As National Selfie Day looms Thursday, a cautionary tale from Texas:
A 38-year-old man in Galveston fell off a bridge Friday and into the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, according to the Galveston County Daily News. He told police he fell off the Galveston Causeway bridge connecting the mainland to Galveston Island in a botched attempt at taking a selfie.
The good news is, Billy Gerard Pettice survived what KHOU reported was about a 40-foot fall after a boater in the West Bay came to his aid. The causeway's highest point is 73 feet.
The bad news?
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While Pettice was recovering from several broken ribs at a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital, the Galveston police officers who responded to the scene ran his background information, according to a separate report from the Daily News.
Jail records indicate he had a warrant out for his arrest in Louisiana, for robbery. Pettice was arrested as a fugitive from justice on Sunday.
Galveston Police Capt. Joshua Schirard told the Daily News that Pettice would be extradited to Louisiana, but as of Wednesday morning, Pettice was still listed in the Galveston County Jail roster. As an alleged fugitive, bail was denied.
The barrier on the side of the causeway, the southernmost stretch of Interstate 45, is about waist-high.
National Selfie Day was first established in 2014 in Arlington, Texas, about 300 miles to the northwest from Pettice's fall, before being adopted nationally, according to nationalselfieday.net. While many see selfies as cute, harmless indulgences that create memories, some psychologists now believe that people who take six or more selfies per day may suffer from a genuine mental illness.
One Charlotte Observer guest columnist even said Tuesday that our selfie-obsessed culture could lead to the "collapse of civilization."
It all makes one wonder where Pettice stands on selfie-taking after his incident in Galveston.