#2. Two Police Officers Fistfight, Fabricate Assault to Explain Injuries
In the early morning hours of March 1, 1993, Yonkers, New York, police officer Thomas Drogan was taken to a medical center because his face was a mass of bruises and cuts. He had been brutally attacked and beaten up by a huge, unidentified black male.
Drogan couldn't reach his gun because he was so scared by the man's hugeness and blackness.
Since a cop had been assaulted and Drogan's story of the incident was backed up by other officers, a police alert was immediately issued and the area was thoroughly searched. At least one person was detained and questioned, but no arrests were ever made. It looked like the Case of the Giant Cop Puncher would forever remain a mystery.
The Real Story:
Drogan's injuries had been sustained in a fistfight ... with another cop.
Drogan had gotten into a scuffle with one of his fellow officers, Louis Papaleo, who had responded to the same alert about a burning car. The two men could not agree on whose duty it was to file the paperwork after the incident, so they decided to solve the situation like the valiant officers of the law they were: by beating the ever-loving snot out of each other. Although they were initially restrained by the other officers at the scene, their animosity remained, and the fisticuffs continued on to their precinct. Yes, we're saying they kept punching each other in the face right there in the police station.
A fun alternative to the station's usual nightly hobo fights.
Papaleo eventually claimed victory by bloodying Drogan's face. At that point, both men realized they had just made the stupidest move of their lives. Actually, the second stupidest -- the most stupid move came a couple of minutes later, when they decided to explain Drogan's injuries by blaming it all on a nonexistent black dude and getting their co-workers to verify that story. You know, because fabricating a report about a fictitious assault and making sure every single eyewitness keeps their story straight until the end of time is much easier than, say, saying you fell on the stairs and just filling out the paperwork on that damn burning car.
In the end, one of the witnessing cops had enough of Drogan and Papaleo's shit and revealed their shenanigans to their superiors. The two fighters and the officers they had gotten to sign official reports of the "attack" were promptly caught and punished. Papaleo received a 60-day suspension, and Drogan was fired from the force.
#1. Actor Fights Fascism by Terrorizing a Country With Nazi Hate Crimes
Dutch actor Jules Croiset is a prominent thespian, with a career spanning over 50 years. In his spare time, he enjoys throwing his considerable weight around in various anti-fascist movements, which may have something to do with his mother abandoning his Jewish father to marry a Nazi collaborator when he was 2. Shit like that leaves scars, man.
A rare time when calling your step-parent "a total fascist" is completely accurate.
In 1987, a German play called Garbage, the City, and Death was scheduled to open in Rotterdam. The controversial piece featured prostitutes, pimps, and a powerful character named "the Rich Jew," which caused Croiset's activist instincts to flare right the hell up. He single-handedly managed to build up such a strong backlash against the production that it had to be cancelled. However, that wasn't the end of the story.
A little later, Croiset was visiting Belgium when he was kidnapped by three young neo-fascists in retaliation for getting the play cancelled. The theater-loving trio of teen Nazis dragged the actor into a sewer, where they ripped his Star of David pendant from his neck and smeared a swastika on his chest (he didn't specify what they smeared him with, and frankly we're fine with this). Croiset was held captive and abused for hours before he managed to escape.
"I found a pair of nunchucks next to a pile of old pizza boxes and fought my way to freedom."
This happened during a time when the Netherlands was going through an oddly heavy bout of fascist activity. Apart from the incident with the play, several prominent Jewish citizens had gotten threatening letters. There was even a bomb threat against one predominantly Jewish event. Croiset's kidnapping was the last straw -- his ordeal made headlines. Demonstrations were staged, political speeches were given, everyone was angry. But not as angry as they would soon be ... at Croiset.
The Real Story:
That wave of neo-Nazi activity that had been plaguing the country? It had a name, and that name was Jules Croiset.
Things started unraveling when it turned out Croiset's kidnapping story was complete horseshit. He made up the whole incident and gave such a convincing performance describing it that everyone -- from cops to media to politicians to the adoring public -- believed him.
You'd almost think he was like an actor or something.
One month after the alleged kidnapping, the police started noticing inconsistencies in the story, so they decided to question Croiset more thoroughly. That's when the actor finally broke down and confessed that the entire incident was a hoax. Once his facade cracked, it soon became apparent that a lot of his activism had been tainted with the same "anything goes" attitude. Remember that Nazi bomb threat we mentioned earlier? In an attempt to prove that a certain play called Garbage, the City, and Death was in no way anti-Semitic despite what some people say, its producers had arranged a private performance for the Jewish community. Said performance was abruptly cancelled due to an anonymous bomb threat call. Guess which famous actor was behind that shit?
Croiset also confessed to writing a bunch of threatening letters using a fake group called the Dutch Fascist Youth Front as an alias and sending them to prominent members of the Jewish community, including himself. One of the letters went to his wife and threatened the lives of their two children. Smooth, Jules, real smooth.
"Dear Mrs. Croiset: Your entire family will die. MWAHAHAHAHA! Love, Jules ... wait, shit."
In the end, Jules Croiset managed to get away with little more than a slap on the wrist (he is still acting today), since his entire message was "Nazis are bad," and apparently that excuses any behavior, no matter how batshit (including, again, threatening the lives of his own wife and children). We're betting he still sleeps on the couch, though.
Related Reading: We've got more daring crimes that never happened, including a woman who stalked herself. On the opposite end of things, there are totally laws you break regularly without realizing it. Connecting to the wrong open WiFi network can even be a crime. Ready for the secret criminal uses of stuff they sell in gas stations? Click here.