Legal Grounds: May 2009 Archives
Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

May 2009 Archives

Behind Handlebars: Prisoners Get Their Own Tour De France

French Prison Officials Face 'Dopey' Allegations Over Inmate Version of Famed Bike Tour

Traditionally, if you've had dreams of bicycling around the idyllic French countryside for a month in the summertime, you've had to be either an elite pro cyclist or a well-heeled man or woman of leisure. Now, you just need to be French and convicted of a serious crime.

In June, 196 French prisoners and 124 guards will embark on a 2,300 km bicycle trip around the country, starting in the city of Lilles and following the route of the official Tour de France race. If all goes according to ill-conceived plan, more than a handful of prisoners will stick around to cross the finish line in Paris a few weeks later.

'Love Land' Sex Theme Park Torn Down in China

Amusement Park's Erection is Rudely Interrupted by City-Ordered Demolition

Naked models. Sex technique workshops. Giant plastic replicas of genitals. A typical Saturday night at Charlie Sheen's house circa 1997? No, we're talking about a sex-themed amusement park in China that was ordered torn down before construction could be completed.

Think of Love Land as China's answer to Disneyland, if the question was "How can we make a lewd and wildly unpopular version of Disneyland?"

Dad Arrested Hiring Prostitute as Gift for Son, 14

"Hey Dad, I Think There's Something Wrong With My New Hooker"

When a London father decided that his 14 year-old son deserved a present, he skipped the child's play of an Xbox 360 and drove straight to the red-light district of Nottingham, where he told the kid to pick out a prostitute. Like a Child Protective Services version of the old "How Much is That Doggy in the Window?" song, the boy pressed his nose against the passenger-side window glass and chose a hooker to take home.

But when the father pulled over to work out the fine print, he found out the hard way that his young son has a lot to learn when it comes to discerning an undercover cop from an actual prostitute. Dad was arrested by plainclothes officers and charged with soliciting a woman for sex with a child, Reuters reports.

City: Busty Sidewalk Mannequin Must Cover Up

Plastic Replica of a Woman Still Needs to Be More Lady-Like

For KT Barbecue's "BarBe" mannequin, there's no Malibu dreamhouse or pink Corvette, just an Ohio sidewalk and a real-life Ken who likes to dress her in skimpy clothing to lure in customers. Specifically, his mail carrier's size-5 "Daisy Duke" short-shorts and a bikini top he got from his godsister's daughter, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. And yes, the fact that we're still talking about a mannequin is the only thing keeping the word "felony" out of that last sentence.

Ken Tessel claims that business at his KT's Barbecue joint is up 40 percent since BarBe was installed on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant in Reading, Ohio. In an interview with the Enquirer, Tessel recited BarBe's measurements and showed off the catalog he picked her out from, saying "She's got big boobs. That's why I bought her." Okay, I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but that is SO romantic.

Food Fright! Office Fridge Causes Evacuation, Illnesses

That Half of a Ham Sandwich from 2008 Was Tired of Being Ignored

Have you ever gripped the door handle of the office refrigerator and found yourself automatically breathing through your mouth, in Pavlovian preparation for another round of "Best If Used By"-Date Roulette? If so, be thankful that a hazmat team and dozens of emergency personnel weren't sent to rescue you, as happened at an office complex this week in San Jose, California.  

It started when an employee at an AT&T building noticed an unbearable smell coming from the office refrigerator, and decided to empty out the toxic tupperware and foil-wrapped fright, before disinfecting the fridge.

The Theme is Regret: High School Hands Out Shot Glasses at Prom

"I'm So Drunk... On Great Memories! Warwick High Prom 2009"

To help shake off the awkward photograph and the interminable slow dances, prom organizers at a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania high school handed out more than 400 commemorative shot glasses to junior and senior prom-goers earlier this month. 

The buzz started at Warwick High School, which held its prom on May 2. Several adults served on a prom committee that ultimately made the decision to go with shot glasses as a parting gift, according to WGAL-Pennsylvania. It's safe to assume we can thank one of the adults for putting a disciplinarian foot down over the idea of also handing out lime wedges and packets of salt.

"Tell Me Where the New Summer Line Is. TELL ME WHERE THE NEW SUMMER LINE IS!"

The following took place between 2 a.m. and whenever he sobered up: Kiefer Sutherland, who portrays tough guy Jack Bauer on the hit Fox drama "24", allegedly headbutted fashion designer Jack McCollough outside a New York City nightclub earlier this week.

Sutherland originally claimed that he was coming to the aid of actress Brooke Shields, who McCollough had bumped into, or so Sutherland said. But that story became a little far-fetched, even by "24" plotline standards, after a representative for Shields denied that McCollough had done anything inappropriate, MSNBC reports.

According to MSNBC, McCollough told authorities that Sutherland "was drunk and obnoxious and wouldn't back down or be logical." Oh man, someone's practically begging to end up back at CTU with jumper cables duct-taped to his nipples.

Shock and Ow! Stun Guns Used on Kids During Jail Visits

Prison Employees Put the "Duh" in Florida DOC

Florida prisons are in need of some public relations corrections, after employees at three facilities in the state were fired or placed on administrative leave in the last month for using stun guns on kids during "Take Your Children to Work" days.

On April 24, Sgt. Walter Schmidt lost his job at Franklin Correctional Institution for using a handheld stun device on visiting kids, once he got their parents' permission, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

After getting hit with 50,000 volts of electricity, according to the Times, the children visiting the Franklin jail "yelped in pain, fell to the ground and grabbed red burn marks on their arms," which likely didn't do much to harden their reps in time for the simulated inmate uprising.

Six-Pack Mountain: Georgia Pair Charged With Horseback DUI

"I Wish I Knew How to Quit Booze"

If horses dream, they probably see themselves sprinting down the home stretch and winning the Kentucky Derby as 50-to-1 long shots, as Mine That Bird did on Saturday. If they have nightmares, they're probably about ending up like the two horses in Georgia that last week had to try to keep the jostling to a minimum, so that an evening's worth of Pabst and corndogs didn't end up in their manes.

Gregory Cooley and Jeffrey Owen of Tunnel Hill, Georgia were arrested last week and booked for driving under the influence after riding their horses on a highway while legally drunk, according to WTVC-Chattanooga. "Even their ticket shows the make of the 'vehicle' as a baymare and the style as a horse," the news station reports.

Incident Raises Cable News Hyperbole Threat Level to Orange

We've all been there. One little awkward pause in a conversation and suddenly you're talking about how you wouldn't mind being waterboarded. But when Sean Hannity made that claim on his Fox News show last week, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann jumped on it like, well, like Keith Olbermann jumping on a claim made on a Fox News show.

The issue came up last week when Charles Grodin was a guest on Fox's "Hannity" program, discussing interrogation of suspected terrorists and the controversy over the waterboarding technique. According to the Associated Press, Grodin asked Hannity whether he would allow himself to be waterboarded. Hannity responded "Sure," and said he'd do it "for the troops' families." Right, because watching a television host giggling in a bath tub on a Manhattan soundstage should make up for the whole overseas combat duty thing.