Graham crackers and hot sauce are seldom, if ever, a culinary combination, but they turned out to be the prime ingredients in an alleged assault that occurred in Riviera Beach, Florida.
The altercation in question had its origin in that a man in the Palm Beach County city was evidently so protective of his graham crackers that he allegedly clocked another man in the head with a bottle of hot sauce, rendering that man unconscious.
The victim was apparently suggesting the graham crackers be part of a sharing arrangement, which prompted the quarrel. That’s when things got heated — with hot sauce.
As a result, the suspect in the graham crackers clash now faces charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and battery.
Under the heading “only in Florida,” NBC 6 in South Florida described what happened in the incident, according to local law enforcement authorities.
“Riviera Beach police say Shawn Deandre Thomas was eating graham crackers this week at a church that provides meals for the homeless. Authorities said Thomas became upset when someone asked for his crackers so he picked up a bottle of hot sauce and allegedly threw it at the man’s head, knocking him unconscious. According to a police report, Thomas also punched another man in the throat when he tried to intervene.”
Both of the victims subsequently received treatment at a local hospital.
The suspect reportedly told authorities that he launched the bottle of hot sauce because “he felt disrespected” by the initial victim, age 57, inquiring about his graham crackers, the Palm Beach Post reported.
The suspect, age 40, apparently has a long rap sheet and numerous contacts with the local criminal justice system.
“Court records show that Thomas has been arrested more than 40 times — mostly on drug charges — in Palm Beach County since 1997. Thomas has spent several stints in jail, including 45 days earlier this year after he was found guilty of battery,” the Post added. He was due in court last Thursday “but refused to enter the courtroom, according to court records.”
Unrelated to this incident, many consumers may be unfamiliar with graham crackers in the first place or why they would ever prompt a physical altercation. In fact, graham crackers these days are mostly associated with s’mores rather than consumed right out of the package. S’mores are the treats that consist of melted marshmallow and chocolate between two graham crackers, often or traditionally made around the campfire.
Graham crackers themselves have an interesting and unconventional origin. The graham cracker was invented in the 19th century by Sylvester Graham, an evangelical minister and vegetarian foodie, as a health regimen and a way to discourage unrestrained sexual activity, The Atlantic explained.
“Originally a bland biscuit made of unrefined flour, the graham cracker was part of a comprehensive diet and lifestyle system created by Sylvester Graham in response to what he deemed to be the single greatest health scourge facing Americans: sexual desire… Graham developed his own process for making whole-wheat flour, which he used for his Graham bread. Today we know this as graham crackers, though his bland germ loaf would hardly be confused for the later sugary, cinnamony Nabisco creation.”
Reacting to the graham crackers/hot sauce confrontation, Elite Daily noted that “Florida may be officially known as ‘The Sunshine State,’ but unofficially, the southernmost state is best known for housing some of the nation’s craziest crimes.”
Are you a fan of graham crackers, straight up or as part of a s’mores concoction?
[feature photo courtesy of Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons, public domain]