A Florida man is behind bars after he engaged in a three-day standoff with U.S. Coast Guard officials – from the inside of a giant hamster wheel in the Atlantic Ocean.
Reza Baluchi was crossing the Atlantic in his homemade hamster wheel on August 26th when he was intercepted by a Coast Guard cutter, officials say. “Based on the condition of the vessel – which was afloat as a result of wiring and buoys – USCG officers determined Baluchi was conducting a manifestly unsafe voyage,” reads a complaint filed by the agency in U.S. District Court. However, when officers told Baluchi he’d have to abandon his journey, he threatened to kill himself with a 12-inch knife if anyone approached his makeshift vessel, the complaint reveals. He also claimed to have a bomb with him, per the Coast Guard.
After three days of negotiations, Baluchi finally admitted he didn’t have a bomb with him and he disembarked. It turns out it wasn’t Baluchi’s first scrape with the Coast Guard; his attempts to make the journey in 2014, 2016 and 2021 were all thwarted by Coast Guard officers.