Jail has been a real education for habitual offender Todd Bontrager. "I went to jail on purpose, to study," he told a judge in Florida on Thursday. He was promptly given the opportunity to further advance his curriculum.
Bontrager, 47, was at a first appearance hearing to answer a charge of trespassing, in which he was accused of trying doors at a Fort Lauderdale church. Bontrager, a defendant with a history of stealing and convictions dating back to 2001, and an open charge of felony theft pending, wanted to make one thing clear to County Judge John "Jay" Hurley.
"All my arrests were intentional, just to study," the self-proclaimed psychology student said. "I went to jail on purpose to study. I came here on purpose. I waited for the police. I waited for the police on all my arrests. I went to jail on purpose, for 13 years of my life."
"You went to prison on purpose?" asked an incredulous Hurley.
"Incarceration improves your concentration abilities," came the reply.
Hurley then ordered Bontrager held on $1,000 bond on the trespass charge, but revoked bond on the open theft count, effectively keeping him behind bars.
"I'm going to keep you in jail so you can further concentrate," he said.
Bontrager was upset. "You're not gonna let me go?" he asked.
"You're going to have plenty of time to concentrate on this case," the judge replied.
You can see video of Mr Bontrager's court appearance here or here.