Is your pride worth $450? That's how much one Browns fan earned from his friends for sticking his head into a bucket of human piss, before Cleveland's Week 6 game last month. He was none the worse for wear, and the Browns won, so it seemed like the man identified only as "Phil" wouldn't regret his decision.
It turns out "Phil" is Patrolman Phil Croucher, a 16-year veteran of the Mentor, Ohio, police department. He's been suspended for two days and will have to complete an alcohol evaluation. His nine buddies, each of whom kicked in $50 for the urine dunking? They're cops too, and they've received official reprimands.
The News-Herald has the police department memo (also embedded below), detailing interviews with the officers involved. It sheds light on how a presumably responsible man went from not-pee-soaked to totally pee-soaked.
"He said they were all standing around talking when the people in the lot next to them were disassembling a makeshift urinal they constructed. This consisted of a tee-pee type tent that contained a 5 gallon bucket for people to urinate in. The bucket was filled with urine. Someone in the MPD group dared anyone to stick their head in it for an undetermined amount of cash. During the ensuing exchanges, Croucher said he'd do it for $50 a guy... Ptl. Bell did not not tape it or take any video, nor did he post anything on Facebook or the internet. He said he did not take part in egging him on or the countdown. He says the countdown was started by someone unknown to them. When I asked him if he thought this was wrong, he said it was disgusting but not wrong."
"[Ptl.] Mackey said he was standing next to Lt. Molnar and they were both yelling for him not to do it. He didn't think this was necessarily wrong, but it was a joke taken too far. He was asked if he thought at the time that this might appear on the internet. He stated that at one point, he thought it could turn up on Youtube because he heard someone in the crowd day "this is going to be Youtube gold."
"[Ptl. Croucher] said he went back and forth in his mind whether he was going to do it or not. However, he was never coerced by anyone. And then, when the countdown began, he felt he had to go through with it. He said money was the biggest factor in him doing it. He said he did it for the money. He never thought of the possibility of the incident being on the internet."
In the end, the officers' punishment is minor, but still probably harsher that it could have been for a dare that didn't hurt anyone. It wouldn't have even become an issue had a couple of "concerned citizens" not alerted the local news.
Croucher gets to keep his money—he earned it. But beyond the embarrassment of his name and the video being out there, he has to live with the knowledge that not only is he the guy who stuck his head in a bucket of urine, but he was the lowest bidder too. From the police department's interviews:
"Someone said he would probably do it for $100 a guy, and then Ptl. Croucher said he'd do it for $50 a guy."