Frozen Frank was one of my clients at the The Little House On the Pavement. He was a bit younger than most of our clients and thought he was quite the ladies’ man. This tale begins with Frank deciding he wanted to sneak out one night to meet his girlfriend.
Frank was assigned to one of the second floor rooms above the porch that looked out onto the street. We routinely had clients crawl out the window of that room to sit on the porch roof in nice weather. The porch continued around to the side of the house where , about 8 feet away there was a free-standing fire escape built to meet the need for multiple exits from the third floor rooms.
Frank decided he was going to go out the window, walk around to the side of the house, jump from the roof of the porch to the fire escape, and head out for a little night rendezvous with his girlfriend. He actually put a fair amount of work into it, as he took the time to put pillows and clothes under his blanket to look like a sleeping body, and he arranged for one of his roommates to distract me in another part of the house.
Frank’s luck was, however, as bad as ever that night. He got out the window OK, but in the process of shuffling around on the roof getting set to jump to the fire escape, he managed to wake Bob the Burglar, who was in the room next to that end of the porch. Bob, being the genius that he was, immediately came to the conclusion that this halfway house full of ex-felons, with all of the lights on the first floor on all night, was being burgled. So, while Frank was jumping to the fire escape, Bob was downstairs calling the police to report a burglary in progress.
Well, Frank missed the fire escape, fell into some thorn bushes and then onto the sidewalk. When the police and I found him, he was lying on the sidewalk with multiple punctures and scratches and a broken tailbone.
Eventually Frank was released from the halfway house onto regular probation. Several weeks after his release, his probation officer called me to tell me that Frank had been arrested for shoplifting. He had been observed by an employee stuffing items under his coat and in his pants in a grocery store. When he was arrested, the police discovered that one of the items he had stuffed in his pants was a package of frozen meat. Apparently the combination of body heat, moisture, frozen meat and lack of underwear caused the meat to freeze to his “privates”. There was no mention in the arrest report of what measures were used to recover the evidence.
A few years later I had a friend who had just completed his Masters degree in Social Work. He invited me to attend a graduation party with some of his fellow graduates. At the party we were all sitting around the fire swapping stories and I told the Frozen Frank story. As I finished, one of the women there said, “Oh, my god! I know that case.” She had done an internship in the local District Attorney’s office and had processed some of the paperwork on the case. She told us, “There was no restitution ordered in that case because the store recovered all of the merchandise…”