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The Mystery of the Most Magnificent Arrest

It's 1990 in Sydney, Australia. A petty criminal named Paul Charles Dozsa gets shoved into a police car. The confrontation, caught on camera, comes to be known as the most magnificent arrest of all time. Resisting police officers, Dozsa first slams the police car door shut, and then with the zeal of a Shakespearean actor, he voices lines that have entered into Aussie folk legend.

“Gentlemen, this is Democracy Manifest. Why did you do this to me? What is the charge? Eating a meal? A succulent Chinese meal? Oh, that's a nice headlock, sir. Ah yes, I see that you know your judo well. Good one. And you, sir, are you waiting to receive my limp penis? Ta Ta, and Farewell.” - Paul Dozsa

The Man

Paul Dozsa was a self-described Hungarian aristocrat who immigrated to Australia in 1965. He was a master at chess but better known as an infamous dine-and-dasher. Dozsa employed various tactics in his attempts to wiggle out of paying restaurant bills, including "forgetting" his wallet at home, faking a heart attack and asking the restaurant to call an ambulance.

In his archived website, Dozsa wrote, "I was born in Hungary Szeged on the 20th of January 1940. I spent most of my life as a research subject of military research...Since 1958, I did not take any medicine, painkiller, or sleeping pill. They have been replaced with harmonizing electromagnetic waves and hypnotic suggestions." It was reported that in a now-defunct 2012 post on OzChess forum, that Dozsa was wanted by police in Hungary, Indonesia and by Interpol. He had also raised the suspicions of New Zealand police while playing chess in Christchurch.

"Dozsa described himself as a Hungarian nobleman and was always very well dressed wearing a cravat etc and gave the impression that he was a person of wealth and owner of a string of high class restaurants," the user explained. "In those days Dozsa stayed in the finest 5 star hotels (under a variety of names) in all Australian cities but very consistently left before paying the bill. Dozsa regularly dined and wined in Australia’s best restaurants."

"His knowledge of food and expensive wines was unique. Of course from time to time he ended up in jail.

Every time he guaranteed to the magistrate that he was extremely sorry for his actions, and complimented the restaurant as serving the best food and wine he had ever had – his stated remorse led to a lighter sentence. "Dozsa considered himself as the most famous person in the world for not paying restaurant bills and he told everyone he met of his achievements."

Reporting in 1995, following yet another arrest, the Canberra Times wrote, "Outside the court, Dozsa put his compulsion to eat, drink and run to the ambition to break what he claimed was the record for doing likewise, which had been achieved 107 times by a British man. 'I was highly encouraged to break that record,’ he said."

The Myth

The magnificent arrest of Dozsa went viral in the early days of youtube. However, those who knew Dozsa best insisted Dozsa is not the man in the clip! Furthermore, Paul Dozsa used various names to add confusion, so it's difficult to tell if each recollection of him refers to the same person.

So who was arrested in the video? For thirty years, heated debate circulated among Dozsa fans. Then, In 2020, a crappy Aussie band, The Chants, dropped a bombshell with their pitiful tune, Dine N Dash. Musical merit aside, to the amazement of Dozsa devotees, their accompanying video ended with a reenactment of the magnificent arrest, and it featured a man who looked and sounded very much like an older version of the eloquent chap in the original video!

Dozsa fans went wild, demanding to know his identity. Then came a teaser from the pinot wine selling Mr Democracy Manifest website. They wrote, "To all you journos who reported this so very, very wrongly. Stay tuned. Jack, the real, legendary man from that video of his arrest we all know, love and use in memes, will tell his story soon."

And then, at last, we heard from this mysterious man, who goes by the allis, Jack K.

“Ladies and gentlemen, do you see me? I am Mr Democracy Manifest, not some Hungarian chess player. It is I...I said, get your hands off my penis." - Jack K

The Legend

Jack K claims his magnificent arrest at a Chinese restaurant all those years ago was a case of mistaken identity. Still, Jack suggests he has paid his dues in prison all the same. Explaining his antics during the famous arrest, Jack. K says, "I wanted them to think I was off my head, a lunatic, so they'd send me to a lunatic asylum, so I could escape from there because it's a bit hard to escape from a city watchhouse. Prisons are pretty secure. Anyway, I've done my time."

Still, hardline Paul Dosza devotees aren’t convinced. They insist Jack K is an impostor—a mere opportunist seeking notoriety and financial gain off the back of another gentleman's magnificent arrest.

So what became of Paul Dosza?

In 2002, Crime Stoppers wrote, "Police would like to hear from anyone who may know the current whereabouts of Paul Charlie Dosza. It is alleged that Mr Dosza was involved in obtaining financial advantage by deception in the East Melboure area in July 2002. He was charged but failed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court and a warrant for his arrest has been issued."

Following this public notice, Dosza died. Some say conveniently, for now even the death of Dosza is doubted.

Rumours suggest Interpol is still seeking his whereabouts.


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