Florida

He caused $100,000 in damages. He said a hookah-smoking caterpillar told him to do it, police say

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

The Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar, similar to the one that Jones said told him to attack a construction site, at The Curious Labyrinth in Disneyland Paris.
The Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar, similar to the one that Jones said told him to attack a construction site, at The Curious Labyrinth in Disneyland Paris. Flickr

A forklift, a liquor store under construction and Lewis Carroll all combined for an extremely odd arrest and thousands of dollars in property damage Saturday night in Crestview, Florida.

Police in Crestview took 32-year-old Mathew Horace Jones, a resident of Freeport, into custody Saturday after receiving reports that someone was throwing cinderblocks off the scaffolding of a construction zone, per WKRG.

Police reportedly arrived to find Jones in a forklift he had stolen from the construction site, where a liquor store is being built attached to a Walmart, per the Crestview News Bulletin. When police first attempted to detain Jones, they say he aimed the forklift at them, according to the News Bulletin.

Officers were eventually able to subdue Jones at gunpoint and arrest him, police say. Then they found that he had reportedly trashed the construction zone, damaging scaffolding, fencing and equipment.

All told, Jones allegedly caused $129,000 in damage and labor necessary to clean up after him, police said in a Facebook post.

When asked why he had done these things, Jones allegedly told police that he “had a problem” with the Walmart building a place to sell alcohol.

Jones also originally told police that his name was “Alice Wonderland” and that “he was told to commit the offenses by a hookah-smoking caterpillar.”

In Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s fantasy book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” a character only known as the Caterpillar is portrayed smoking a hookah and speaking with the main character, Alice.

According to police, Jones was already on probation before the incident, but has now been charged with felony grand theft, use of a motor vehicle to damage property of another in excess of $1,000, criminal mischief with damage greater than $1,000, and violation of felony probation.

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