In a weird, if slightly funny story from Florida, a homeless man found his way into a soccer stadium which was not in use and occupied a luxury suite for two weeks. He not only reveled in the comfort of the suite but also enjoyed the food and drinks that were stored in the concession stores of the complex. The 39-year old man also took some of the merchandise of the home team that he found.
Daniel Albert Neja made full use of the abnormal conditions prevailing in the US, and around the world, which has left many sports stadiums unoccupied and, in this case, largely unattended. He was busted last Sunday after having spent, what must have been, two very comfortable weeks.
The homeless intruder really made full use of his time inside the sports facility. According to reports, he consumed alcohol worth $250 dollars. The clothes he stole from the merchandise stores are worth $1,034. His stay lasted from July 26 to August 9. At the time of his discovery, he was wearing the clothes he had stolen - the team's merchandise.
"A cleaning crew went into one of these suites that no one had gone into for some time due to COVID-19 and noticed there were blankets and shaving cream and a razor," a spokesperson for the local police department told a news channel.
What is not known is how Neja managed to enter the AI Lang stadium and the suite. As per some reports, he got himself mixed up with the cleaning staff to get inside. When the unwanted guest was discovered by the staff of the stadium, they called the police who took him into custody despite his protestations. The intruder is now charged with burglary and resisting arrest. With the value of the bail bond set at $5,150, he is not going to find his way out of jail before the end of the trial.
The stadium where Neja enjoyed himself is the home field of Tampa Bay Rowdies, who play in the USL Championship, the second-tier tournament in the US football scene. After the COVID-19 enforced halt to all sporting facilities, the team resumed its activities in July. With the pandemic still raging across the country, the number of fans in the stadium has been kept very low. Perhaps this left a hole in the stadium's upkeep which the intruder was able to make use of.