If you leave your wallet, phone or sunglasses unattended for an hour on the beach, you would expect them to be stolen. That one's partly on you for being an idiot. However, if the item happens to be a canopy so large that the thieves require your help taking it down in order to steal it from you, that's on them.
The "them" in this case are two women on New Smyrna Beach in Florida, who decided to help themselves to another family's stuff while they were a block away at their rental house, putting the kids down for a nap. When the dad returned to the beach, he happened upon "them" having some difficulty trying to disassemble his canopy. Not surprisingly, things got awkward when the guy politely asked if they needed a hand stealing his belongings.
"You need some help?"
"Do you know how to do it?".
"Yeah," he says. "This is our stuff."
At that point, the ladies have a two options; one is simply apologizing and walking away. The other involves them claiming the stuff is theirs, getting in the guy's face, assaulting him for filming them, and then becoming stars of a viral video called Busted! Two Women Caught Stealing a Canopy on the Beach, Then Attack! with over 1.5 million views in two days.
The guy told Gawker the reason the video cuts off before the woman makes contact with him is because he wanted to send the video to his family before Big Red followed through on her threat to take his camera for having the audacity to film them after they specifically asked him not to record them stealing his stuff.
"I couldn't believe what just happened. I messaged the vid to my wife and sister back at the beach house, just the video without a message. The way the video ends I can now understand their concern. They told me they got in the car immediately and called the police right away. My wife, sister, and niece arrived a few minutes later, Beach Patrol a few minutes after that.
"I explained that nothing was taken and the "assault" didn't warrant filing a police report or pressing charges. The Beach Patrol Officer explained that this never happens in New Smyrna Beach, which I agree with wholeheartedly. The 4th of July holiday brought out large crowds of beachgoers and a few bad apples had less than the best intentions."
While it's a crappy way to end your 4th of July weekend, the guy handled the situation about as well as he could have. He didn't lose his stuff, and he got a laugh out of it, along with some sense of justice knowing that the beach thieves are now reluctant stars on Youtube. Most importantly, the title of the video isn't Dude Fights With Two Middle-Aged Ladies on the Beach!
(by Jonathan Corbett)