As anyone who’s ever accidentally chomped down on a splinter of chicken bone or eaten a bad bit shellfish will tell you, food can do some serious damage. Since all kitchens are full of a variety of heavy, pointy, slicey objects, dinner’s potential as a weapon is often underrated and overlooked. But, to the well-trained eye, any average refrigerator can present as a Jason Bourne-style custom armoury - complete with everything you’d ever need to dispose of an enemy.
Pizza is the perfect example. To the average layperson, a box of fluffy dough, gooey cheese and tart tomato might just look like dinner. But, to a man who understands the subtle arts of edible warfare, a takeaway from Domino’s is basically like receiving an illegal shipment of firearms. No one proves this point better than the armed, dangerous and probably still hungry Robert Houston of Tampa, Florida.
It was reported this week that, on January 4th, Houston was arrested after allegedly assaulting his father with slices of takeaway pizza - plastering his face and slapping him with slices, all whilst verbally castigating him. According to the official police report, Houston was discovered waiting for officers outside his home and, when approached, “...turned around, putting his hands behind his back,” saying he knew he was going to jail. He had clearly been expecting Hawaiian Five-0 for some time.
It emerged during a subsequent police interview that Houston’s pepperoni passion was first roused when his father had encountered him earlier that night as he was walking his dogs, “sitting on the porch, waiting for pizza.” After the soon-to-be victim entered his home, Houston quickly followed with his freshly delivered box, his heart clearly turned towards violence. No sooner had his dad sat down in his armchair, when Houston leapt towards him and, "threw pizza at his dad’s face striking him with.”
Being struck repeatedly with slices of hot pizza might sound like some people’s idea of a good time, but to the victim it was no laughing matter. As the arresting officer noted in his report, “I observed pizza slices on the chair (on which) the victim was sitting as well as chunks of cheese and sauce all over the place.” This scene of desolation prompted the officer to “place the defendant under arrest for domestic battery and transport him to Land O’ Lakes Detention Center (sic).” Houston was scheduled to appear in court on January 4th to answer for his actions.
If the circumstances of the attack sound slightly unusual, the supposed motive is downright bizarre. Houston told police that the attack had been prompted “due to (Houston) being mad his dad help(ing) give birth to him.” As weak an excuse as this sounds, it was later corroborated by other family members and witnesses. Whatever the truth of this act of pizza violence, this story should serve as a pertinent reminder that, in the hands of the right adversary, there are very few limitations on what can and can’t be used as a weapon.