Name: Frankie Portee
Crime: Assault and battery, resisting arrest.
Fatal mistake: Being really, really bad at pseudonyms.
Circumstances: On June 10, 2010, Portee was riding in the back of a car when it was pulled over by the police. Portee had multiple outstanding probation warrants, and was understandably concerned that the cops would find out about them. So he cleverly decided to identify himself with a fake name.
I’ll let Associate Justice Mark V. Green, who wrote the recent Massachusetts Appeals Court opinion affirming Portee’s conviction, take it from here:
Trooper Driscoll noticed that the defendant was not wearing a seat belt and asked the defendant his name and date of birth in order to cite him for a seat belt violation. The defendant gave the false name of “Daniel Atkins” and a birth date of January 28, 1983.
Trooper Driscoll ran the name “Daniel Atkins” though the computer in his cruiser, and learned that there was an active arrest warrant for a Daniel Atkins, who had a birth date indicating an age in approximately the same range as the date provided by the defendant. Atkins’s physical description appeared to match the defendant.
Whoops. Driscoll returned to the car and started to question the increasingly confused and nervous Portee, who apparently had no idea that he’d given the name of a wanted man. He responded with what, at the time, must have seemed like the only reasonable option: pushing Driscoll to the ground and trying to run away. This scheme, too, went awry; Portee was subdued, arrested, and sentenced to four years in state prison. The real Daniel Atkins may still be at large.
Continue reading the rest of the story on Slate