Video store late-return fees used to be an occupational hazard for the forgetful cineaste in the days when every neighbourhood boasted its own rental outlet. But one US film fan got an uncomfortably retro shock when she was jailed for failing to return a Jennifer Lopez movie rented more than nine years previously.
Kayla Michelle Finley spent the night behind bars on Thursday evening despite having earlier arrived at a police station in Pickens, South Carolina, to report a crime. Charitable officers noticed there was a warrant out for her arrest relating to the rental of the critically-lampooned 2005 comedy Monster-in-Law. They arrested Finley and charged her with petty larceny.
According to the authorities, Finley was sent several letters by Dalton Video in 2005, and later a certified warrant. The film fan counters that she had no intention of keeping the video, and simply forgot about it after moving away from the state.
"I'm no criminal, but Pickens county sheriffs office sure made me feel like I was," she later wrote on the Facebook page for local TV station Fox Carolina News, which broke the story. "I went to the police station to press charges of harassment and stalking. Not once did I ever receive anything regarding this, if I had it would have been taken care of immediately. Some of you need to quit judging like you are. This is a bogus charge and everyone knows it."
Rival local news station WYFF said Finley was released on Friday morning after a judge issued a $2,000 personal recognisance bond.
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