Silicon Valley star Zach Woods grew up in Yardley in Bucks County, and aside from remembering Philadelphia as a “kind of a racist city” from his time in the area, the actor also recalls a “bread molester” who terrorized his town’s grocery stores when he was a kid.
Woods, 33, stopped by Conan on Tuesday night, where he told host Conan O’Brien about a man who violated bread aisles across Yardley so frequently, neighborhood stores eventually banded together to catch him squeezing loaves bread-handed. As Woods put it, the culprit found “the texture of dough irresistible,” which the actor said ultimately landed the man in prison.
“They caught him, and he defended himself in court,” Woods said. “He destroyed so much bread that it was a felony-level destruction of property and he went to jail.”
For the most part, Woods’ story is true. Yardley did have a man who destroyed a lot of bread in the area starting in 1997, though he was known in media coverage as the “Bread Squeezer,” not the “bread molester.” He also liked to poke holes in cookie packages, earning him the secondary moniker of “the Cookie Crumbler.”
Authorities arrested Samuel Feldman, who was 37 at the time, in 2000 in connection with the crime. According to a report from ABC News, he was originally charged with destroying 175 bags of bagels, 227 bags of potato bread rolls, and more than 3,000 bags of bread. Feldman’s attorney, Ellis Klein, argued that because police didn’t fingerprint the damaged packages, he couldn’t be proved responsible. Feldman did not defend himself in court.
He was eventually charged with two counts of criminal mischief, and pleaded not guilty. A jury convicted Feldman on both counts, and Feldman received 180 days probation and a $1,000 fine — $500 to each bread and cookie distributor targeted in the crime — according to an Inquirer report.
“I do have a problem,” Feldman said in court. “Any time I go shopping, my wife will supervise and will be with me.”
Back in 2015, Woods drew fire from Philadelphians online following an appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast in which he said the city is “kind of racist” and that Pennsylvania is “on the downslope of its existence.” The actor also claimed that Flyers fans threw batteries at Santa Claus during a game, which mixes up several Philly stereotypes into an amalgamation of wrong.
“I felt so awful people thought that I was bashing Philadelphia. I was trying to be light-hearted and it ended up coming off completely wrong,” he told Philly.com following the interview. “Listening back to the interview, I totally understand how people thought it was annoying. It was way too serious a thing to say about the city.”
Silicon Valley airs Sundays at 10 p.m.