Hash House Harrier's Prior Arrest in a Thong: Taser, Tear Gas, Drag Queens, and More!

Arthur Stifel
The Hash House Harriers are an interesting clan. They drink, then run, then drink, then run, and then drink some more every week. Based (except with booze) on the children's game Hares and the Hound, one person, the hare, sets up a flour trail and waits for the rest of the group to chase after him. Founded by British expats in Kuala Lumpur in 1938, the group now has outposts all around the world, including Fort Lauderdale.

I recently ran with Fort Lauderdale's hash near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Dania Beach. In hindsight, running and drinking past the airport was not the best idea -- especially since provocative TSA costumes were involved. But most of the runners seemed unfazed even as cop sirens sounded, until one member of the group, 24-year-old Arthur Stifel, was handcuffed for trespassing. We thought it was horribly unjust. But now, I have learned, it wasn't Stifel's first arrest.

The incident report from that evening states that Stifel, who didn't respond to calls seeking comment, had been collared for something similar last year. And while he was drinking, dressed provocatively, and trespassing, we found that prior incident to be not hash-related. (That doesn't make it any less awesome.)

See also: Hash House Harriers Are Misunderstood: "We're Not Inebriated."

Beginning with a drag queen and eventually leading to Tasers, tear gas, a baton, and leg shackles, Stifel's tomfoolery last September wasn't sanctioned by the law then, anymore than it was at the airport.

See also: Inebriated Runners Wearing TSA Costumes Get Swarmed by Police Near Airport Runway

Allegedly under the influence of alcohol, Stifel -- who declined comment for this story -- danced in a thong at Sandbar on Fort Lauderdale beach -- a decision he surely regretted in the morning -- and then got kicked out and arrested for trespassing when he refused to leave.

Seventeen pages long, the report on the event filed by Officer J. Jones is descriptive. It explains that Stifel was thrown out for allegedly looking up the skirts of drag queens participating in a drag show that night at the bar. He was wearing "only a thong pair of underwear," according to the report.

On the seawall across from McSorley's Bar, still decked out in nothing but his thong, Stifel danced as a crowd flocked around him. He reappeared later at Parrot Lounge, where officers found him seated and drinking a beer by himself.

Officer J. Jones did not seem to find the humor in Stifel's scantily clad antics: They approached the seated harrier and asked him to leave. Stifel refused, which led both officers to attempt to handcuff him for trespassing.

Two-to-one on a not-sober, thong-wearing 23-year-old beanpole (the report lists him at six-foot-three and 170 pounds), the two officers could not get their metal bracelets on him. Some thrashing ensued, and the three men fell.

Stifel then bit and scratched the officers, which led to "scratches, soreness, and minor swelling on [Officer Jones'] wrist." Fortunately for Jones, Stifel did not have rabies at the time.

Wounded from Stifel's claws and fangs, Officer Jones then Tasered Stifel in the chest. This had no effect. Officer Jones then Tasered Stifel in the arm. This had no effect either.

Jones' partner, Officer Burke, then began to beat Stifel the old-fashioned way: with this "department approved" baton. Stifel continued scratching and biting the officers. Officer Burke then sprayed tear gas into Stifel's face, which had only "a slight effect" on his vision.

After the Taser, the baton, and the tear gas, the officers managed to handcuff Stifel before snipers had to be called in. They shackled his legs for good measure.

Stifel was then chauffeured to the Broward Main Jail, where we hope he was dressed in more than his undergarments.

Records suggest Stifel was placed on probation.

Update: After hearing back from the Fort Lauderdale's hash "hare raiser", Virgin Dick, a post went up clearing some things up.

Arthur Stifel Prior Arrest Ft Lauderdale Beach

Location Info


Parrot Lounge

911 Sunrise Lane, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Music

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

I'm not sure what the point of this poorly written vendetta is, other than a feeble attempt to get a high volume of internet traffic, in which case, it seems to have failed miserably.


By detailing a hasher's prior brush with the law (while not at a hash) in the context of an article ABOUT the hash, you paint the picture that those sort of incidents are common and accepted as part of hashing.  That is pretty unfair, and untrue.

Many hashers see the hash as an extension of their families, so by publishing this, you provoke some pretty visceral reactions.


What a cruel article, a mean spirited attack on someone by bringing up past mistakes that a person made.


If one reads far enough, one would find that this story's main focus centers on one individual who, while not in the company of the Hash House Harriers, engaged in antics that resulted in his arrest. Author Jess Swanson links this arrest of Arthur Stifel to his arrest for simple trespassing while running with the Hash House Harriers, an event about which the author concedes, "We thought it was horribly unjust."

And yet, the author still writes this kind of a story, painting a harsh and yes -- deeply unjust -- picture of the Hash House Harriers.

The Hash House Harriers are in fact the largest running club in the world and each chapter has its own distinct flavor. After enjoying the hospitality of one chapter one time, Jess Swanson feels sufficiently qualified to lead the story with the unqualified statement, "The Hash House Harriers are an interesting clan. They drink, then run, then drink, then run, and then drink some more every week."

Is abandoning ethics and sacrificing solid research what is absolutely necessary to attract enough eyeballs to sell advertising space on this page? Does it justify such gross unfairness to Hash House Harriers across the globe. Hopefully in stories to come, the author's work will demonstrate that the answer is a definitive “No!”

As an aside, the comment by liam3494 is partially correct. The founders were indeed British, but they were not expats. Founder A.S. Gispert was a chartered accountant with Evatth & Co. and lost his life during the battle for Singapore (11 February 1942) while serving with the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Most of the other founding members were serving in the Colonial Service in Malaya (as Malaysia was called when it was a British colony).

-- Running Joke



To the writer of this drivel: It's bad enough you used his name and alluded to past trouble in the first article, but this is totally uncalled for!!! And this guy was so nice to you!! This is news?? Embarrassing someone who was trusting enough to let you in their circle, not once but twice? Not nice at all...pick on someone who deserves it.


This lady is a idiot for writing an article when the individual wasn't even in the Hash House Harriers at the time of this incident.  What is the propose of this article?  You really want to have a kid real live there childhood mistake.     


It was the British expats that founded it, back in the day - You Yanks can't claim everything



You can tell that your not a hasher but an Evil person for writing such a stupid article.  Should we write all the stupid things you have done during your childhood and associate it to Palm Beach News Times?  I am sure you have a lot of dark secrets.


If it makes for an interesting read go for it!


@j.swanson2 "If it makes for an interesting read, go for it?" Is that the code of journalistic integrity you follow? Your work was careless, sloppily researched, reckless and altogether irresponsible. This is what's wrong with journalism today. Entertainment is disguised as news. So what if you hurt innocent people with broad, irresponsible statements as long as it entertains, right? Is your editor on vacation? This is not the time to get defensive. Admit your mistakes, learn from them and move on. 

Now Trending

From the Vault