Stolen Bingo Seat Leads To Elderly Tire Slashing

One elderly Florida man takes bingo very seriously, and is now facing at least one charge of criminal mischief to a vehicle, associated with his love for the game — or at least when it comes to his accommodations. Fox News 8 reports that 82-year-old Fred Smith slashed the tires of an elderly woman who attended the same club house as him, and his reasoning is why reports on this incident are going viral.

Ethel Britt told reporters that she didn’t think she had an enemy in the world until Smith reportedly “stormed out” of the bingo game they were playing at the Lake Ashton Club House in Lake Wales. However, Smith wasn’t leaving when he stormed out of the club house. He instead allegedly used an object to puncture and slash the tires of the elderly woman.

“I didn’t think anyone would be low enough to do that to my car because I didn’t know I had any enemies in my life. I thought everybody was my friend, but undoubtedly I have one enemy.”

The reason behind the seemingly random act of vandalism is a reportedly petty one. Fred Smith says that Ethel Britt stole his seat at the club house where they played bingo.

“I didn’t know it meant that much to him to do that to my tires.”

My Fox Tampa Bay reports that the elderly woman used almost everything she had in her bank account to pay for the damage accrued during the incident. She discussed the situation openly with reporters, expressing that she’s still a bit puzzled by the man’s behavior over something as trivial as a bingo seat.

“I’m not mad, no. I would like to have my tires paid for because that took every dime I had in the bank.”

Fortunately for Ethel Britt, Fred Smith may have to pay restitution in the amount of at least $500 to cover the cost of the damage he allegedly caused. In the meantime, it hasn’t been shared whether or not any related court appearances are scheduled in the near future.

Lake Wales Deputy Chief Troy Schulze told reporters that what Fred Smith did was a “childish-type crime,” but offered the detail that the elderly man seemed apologetic and did not lie about his alleged involvement in the slashing of Ethel Britt’s tires. All of this transpired over a stolen bingo seat, and it hasn’t even been confirmed as to whether or not seats at the Lake Ashton Club House are assigned to patrons.

[Photo: Polk County Sheriff mugshot]