Here at TopTenz, we’ve already gone through several rounds of the world’s worst superheroes, Florida Man and Florida Woman. We’ve also thrown in Texas Man for good measure. Today, it’s time to tell you tales that hail from the so-called Armpit of America, New Jersey. If you’ve never been there, you may have already gathered some stereotypes from TV shows and movies like Jersey Shore and Mallrats. As the most densely populated state, New Jersey has the most people crammed into a small place, so it would only make sense that there is no shortage of stupid people doing stupid things.
10. New Jersey Man Sends Police on a Hot Pursuit
Camden County is known for having one of the highest crime rates in New Jersey, so on April 24, 2019, police officers of West Berlin were given a relatively normal assignment: they had to arrest a 47-year-old man named Karl Ireland. He had violated his restraining order, and showed up to the home of the person who was trying desperately to keep him away. Instead of going quietly and admitting defeat, Karl crawled under the porch of the home where he was trespassing, and the police patiently waited for him to come out.
Karl decided that he needed a distraction to escape from the police. He spotted a gas can nearby, and came up with a brilliant plan of crawling out of the porch, dousing himself with gasoline, and setting himself on fire just before running away. Karl’s super powers to “Flame On” were not enough to stop the police from chasing him, and he was quickly apprehended with a taser. Officers put out the flames, and Karl was sent to a nearby hospital to treat his injuries.
9. New Jersey Man Does Whatever He Wants
In September 2019, a 26-year-old New Jersey man named Richard J. McEwan decided to have his own version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where he was going to do whatever he wanted. He started by going to Donald Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. Richard stole one of the golf carts and did donuts on the lawn, causing over $20,000 in damages to the President’s property. He was arrested, but eventually released.
Instead of choosing to lay low and keep out of trouble, Richard immediately traveled to Taylor Swift’s mansion in Westerly, Rhode Island. The home had recently gone on the market for $18.9 million, so its address had been made public. After breaking a window to get inside, Richard removed his shoes before entering the home, because he wanted to be polite. Swift was not home, so he just walked around and admired her amazing taste in home furnishings until the police arrived.
8. New Jersey Man Unleashes Citizens’ Worst Nightmare
In February 2019, a young man wearing a hoodie was filmed walking into a Newark McDonald’s holding a giant white rat in a plastic container. Once he was inside the restaurant, he unleashed the chubby rodent before rushing outside. The rat barely moved, but its presence still sent crowds of people screaming and jumping over tables toward the registers.
The entire incident was captured on video, and posted online. According to a McDonald’s representative, they took the incident seriously and reported it to the police, but no arrests were made. Shortly after the video ended, someone opened the front door, and the rat walked itself out. Now, this pampered white pet store rat is somewhere on the streets of Newark, left to fend for himself.
7. New Jersey Man Was a Real Mystery
In 2019, students from Holmdel High School were dealing with a mysterious villain who was defecating under the school’s outdoor bleachers on a daily basis. It smelled awful, of course, and the school staff was constantly stuck with cleaning up the mess. The mysterious pooping continued every single day, and yet the culprit was not caught. Finally, one of the students snapped a photo of the mysterious squatting man on their cell phone, and sent it to the local police station’s Facebook page. The story went viral. Even reporters across the pond at the BBC gave him the villainous nickname of The Mystery Pooper.
The police opened an investigation on the case. It turns out that the culprit was none other than the school’s own superintendent, Thomas Tramaglini, and he was caught with the help of those meddling kids. Tramaglini had a routine of getting his daily workout by running around the track at 5 a.m., and then squatting under the bleachers to relieve himself. There were several outdoor toilets available, and he lived just three miles away from the school — yet he still continued to do this day after day to the school that was paying him $150,000 a year. A police officer finally witnessed him in the act, and arrested him immediately after. When he appeared in court, his lawyer tried to claim that Tramaglini has a condition known as “runner’s diarrhea.” Sure he does.
6. New Jersey Man Is Hopping Mad
Every spring, malls across America hire people to wear Easter Bunny costumes, so that small children can pose for photos with the mythical creature. In 2016, a 22-year-old named Kassim Charles was the unfortunate soul stuck with the job of sweating inside of the costume at the Newport Mall in Jersey City.
One of the parents at the mall began to harass Kassim while he was in the costume. According to witnesses, the father attacked the Easter Bunny first, and he finally had enough of the abuse. He took off his bunny head and gloves and began beating the customer. Mall security had to pull them apart, and the children nearby were likely traumatized. Both men were arrested for aggravated assault.
This wasn’t the end of Easter Bunny related incidents for New Jersey Man. Three years later, the Easter Bunny was in yet another fight, but this time in Orlando, Florida. A couple was getting into a fight out on the street, so the Easter Bunny ran to break it up. Once the bunny saw that the boyfriend was hitting his girlfriend, the paws were off, and it escalated into an act of vigilante justice. It was revealed that the bunny was actually a New Jersey Man named Anton McDonald, who was on the run from the law. He had a warrant out for his arrest back in New Jersey, so by defending that woman’s honor, he unmasked himself to the police.
5. New Jersey Man Attempts An Impossible Mission
In May 2019, a 27-year-old New Jersey Man named Matthew Ricciardi was caught shoplifting at 6 a.m. from a Walmart in Bayonne, New Jersey. The security guard detained Ricciardi, and he was locked into one of the back offices until police arrived. As he waited, Ricciardi did what every single action film has taught us to do: he stood on the desk, moved one of the ceiling tiles, and lifted himself up into the crawl space.
Ricciardi crawled into the ventilation system, and began to drag himself through the tight space, assuming he had cleverly found his way to freedom. What the movies don’t show you is just how long this process takes, and how blatantly obvious it is to everyone else. Once the police arrived, they could clearly hear him crawling above their heads, and were able to apprehend him. That’s when they found that he was carrying drug paraphernalia, which should be a surprise to no one. The biggest lesson you can learn from this is that you should not believe everything you see in the movies. (And don’t do drugs, kids.)
4. New Jersey Man Gets Feudal
Believe it or not, there are so many sword-related incidents in New Jersey. In fact, there are so many that they could form a list of their own. This really shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering that you can purchase a deadly weapon without having it registered to your name at nearly every flea market for roughly $50. In just a few minutes, you can be armed and ready for a potential break-in, or the next zombie apocalypse.
In 2014, employees of the American Deli in Lower Township, New Jersey were in the midst of making sandwiches when a 43-year-old man named Ryan Crump burst through the door wielding a samurai sword. He demanded that the employees give back his stolen cell phone. The employees looked at one another, confused. They tried to insist that they had no idea what he was talking about. He shouted that they were lying, and that he must take justice into his own hands. Crump began swinging the sword at the employees, which forced them to flee the store. After calling the police, Crump was taken to the Cape May County Jail. Sadly, there was never an update about whether he got his cell phone back.
3. New Jersey Man Hates Fun
When the Pokemon Go app first launched in 2016, the world was amazed by the augmented reality game. It was common to see people wandering the streets, playing the app on their phones. But for one resident named Jeffrey Marder of West Orange, New Jersey, the fact that children were suddenly playing outside again was completely unacceptable. Kids would gather to spin a PokeStop near his home, and there were suddenly more people enjoying the sunshine by walking on the sidewalks. This made Marder feel uneasy, but the last straw occurred when children knocked on his door to ask if they could go into his backyard to catch a Pokemon.
This level of social interaction set Marder into a fit of rage, and he filed a $5 million class-action lawsuit against Pokemon Go. He claimed that the game was ruining his life, and that it encouraged children to trespass on private property. Apparently, the only thing that could soothe him were sweet, sweet Benjamins. Of course, as time went on, the initial craze of the game died down, and fewer people were still playing Pokemon Go. Marder decided to finally drop the lawsuit in 2017.
2. New Jersey Man Takes On a New Name
On June 1, 2019, an unidentified New Jersey Man set up a live stream on his cellphone while at a Dunkin Donuts in South Brunswick. The man then proceeded to film himself stealing donuts while the employee simply stood and watched. He jumped over the counter, grabbed some donuts, and then danced in front of the camera as he ate his free food. The man gave himself the moniker of the “Donut Desperado” online. According to the police, he had actually pulled the exact same stunt multiple times before.
Even though there were plenty of witnesses, and he is clearly visible in the video, the Middlesex County Police have no idea how to find him. They asked for people to come forward with any information, but he has yet to be caught. Only time will tell if the Donut Desperado will strike again, and continue his life of crime. (And, probably, diabetes.)
1. New Jersey Man Turns Out to Be a Bear
Every superhero needs a sidekick, and what could be more American than having a bear on New Jersey Man’s side? In 2014, residents reported spotting a black bear strolling around on two feet in a neighborhood in Rockaway. At first, local police assumed that it was a man in a bear costume playing a prank, because they had never heard of a bear walking around on two feet before.
After several people recorded video footage of the bear, it became clear it was a real animal. He was politely walking down sidewalks just like everyone else, presumably thinking, “nothing to see here, fellow humans.” The bear wasn’t trying to attack anyone, and wildlife experts reported that he must have learned to walk upright due to an injury to his front paws. For two years, citizens of Rockaway got used to having the bear around, and they began to call him “Pedals.” The townsfolk tried to push for Pedals to live out his life in an animal sanctuary, but his life was cut short in 2016 when he was shot by hunters who mistook him for a mere bear. In our hearts and minds, Pedals will still be an honorary New Jersey Man.