“Bad GPS navigation” stories are downright commonplace these days, and rare is the week when you can't find a news story on the theme “Drivers blamed their GPS after they drove into a lake, onto an airport runway, north in a southbound lane, or similar bad-end shenanigans.”
But Kentucky resident Louis DiNatale might have the worst bad-GPS story to date: while driving through upstate New York, he took a wrong turn and ended up in Canada — which wouldn't be a problem if not for the loaded weapon in the trunk of DiNatale's car. The gun was perfectly legal in the United States but became an illegally smuggled weapon the second it crossed the border — even though DiNatale had no intention of a.) going to Canada and b.) taking a gun with him.
Worse yet, according to the Los Angeles Times, when the Canadian border guard asked DiNatale if he had any weapons, DiNatale (who forgot the gun was there) said no, which turned out badly after guards searched his car and found the gun. DiNatale was arrested and spent four days in a Canadian jail before he could post bail:
DiNatale, 46, a retired Army sergeant major, says he stored the gun in his wife's car a few days earlier because he didn't want it in his car when he drove onto Ft. Knox, Ky., for a dental appointment.
The gun was still in his wife's car when she picked him up from work in Louisville, Ky., to drive to a weekend getaway in Vermont, he says. He remembered it all too well, of course, when Canadian agents confronted him with the weapon after they searched the car at the Thousand Islands Bridge border crossing between New York state and Ontario province.
The agents were unmoved by his explanations even after his wife, Cathy, verified his story.
DiNatale, a former Army legal expert who is now a paralegal in Kentucky, faces three years in jail if convicted; a Canadian court date is scheduled for June. [His Canadian lawyer] says he will vigorously fight the charges.
Bad GPS directions plus a temporary slip of the memory were all it took to turn an honest man into an official international criminal. DiNatale said he plants to fight the charges in hope of clearing his name.