Alabama fans catch man who sold fake tickets to championship game


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Three brothers from Louisiana pulled a fast one on a man they say sold them fake tickets to root for Alabama during the national championship game against Clemson.

The Tampa Bay Times says the brothers called police to tell them a scalper had sold them two counterfeit tickets to the game — at $1,000 apiece. The brothers say they did not care about the money, but didn’t want to let criminals ruin anyone else’s expectation of enjoying the championship match-up.

So they pulled a bit of fakery themselves, using a different email and phone number to arrange a second purchase from the man, later identified as Joseph Steven Escalera.

The brothers say Escalera agreed to meet one of them the next day to sell a ticket to Monday night’s game hours before kickoff. As they began the transaction, the other two brothers came up from behind, pinning Escalera to a chair and taking his shoes, socks and six game tickets tucked inside his waistband.

Police spokesman Steven Hegarty says police arrested seven people, including Escalera, for selling fake tickets. Escalera was arrested on grand theft and fraudulent possession of admission tickets. No attorney was listed on jail records.

The brothers say their victory could only have gone better if Alabama had won the championship title – but you can’t win every battle.

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