The number one rule of South Beach: Don't assume anything is real. That was the first of many dumb mistakes Daniel Palmer made last week when he snatched a gold chain.
This past April 30, Palmer approached a group of friends standing near 11th Avenue and Ocean Drive and pulled out a gun. He grabbed one man's gold chain and fled on foot. That should have been Palmer's final move, but the mugger quickly discovered that his ill-gotten loot was actually fool's gold.
So a couple of minutes later, Palmer, this time driving a white Mercedes-Benz, returned to the group of men to complain that the gold chain was fake.
Come on, buddy. Unless you're pulling off an elaborately planned Ocean's Eleven-style gold heist, you take what you get. You can't blame the victim for your own incompetence. Complaining about authenticity? Palmer is like South Beach's answer to Holden Caulfield, and he can't stand phonies.
Palmer took off in his Benz, but the victim was able to flag down a nearby police officer, who gave chase. Palmer refused to pull over. Perhaps the heist had left him in a state of existential crisis in which he wasn't sure what was real and what was fake and what was worth running from or what was worth surrendering for. Perhaps he was busy contemplating the meaning of existence. Are morals absolute things? Why allow people to misrepresent the materials that make up their jewelry but not for him to take it? If that gold wasn't real, was he even real? Is anything real? Or are we all just living in a dream world of beings far more evolved than we can even comprehend? Wouldn't that be crazy?
Or maybe he's just an idiot, because he led police on an erratic chase that finally ended on the MacArthur Causeway near Bridge Road.
The charges Palmer now faces are indeed real and include armed robbery, fleeing and eluding police, and reckless driving.
Palmer was not granted bond and is still in custody at Metro West Detention Center, where he'll have plenty of time to contemplate authenticity.
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