On Monday, Aaron Siebers limped into his job at a Blockbuster (BBI) video store in Edgewater, Colo. Bleeding from a deep stab wound in his lower leg and superficial cuts on his face and body, he claimed that he had been assaulted by three "skinheads or hispanic males" who were "dressed in black."
Local law enforcement agencies sprang into action. Five area police and sheriffs' departments sent units to the scene and scoured the neighborhood in search of evidence. Deploying K-9 units and setting up a perimeter to catch potential suspects, they soon discovered that the local Target, near the scene of the assault, had a battery of surveillance cameras.
While the police were establishing a perimeter and checking Target's footage, Siebers received medical treatment, including multiple stitches, at nearby Saint Anthony Central Hospital. When he was released, police detectives questioned him about the crime and his repeatedly shifting story. Ultimately, they revealed what they had learned from Target's security cameras: The attack hadn't actually occurred.
Faced with the evidence, Siebers crumbled, admitting that he had stabbed himself. Pressed for a reason, he admitted that, earlier in the day, he had torn his uniform pants while skateboarding. Worried about his boss' response if he showed up with a damaged uniform, he chose instead to stab himself. Siebers was quickly arrested and charged with filing a false report and obstructing an officer, both of which are misdemeanors.
While it's easy to question Siebers' methods -- not to mention his sanity -- it's also worth remembering that the unemployment rate is rapidly nearing 10 percent. Faced with a potential cause for termination, he seems to have come up with a creative -- if unhealthy -- method of staying out of the unemployment line.
Unfortunately, neither Siebers nor Blockbuster is talking to the press, so we can't conclusively determine why he decided to stab himself, go to the hospital and miss a night of work instead of just buying a fresh pair of khakis. Then again, given that the hourly wage for a Blockbuster customer service representative hovers in the $8 range, Siebers' route may not have been as bizarre as it seems.
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