When I wrote about Roscoe Tanner in December 2004, I got the highest number of comments of any column I’ve written. People who grew up with him or people for whom he was their hero all hoped that Tanner had finally reached a point where he could stay in one place and take responsibility for his actions.
It looks like we all have to wait a little bit longer. Tanner was supposed to appear in court for a child support hearing. Instead he took off in a car leased with the owner of the tennis club where he was teaching, no doubt an arrangement designed to help Tanner out, and finally turned up at a club tournament in England. It’s not only repeated bad behavior but it’s the same bad response. Tanner has disappeared before while on the run from an arrest warrant or the fallout from a bounced check. A man who received a bad check for $39,000 from Tanner next learned about his whereabouts when he popped up at a tennis tournament in Germany.
It’s a small world made all the smaller with the security response to ever increasing terrorist attacks. It’s not like you can shove off for a small island and hide away for the rest of your life. Tanner can’t even do this right. Where is the first place you might look for a fugitive tennis player? Let me guess, a tennis tournament? Where would he run to? Let me see, a country that has an extradition treaty with the U.S.?
I have a lot of sympathy for the guy. Clearly he wants to get caught else he would have been a lot smarter. He has a problem and can’t or won’t do anything about it. Unfortunately, it might be harder to find the help he needs in jail.