thinking that the profile for the second one has to be our Devin, as well...not just because it lists his full name (Devin Joseph Henderson) and is related to all the same people, but also because his profile picture seems to indicate that he's keeping a really good sense of humor about all this.

Devin Joseph Henderson

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter.

To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official Facebook page. Every time someone does, a drunk friend is able to puke inside the toilet instead of all over the floor (or at least decides to stay and help clean up his/her own mess).