Florida Man Punches ATM For Giving Him Too Much Money

January 3, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

One of the great memes of recent years was Florida Man, “the world’s worst superhero.” So named for the large quantity of bizarre news stories with the template “Florida Man (fill in the blank),” the meme covered everything from attempting to use a taco as a form of identification to calling 911 repeatedly over the size of a restaurant’s clams. Now, mobile payments has its own Florida Man story thanks to Michael John Oleksik, who punched an ATM in Cocoa for the most baffling reason.

Oleksik is, at last report, facing charges of criminal mischief over reports that the Wells Fargo ATM he was using was simply giving him too much money. In a bid to stop the ATM’s unauthorized excess generosity, Oleksik, according to reports, punched the ATM’s touchscreen, causing a reported $5,000 in damage.

Oleksik was said to have punched the ATM in a fit of anger, as he was under something of a schedule crunch in that he was trying to get to work. This unexpected wrinkle in his day left him unsure about what to do. So rather than address the issue, he got mad and slugged the ATM, which likely didn’t much care being an inanimate object.

Oleksik subsequently called the bank not long after the punch-out occurred, reports noted, and confessed to the deed to a bank manager. Taken into custody on December 21, and released the same day on a $2,000 bond, Wells Fargo asked the Cocoa Police Department to press charges accordingly.

Naturally, no one recommends punching a malfunctioning device as a reasonable or worthwhile way to work out a problem with said device. Sure, there was a time when “percussive maintenance”, as it was known, was a good way to right a rolling picture on a television, or get a computer to work, or even allow an engine to slip back into smoother operations. Those days are long since gone, and now, we have procedures in place to address malfunctions. Interestingly, if he hadn’t punched the screen and notified the bank later, there likely wouldn’t have been a problem at all.

So, while mobile payments systems have found their way into the great and mysterious annals of the Florida Man legacy, it’s a legacy we might rather have stayed out of.