Henry Earl, a homeless Kentuckian who likely holds the record for world's most-arrested man with more than 1,500 incidents on his rap sheet, will spend Christmas in jail after a judge revoked his probation last week.
Earl, 64, is something of a local celebrity in Lexington, where the locals have dubbed him James Brown for his habit of singing and dancing for spare change to buy his next drink. His many arrests are usually for the same few charges — public intoxication, disorderly conduct, probation violation, and the occasional criminal trespassing.
"It's a weekly, if not every-two-or-three-days thing," Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts told CNN of Earl's arrest patterns
. "He's never doing bad or illegal things purposely ... He's just so highly intoxicated that he's posing a danger to himself."
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He's spent the last three Thanksgivings behind bars, as well as his 64th birthday in October. Sometimes, he'll be released from the clink and get picked up again not 12 hours later, according to TheSmokingGun.com, which has been keeping track of Earl's arrests.
"We have literally been following Henry Earl's arrest history (and collecting his mug shots) for more than a decade. We even devoted a page to him in our last book," William Bastone, the website's editor, wrote. "We have continued to monitor his arrests and the days he has been incarcerated as a result of those collars."
Many in the community have tried to help Earl get sober, including Stephen Gray McFayden, an attorney who represented him in 2008 and 2009.
McFayden, who said Earl started drinking as a teenager after his adoptive mother died, said his one-time client attended an alcohol-recovery program for about five months in 2009, but relapsed a few days short of graduation.
Ginny Ramsey, co-founder of Lexington's Catholic Action Center where Earl sometimes spends the night, says she thinks the town's "James Brown" will start to wisen up soon.
"I don't think it's going to take many more winters, and this one may be the one," she told CNN. "[But] there's never going to be a time when I'm not going to find something, even if it's one of our couches, for Henry Earl."
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