Thursday, June 4, 2009
Criminal Seeks to Extend Record for Number of Arrests
NH man arrested for the 153rd time to plead guilty
Jun 02 2009 08:11PM CDT
Paul Baldwin Claims to Have Been Arrested more Times Than Any Other American
A man has been arrested for the 153rd time, this time after he was accused of punching someone in the face over the weekend. Paul Baldwin, 49, told a judge Monday he plans to plead guilty to the assault, along with trespassing and alcohol charges. He said he's had a long battle with alcohol but alcohol kept on winning. He said he was trying to correct the problem by letting his hair grow during his most recent one-year jail term, which ended last week. When asked by the judge how he thought letting his hair grow would help his alcohol problem the man said he thought the hair would absorb the alcohol instead of it going to his brain and he would only have drunk hair. "But when my hair got drunk it wanted to start fights with other hair and away we went," said the man, while combing his hair.
The judge refused bail and ordered that the man's head be shaved before he came back into court. "If his hair is drunk, I don't see how he could be of assistance to his court appointed attorney and therefore could not receive a fair trial," said the judge. "Besides, I just don't think it's dignified to have a drunk head of hair in the court room."
The judge then appointed an attorney dozing off in the jury box to represent the man, who promised to sober the man's hair up before his next appearance in court. The court reporter, who had been recording the testimony to that point suddenly threw up her hands and said, "This whole hearing is crazy. All of you are crazy, including you, your honor. I've never listened to such nonsense in my life. Hair can't get drunk by itself. Are all of you lunatics?"
The judge then recessed the hearing and ordered the court reporter to meet with him in his chambers.
The Foster's Daily Democrat newspaper said Baldwin's record dates to 1984 and includes 152 other arrests, eight trespass orders, 75 citations, four Social Security aliases and 17 name aliases.
Prosecutor Rena DiLando said she didn't have time to read Baldwin's full criminal record because it's so long.
In an interview following his arraignment, Baldwin said he did not begin with any intention of becoming the most arrested man in America. "It just happened," he said.
"And then, after a while it sorta became my ambition. I thought to myself, Hey man, this is something you really do well; this is your area of expertise, your life calling. No one can get arrested as easily as you. I knew then I didn't want anyone to get arrested more times than I; it was a competition, and I was determined to blow my rivals away. I'm 49 now, and if I can just maintain this pace a while longer no one will be able to catch me."
When asked if it was possible that he liked to be in jail because he was fed regularly, had his own cell, and didn't have any financial responsibilities, Baldwin said, "Oh, no. I much prefer to be on the outside. If I stayed in jail most of the time then I couldn't get arrested. You make one little mistake, like killing someone,for example, and you get sentenced to 25, 40 years, maybe even for life. You can't get arrested when you're already in prison, so there goes any chance at a world record. You just need to bide your time, don't get in a rush and only get arrested for petty stuff which won't take you off the street too long. But the judges are beginning to give me extra time, claiming I'm a habitual offender," the man continued. "I don't know why I'm called a habitual anything. Habitual means its a habit, something you can't control. I can stop getting arrested, stone cold, but then I wouldn't get in the Book of World Records. There's a trade-off in almost anything you want to do," he said.
"If you ask me they just don't want me to hold the record, out of jealousy and for spite. A judge in the next county sentenced me to a whole year in jail, just for urinating in the holy water at a church there. There ain't no public toilets, you can't piss on the street, the stores won't let you use their bathrooms so what's a man supposed to do? I figured if God made me and made me have to piss, he surely couldn't object to my peeing in his house. I think the sentence was overkill and probably cost me at least two maybe four other arrests during the time I was in jail. You'd thin the state of New Hampshire would be proud to have one of its own in the Book of Records, instead of making it harder."