Florida man in underwear stabs computer with samurai sword as police search for child porn

The lede from a Miami Herald article surely beats all other ledes you reads this week:

A Florida man stabbed his computer with a Samurai sword after being accused of downloading kiddie porn. He was in his underwear when he did it.

Kamil Mezalka, 21 stabbed his hard drive with a two-handed sword after police stormed his home looking for evidence of his alleged downloading hundreds of child-pornographic files, according to an arrest affidavit. (...) Mezalka came out of a second-floor bedroom in his underwear when police entered his home near Daytona Beach. He then ran to stab his computer.

The rest of the article is full of head-shakers. The dirtbag in question faces federal charges of downloading child pornography, which carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison.

Update: Here's the original source reporting, in the Daytona Beach News-Journal. (via @miamicrime)


  1. Just another day for the guys at the data-recovery shop:

    “Geez, what happened to this hard drive? It looks like someone ran a sword through it!”

    1. ” Gosh, if only he hadn’t filled his entire hard drive with illegal images, it would have been good to know what was on those ten whole sectors.”

      It’s not like he could just aim for the web cache area.

    2.  I always liked the old defense in the Dilbert comic. “Hey, all I’ve got on my computer is ones and zeros. If they do something to it and find they are looking at porn, that’s THEIR problem.” [I’m paraphrasing]

  2. Despite this persons attempt to ‘foil’ the search, they did find what they were searching for.

    Yes I went there just for the pun.

    1. While I’m a big fan of puns, the correct-usage nerd in me does not approve of that one.

      Foil (n): a flexible four-sided rapier having a blunt point

    1.  Fark.com has a special tag just for Florida. And I thought Texas was at least as nuts. Well, it probably is….just meaner and not as funny.

    2.  I remember a radio show reading wacky, true stories and playing the game “Germany or Florida?”.

  3. The original story is here: http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/flagler/2012/05/10/palm-coast-man-stabs-computer-in-child-porn-raid.html . 

        1. TSG always has the best articles on law breaking loons. Any website that collects mugshots of famous people has my vote.

  4. Maybe, as a nod to the concept of innocent until proven guilty, can we maybe go with “alleged dirtbag”?

    Just sayin’.

    1.  Touche.  Good point; you are completely correct.  His behaviour is certainly… kinda suspicious.  But that’s for a court to decide, not a jury of his internets.

      1. Who hasn’t attacked their pc in their underwear with a sword?  Sometimes you are working from home and the damn thing keeps crashing.

      2. Except they found images on his computer and he admitted to downloading images of girls between the ages of 13-18, and said it is possible he downloaded images of girls younger than 13. Plus the reason they raided his house is because an undercover FBI agent downloaded images from his PC over p2p.

        Other than those reasons – sure… knock yourself out presuming his innocence.

    2. Thanks a lot!  It’s hard enough to overcome this sort of ‘guilty until proven innocent’ labeling from the right-wing reactionary side of the internet without one of this blog’s authors doing it for them.

      Rights ARE Rights–whether you personally agree with the charge or not.

      1. Rights ARE Rights–whether you personally agree with the charge or not.

        There’s no contract between Boing Boing and Pedo Samurai that grants him any rights.  This isn’t a court of law.

        1.  Well, this might not be a court of law, but you don’t want the site dragged in front of one in a libel case if it turns out he’s innocent.

          1. Oh god how I lol’d. Since when have BB’s editors been worried about goons with lawsuits?

        2.  There’s rights, and there’s what is right. A crime like that tars a person for life in a way other crimes don’t. There’s no need to add to that.

      2. Rights ARE Rights–whether you personally agree with the charge or not.

        There’s no contract between Boing Boing and Pedo Samurai that grants him any rights.  This isn’t a court of law.

    3. “When interviewed by federal agents, Mezalka said he was attracted to teenage girls and “might have” downloaded pornography depicting girls 13 years old and younger, the affidavit shows.”

      ‘Weapons free’ as they say.

  5. He probably was trying to destroy the fact that he had a copy of insurance.aes on his hard drive.

  6. OK, the guy had a katana in his hands in the presence of police and he wasn’t shot or even tazered ? What the hell, American cops ? I’ve come to expect better from y’all !


    1. I thought the same thing but if you actually read the story you’d know that he stabbed the PC in his room while it was locked and the FBI busted in to find the attempted PC murder. When he went for a second stab they subdued him.

  7. Despite his scumbag status, I really do think forcing him to see a therapist and have probation would be more productive than a 20-year sentence behind bars. Just saying. A lot of stuff like this stems from abusive parents, so a 20 year punishment just looks like injustice on top of what was *probably* his already miserable life.
    If he doesn’t get real help, he’ll just get angry at life over the next 20 years and when he gets out he will probably be worse than he is now. Who knows, maybe he’ll be more likely to act it out rather than look at pictures, making the issue even worse. 

    1. It’s tempting to write pedos off as the scum of the earth but they are really just mentally ill individuals with a compulsion they can’t control. Punish the assholes who create and distribute child porn, absolutely. For consumers of child porn, they need to be psychologically evaluated, treated, rehabilitated. Definitely removed form society if they’re dangerous; but we know almost nothing concrete about this condition because those who suffer from it are considered lepers, best forgotten behind bars. We need to study them and see if we can help them.

      1. Mentally ill individuals with really almost no reasonable recourse to deal with it. Treatment involves de-facto admitting to being a criminal,  while outlets for this disease that don’t harm others have been made illegal.

        Dan Savage really enlightened my view on these people.  

        On the other hand, Reddit has had a few “what’s your worst secret” threads where consumers of child pornography always claim they would never hurt what they love. Must take serious mental acrobatics to absolve themselves of creating a market for a child abuse industry.

        If they *really* loved them, they wouldn’t. Consumers of child pornography are monsters with amazing powers of self-deception.

        1. Same here. I never really considered pedophiles victims of their own brains until I read the ‘Savage Love’ where one of them wrote in about his struggle to control the compulsion. (He had been successful so far but was afraid of lapsing and uncertain how to seek help without being arrested)

          1. See a psychiatrist? They aren’t bound by law to tell anyone unless they think there is possibility of violence, or serious violence has occurred. If his actions were limited to downloading images then I’d say he is pretty safe.


            Drug addicts mostly just harm themselves. Drug prohibition harms people. Yet we keep prohibition and punish addicts while very few people fight for the rights or rehabilitation of those addicts. I think we should fix that before we start defending pedos.

          2. I can’t reply to your post teapot so I’m doing it here.

            Your medical professional can break confidentiality if they think you are a serious danger to yourself or others. You would think someone with mere ‘urges’ who hadn’t harmed a child would be safe seeking treatment but you’d be wrong. As I said before, pedophilia is not well understood and the knee-jerk reaction of most people is “ewww, burn it or lock it up” Medical professionals are hardly exempt from cultural bias. The fact is, with pedophilia there is the very real chance a mental health pro would simply call the police on the patient, rather than potentially having to face any share of responsibility if said patient later harmed a child. Getting treatment for the condition is iffy at best. So, for the pedo, there is a definite disincentive to seeking treatment. 

            I agree with you on drug prohibition, I also agree that it might be more important than this issue, but if someone mentally ill is treatable, I think they should be treated, not put in jail, especially if they have not yet done harm to anyone. I’m not saying pedos don’t belong in jail – many of them do – but there are others out there (like the one who wrote into Dan Savage) who hate what they are and are motivated to change but don’t have any safe avenues for doing so.

      2.  Seems like the evaluation step is the key; but as a parent, I’m so skeeved by paedos that I’m unlikely to fairly evaluate.  You know, Caedite eos; Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius can seem remarkably reasonable as soon as you’re talking about threats to your own family.

        1. With how many there are out there, it appears they only act out as often as any general human being would as far as rape is concerned. It’s a worse target, but clearly rape is awful no matter who it happens too.

          Many are behind VPN and using onion and other methods. You realize the documented ones are the ones that either act out or take bait from the FBI. Meaning this problem is actually WAY bigger than most people probably realize. Which is pretty upsetting.

      3.  I’m just not sure that makes any sense financially. The cost to “treat” them would be high and the results would be iffy at best. Incarceration seems like a reasonable solution and it puts a lot of people at ease knowing the scumbags no longer have easy access to children.

        I’m also not a fan of priests who get caught diddling little boys and simply get moved somewhere else in hopes they’ll repent and change…only to be caught repeating the same behavior.

        1. So would you incarcerate someone who had pictures of murder victims on his/her computer? Just in case.

          1. I don’t think that’s what he was getting at but I do agree with the concept that prison, despite reality usually being the opposite, should have some chance of rehabilitating the inmates. Perhaps a separate prison away from violent criminals would be the solution?

            In any case there are legitimate sources for images of violence (police file photos/war photography) while there aren’t many legitimate sources for child pornography (the only one I can think of is *maybe* historical photographs). Some people include anime and manga as images of child porn but that’s just fucking retarded… usually no one gets hurt in the creation of a drawing.

        2. We put people with mental instability in an institution. By your logic half of them could just go to jail to save money too.

      4. Punish the assholes who create and distribute child porn, absolutely.

        That’s what they’re doing. He is alleged to have shared the images over p2p. Usually these seedy rings require users to SHARE before they receive because that way the person sharing is more confident the recipient is not law enforcement (which is spurious logic considering the FBI probably has the biggest collection around).

    2. Quoting from the Miami Herald story:

      “Although he tried to spike the evidence, the Palm Coast man was once given kudos by police for using the sword to “defend” his mom when his step father was choking her.

      That’s when Mezalka, who was armed with the two-foot Samurai sword, ordered his stepfather “off his mother.””

  8. Somehow this summary missed a gem at the bottom of the original article. ” Authorities also found a loaded two-barrel pistol on the floor, the affidavit shows.”
    Two barrel pistol? Srsly?

        1. Did you even click thru?  The image I connected to shows an over-and-under double barreled Remington derringer, which is what Americans think of when someone says derringer.  Of course the original was just a a single shot cap & ball pistol, but Remington improved on the design.

  9. I reckon you’d need quite the sword just to stab through the computer casing, and a pretty strong arm to puncture the casing of the hard drive – assuming you can hit it at all, which might be difficult if you’re in a hurry.  Better to go at it with a degaussing coil, I think, but that doesn’t sound nearly as cool.

    At least he didn’t try to stab the monitor like in the old-timey movies.

    1. I dunno, a degaussing coil could be pretty cool. See if you can work a plasma globe or jacob’s ladder into the design somewhere. Wait, scratch that — degaussing Tesla coil!

      (Incidentally, a computer room with an emergency-purge EM coil appears in Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. Cracking good read, that.)

      1. Aye, an emergency purge coil sounds like a good idea – until you activate it by accident.

        1.  Well, in this particular case, it’s (spoilers ahoy, so get with the times for a 13 year old book) the room of a company that designs crypto systems, so you can see why they’d be fine taking the off chance they’d destroy it all.

          1. I used to work with someone who had been in the U. S. Navy doing crypto work.  The room was laced with hand grenades (and who knows what else).  If the room was breached, it was everyone’s duty to set them off.

      2.  Degaussing coils are not Tesla coils, and neither will do anything to modern hard drive platter surfaces. Best bet is keep your super-secret stuff encrypted on optical disks and microwave them to destroy. (A little coarse sandpaper after the microwave to be really sure.) Even that won’t help if you have stuff with incriminating file names – the OS caches stuff everywhere. Boot from a read-only CD/DVD such as Knoppix  if you want decent security.

    2. A degaussing coil?  Who spends time in their bathroom with one of those?  A samurai sword, on the other hand . . .

    3.  Thermite.  In a box on top of the hard drive.  Electrically ignited when you poke a concealed switch, which could be located remotely from the computer. 

      1. That’s what we had on top of the stacks of our comps, receivers, and crypto gear, except we just had pull pins.  Army low-tech to destroy high-tech.

    4. 1) Samurai swords are frickin’ insane – especially if they are genuine (which most aren’t).

      2) C’mon guys… really? Can’t we have this discussion in another crypto-related post that isn’t potentially gonna be read by someone who is hoarding images of this nature?

      1. The internet is immune to attempts to censor information from people, so it’s not worth trying.

  10. Another example of unbiased reporting by Xeni. “the dirtbag in question” has been accused of something. That doesn’t mean he’s guilty Xeni, and it doesn’t mean you should be so quick to pass judgement.

    1. I think you are confused as to which site you’re on.  This is not a news site, Xeni is not a reporter.  This is a personal blog.  Look at the source for “reporting.”

      1. Xeni calls herself a journalist. So, I’d tend to call what she writes reporting. 

        1. Where? You sure you’re not making shit up? Find me one of Xeni’s online presences that claims as such or STFU.

          1. Dude, Google ‘Xeni Jardin Journalist’ she calls herself that on various social networks. It’s not hard to find. 

            The point Carl was trying to make originally is that Xeni should maybe try for that extra bit of professionalism by saying “alleged dirtbag” instead of just “dirtbag” – I happen to agree. Whether this is a ‘news site’ or a ‘blog’ hardly matters. It’s a question of respect for the rule of law and the unfortunates (whether guilty or innocent, they’re all unfortunate) who have to deal with the justice system.

      2. >This is a personal blog.

        I don’t think of BoingBoing as a personal blog, no matter how it started. In both the slickness of its presentation and its enormous reach and influence, it fills more of the role of a large mass market glossy magazine. I tend to look at BB articles from that viewpoint.

        1. It is a personal blog, period. Thinking of it any other way will only lead to disappointment. 

          Disappointed people end up on the List of People Disappointed by Boing Boing.

          People on the List of People Disappointed by Boing Boing are statistically more likely to pay their car loan late.

          Something something DirecTV.

          Sometimes we commit acts of journalism.

        2. I tend to think of myself as king of the universe. As king of the universe I demand you send me all your money.

          -King of the universe

    2. I was a bit uncomfortable with the character shot as well, and I’ve been wondering why? Perhaps it is kind of unnecessary, it’s not a new angle or observation to the story, and it is only adding more negativity?

      Of course, we all are burdened with a past, and finding healthy ways of dealing with it is a right.

    3. I’m all for stabbing things with katanas but it tends to look suspicious when you’re accused of possessing child porn and stab your pc with a sword when the police bust in.

      1. I’m all for stabbing things with katanas

        It’s not really a stabbing weapon. More of a slicer.

        1. Well granted perhaps but a folded steel blade will stab, slice or fillet a number of things but it’s true that katanas are over-dramatized in television and movies.  All that stuff on Bleach?  Pretty much fiction, that is unless you have a Katana imbued with actual demon spirits.

      2. It doesn’t look as suspicious when you consider that when the police rushed in to arrest him, they probably were not shouting “We arrest you for child porn!”  As far as he was concerned he may have just been destroying the blueprints for creating a thermonuclear weapon from smoke detectors.

    4.  Well, they did find the relevant evidence in this case, and had reasonable suspicion to start, so here he seems likely to be convicted fairly. While I agree this should have been mentioned in the repost here, it should also be pointed out that in e.g. the Megaupload case, plenty of us were very much on Team Defense while very much not defending Dotcom’s character.

    5.  Dirtbag/Douchebag aren’t legal terms, nor do they carry fines or prison time, they’re describing words used by observers

    1. It says hard drive, which in newspaper-speak means not the hard drive but the computer case.  You could be right though, I’ve heard people call everything but the mouse the “hard drive.”

      1.  He must have good aim to nail the hard drive through the case.  Either that or the thing looks like Swiss Cheese now.

  11. Maybe his computer acted dishonorably and, lacking arms, asked its owner for help committing seppuku?

    Either way, this story would be even crazier had he cut his computer in half.

  12. I was thinking the same thing. It might have been a neighbor hijacking his wireless network who was downloading the kiddie porn, and he may have had other reasons for wanting to skewer his hard drive.

    Alien autopsy photos… Plans for a water carburetor… 

    1. Palm coast is what you call it when you step off the gas masturbating, right?

  13. Pedophilia – prepubescent children
    Hebephilia – 11–14 year old pubescents
    Ephebophilia – 15-19 year old adolescents 

    So this guy admits to being a hebephile.  

    Pedophilia is just as treatable as homosexuality.  Not!
    Just like homosexuality it isn’t a matter of choice, your sexual “preferences” are what they are. 
    Your choice is to act on your desires, or not to.  
    Unlike homosexuals, pedophiles can not engage in sex acts with their desired target group without hurting them, without creating victims.  
    Even if they were to find a willing participant, the child might very well get permanently scarred from the experience. 
    A pedophile can not act out his phantasies.  Ever. 
    Because then he would be not just a pedophile, but a child sexual abuser, and immoral. 
    Many sexual child abusers are not pedophile but mostly enjoy their victims helplessness, their own superior might. 
    There’s a huge difference between rape phantasies (don’t feel bad, it’s very common) and rape.  

    Now you can say that in the making of child porn children were harmed, and that by paying for it the pedophile finances the abuse of children, and you’d be absolutely right.   
    Like you finance the prison industry getting license tags, like you finance violence in Central America taking a bump, like you finance Chinese oppression and censorship thereof by shopping at Wallmart, like you finance police brutality and wars against brown people by paying taxes.  

    Possession and trading of kiddieporn should not be considered a major crime but a misdemeanor. 
    Deleted should mean its deleted. 

    It doesn’t matter how disgusted you are.  
    Some people find Jews disgusting, or gays, or the Polish. 

    Pedophilia is far more common than one would think, but considering the stigma, we will probably never know the percentage of pedophiles among population. 
    It is estimated between 3% and 9%. 
    This guesstimate is likely too low. 
    As always it is the ones suppressing their own tendencies that spew the most hatred, I assume. 

    So now, that y’all are thinking me to be pedophile, let me tell you how freaking glad I am to be sexually “normal’. 
    But I’m aware it is not my meritoriousness.  
    I just got lucky.

    1. As always it is the ones suppressing their own tendencies that spew the most hatred, I assume.

      Or people with a robust moral compass. I have a tremendous urge to brutally murder certain people on this planet but I resist it because I do not have the right to satisfy my desire. Pedophilia is no different. Each person is responsible for keeping their own selfish desires in check and that includes pedos. The disease is lack of self control and nothing more.

      1. I think I was trying to make the point that pedophilia isn’t a “disease” but a regular aberration  within the frame of human sexuality. 
        Just like homophobes, most people choose to ignore that science strongly indicates that these people are born that way. 
        Pedophilia is not a weakness of character any more than homosexuality. 

        Not being able to suppress your urges is a weakness of character, particularly if there are victims. 
        Most pedophiles are not child predators. 
        Those two are not the same. 

        If your robust moral compass is what keeps you from sex-acts with children, you are a pedophile. 
        If you don’t have that moral compass and act out your desire you are a monster, a child predator. 

        I couldn’t even force myself to look at children with sexual desire any more than at men, flowers or puppies. 
        I wasn’t made that way. 
        But if I did have lusty thoughts involving kids, I would still not act on that impulse. 
        My moral compass would make that impossible.  I hope. 

        I share your desire to brutally murder certain people and just like you, I mostly refrain from doing so for various reasons. 
        Fear of punishment being the least of them. 
        For example, I would sleep alright after killing a sexual child abuser.

  14. Personally, I think child porn is disgusting. I’d rather bathe in rat vomit.

    However, I don’t think it’s a crime to be in possession of it. If someone were to email you a child porn pic and you unwittingly opened it, do you deserve a criminal record and a lifetime status as a sex offender if you get caught (especially with the government poised to monitor everything you do?)

    But even if the qualifications are more substantial, I still don’t think it’s in itself a crime. I think it could be a crime if in the making of the child pornography, someone was harming and/or exploiting a child. And that’s really the only potential crime here people should be worried about. But if it were a simulation or a characterization or a work of pure fiction, I don’t think it’s a crime. It shouldn’t be illegal simply because it’s horrible.

    Sometimes horrible art is an important reflection of the ugly side of ourselves as human beings. I watched what looked like a young girl getting raped in “The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.” I don’t think this means people who have this film in their possession are rapists themselves or think rape is a good thing. I don’t think the actress was actually raped in the making of the film. I do believe rape is a crime, and it was very difficult to watch a crime like that on screen. And perhaps I have a better appreciation of what a terrible, violent crime it is for having seen it depicted. But I don’t think scenes like this should be illegal, and that everyone who watches or possesses the scene are criminals, just because the scene depicts something horrible.

    1. If someone were to email you a child porn pic and you unwittingly opened it, do you deserve a criminal record and a lifetime status as a sex offender if you get caught

      No and the law would be more likely to come down hard on the person who sent it. If you had just that one image on your computer and no more, it is likely nothing would happen. The biggest punishments are for creation and distribution, not possession. This guy is alleged to have distributed it. Different kettle of fish.

      I think it could be a crime if in the making of the child pornography, someone was harming and/or exploiting a child.

      That is guaranteed. What do you mean ‘if’?

      Your comments re Girl with a dragon tattoo are irrelevant. We are talking about child porn here, not rape. Apples with apples please. On top of that it’s not like the movie consisted of ONLY rape. It was one scene that was crucial to the storyline. Child porn OTOH consists solely of child porn.

      1. I think Shinkuhadoken means CGI or cartoons. 
        No actual child would have been harmed in the depiction of that grossness. 

        Wouldn’t punishment for distribution of CGI-made kiddie-porn be for a thoughtcrime?

        (No, I’m not in support of vileness, I’m just acting the devil’s advocate.)

        Sexual contact with children is rape.
        Those are apples.

      2. The problem is one of definition, then. If the only time it’s considered “child pornography” is if there’s a child that’s been harmed or exploited, then we’re a lot closer to the same definition I’d like to see in place. However, it’s not always that clear. People have been arrested for possessing Japanese manga that show drawings of under-aged children in sexual acts. But no children were harmed in the making of those drawings, so I don’t think it should be considered a crime any more than a rape scene in a movie isn’t criminal because no one was actually raped.

        It gets more difficult when you’re dealing with children who weren’t harmed, but possibly may have been exploited, and that’s one place where the debate should be. If a mother took a picture of her toddlers in the bathtub, I don’t think she should go to jail just for that. But if it was her intention to sell the pictures later, then maybe it’s not so benign anymore.

        If this man was supporting direct harm to children then he deserves his punishment, no question. But if no children were harmed whatsoever, I think he has the right to free speech, as deplorable as the speech might be.

        As for the “Girl with a Dragoon Tattoo,” it’s relevant because I’m talking about offensive speech regarding a sexual act where someone is exploited. One is protected, the other is not. And it doesn’t make sense in the context of free speech.

  15. I have no comment on this specific case but I do have a general observation for my porn-consuming fellow BB readers.

    I spent most of my IT career (I’m now retired) working in an environment where everything was encrypted all the time.  I’m accustomed to working with it and consider it perfectly normal.  For well over a decade, all my home computers have employed, at minimum, full-disk encryption to protect data at rest.  I only turn on my computer when I’m using it and only use it while I’m at home, so I consider my data safe from anyone who breaks into my house while I’m gone.

    I’ve also (yes, I’ll admit it) seen an occasional pornographic image.  On purpose, even.

    Here’s what I don’t understand: Why was the guy using an unencrypted computer?  If he had time to stab it, he had time to unplug it, making the images on it (in practical terms, certainly for the regular local-police-level forensics team) impossible to recover.

    I ask this NOT to help pedophiles; I assume the smart ones already know how to protect themselves.

    I ask this for the benefit of anyone who consumes any type of pornography and uses any sort of automated downloading tools.  There are folks who get their jollies inserting child porn images on web boards, into usenet groups, into any place where files are stored or shared.  If you point your newsreader to any high-traffic unmoderated usenet porn group and tell it to grab all the binaries for the last seven days, if you click then shift-click to select a few thousand files from whatever-Mule, if you use any type of web spider to vacuum up binaries from virtually any porn-showing page on the web and tell the spider to go more than 3 link-levels deep, you’re vulnerable. 

    Kick off any of the tools I’ve mentioned, set it to just grab *.jpg files, and leave your computer connected to a solidly fast connection for a day.  You’ll get 100,000 pictures or more.  You will have no idea what’s in those pictures.  I guarantee some of them will be child porn.  I further guarantee that there are prosecutors in this country that don’t care you didn’t know that stuff was on your machine.

    Anyone who keeps porn on their computer should employ full-disk encryption, pull the plug if the cops ever show up, then shut up and get a lawyer.  It doesn’t matter what you’re “in” to, there may be child porn on your computer whether you know it or not.

    Don’t go to jail just because you’re smart enough to use automated tools to fetch porn.

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