The Most Bizarre Crimes That Happened In 2022

Crime in America has recently become a hot topic. It was a main talking point for the Republican Party during the 2022 midterm elections, and some recent reports suggest the topic is not out of left field. Last year, ABC News reported that 12 U.S. cities reached record levels of homicidal crimes. Philadelphia saw its highest number since the 1990s. There's the oft-reported pandemic murder spike, which saw a 30% jump in homicides. Photos of toothpaste and deodorant locked up behind glass cases at drug stores due to the surge in shoplifting have gone viral, reports CNN. And even if it's somehow all just a misunderstanding, people are clearly convinced that crime today is worse than it's been in decades. According to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll, 56% of Americans believe crime is the worst it's been in 30 years, even if the facts don't support that exact claim (via Yahoo!).

Of course, usually, these crimes deal with homicide, robbery, and other violent and utterly serious behavior, but what about balloon popping and the purchasing of infants at grocery stores? Some may argue — or no one, really — that not enough attention is given to the stranger crimes of life. The year 2022 is nearly over, and it's time to take a look at the bizarre crimes that people tried to get away with and completely failed.

A man murdered over Bigfoot

One of the most bizarre crimes of 2022 was perpetuated by fisherman Larry Sanders. In July, he and fellow fisherman Jimmy Glen Knighten went noodling at the South Canadian River in southeast Oklahoma, reported The Oklahoman. Later that day, Sanders came home alone and told his daughter that he murdered Knighten. Not much is known about what was said on their trip except what Sanders told officers: Knighten had summoned Bigfoot to come and kill Sanders. Knighten reportedly tried to get away to save himself after baiting Bigfoot, but Sanders, not wanting to be left alone with the infamous forest monster, proceeded to attack Knighten. The two men then brawled near the river until Sanders successfully strangled Knighten to death and left his body in the woods.

An arrest warrant was quickly issued for Sanders, and he subsequently helped officers locate Knighten's body. Things to note: the arresting sheriff said Sanders appeared to be under the influence of drugs, and Sanders also had unpaid fines for drug-related crimes. He was also once arrested for public intoxication and brought in methamphetamine into the county jail. Per NBC News, Sanders was charged with first-degree murder for the Bigfoot crime.

A woman tried to buy a human baby at Walmart

Real human babies aren't sold at Walmart, but Rebecca Lanette Taylor didn't get the memo. Her strange crime began at a self-checkout line at the grocery store, where a woman with a baby with blond hair and blue eyes was about to pay. The baby's appearance must have caught Taylor's admiring eyes because she began asking the mother if she could purchase the baby from her. That's right — she wanted to buy the baby. As reported by NBC News, at first, the mother thought the woman was joking, but Taylor then named a number: $250,000, and she had the money ready. Of course, the mother told Taylor that her baby wasn't for sale, but that didn't stop Taylor. And once both parties went out to the parking lot, Taylor went berserk.

The mother had to lock her children in the car as Taylor continually harassed her about taking her child. She raised her offer to $500,000 and confidently claimed that the child would be hers. Even weirder was the fact that Taylor happened to know the child's name and was calling it out. Taylor had an accomplice, and both were reported to the authorities. She was arrested on January 18 with the felony charge of the sale or purchase of a child. Taylor later denied the allegations to Fox 26 Houston and said she was minding her business at Walmart, merely there to buy a pee pad for her Pomeranian.

A woman set bees on police

In October, Massachusetts resident Rorie Woods unleashed a swarm of bees on police officers, and in some circles, she's been heralded as a hero. As a member of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending, Woods has fought for years against the foreclosure of her homes, reports New York Magazine

She believed she and others in the group had been victims of unlawful foreclosure, and on the morning of her bee-related crime, Woods' friend, Alton King Jr., was about to be evicted from his home. King had been at a courthouse, asking a judge for a stay, as law enforcement gathered at his home to carry out the eviction. Woods was on the scene and started shaking boxes of bees she had in the back of her SUV. Her intention was to agitate the bees and unleash them on the officers. Activists nearby who were protesting King's eviction cheered her on. Woods, who protected herself with a beekeeper suit, reportedly expressed pleasure when an officer said he was allergic.

A shocked official at the sheriff's department said this crime had no precedent in his career. Of course, the officers were only there to do their jobs, and the bee stunt only delayed the inevitable. As reported by MassLive, Woods was charged with four counts of battery and assault, and three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon. She pled not guilty and was released without bail.

A man's weird scheme to get hired at Disney

David Proudfoot intended to prove his worth for a Disney job but just ended up committing a crime. In May, he dressed up as a security worker at Walt Disney World — before even landing the job — and proceeded to remove a replica of R2-D2 and a game machine from their places at the Swan Reserve, reports The Washington Post

Proudfoot later told investigators that he wanted to reveal holes in the Disney security system in order to impress as a job candidate. He blew his cover when spotted by a real security guard who thought Proudfoot looked suspicious. But even as police came to investigate, Proudfoot continued his charade and told them that his name was David E. Rodgers and his job was to transfer around items, like the droid replica. He also claimed that his manager worked in California. Disney's security was able to verify the name of his supposed manager, but there was no David E. Rogers employed at Disney.

The whole job application story was might have been just a coverup. Proudfoot had been tied to thefts at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort earlier in the year and admitted to tampering with three arcade machines from the park on another occasion, per The New York Times. Proudfoot was charged with "grand theft and obstruction by false information."

A balloon-filled marriage proposal gone awry

In May, a romantic wedding proposal became the scene of a very strange crime. The incident occurred on a boat at Biscayne Bay in Miami, where future groom Tom Rivas got down on one knee to propose, reports WPLG Local 10. But he said he wasn't aware of what happened next: two people popped celebratory balloons lining the boat and littered them into the ocean. 

The action was hazardous for the environment, especially because sea turtles can confuse them for jellyfish and try to eat them, per CBS News. In Florida, where littered balloons in bodies of water are an ongoing problem, it's illegal to release more than 10 balloons into the air. Rivas merely rented the boat and issued a statement on social media to clear his name, saying he was unaware of the crime. Party planning company Cloud Nine also deflected blame, saying they contracted someone else to install the balloons. The two responsible were eventually found and arrested on felony charges, while nine other citations had been issued, totaling $23,000 in fines (via WPLG Local 10).

The crime got a surprising amount of traction. A video of the culprits popping balloons went viral and was shared by actor Jason Momoa on his social media. Miami's mayor tweeted out the video and said it didn't represent the city's values.

A bride laced her wedding guests' food with pot

Chicken, fish, or marijuana? One Florida bride didn't give her wedding guests an option as she and her caterer laced everyone's meals with cannabis, reported The Washington Post. Things became suspicious at the April wedding as guests began reacting adversely to the food. One guest vomited everything up. Another felt like she was having heart problems and sought refuge in her car, where she thought she would die. One of the groom's relatives started hallucinating and was paranoid that someone she knew had died. The wedding devolved into such chaos that the local fire rescue eventually arrived. Others rushed to the emergency room. 

Strangely, both the bride, Danya Svoboda, and the caterer, Joycelyn Bryant, were nonchalant about drugging guests and treated the ordeal like a playful prank. But it was certainly a crime, and, especially in places like Florida where recreational marijuana is illegal, there are definitely legal consequences. Svoboda and Bryant were charged with the felonies of food tampering and delivering marijuana, along with the misdemeanor of culpable negligence, per CNN. Investigators tested the urine of some of the wedding's 50 guests, and at least three tested positive for cannabis.

A tourist was very disappointed he couldn't meet the Pope

Pope Francis must be thanking the heavens that he was saved from meeting this one unhinged tourist. An American visitor to the Museo Chiaramonti in the Vatican started smashing ancient Roman sculptures after being told he couldn't meet the pope, reported the Italian paper Il Messaggero. The first sculpture was damaged during the tourist's temper tantrum. The second was an unfortunate casualty as the tourist tried running from museum staff. Tourists nearby were frightened and couldn't stop him, but he was quickly apprehended and turned over to Vatican police.

The museum described the two busts as minor works, but they were 2,000 years old, and plans were immediately made to restore them. The experts would have to patch up a broken nose, ear, and the entire head of one sculpture, per CNN. The sculptures had been secured to the wall by nails, but it only took some force to knock them down. Il Messaggero described the Vatican's reaction as one of shock, considering that the incident came after attempts to reinforce the museum's security. But now this event forced them to reassess procedures and may even put tourists' freedom of proximity to these works of art at risk.

A-not-so-gentleman pulls a gun at a Family Dollar

Everyone seems to have an opinion on opening doors for other people and how you should thank those who open doors for you. Nevertheless, it appears that chivalry is quite dead. Case in point: New Haven resident Joshua Murray. His crime occurred on a Saturday afternoon at a Family Dollar store. He opened the entrance door for two female strangers, and that's where his kindness ended. After the women did not thank him, he became upset, drew a gun, and pointed it at them, reported the New Haven Register. Apparently, no one ever told Murray that good deeds shouldn't be conditional.

More problems arose when the cops came. It turns out that Murray didn't even have a permit for his gun and according to the police report, he tried interfering with their arrest. In the end, Murray was charged with a felony for the lack of a gun permit and received misdemeanor charges for interfering with his arrest and two counts of breaching the peace. He was then held on a $25,000 bond.

Three Florida men stole $1.3 million in seafood

We've all heard about the "Florida Man," so can you imagine what three can do? Apparently, steal $1.3 million in seafood, according to the Miami Herald (via Yahoo!). Three men from Miami-Dade county posed as buyers for a supermarket in order to take a million's worth of seafood from a Fort Lauderdale food importer. 

The heist began as Rene Echemend, Ernesto Baute, and Jose Batista Suarez posed under the name "Brian Gomez" to make several purchases over the course of a month. The men managed to complete all purchases and transferred them to a facility in Weston. The import company, NETUNO, began suspecting something was wrong in early August after they were informed that the supermarket didn't employ a Brian Gomez.

The Florida Highway Patrol caught the men in the act as they transferred seafood from NETUNO's warehouse to Weston and were then arrested. It's unclear how they planned to use the seafood, but they were charged with seven counts of grand theft cargo of over $50,000.

Father threatens police with an excavator

The Tallman excavator saga was a long, strange one. It began with 24-year-old Brandon Tallman, who reportedly assaulted a mother and her son at their Woodbury, Vermont home on June 12, reported The Barre Montpelier Times Argus. Tallman and his lawyer later said that one of the two victims had thrown a beer bottle at his head while he was driving by. But Tallman exited his car and began physically assaulting the son, giving him a concussion. He then forced himself into their home. Two days later, a state police trooper visited the home of Brandon's parents, Wayne and Amy Tallman. Brandon was present and resisted arrest, while his parents did everything in their power to prevent him from being taken into custody. Amy held onto Brandon so that the troopers couldn't grab him, and Wayne pulled at one of the trooper's arms.

Things escalated when Wayne, who owned an excavating business, powered on his excavator and began to swing it wildly over the troopers' car and threatened to crush it. Troopers had to dodge the bucket, notes the New York Post, but it seems that most of the damage done was a dirtied vehicle. It was a struggle to arrest Wayne, but it was eventually done, and he was charged with an aggravated assault felony, to which he pleaded guilty, per WCAX. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and is now out, but he's forbidden from using an excavator unsupervised.

Tyson Foods CFO fell asleep in the wrong house

If you're the heir of Tyson Foods and share the name "Tyson," the last thing you'd want to do is embarrass the family name. Enter John R. Tyson, the Chief Financial Officer of the meat giant and the great-grandson of original founder John W. Tyson, notes CNBC. In the early hours of November 6, the Tyson heir wandered drunkenly into a home that wasn't his, took off his clothes, and fell asleep in a stranger's bed, reported KNWA. A resident of the home called the police and said Tyson was likely able to enter since the door had been unlocked. However, he was still charged with public intoxication and criminal trespassing. Arresting him was another matter, though. After trying to wake him, Tyson went right back to sleep, apparently still drunk.

This was clearly a headache for the company. Tyson apologized to investors days later, saying he was embarrassed and promised not to repeat the behavior, per CNBC. Despite saying the right words, it had not been a great start for someone who was given his CFO job in September. That's right — he hadn't been two months on the job when he was arrested. Tyson was already scrutinized for not having enough experience when he received his CFO appointment, so consider him on a short leash.

The Beyond Meat COO bit the wrong kind of meat

Beyond Meat is a plant-based meat producer that's known for being vegan and vegetarian-friendly, so that certainly excludes cannibalism. COO Doug Ramsey certainly didn't represent company values when he bit off the tip of a man's nose on September 17, as reported by KNWA

The incident occurred after a football game at the University of Arkansas Stadium. Brawls between fans after games aren't unusual but this one certainly was. Ramsay was fixing to depart from the parking garage when another man's car clashed with his front tire. Irate, Ramsay "punched through the car's back windshield." When the other driver got out, Ramsay punched him, bit off his nose, and threatened to kill him. Both men had blood on their faces when the police arrived. Ramsay was arrested for "terroristic threatening and third-degree battery" and was released on an $11,000 bond, per CNN.

It was all downhill from there for Ramsay. The following week, he was suspended from Beyond Meat. The following month, in October, he officially left after less than a year with the company, via CNN. He formerly spent 30 years with Tyson Foods.