Thomas Benjamin Wright: East Texas Cop's Fateful Econo Lodge Breakfast

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In the predawn hours of Wednesday morning, 34-year-old Thomas Benjamin Wright was indisputably a long way from home, apparently very hungry and allegedly drunk off his ass. And then the Pineland cop and Porter resident embarked on several bad ideas in a row.

Bad Idea #1: At 4:30 a.m., he slipped into the lobby of the Jasper Econo Lodge and helped himself to that culinary pleasure palace's continental breakfast bar without authorization.

Bad Idea #2: When staff confronted him, Wright kinda played the "Do you know who I am?" card, bragging that he was a cop in the nearby hamlet of Pineland (population: 980). Apparently, even those seemingly impeccable credentials failed to woo the staff. Instead of bestowing upon Wright the gift of free breakfast, they called police. Meanwhile, Wright had already launched into...

...Bad Idea #3: He got in his car and took off. Jasper cops gave pursuit, and later said that Wright was hauling ass and failing to maintain his lane. And once he was pulled over, he also failed a battery of sobriety tests. As of this writing, he's in the Jasper pokey, facing a DWI charge and perhaps the end of his career as a Pineland cop.

Once again, we reiterate: all this for an Econo Lodge continental breakfast. And we know what you're thinking: maybe he did it all for the doughnuts. Not so. Ever your diligent reporter, Hair Balls called this Econo Lodge, and the manager told us that the bill of fare consisted of "coffee and muffins."

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