28-year-old Florida resident Jonathan Hinkle had a hankering for the wings at Hooter’s. Or, perhaps he missed the atmosphere. In any case, he just knew he had to pay the restaurant a visit but had no way to get there. So, he concocted an outlandish plan to get himself a ride from someone else.
Instead of hitting up a friend and offering to split gas money or Ubering it to the restaurant, however, the first option that came to Hinkle’s mind was dialing 911. Clearly, his hankering was so strong he felt it was an emergency. Hinkle dialed a dispatcher with a disturbing story. He claimed his ailing grandmother had suffered a stroke in the parking lot at a Hooter’s located in Florida’s Atlantic coast and she needed his assistance as soon as possible. He even offered to pay someone to get him there.
Hinkle’s story seemed plausible enough to the operator, and emergency responders jumped at the chance to help the poor woman. Police picked Hinkle up at a 7/11 gas station, where he stood waiting for them to arrive, and drove him to a Merritt Island Hooters. “Mr. Hinkle was in a panic state and was really concerned for his grandmother’s safety,” the responding officer said, according to the police report.
However, when they arrived at the Hooters where Hinkle insisted his grandmother was waiting for him, she was nowhere to be found. In fact, restaurant staff and its patrons claimed that had no recollection of seeing a sickly woman in need. Instead, “As I let Mr. Hinkle out of my patrol vehicle,” the officer said, “he said thank you and took off in a full sprint across the parking lot and headed west.”
A very strange sight indeed. Officers searched high and low for the grandmother and located her three hours later at her daughter’s residence. She was quite surprised by their arrival, claiming she had no idea what they were talking about. She said she was having a nice day visiting with family. She hadn’t called her grandson and was in no need of help.
Hinkle himself was found in a nearby Burger King parking lot, supposedly helping his girlfriend with a car issue. (Seems like one of them needs to get a reliable ride). But, why Hooters, Hinkle? The reasoning behind his choice remains unclear, other than it was in close proximity to where police later discovered him.
In any case, turns out, a desperate Hinkle used his own family to carry out his plan, whatever it was, and karma got the best of him. Perhaps he should have made a few extra calls before dialing an emergency line to ensure his grandmother would back him up. Instead of a celebratory night at Hooter’s, the stunt landed him a night in the Brevard County Jail. He was released on bond the following evening.
Hinkle could be facing misdemeanor charges for his odd hankering for Hooters, which would carry a sentence of either sixty days in jail, or six months of probation, plus fines of up to $500. It’s unclear whether Hinkle has obtained legal representation.