A St. Petersburg man said the letter “o” from a Hooters sign blew off the wall and landed on his foot, leaving him with injuries. But video of the incident tells another story.
According to an affidavit, John Bradley Kane, 55, was arrested for insurance fraud Friday after deputies said he lied to investigators about an incident outside the Hooters restaurant located at 192 Johns Pass Boardwalk West in Madeira Beach.
In November, Kane retained an attorney to file an insurance claim against Hooters’ insurer, Liberty Mutual after he claimed he was struck in the foot by an “o” from a Hooters sign that had blown off the wall during Hurricane Irma. Kane said he should be reimbursed $50,000 for treatment and demanded $175,000 in total to settle the injury claim, the affidavit states.
But according to the manager, Kane and some friends entered the store with the fallen sign and asked for food and drinks in exchange for the stolen “o.” When employees did not cave to their demands, they left the store with the sign.
The manager showed detectives surveillance video that shows the sign fall onto the sidewalk without hitting anyone. The “o” remained in the same spot until a man identified as Kane picked it up and moved it to the rear door of the restaurant. He walked away, then returned a short time later to steal it. The manager said the man in the video was the same man who tried to trade the sign for food and drinks, according to the affidavit. News Channel 8 does not have the video in question.
After it was determined he lied about the incident, detectives arrested Kane for insurance fraud less than $20,000.
He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and released on a $5,000 bond.