Some people will do anything for food, especially Larry Brown, who is homeless and decided to get himself arrested so that he could be fed three-square meals in jail. The 36-year-old knew just what to do to.
Last year, Larry took a brick and threw it through a glass door at the Columbus courthouse so that he would be arrested and get something to eat. Before doing so he had gone to his probation officer, after serving a ten year prison sentence for two bank robberies, and asked what he could do to get arrested again. The probation officer gave him a number to a program that gave assistance to homeless people.
He had spent 9 months in jail before his April court date for the brick incident, where he was sentenced to spend 1 more month in jail then serve 3 years of probation with a six-month stay at a half-way house upon his release.
At the time, Brown says that he was so hungry that he thought if he threw the brick through the glass door it would cause him to have to spend a few hours somewhere were he might be offered a sandwich and a drink from someone.
National homelessness consultant, Robert Marbut says the amount of time Brown has spent in jail is rare in homeless cases. Usually homeless offenders obviously trying to get arrested for food, only spend a night or two in jail to get a little nutrition and hygiene care. He adds that there should be alternate programs for these types of offenders to teach them life skills.
“That shows you how wacky things have gotten when we don’t have as a society an intermediate program,” Marbut said.
However, U.S. Attorney, Michael Moore, said he had little other choice then to charge Brown with malicious mischief against government property, instead of seeking assistance from programs that offered it. A guilty sentence could have carried a maximum of 10 years in prison.
“The unfortunate circumstances in which Mr. Brown found himself cannot be a justification for destroying property of the United States,” Moore said. “And while I am personally saddened by Mr. Brown’s plight, I regret that he chose to violate the law instead of taking help from those who offered it.”
Brown had tried to go inside the courthouse last July and declare he was going to kill the President, but after officers did not find the threat credible, Brown left the building and crabbed the first brick he saw and smashed it through the door and was arrested immediately by federal officers.