A Florida judge has banned a man with an alleged history of prank calling pizza parlors from ordering any further deliveries over the phone.
The suspect, identified by local media and law enforcement as Randy Riddle, 49, a resident of Sebastian, Florida, in the Vero Beach area, faces charges of petty theft in the first and second degree as well as four counts of making harassing phone calls, all of which are misdemeanors.
Following his arrest, he was released the next morning by the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office on a $5,500 bond. He is due back in court on August 30.
Local cops apparently began investigating Riddle after a series of alleged prank calls to pizzerias in the surrounding area through mid June.
“In a three-week period, police said Riddle made orders and refused to pay for them, directed delivery people to fake or vacant addresses, and made calls to the businesses just to tell them their pizza was gross. Riddle used five different phone numbers between May 30 and June 18 for the calls. He sometimes used a false name; other times, he refused to leave his name,” TCPalm reported.
The area restaurants claim that they lost about $700 for unpaid pizza pies as a result of the phony phone calls. A police investigation is ongoing.
“Defendant shall refrain from calling any pizza establishment and/or making any harassing calls or his bond shall be revoked,” as a condition of his bail, a judge ruled, according to the warrant affidavit.
During the same month, the suspect also repeatedly called Sebastian cops, city hall, and state heath officials to complain about the restaurants, authorities indicated.
“‘His purpose is to haggle either over the price of the food or the quality upon delivery,’ police said.”
“Lest we forget, pizza delivery is a privilege — not a god-given right,” Eater quipped. “[The judge] didn’t say anything about ordering pizza via emoji or Twitter DM, however.”
The suspect was reportedly convicted in 2008 of making harassing phone calls when he resided in nearby Vero beach.
“One of the cardinal rules of pizza is that you have to be nice to the people at your local pizzeria…It goes without saying that you do not harass the people at the pizzeria, something this guy in Florida learned the hard way,” Mediaite noted.
Unfortunately, this is hardly the first time that pizza delivery or lack thereof required a police intervention.
For example, a dispute over pizza toppings resulted in a 911 call to the Hartford, Connecticut, police department in April. The unhappy customer called the cops to ask if they could do something because a local pizzeria wouldn’t give her a refund for an incomplete pie that lacked the requested bacon topping. The dispatcher politely reminded the woman that 911 is for life-threatening emergencies only.
In a Los Angeles-area incident that occurred in January, a late-arriving pizza delivery driver allegedly stabbed a customer after they got into an argument over the amount of the tip. Fortunately, the victim avoided serious harm in the encounter.
On a more positive note, a New York City pizza chef claimed that he lost about 100 pounds by eating one of his Neapolitan-style creations every day for lunch.
Almost the entire U.S. population eats pizza regularly, and about 3 billion pies are sold each year in America, according to the Visually website’s top 10 listing of American’s favorite foods. Each person in the country supposedly consumes approximately 46 slices each year, Pizza.com claims.
More than one billion pizzas are delivered to consumers each year, according to PizzaDelivery.com, and there are approximately 62,000 pizza parlors open for business in the U.S.
[Image via Indian River County Sheriff’s Office]