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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Streaking is a prank, not a crime

    The almost streaker at the Arizona-UCLA game is not a criminal. This country has truly gone off its rocker if a 22-year-old student wearing a costume and a speedo is charged with a felony.

    If you haven’t seen the video, Jace Michael Lankow, a senior dressed like a referee, runs out on the field with four seconds left in the first half. He blows a whistle, tries to get the football from a real referee, and then tears off his pants and shirt. After being wiped out by a tackling police officer, Lankow is walked off the field, red-white speedo and all. Now he’s being charged with criminal impersonation, which according to the Arizona Daily Star, is a felony.

    Really? Dressing up like a Pac-12 referee is laughable, not criminal. Who was hurt over this prank? No one. Four seconds left in the half and neither team was anywhere near an end zone. Stopping play was nothing.

    The worst part of this event was that a fight broke out almost at the same time on the field and interrupted his 15 minutes of fame. After a bench clearing fight where players punched and shoved each other, only two players were ejected from the game. But the streaker, who did no harm to anyone and just ran while tearing clothes off and blowing a whistle, he gets criminal charges.

    Wow.

    Technically it can be dropped down to a misdemeanor based on Lankow’s history and if the crime was not a dangerous offense. But the point is this isn’t a crime, it’s a harmless prank.

    As a senior, this takes me back to high school senior year when kids would get arrested for putting vegetables around campus just because it was after hours.

    It’s hard to understand how anyone is allowed to have fun anymore. Lankow may also face disciplinary action from the UA, because he technically falsely misrepresented himself.

    He told KVOA that if he ends up being expelled, he hopes his credits transfer and he’ll finish his college education elsewhere. If he gets expelled I’ll have lost faith in the humanity and sense of humor of our administration. He didn’t even get naked!

    I understand that some sort of punishment must be given to the student as an example. So let’s take a shot at the liquor law punishment and send him to a non-nudity class, enroll him in Theater 100, give him community service and be done with it.

    One of the reasons I chose to go to the UA is because of the streaker at the Arizona-Stanford game in 2007. Dimitri Tsakanikas ran the length of the field and was pantsed at the 5-yard line. He made it to the end zone but the crowd was going wild the whole time. It was hilarious, it was a spectacle, and the crowd was having a great time.

    No one should dare say that Tucson is full of bleeding-heart liberals, because apparently it’s full of uptight conservative who can’t appreciate a good streaking prank. Face it refs, you were fooled. Get over it and crack a smile. As for Lankow, I hope to see him graduate in December. If he doesn’t, I hope someone streaks in his honor.

    —Michelle A. Monroe is a journalism senior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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