Children are often warned against making prank phone calls. Adults usually don’t need to be reminded.
Randy Riddle, a 49-year-old Florida man, was released on bail this month after being arrested for allegedly making prank pizza delivery calls that racked up $667 in losses at restaurants in his area. One of the conditions for his $5,500 release? Don’t order any more pies.
“Defendant shall refrain from calling any pizza establishment and/or making any harassing calls or his bond shall be revoked,” Riddle’s warrant affidavit reads, according to the Vero Beach Press Journal.
Riddle had quite the operation going for his prank calls. In a three-week period he contacted restaurants across Sebastian, Florida, using five different phone calls, false names and fake or vacant addresses. Sometimes he’d have the pies delivered to his address where he’d refuse to pay or try to talk down the price.
“His purpose is to haggle either over the price of the food or the quality upon delivery,” a flyer sent out to pizza shops in the community by police at the time read.
City and state offices were also a target of Riddle’s calls. He made repeated calls at about the same time to the police, city hall and the state Department of Health to complain about the restaurants. City officials said they considered his calls to be harassing and belligerent.
While prank calls are generally a harmless manner (in this case, “Is your pizza oven running?” may be crossing the line of decency) there are certain cases where a prank call can get you arrested, according to Findlaw.com. The most common way a prank call can get you shackled up is if the call is harassing. Depending on the state, you may also get arrested if you exhibit disorderly conduct on the phone; if your harassing phone call is based on a joke about religion, race or national origin or if you record the call (it is illegal in some states to record a phone call without the other party’s consent).
Causing real, monetary damages or losses can cause some trouble, too.