LOS ANGELES, California –
Tragedy struck as chaos ensued aboard a flight from Los Angeles bound for New York last week when one man learned where free speech ends and endangering the safety of others begins.
The classic example of “shouting Fire! In a crowded theater” describes a situation in which one’s freedom of speech is limited to prevent unnecessary panic and disaster. Toward the end of the flight, a 24-year-old man looking for amusement shouted clearly: “Tacos! Check out the free tacos!”
Immediately the plane erupted into a clamor of yelling, panic, and frustration, as passengers left their seats and began frantically searching the plane for free tacos. The pilot, co-pilot, and flight attendants, all also rushed to search for the tacos, leaving the plane completely unattended. The man’s identity remains anonymous for his protection.
The shouter’s friend, who was sitting next to him at the time, told police that he tried to diffuse the situation, but frenzy had already consumed the flight. The plane eventually flew past its destination and crashed into the ocean, killing 3, and wounding 7 before help could arrive.
The man was convicted to only one month of prison, but was forced to buy each passenger a year supply of tacos from their store or chain of choice, and may serve up to ten years on taco probation, banning him from every Taco Bell and Fajita Grill in the country.
“It sucks for the people that died, but we got free tacos, so it’s pretty cool,” one passenger commented. “I hope this teaches him a lesson on how powerful words can be.”