Czech police catch man in South Bohemia walking a stuffed dog in attempt to skirt curfew

Police in České Budějovice found the man in the city’s main square while on patrol to enforce the lockdown

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 02.11.2020 14:00 (updated on 02.11.2020)

The restrictions on movement in the Czech Republic after 9 p.m. have caused some people to be a little creative. One exception that allows people out of the house at night is walking a dog, but not everybody has one.

That didn’t stop a man in České Budějovice, South Bohemia. He was caught by local police “walking” a toy stuffed dog in the city center at náměstí Přemysla Otakara II. A Czech News crew was following the police to document them dealing with curfew violations and captured the incident. Images has since gone viral over social media.

A man caught walking a toy dog / via Czech Television
A man caught walking a toy dog / via Czech Television

“I'm walking a dog here, I'm not doing anything illegal here,” the man said when caught by police, who demanded his identification card. He then tried to claim it was an artistic practical joke.

The police officers, though didn’t see the humor in the violation of the emergency rules. They reminded the man of the valid regulations concerning a nationwide curfew, but in the end let him off with a warning.

“This really unusual case was finally resolved by the police by agreement. The young man listened to the patrol warning and then went home. He regretted his actions, "said České Budějovice police spokewoman Věra Školková said.

Plush dog out for a walk / via Czech Television
Plush dog out for a walk / via Czech Television

The man was later contacted by daily Mladá fronta Dnes, and he contradicted the police statement. “I was nervous, but I never said that I would regret anything and I do not regret anything yet,” he told the daily.

Response on social media has not been entirely forgiving. Some people saw the humor but others felt the joke was irresponsible.

“Yeah, people did this in Italy too during the first lockdown. Police didn't take it so well, though, and many were fined harshly,” one person said. Similar incidents were also reported by readers in Serbia.

In March, one person in Romania tried to get around the stay-at-home rule by walking a fish in a plastic bag, claiming it fit under the rules for walking pets. Another woman took a cat in a handbag so she could go shopping across town, again under the guise of pet exercise. Both people were fined, according to press reports from the time.

A Romanian police spokesman said such incidents were “stealing your own hat,” meaning doing harm to yourself when you break the rules.

A reader from Australia pointed out that rules were even harsher in her country, but they were strictly enforced and people followed them. Now they have finally had a day with no new cases, so breaking the rules is no joke as it affects everyone.