Fact Check

Did Florida Man Kidnap People, 'Forcing Them To Play Yahtzee'?

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of burglary in 2016.

Published Jan 22, 2021

Image Via Screengrab/iFunny
A 37-year-old Florida man who was arrested for kidnapping 27 people and “forcing them to play Yahtzee for 36 hours straight.”

A supposed Tweet shared by CBS News on Jan. 16, 2021, claimed to describe a 37-year-old Florida man who was “arrested for kidnapping 27 people and forcing them to play Yahtzee for 36 hours straight.”

A photograph that accompanied the alleged Tweet showed a red-headed man who appeared to be very sunburned, which our team used to conduct a reverse-image search. The search engine TinEye returned more than 45 results, the oldest of which originally dated back to March 2016. According to the public domain photograph, the featured man was then 22-year-old Brett Gonzales, who was booked on March 15, 2016, on suspicion of burglary of a religious building. A link back to an article published two days later by the news outlet NOLA.com revealed that officials in Louisiana’s Tangipahoa Parish arrested Gonzales, who lived in the town of Tickfaw at the time, after he allegedly burglarized the Little River United Pentecostal Church.

“Detectives said they recovered the stolen property and returned it to the church. The property included a 32-inch flat-screen television, a DVD player, surround-sound speakers and a portable stereo/ CD player, the sheriff's office said,” wrote the publication at the time.

The original author of the meme in question is not yet known, but it made its first appearance on the giph and meme website iFunny by user perfectpics. The account, which had 1,400 followers, also featured other memes and doctored images.

To rule out the possibility that CBS News possibly ran the photograph by mistake, we combed through the publication’s Twitter feed dating back to the Jan. 16 timestamp shown on the meme. A Tweet that matched the widely circulated meme was not found. Snopes also contacted the news outlet for confirmation of any possible association but did not hear back at the time of publication.

Madison Dapcevich is a freelance contributor for Snopes.