Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

November 2013 Archives

Ho-Ho-Harassment? Mall Santa Accused of Groping Elf

Here's the first "Bad Santa" story of the holiday season: A mall Santa has been accused of giving a little too much love to an elf. Herbert Jones was charged with groping an 18-year-old woman who played the elf, Reuters reports.

Jones, 62, of Assonet, Massachusetts, has been released on $1,000 bail after pleading not guilty. He was ordered to stay away from the Hanover Mall, where the alleged incident occurred. A judge has also barred Jones from playing Santa anywhere while he awaits the outcome of his case.

What will prosecutors need to prove, and does Santa Jones have any potential defenses?

Selfie: 'Word of the Year' Can Spell Legal Trouble

The Oxford Dictionary Online -- not to be confused with the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary -- proclaimed "selfie" as the word of the year.

Per The New Yorker, a "selfie" is an informal noun (plural: selfies) defined as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website."

From the Mars Rover to the "Bling Ring" cinematic trope, selfies have taken our lexicon by storm.

But when the following three selfie legal issues happen to you, no filter can paint you in a flattering light:

10 Dumb Reasons to Call 911

As 911 dispatchers will tell you, there are plenty of dumb 911 calls out there. It seems many callers often don't quite understand what constitutes an "emergency."

Calling 911 is no joke, though. For example, "swatting" (i.e., getting the SWAT team called to someone's house on a bogus crime report) is dangerous and can get you arrested. Same goes with making too many 911 calls or otherwise abusing the system.

However, that didn't stop some of these people, who made our list of the 10 dumbest reasons to call 911...

Professional Ax Thrower Thwarts Burglars With Tomahawk

A professional ax thrower in California managed to fend off a burglar without Tomahawk-chopping the suspect. Though Robin Irvine certainly had an ax to grind with Nicholas Ulloa when he tried to steal a watch (from her wrist while she was sleeping!), she opted to use words as her weapon -- very colorful words.

Ulloa was ultimately apprehended for burglary and Irvine is more of an ax-wielding rock star than ever.

Woman Named Cowit Crashes Into Cows While Texting

A 21-year-old upstate New York woman has been arrested for texting and driving, New York's WNBC-TV reports, but that's not the whole story.

Here's the clincher, Daisy Cowit is her legal name, and she allegedly drove into a herd of...what? That's right, cows.

Three of the cows she hit were seriously injured and required emergency surgeries, and while the cows themselves aren't able to assert legal action, the state certainly can. Here's a breakdown of the charges that Cowit is now looking to face for her moo-ving violation: