Toronto Police Const. Adam Josephs appears to take himself and his job seriously. Very, very, very seriously. He threatened a protester with assault charges for blowing bubbles. And now he's suing a YouTube commenter for an 11-word wisecrack.
A video of Josephs getting comically tough with a young G20 protester (above) became a viral hit. "If the bubble touches me, you're going to be arrested for assault," Josephs told the protester. The officer was promptly dubbed "Officer Bubbles" and became the target of a series of YouTube parody cartoons of the same name. Joseph then filed a $1.2 million defamation lawsuit and is seeking to legally compel Google to revel the identity of the parody cartoon's creator, plus the identities of 24 people who commented on it. That'll show them you're not a humorless stick in the mud who wields that law against the pettiest of transgressions! (Needless to say, the parody cartoons are no longer on YouTube.)
One of the sued commenters, Todd Mara aka "Pussymcfats," has now uncloaked himself in the Toronto Star to give Josephs a piece of his mind. Mara's YouTube comment read, in full, "officer bubbles probably looks at himself in the mirror a lot." Heh. He's not backing down:
I mentioned, according to what I saw in the video, that he's an egomaniac. I stand by what I did. I thought he was out of line.
...I don't know why this guy wants to draw more attention to himself. I can't figure it out. It's ridiculous.
Mara (above, right) lives in Hamilton, Ontario, is 33 and married with two kids. He said he hasn't used YouTube for months and had forgotten about the comment. In other words, the Josephs parody had blown over, as far as he was concerned, before the cop committed an unwitting act of self parody with his suit.
Joseph's lawyer, meanwhile, countered that the comments were helping to incite "violent threats" against the officer. So maybe sue the people making the threats then? Just a thought, Officer Bubbles. A nice, respectful, non defamatory thought.