crimes and misdemeanors

Dumb Joke Text Backfires on Dumb New Jersey Man

This is not Bill Miller but an actor we paid $45,000 to reenact what Bill Miller might have looked like while sending the text. Photo: Clive Martin/iStockphoto

During Wednesday’s crazy doomsday storm, grown man Bill Miller, a boat owner in Keyport, New Jersey, decided that it would be funny to pretend that he was about to die. “I am flipped over in the middle of the bay,” he texted to a friend. “I don’t know what to do??” The friend then did the reasonable thing and alerted the police, who mobilized a somewhat dangerous rescue mission that wasn’t needed.

Once the ruse was discovered, Miller was charged with “causing a false public alarm,” a felony carrying a maximum of five years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Which seems excessive, since Miller only meant to “alarm” a friend in private. However, five years in prison does seem like a fair punishment for his obnoxious use of unnecessary question marks.

Dumb Joke Backfires on New Jersey Man