Joe Arpaio Arrested Elvis Presley in His Mind, but Never Asked for His Papers
Arrested Elvis? Sure, and I arrested Moses, too...
No doubt you've heard about Sheriff Joe's weekend visit to Stoney's Rockin' Country bar and dance hall in Las Vegas. It was protested by about 200 people, who called him a racist and yelled, "Arpaio go home!" at him.
This guy's name is mud nationwide. Just wait till he's (hopefully) indicted by the feds. He'll be right up there with Rod Blagojavich and Al Capone, infamy-wise.
Arpaio pretends to love the infamy. Wonder if he'll feel the same way in a pair of his own pink handcuffs?
If you're curious why Joe chickened out and didn't run for governor, um, that was it -- fear of indictment. See, if he and his cronies were not in the saddle, the MCSO wouldn't be able to dodge all those nasty subpoenas for financial records, like the one he just blew off from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
But what caught my eye in the media reports over Joe's return to Sin City, was his bull about having arrested Elvis Presley when Joe was a cop there.
According to Vegas gossip columnist Norm Clarke, Arpaio repeated this ancient tall tale during a radio interview in casinoland with KXNT-AM jock Alan Stock.
Clarke reports that, "Arpaio told Stock `my best arrest was Elvis Presley, but I let him go. I took him down to the police station. I guess he conned me out of giving him a ticket. That was in 1957.'"
When Stock wondered if Elvis comped him some tix to The King's Vegas act, Arpaio growled, "No, but he gave 10 Cadillacs to narcotics detectives around the country, but I never got one."
Man, can this geezer hold a grudge.
But this cop-stop of Elvis likely never happened, just as Joe never busted the French Connection, as he claimed in his last book, Joe's Law.
I laid bare all of Joe's shibboleths in the tome back in 2008, of which the Elvis tale was just one:
There's one big fish tale told ad nauseam by Arpaio of how he pulled over Elvis Presley in 1957 when Joe was a rookie cop with the Las Vegas Police Department. Supposedly, Joe stops Elvis for speeding on his motorcycle, a beautiful blonde hanging on to the King from behind.
"Maybe because I was young (as was Presley), I let him talk me out of giving him a ticket," Joe related. Presley then supposedly follows Joe into the station house where he signs autographs for Joe's fellow officers. Elvis even asks the cops if their garage can tune up his bike.
Great story, eh? Of course, because Elvis didn't get a ticket, there's no paper trail. And though Arpaio's fellow cops allegedly got autographs from the King, Arpaio didn't. When asked at the Scottsdale book-signing if he got a photo or an autograph from Elvis, he responded testily, "Why did I need his? He should've asked me for my autograph."
Guess Presley didn't know that Joe would one day be an infamous sheriff.
True enough. Elvis liked cops, and Elvis scholar Peter Guralnick's Elvis Day by Day, which documents Elvis' daily doings, year by year, does pinpoint Elvis spending time in Vegas in 1957. Though, as you might expect, it doesn't say anything about Elvis meeting a young cop named Joe Arpaio.
It is rather convenient no one had a camera back then to snap a pic of Arpaio and Presley, dontcha think?
Of course, Arpaio prevaricates about far more important things. But his small fabulisms give you a little insight on the megalomania and self-aggrandizement that marks the man in all other matters.