The story of America’s most wanted deadbeat dad getting caught and arrested in Calgary after 20 years on the run has been burning up the internet today. And for good reason. At every twist and turn in the story, there’s a new level of “this is amazing” — apart from the whole avoiding child support thing.
Let us count the ways.
- First off, after eluding authorities for 20 years, and $560,000 US in child support, Joseph Stroup was apprehended in Calgary of all places. Specifically a community called Bearspaw, in a now-defunct restaurant called the Bears Den. The only way this could sound more poetic would be if it were a bar called Douchebag’s Hideaway in the town of Deadbeat, Saskatchewan.
- The dude went by the name Joop Cousteau. Sure he shortchanged his family, but he definitely did not skimp on his alias. Also, thank god he wasn’t caught in the ’90s, because there is a good chance we would have named our indie rock band Joop Cousteau instead of after a Spanish sounding venereal disease.
- After two decades on the lam, what eventually did ol’ Joop in was a cherry pit. After ordering a Cherry Coke with eight maraschino cherries in it — no red flag there — he claimed that he had broken his tooth on a cherry pit. Bears Den staff were immediately suspicious since the type of maraschino cherries they served didn’t come with pits. When Stroup brought dental work papers in the next day, they appeared to be handwritten and had his real name and birthday on it. Somewhat leery, the Bears Den’s general manager googled Stroup’s name to discover he was wanted by U.S. authorities, who were then notified.
- If all this bungling, small-town criminal behaviour sounds like a plot from Fargo, you’ll also be happy to know that the Bears Den was featured in the most recent season of the TV show.