A lawyer's pants reportedly caught fire at a Miami courthouse Wednesday while he was about to deliver the closing arguments in an arson case, the Miami Herald reports.
According to the Herald, attorney Stephen Gutierrez was about to make the case that his client, Claudy Charles, didn't set his car on fire intentionally, like he was accused of doing, but instead the car spontaneously combusted, as cars are wont to do.
Gutierrez started fiddling around in his pocket and smoke began rising from pocket, like something out of a Jim Carey movie, and he quickly ran from the courtroom.
The jury was removed, and Gutierrez came back with a singed pocket but no injuries. He told the judge that the fire was the result of a faulty vape pen battery and that it was not a planned demonstration to get an alleged arsonist out of jail. Planned or accident, Charles was convicted of second-degree arson anyway.
Now Gutierrez is the one under investigation. Apparently the police are looking into the fiery episode and have already seized several frayed e-cigarette batteries from Gutierrez as evidence. If there is enough evidence that this was a pre-planned stunt, Gutierrez could be charged with contempt of court and wind up in some seriously hot water.
Before anyone starts thinking that Gutierrez is some inept prankster, it should be noted that e-cigarettes do have a habit of meeting explosive demises. There have been reports of them exploding in one man's face and blowing a hole in another dude's tongue. Just last month, one caused third-degree burns after exploding in another guy's pocket.
A court awarded an LA woman $1.9 million after she sued the manufacturer of a battery that exploded and burned her while she was a passenger in a car, so maybe Gutierrez would fare better bringing a class-action suit against bum vape pen batteries.