"Half the people down here know me as 'the Hatman,'" Shahdaroba Rodd says. "The other half know me as 'the Naked Guy.'"
Key West resident Rodd likes to bike around town wearing nothing but a G-string and a homemade stovepipe hat. He's something of a legend at Fantasy Fest, the weirdo town's annual convention of drunk-swinger debauchery. Predictably, Key West cops consistently ticket and arrest him.
But Rodd is one tenacious son of a bitch, and his grasp of the law is better than you might expect from a dude who lives in a 1999 Dodge van. In fact, despite scores of arrests, Rodd seems to have gotten off every time while acting as his own attorney. And now he has written a book to share his fighting-the-Man magic with the rest of us.
Last month, he also filed a lawsuit — representing himself, of course — alleging the City of Key West and two police officers made false statements while booking him. Key West town spokesperson Alyson Crean declined to comment about the suit.
The 65-year-old Michigan native, born Rod Macdonald, bounced around Florida in his van before falling in love with Fantasy Fest in 1995.
In 2001, Rodd was ticketed for biking without a light and not having a current address on his license. He fought the tickets in court, and after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation proved the officer had wrongly accused Rodd, he filed a federal suit against the cop. The suit was dismissed, but Rodd figures he came out a winner: The feds paid him $864 in expenses and a per diem to testify as a witness.
In April 2009, he was ticketed for biking without a light — even though his bicycle was covered in lit Christmas tree bulbs. He was then arrested for biking under the influence and disorderly conduct, but he got those charges tossed because police mistakenly hit him with the statute for boating under the influence. Six months later, he was arrested for indecent exposure — while wearing only a loincloth — and refusing a Breathalyzer test.
Again, dismissed. Rodd successfully argued that refusing a breath test is a crime only when driving a motor vehicle.
He's now representing himself in the suit accusing KWPD officers Brian Leahy and Luis Sanchez of making false statements, official misconduct, and other charges. "There were 28 state law violations," Rodd claims, "some of which were third-degree felonies."
Want some of Rodd's shit-disturbing wisdom? Buy his Amazon Kindle eBook, Be a Legal Pain-in-the-Ass & Beat Your DUI (or Other Criminal Charge).
Key West's butt-baring Johnnie Cochran could use the $9.99. He lives on $573 in monthly social security checks.