BROWARD COUNTY, Fl. - It's a miracle! Or not.
Carl Funk, 58, of Hallandale Beach, was released from the North Broward Detention Center in Pompano Beach on Friday the 13th.
Funk appeared before Broward Judge John "Jay" Hurley, via a jailhouse-courtroom video link, on a trespassing and open-container warrant dating to 2005.
Two deputies helped Funk to a chair, where he sat during the hearing. Funk explained that he needed a wheelchair and was bedridden.
"I am disabled and it's really a problem for me to move around," he said. "I really need to be in my bed and that's where I'll be for the rest of my life."
The judge read from the police report that stated Funk was trespassing on private property on South Ocean Drive.
"It didn't look like you were in bed at that time," Hurley said.
Funk explained that two men carried him out of his home to a neighbor's property, triggering the trespassing violation.
"I was [dragged] out by two unknown people," Funk said.
He had no recollection of holding an open container of alcohol.
"I plead not guilty, Your Honor, it wasn't in my hand," he said.
But Hurley interrupted Funk.
"Sir, it was seven years ago," he said. "How do you remember where it was?"
A sympathetic Hurley set bond at $100 but Funk said he could not afford it.
"Your honor, I have limited funding," he said.
So the judge offered Funk a six-month payment plan for $50 and Funk accepted it in exchange for a guilty plea.
"Sir, we are defendant-friendly in this courtroom," the judge joked. "Good luck, Funk."
And with that, Funk stood up and walked away.
The courtroom erupted in laughter and the judge looked up to see Funk was gone from the video monitor.
He asked a jail deputy how the disabled defendant departed so quickly; the deputy explained Funk had used a walker that could not be seen on camera.
Raising both hands, Judge Hurley declared, "He's been cured."
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