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March 17, 2008

Letting it all hang out

I used to run an occasional feature called "Naked News," in which I'd link to stories involving naked people who were doing strange things, given their state of undress. I always said that I was doing this in a shameless effort to increase site traffic. For quite a while, I've been trying to go straight, but this news story from Amish country, Lancaster, PA, just couldn't be passed up.

It turns out some naked dude went berserk at the Willow Valley Resort in West Lampeter Township on Friday. Someone called the police to report a "naked male tearing up the hallways and lounge at the hotel." But the rampage continued for over a half hour after the call came in.

Before the end of the rampage by the unclothed man, identified by police as Nicholas Hadzick, 28, of Freeland, some office space at the resort would be trashed and a forklift would be driven into an interior wall, damaging some overhead sewer pipe as well. Hadzick would then cross the street to run amok at Darrenkamp's in the Willow Valley Shopping Center, causing more destruction.

"He was under the influence of something," said Blaise Holzbauer, Willow Valley executive vice president and general manager. Holzbauer said Hadzick was a guest at the resort, and apparently went on his spree after attending an off-property party before returning to his room, falling asleep, and waking up.

Hadzick's rampage "really went undetected," Holzbauer said, until the forklift striking the wall set off a smoke alarm, which alerted security. The forklift was on the premises as part of an ongoing renovation at the resort, Holzbauer said. Police said at least one witness saw Hadzick gain access to a maintenance garage under some guest rooms to get the forklift.
The timeline is a little unclear to me. The story says that the police learned of this at 10:52 p.m., but the rampage continued until Hadzick drove a forklift, naked, into a wall and set off a smoke alarm. Even then, he was able to cross the street, naked, to trash a store called Darrenkamp's at a shopping center. Apparently, in Eastern Pennsylvania, a naked guy crossing a commercial street on a Friday night attracts little attention.

Hazdick wasn't arrested until after 11:30.
But as police searched Willow Valley for Hadzick, it quickly became apparent the incident wasn't over. Units were dispatched to Darrenkamp's for reports of Hadzick causing damage in that store.

After apparently gaining access through a rear loading dock door, he accomplished a lot in a short time, said Joe Darrenkamp, company president, who was called into the store around 11:30 p.m. The store is open 24 hours.

"He wasn't in the store long," Darrenkamp said. However, "he was on a mission."

Darrenkamp said Hadzick threw chairs in the market's cafe area, tossed a 300-pound pizza oven to the floor, as well as three scales, valued at about $7,000 each. "One was totaled," Darrenkamp said. Also damaged was a $90,000 meat-wrapping machine, Darrenkamp said, several soda coolers and the windshield of a delivery truck.
There's actually a security video you can watch. I would give you a content warning, except that the video uses an ovoid shape to cover the man's ovoid shapes, so you can be pretty sure you won't accidentally be confronted with any thingie-dingies. (There's also a short news video here.)

Meanwhile, I have to highlight two amusing aspects of this story. First, the female aspect.
Becky Bednar, front-end supervisor at Darrenkamp's said she didn't see Hadzick at first from her office, but saw chairs flying across the floor. "That's when I called 911," she said. Bednar said customers remained calm, moving out of line when Hadzick told them. She added that staff remained calm as well, knowing not to agitate him. As for her own recollection of the incident, Bednar joked, "It was more fun than a girl should have."
Second, the journalist aspect.
Telephone messages left at three separate listings for a Nicholas Hadzick in the Freeland area were not returned by press time.
In other words, the editors felt it was important to note that at least two totally innocent Nicholas Hadzicks in the area (and the third was possibly innocent, too) didn't return some dopey reporter's phone calls, as if this proves that the actual naked dude was given a chance to respond to the story. Really. The reporter would have been a lot better off contacting the naked dude's lawyer. He would have been the guy in a three-piece birthday suit carrying a litigation bag.

Marginally related: On a grimmer note, a naked dude with a knife threatens some folks in Camden, NJ. The results aren't good: "Camden cop shot, nude man dead." (hat tip: Soccer Dad) There's a news video at the link, too. How is it that people on the street who are interviewed always manage to say things like, "I don't know what transpired prior to that," which is an actual quotation from the news video? They probably watch too many cop shows on TV.