Arizona streaker could face 18 months in jail

October 22, 2011

Arizona streaker charged with a felony. (Photo courtesy of the Arizona Daily Star)

If you don’t know the name Jace Michael Lankow, he was the idiot who dressed up as an official and streaked during the final seconds of the half of the Arizona-UCLA game Thursday night. As a result of his impersonation and the ensuing chaos that led to two players ejected and multiple suspensions, he was booked into Pima County jail. Lankow was charged with criminal impersonation, a class 6 felony in the state of Arizona. Though he was released on Friday, he could face up to 18 months behind bars for his indecent act. There is a possibility Lankow’s charges will be reduced to a Class 1 misdemeanor based on his criminal history and the nature of the offense.

This is unfortunate for a 22-year old kid who was an undergraduate at Arizona seeking 15-minutes of fame. Lankow’s explanation, he was applying to be a contestant on the TV show “Wipeout” and he needed an answer to one of the questions in the application: “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?”

Based on Thursday night’s act, he now has a suitable answer. However, dressing up like an official, blowing a whistle, and trying to steal the game ball during a game may be a great idea in thought, but it’s certainly stupid in practice.

For the sake of Lankow, let’s hope the judge and school officials are Arizona fans who appreciate the pageantry of college football. To some, the penalty seems harsh, but if the prosecutors throw the book at Lankow its most likely because they want to discourage this kind of behavior. As for his student status, university officials are contemplating disciplinary action which could lead to anything from a warning to expulsion.

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