Legally Weird: November 2009 Archives
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

November 2009 Archives

Don't Tase Me Bro: Boise Man Sues Over Excessive Shocks

Blame it on the Boise. It won't ever be a top 10 hit, but one Boise, Idaho man is doing just that. In a suit filed Monday, much tasered plaintiff Gerald Amidon is suing individual Boise Police officers and the city for excessive force and breach of his 4th amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Man Flips Off Cop, Will Likely Get $50K Settlement

A Pittsburgh man who gave a cop the middle finger may get $50,000 to settle a free speech lawsuit.

A federal judge said David Hackbart, 35, shouldn't have been cited for disorderly conduct.

Did Record Executive Cause Tweenage Riot by Failing to Tweet?

Island Records executive James A. Roppo is being charged with felony assault charges in district court in Hempstead over Twitter. The record executive failed to tweet a message to disperse a throng of tweenage girls who were trying to see pop star Justin Bieber at Long Island's Roosevelt Field Mall this past Friday.

That's right. He's being charged over a failure to tweet. According to New York Newsday, he is also being charged with endangering the welfare of a child, obstruction of governmental administration, reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance.

MySpace Used for 'Child Annoyance': Man Pays Teens to Spit at Him

In another story that will doubtless convince the rest of the nation that California is truly the depository for nuts, flakes and out and out weirdos, a Thousand Oaks man was charged last week with paying teens for a spit in the face. This, along with several other activities that will not be delved into, caused So Cal resident Charles Hersel to be picked up by police for his unusual and upsetting hobbies.

Update: Case Tips Over - Police Drop Tipping Charges

As we recently discussed, Pennsylvania college students Leslie Pope and John Wagner were arrested by police last week for refusing to pay the 18% mandatory gratuity tacked onto their bill at the Leigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. That two-person crime wave came to an abrupt halt when, even after explaining they had received terrible service and would not be leaving any gratuities, pub employees had the students arrested.

Gratuitous Theft: Couple Arrested for Leaving No Tip

Q: When is a tip not a tip? 

A: When it is a mandatory gratuity that when you refuse to pay, they haul you off to the pokey.

What Child Is This? Man Robs Store Holding Friends' Kid

Do you really ever know who's watching the kids? Parents of a young boy in Norwalk, CA, thought they did, but not quite. While babysitting for "friends," 20 year-old Jeremy Gallegos allegedly went on a crime spree, including liquor store robbery, while holding his friends' young child in his arms.

Police Bust Teenager Trying to Sell Marijuana Door-to-Door

It's fair to say that Anthony Carrazco probably isn't the best salesman.

The 19-year-old was arrested after allegedly trying to sell marijuana door-to-door.

His poor sales strategy led him to knock on one to many doors -- one that belonged to an off-duty police officer.

Man Takes Bus, Puts the Joyride Video on YouTube

A former employee allegedly stole his ex-employer's bus, took it for a joyride and then put a video of the joyride on YouTube for all to enjoy, including the cops.

Jacob Rehm's, four-minute video titled, "The Fabulous Bus Ride" has almost 30,000 views so far the video sharing site YouTube.

When questioned about his actions, Rhem said he felt inspired.

'Geezer Bandit' Wanted in CA Bank Heists

A retirement aged thief is allegedly behind four recent heists in two months in the San Diego area.

Law enforcement officials have dubbed the elderly armed bank robber the "Geezer Bandit," and are offering a reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Fake News Movie Ads Force Settlement with Alaska News Outlets

Universal Pictures recently had to reach a settlement with a number of news outlets in Alaska over its promotional movie ads that used fake news archives in order to promote their movie entitled The Fourth Kind.

LA Times reports that the movie studio planted fake news stories online that claimed to be from actual news outlets in Alaska. Some of the fake news stories that the movie studio planted were articles such as an obituary and news story about the death of the main character of the movie named Dr. William Tyler. The movie is supposed to be based on a "true story" about an alien abduction that took place ten years ago.

Pay Stub Left Behind Leads to Arrest of Suspected Burglar

Burglary 101: Don't leave your unemployment check stub behind.

A burglar was caught in the act by a resident who dropped his personal planner with the unemployment pay stub bearing his name and home address, the Union Leader reports.

Prison Hand Grenade Video Goes Public after Lawsuit Settles

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections has settled a lawsuit with the Associated Press by releasing a video of a guard tossing a non-lethal hand grenade into an inmate's cell.

The video was made public after the AP sued seeking a copy under the state's open records law. The department also agreed pay $5,000 to foot the bill for the AP's attorneys fees, the Associated Press reports.

Drunk Driver Crashes Car into North Carolina Courthouse

Herbert Bristol got a primo parking space.

Authorities charged him recently after he purposely drove his vehicle through the side door of a North Carolina courthouse building.

His car continued down a hallway of the Morganton courthouse and came to a stop near the tax assessor's office in the main lobby.

Who is John Scott? LA's Oldest Suspected Graffiti Vandal

Who is John Scott?

That's the handle of one of the oldest alleged graffiti vandals ever caught in Los Angeles county, authorities said.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a 73-year-old tagging suspect, John Scott was arrested recently on suspicion of felony vandalism.

Florida Man Arrested for Calling 911 Dispatcher, Asking for Sex

911 is the number to call for a wide variety of emergencies. These do not include the emergencies recently experienced by Tampa's Joshua Basso.

Instead of calling a hotline or a 1-800 number, he called a 911 dispatcher looking for sex.

He claimed it was the only number he could dial after running out of cell phone minutes, the Associated Press reports.

US Chamber of Commerce Sues the Yes Men

It seems like the US Chamber of Commerce doesn't have a very good sense of humor. Ars Technica reports that on top of their dislike of regulation and skepticism on climate change,  they are now suing the comedic activist group called the Yes Men for fraud over the group's parody of the Chamber for their position on climate change.

The US Chamber of Commerce came under fire back in April because it filed a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency that evidence for climate change should be presented in public hearings. When that silly petition was ignored, they went even further and asked for a public trial which would question the science behind climate change as well as the laws that are in place to prevent it. This really made a lot of people angry with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and rightly so. It was only when big businesses such as Apple withdrew from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that it did an about face on its stance.

Facebook Post as Alibi: Teenager's Facebook Status Saves Him

A Facebook post kept Rodney Bradford from facing possible criminal charges.

The 19-year-old was arrested on Ocober 18 as a robbery suspect in New York.

But Bradford's defense lawyer said the young man couldn't have committed the crime because at the time of the robbery he posted a Facebook status update from a computer at his father's apartment in Harlem.

Man Calls 911 to Report Missing Marijuana, Gets DUI

Marijuana is known to impact cognitive thinking abilities such as memory, speed of thinking, perception and coordinated movement.

Maybe that's what happen to Calvin Hoover, 21, of Salem, Oregon when he called 911 to say that his marijuana was missing.

Non La-Z-Boy DWI Chair Auctioned after eBay Fiasco

There's some bad news for those of you who had your eye on that morotrized "La-Z-Boy" made famous by one Dennis LeRoy Anderson, who had to forfeit it to police in Proctor, Minnesota after pleading guilty to driving it drunk.

First: the eBay auction has ended.

Second: it wasn't exactly a "La-Z-Boy" per se.

That second part led to a bit of an eBay snafu that looks to have cost Proctor police over $30,000 they might have made selling the moto-lounger.

Blockbuster Employee Stabs Himself to Get out of Work

Aaron Siebers decided to play hooky from his shift at Blockbuster Video.

Instead of calling in sick, he stabbed himself and made a false report that he was attacked by three Hispanic males.

Bestiality Laws: Sex with Horse Earns Rodell Vereen 3 Years in Jail

A South Carolina man was sentenced to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a horse. He was caught on video tape.

According to the Associated Press, Rodell Vereen, 50, was also ordered by the judge Wednesday to undergo mental health treatment once he is released and never to go near the stable.

Drunk Driver Calls 911 to Report Herself

We've all been told to call 911 if drunk drivers are seen on the road. But calling the police to report yourself as the drunken driver seems a little strange.

Clark County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jim Backus agreed.

"Drunken drivers reporting themselves is rare," he said in an Associated Press article.

On October 24th, a 911 dispatcher in Neilsville, Wisconsin received a call from Mary Strey, 49. "I don't want to hurt anybody. I'm drunk," Strey said.

Home Invasion Suspect Flips off Judge; Goes to Jail

Kane Kellett gave Judge G. Martin Zopp the finger and in return he got a six-month contempt of court sentence.

As reported by The Daily Herald, the 24-year-old man from Crystal Lake, Ill. was in court on charges including the violent assault of a pregnant woman. When asked to stand and raise his right hand to be sworn, he opted to give Judge Zopp the one finger salute.