Luckless Hitchhiker Throws 'Hissy Fit,' Ends Up Arrested

Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Verpre did not have a good time in Punakaiki
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2016 7:19 AM CDT
Updated Sep 24, 2016 1:24 PM CDT

It's admittedly not the optimal place to become stranded: a New Zealand community that just 70 people call home year-round, and one with no grocery store. But after a 27-year-old French hitchhiker found himself unable to thumb a ride south from Punakaiki after four days of trying, police say he essentially lost his mind. Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Verpre (referred to by one local as a "spoiled millennial") allegedly pummeled the "Welcome to Punakaiki" sign with a rock and hurled another road sign into a river. The aforementioned local, Neil Mouat, paints a picture for the Guardian: "He threw an absolute hissy fit; he was lying prone on the road screaming that New Zealanders were a--holes and he couldn't wait to get back to Europe." But getting back may be challenging. reports that after his arrest on Monday, Rault-Verpre on Tuesday pleaded guilty to charges of willful damage in Greymouth District Court—and says he had little choice. Rault-Verpre insists the sign he's being asked to pay $3,000 in reparations for was already old and damaged, but he says his options boiled down to "I stay stuck for six months because there is no judge or I pay $3,000." That apparently led him to proclaim that the country would be better labeled as "Nazi Zealand" and offer up this backhanded compliment to all Americans: "I've been to the worst part of the US. The worst American is not an a------ like a New Zealander." The rub: The Guardian notes Greymouth sits only 27 miles south—a long day's walk. The New Zealand Herald reports Rault-Verpre has a Friday court date in Christchurch. (More weird crimes stories.)

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