Man arrested, cuffed after using $2 bills

A man trying to pay a fee using $2 bills was arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail after clerks at a Best Buy store questioned the currency’s legitimacy and called police.

According to an account in the Baltimore Sun, 57-year-old Mike Bolesta was shocked to find himself taken to the BaA man trying to pay a fee using $2 bills was arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail after clerks at a Best Buy store questioned the currency’s legitimacy and called police.

According to an account in the Baltimore Sun, 57-year-old Mike Bolesta was shocked to find himself taken to the Baltimore County lockup in Cockeysville, Md., where he was handcuffed to a pole for three hours while the U.S. Secret Service was called to weigh in on the case.

Bolesta told the Sun: “I am 6 feet 5 inches tall, and I felt like 8 inches high. To be handcuffed, to have all those people looking on, to be cuffed to a pole – and to know you haven’t done anything wrong. And me, with a brother, Joe, who spent 33 years on the city police force. It was humiliating.”

After Best Buy personnel reportedly told Bolesta he would not be charged for the installation of a stereo in his son’s car, he received a call from the store saying it was in fact charging him the fee. As a means of protest, Bolesta decided to pay the $114 bill using 57 crisp, new $2 bills.

Read full story here

I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.


  1. Ed

    April 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Mistake #1 – Buying anything at Best Buy – Return Policy includes a Restocking Fee on ANY returns.
    Mistaks #2 – As soon as they starting questioning legitimate currency, I would have called the police myself.

    How stupid are the police for arresting this man for using legitimate currency?

  2. Vance

    April 9, 2011 at 11:46 pm


    Despite what the idiot reports MIGHT of said or inferred, Mr. Bolesta was NOT arrested. He was detained pending the confirmation of the legality of the money. It’s not a uncommon occurrence. Ever been stopped by the police? It’s basically the same thing. The reason he was handcuffed is simple, his size. At 6’5″ he is an imposing physical threat. Police are people too, they have families that they want to go home to and sadly their is no mark on the people that are cop killers vs. the rest of us. The article doesn’t mention it, but it is HEAVILY inferred that Mr. Bolesta was / is kind of a douche and I’m sure his attitude got him in more trouble that he needed to be in.

  3. Jesse

    April 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

    They had to call the secret service? Really?

  4. Andy

    April 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    @Ed: Really fucking stupid. Who doesn’t know about the $2 bill? They even did a new circulation recently if i’m not mistaken. This is just total BS.

  5. Anonymous

    April 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Should be able to make a pretty penny on the false arrest suit and if Best Buy does not make a healthy compensation offer…

  6. Ron

    April 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Say Ed, you might want to get your facts straight as Best Buy discontinued re-stocking fees last fall.


    April 11, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Agree w/Mistake #1. Re: #2 … although I believe most lawyers need to be executed there are times when they can come in handy. If he plays this right a wrongful arrest pay out by the local idiots errr police (and I used to be one) should take care of his retirement.

  8. Doug

    April 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Just because the Clerk is stupid, that does not mean that he has a right to tarnish another mans life. The clerk should be fired. The police that arrested him should be fired as well since they were out of touch reality and who knows how much more damage they could inflect on society if they are allowed to continue with their authority. We have too many STUPID people running around and no way to stop them.

  9. JC

    April 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Pay them with $2 bills? I would have been paying them with pennies after that.

  10. Chris

    April 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm


  11. Speaking IMHO

    April 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Vance, you should lookup detained and arrested

    Detained: to hold or keep in or as if in custody
    Arrested: to take or keep in custody by authority of law

    See the key difference?

  12. pst314

    April 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Mistake #3: Believing any promise made by a Best Buy employee.

  13. ct

    April 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    What about false imprisonment?

  14. anthony

    July 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    sweet! news from six years ago.

  15. Skylar Harrington

    January 22, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Idiots. Who hasn’t heard of the 2 dollar bill? If I was him, I would sue.

  16. Anonymous

    February 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Hey, why not counterfeit pennies? Oh, I forgot, because it would cost you a nickel each. Nobody in the history of counterfeiting has done 2 dollar bills. Stupid like a fox.

  17. David RS

    September 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    The Two Dollar Bill is the most beautiful form of currency ever minted in U.S. currency. When I get them in change, I try and keep them in my wallet as long as possible before using them. Shame on Best Buy.

  18. John

    February 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm


    Police are not people. They are pieces of shit who abuse their power.


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