KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Two escaped prison inmates from Louisiana took advantage of sympathy for Hurricane Katrina victims to pass themselves off to University of Tennessee students as fraternity brothers who had been displaced by the storm, police said. Steven Ridge, 31, and Zachary Arabie, 22, were arrested in Knoxville last week after Ridge tried to buy gas with fake money, authorities said. Ridge and Arabie integrated themselves on the Tennessee campus, attending fraternity parties, dating coeds and renting an off-campus apartment, police said. ''We believe they were in the process of creating new identities to disappear again and possibly do an abduction,'' police Sgt. Sean Hejna said. ''We got these two just in time.'' Ridge, serving a 10-year sentence for forgery and theft, and Arabie, serving 20 years for armed robbery, escaped Sept. 13 from prison in Ferriday, La., after using a Popsicle stick as a key, Hejna said. They stole two cars to get to Knoxville and showed up at the Lambda Chi fraternity house a few days later, police said. Ridge claimed to be a fraternity member displaced by Katrina from a graduate program at Tulane University in New Orleans. He even had a Tulane ID card. ''It's genius, their plan, it was really genius,'' fraternity president Sam Seyler said. ''Who is going to deny the fact that someone is a refugee? We took them at their word.'' Authorities had trouble identifying Ridge because he deliberately injured his fingers, even gnawing the skin off to obscure his fingerprints, Hejna said. A jailer finally recognized him among a roster of escaped inmates. The identification led authorities to the men's apartment, where they found a cash counterfeiting operation as well as fake ID capabilities, police said. ''Were we duped? I guess,'' Seyler said. ''We were trying to be good Southern gentlemen and show some hospitality in a tough time. We thought it was the right thing to do.'' AP
And now, as "frat brothers" at Lambda Duh in Knoxville.
This is truly hilarious.
I guess their criterium for admittance is not quite as strict as I had once thought.