Thursday, February 25, 2016

Florida Mug Shot Not So Funny When He's a War Hero With PTSD

Fred Grimm: Story of disabled combat vet muddled by strange “only in Florida” mug shot 
Miami Herald 
Fred Grimm 
February 24, 2016
Bizarre booking photo of grease paint-smeared man was irresistible fodder for local media.  Familiar “only in Florida” story line missed the part about three combat tours in Iraq.  Veteran came back from Iraq with 100 percent disability for PTSD.
We played Case No. 16001719MM10A for laughs, of course.

A strange jailhouse mug shot of a man whose face was smeared with black grease paint — that was irresistible stuff for a local media ever vigilant for bizarro material. We’re always looking for proof that we’re living in a caldron of crazy.

NBC 6 added the story to its “Only in Florida” feature: “A Virginia man was arrested in South Florida after several 911 callers claimed he was acting suspiciously.” There was a link to another story in the same category: “Naked woman kicks out police car window.”

Both ABC Channel 10 and the Sun-Sentinel ran with reports of the incident early Monday morning in Oakland Park, describing an arrest following 911 calls about a young man’s strange and threatening behavior.

Because, really, that crazy mug shot told us all we needed to know about Craig Bolin.

Except for a few missing details. Like Bolin’s three combat tours. With actual combat, including a stint with Charlie 1-26, the storied infantry outfit that lost more men in Iraq combat than any Army battalion since Vietnam. Sgt. Bolin posted a YouTube video in 2006 of a harrowing night fight as his unit fended off a siege of an Iraqi police station.

In 2009, Stars and Stripes featured a photograph of young Sgt. Bolin patrolling the Jamilla market on the outskirts of Sadr City, “a volatile Shiite slum in east Baghdad.” In 2009, volatile Shiite slum had become just another euphemism for hell.

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