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the national interest

Life in Ohio, a Continuing Series

EP301 Ohio youths preparing for a duel as a prelude to selling pot.

When you get robbed, going to the police is often a good idea. But you have to think the plan through: After you report the theft, police are going to ask you how it happened, and you need a better answer than "We were trying to sell them some illegal substances":

Klier and Wozniak got into a car with the teenagers to sell them $80 worth of marijuana, but one of the teenagers pepper-sprayed Wozniak, took the marijuana and fled, according to a criminal complaint. Wozniak and Klier contacted police and said they had been robbed by a group of teenagers, but didn’t say what the teenagers had stolen.

Because this is Ohio, parts of which have not yet developed gunpowder, the news story reporting the crime waits until the seventh paragraph to mention that the whole episode began as a planned sword fight and marijuana deal:

According to police, Wozniak, 20, and Anthony Klier, 22, of Avon Lake, met a group of teenagers in the parking lot of a Westlake Taco Bell on Sept. 4 to practice medieval sword-fighting.

Somehow the plan — let's meet some random teenagers in the parking lot at Taco Bell, have a sword fight, and sell them some pot — went awry. But that's when you either write off your losses or upgrade your own arsenal so you can fight off pepper spray. Going to the cops is not the move here.

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Photo: HELENSLOAN/HBO