Of course, it’s unclear exactly how you would return them, considering all but 50 Blockbusters nationwide closed in 2013 (and most independent video stores probably folded long before then). But apparently, holding on to a rented video long after the return date—let’s be honest, long after you even forgot you ever rented it—could get you arrested.
That’s what happened to James Meyers, a North Carolina resident who was pulled over while driving his daughter to school earlier this week for a defective tail light. Meyers explains in a Youtube video what happened after the police ran his license number.
“The guy brings me to the back of the car and he goes, ‘Sir, I don’t know how to tell you this but there’s a warrant for your arrest from 2002. Apparently, you rented a movie, Freddy Got Fingered, and you never returned it.’ I thought he was joking.”
That’s right: Freddy Got Fingered, the 2001 gross-out comedy that merited a mere 11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, was the movie that did him in. Now, I can’t judge too much given that I’ve never seen the film, and probably never will, but apparently Meyers had at least tried to—14 years ago when he rented it from J&J Video in Salisbury, N.C.
The store has since shuttered, but that doesn’t mean Meyers was off the hook for the $200 fine associated with failure to return rental property years ago. The officer who pulled him over was understanding, within the limits of the law, and allowed Meyers to take his daughter to school and turn himself in at the police station later that day, where he was arrested and handcuffed (for the first time in his life). On April 27th he will face a court to atone for his misdemeanor.
This particular story has a happy ending already. Tom Green the writer, director, and star of Freddy Got Fingered, found about the Meyers’ plight through Twitter and called him up to offer support. He even gave a comment to the New York Daily News: “If it’s 200 bucks, of course I’ll pay it for him, just for the principle of the thing.”
A word to the wise: If you happen to have old rented movies still lying around you might want to double check your tail light.