A sixty-year-old man from the American state of New York went very far last week to avoid having to spend $50,000 in the context of a lost bet: he feigned his own abduction and appointed the creditors as the kidnappers.
Police officers found Robert Brandel wedged on all fours on Wednesday and with a rope around his neck in his own pick-up truck near Buffalo, in western New York.
The man told them that on Monday he picked up two men with whom he had made a bet on the Super Bowl. But the duo appeared armed, robbed him of $16,000 and forced him to drive around with them for two days in his car before they left him tied up in a parking lot, he claimed.
In spite of calm and clean-shaven patches, however, the police suspected something was wrong with his story. “Further research and interrogations showed that his extensive story was invented,” it says in a police statement. The police now assume that the man invented the kidnapping to escape the payout of $50,000, an amount he owed after losing an online group bet.
“Someone who was kidnapped and experienced something like that would normally have a very high heart rate, be worried and depressed. There should be a lot of emotions coming up,” Officer James O’Callaghan told the local television channel WKBW. “He had devised a few different ways to make money (with the group bet, ed.) But that ultimately failed. And now he can not pay that money to the people who ultimately won this bet.”
Brandel was arrested on suspicion of fraud and filing a false police statement. He will have to appear in court later this month.