Inebriated Runners Wearing TSA Costumes Get Swarmed by Police Near Airport Runway
One officer got out of the car, but when the hounds shouted in chorus that they were simply a running group, the officer let them pass. However, when they turned the corner, heading north from Griffin Road onto the east side of South Federal Highway and following the hare's trail onto an unfenced construction site, six cop cars swarmed in with their lights flashing. Police officers jumped out of their vehicles and ordered everyone to stop running. Most slowed to a walk and followed the officers' instructions to stay on the sidewalk. Others, suddenly realizing they might be in trouble, tried to hide their alcohol and sprinted away, deeper into the construction site.
"I'm going to arrest everyone with beer on the property," one police officer warned. One runner, a cop by profession, went to explain the circumstance to him.
From what this reporter could see, no one was detained at this point even though there was plenty of beer on the property.
Most of the runners were confused. Were they in trouble for open containers or trespassing or both? Realizing they were prohibited from following the hare's flour trail, yet not wanting to backtrack and get into more trouble with the law, they bushwhacked their way through mud and woods and climbed over fences to make their way back to Publix, a route that took about 20 minutes.
Back at the home base, runners munched on "orange food" (Cheetos and Doritos) and yes, more beer. It began to dawn on some of them that they had just trespassed onto federal property where a new runway is being constructed over Federal Highway.
Jess Swanson Crossing Griffin Road to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport.
"We bend the law," one hasher laughed. "It's only illegal if you get caught."
Jess Swanson Retreating to the starting point.
Though a few runners were still unaccounted for, the majority of the group felt relieved, singing in a circle and yelling out dirty jokes as if nothing had happened. "Usually we have no problems with the police," another hasher said. "We're nice, they're nice, and besides, we're gone before they can get us for trespassing."
Then, suddenly, a fleet of seven cop cars cornered the group of inebriated runners. Totaling nine, the cops waved the runners out of the parking lot. Brimming with endorphins and alcohol, most runners agreed to leave and reconvene at their usual bar afterparty -- this week at the King's Head Pub. Rumors were circulating that the runners who had sprinted away had been picked up by police.
Jess Swanson Climbing fences to escape the police.
As everyone was heading toward their cars, two cops approached 24-year-old Arthur Stifel, a hasher known among group members as "Plenty for Twenty." Dressed as a TSA agent with homemade badges warning about "cavity searches," Stifel was led to the side of a police SUV where he was told he was being arrested for trespassing on a federal construction site, a felony.