One Of The Kids From ‘Jaws’ Just Became Police Chief In Martha’s Vineyard

In 1974, Jonathan Searle created mass panic when he and his brother pranked the beach-happy folks of Amity with a cardboard fin. Searle was a child actor with a notable role in Jaws, as the merry prankster pointing at his brother and frantically crying, “He made me do it!” as tons of local cops swarmed them following their hoax. Now 56, he’s taking on the Brody role for real in the same town where the movie was filmed. Searle has been named the Chief of Police for Oak Bluffs, a section of Martha’s Vineyard.

“I’m finding the whole thing quite funny myself!” Searle said, although apparently not a single reporter thought to ask him whether he’d close the beach should an unstoppable eating machine menaced the tourists and small-town denizens.

Fortunately, this is the second time that real life has cribbed off Steven Spielberg, so we know the answer. Back in 2008, a hoaxer claimed there were two 3,000-pound sharks in the waters off Martha’s Vineyard, and Searle was sent in to investigate. All was well, the beaches didn’t have to close, and it turns out that scaring people with phony killer sharks scores you a “disorderly conduct” rap sheet. Now we know what to charge Searle’s childhood character with.

(Via New York Post)