Usually, the consequences of a bad joke are some groans from loved ones. While dad jokes have taken flight with many comedians and paternal figures, most are forgotten faster than the joke is told. Nobody gets shot.
However, adding social media to the equation seems to up the ante. As does having a camera on the self-described comedian. Trying to go viral on social media leads to some dangerous stunts. Some internet famous people will go to extremes for the likes and shares.
Christopher Ransom is one of those people. He calls himself a “shock value” comic. Police say he is a serial robber and cop killer. And they are intent on keeping him locked up.
Cell Phone Hold-up
Ransom held up a Queens area T-Mobile store. He did this with the help of his friend and alleged cameraman, Jared Freeman. According to the “comedian,” the hold-up was part of a video he was putting together for his social media accounts.
Making people wonder if it was a joke. Ransom waved a fake gun around and forced the employees into the backroom. While he allegedly returned the money from this instance, there was another T-Mobile hold-up where Ransom and Freeman texted about splitting the money from that robbery.
Employees from the T-Mobile where Ransom held them up say they cannot talk about what happened. They also said they would rather forget about the situation altogether.
Ransom, though, is all too happy to talk about it. He swears this was nothing more than a stunt for his channels.
“It was a prank gone horribly wrong, I never meant to hurt anyone or rob anyone.”
Death Not A Prank
Ransom claims he handed the money back to the T-Mobile employees and handed them his business card. One of the employees allegedly told the social media “star” that the prank wasn’t funny. What happened next took the unfunny joke to a tragic new level.
He walked out of the T-Mobile store, still waving a replica of a colt gun. While the weapon could not be fired, police took no chances. There was a hail of bullets; two officers were shot in friendly fire. Detective Brian Simonsen was killed, while his partner Sergeant Matthew Gorman was wounded. Ransom swears he didn’t know how this was going to play out.
“I’m not a monster, I didn’t know what was going to happen that night.”
Ransom and Freeman were both charged with murder, manslaughter, assault, and robbery. While they could not fire their firearm, a New York law states that someone who commits a felony is responsible for any deaths resulting from the crime.
Ransom himself was shot eight times in the confrontation. Freeman allegedly got away and was picked up later in connection with this case.
Death By Cop
Ken Finkelman of Legal Aid, Ransom’s lawyer, believes his client was trying to be killed. He told The New York Daily News that Ransom is mentally ill. According to the newspaper, Finkleman told them he believes the shock comic may have been trying to commit suicide by cop.
Lending credence to his theory is Ransom’s history with the NYPD. In September 2016, he went to the 71st precinct in Crown Heights. He only wore his underwear and a red towel wrapped around his neck like a cape.
Seemingly unaware of the gravity of his case, Ransom also asked a Daily News reporter if he was going to be on the front page. He is eager to resume his career. One of the claims he has made is that he is writing a memoir about his life thus far and promises it will be a bestseller.
Fears of Ransom contracting coronavirus led lawyers to ask for him to be released from Riker’s Island. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder denied the request. He said Legal Aid had failed to prove the incarceration was illegal or unconstitutional. In his two page decision, the judge wrote: “Under these circumstances, petitioners have not shown deliberate indifference to their safety and medical needs by the Department of Correction during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the petition is dismissed.”
Ransom says he is not guilty, and the cops who fired their weapons should be the ones on trial. He is currently awaiting trial, which was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.