It may not be a case “ripped from the headlines”, but it certainly made news throughout Britain over the weekend when former jockey-turned-fugitive J.J. McMenamin led local police on a bizarre 'chase' via social media posts.
According to reports in the Racing Post and The Telegraph, McMenamin, 30, was wanted by North Yorkshire Police after missing a December court date related to numerous traffic offenses.
As the police began carrying out a search for the former rider, which included using a helicopter and search dogs, McMenamin began 'taunting' law enforcement by posting photos of himself dressed up as the familiar 'Where's Wally' character (known as 'Where's Waldo' on this side of the pond).
As the search continued, McMenamin posted various updates on Facebook, including one with his face pasted onto the Where's Wally character with the caption, “Dude…I'm right here.”
In another post he wrote, “Even got sniffer dogs out and I'm still..giggling.”
According to the Post, McMenamin even filmed himself – dressed up as Where's Wally – arriving at Harrogate Police Station to turn himself in. In the video he was “singing along to Johnny Cash's 'Folsom Prison Blues' and Lionel Ritchie's 'Hello'.”
After McMenamin turned himself in, the North Yorkshire Police issued the following statement: “A 30-year-old man from Middleham has been arrested after he handed himself in to officers at Harrogate Police Station.
“The arrest comes after extensive police searches for the man over the weekend, after he failed to turn up for a court hearing for driving offences.”
In an update to the story on Tuesday morning, the Gazette Live reported that McMenamin was brought before a judge in Northallerton Magistrates' Court where he was charged with “driving while disqualified and driving without the appropriate insurance”. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs, and is prohibited from driving for three months.
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