Legally Weird: January 2011 Archives
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

January 2011 Archives

Biting Monkey Escapes Again: 'Convict' Stages Daring Cage Break

A biting monkey known as an "escape artist" is on the loose again in Japan. While the case might be cause for chuckles, authorities say it is no laughing matter. The monkey, a macaque named Rakkii, or "Lucky," terrorized central Japan last year and bit 120 people, the Associated Press reports.

We recently covered the story of a person in Kansas City who stole a meerkat, but in that case, no one was injured and the meerkat was eventually returned. But when it comes to Rakkii, the government is treating this situation seriously and advising residents lock their doors to avoid any contact with the biting monkey turned repeated escape artist.

Tourist Sues Hooker for Leaving ½ Hour Early

Tourist Hubert Blackman hired a prostitute in Las Vegas but was dissatisfied with the overall performance. So what to do? Go gamble for a while and forget it? Drown your sorrows at the bar? How about suing the agency that sent her for $1.8 million in federal court?

"I also would like to get my $275 payment back and a $1.8 million verdict for the tragic event that happened," said Blackman's civil suit, filed pro se in Manhattan Federal Court.

Las Vegas Girl in Coma Ticketed for Jaywalking

Did you know that you can get cited for jaywalking even while you're in a coma? 

Takara Davis, 13, recently found that out, or more accurately, her parents did, after she was hit by a car after school. The incident left the Las Vegas girl in a coma suffering serious injuries, including bleeding from the brain. She was put into a medically induced coma at University Medical Center to prevent swelling of the brain, the New York Daily News reports.

Employers can Force Women to Wear Bras to Work, Court Rules

I think the Daily Mail wins for the best headline on this story: "Wunderbra."

The Brits really have a way with headlines. Of course the headline came after a German court bra ruling that found that bosses can require female employees to wear bras at work.

Now, this immediately sounds familiar to any true Seinfeld aficionado. May I introduce exhibit A, a conversation between the surprisingly litigious Kramer and attorney Jackie Chiles, from the episode entitled, The Caddy:

Farmer Gets Life Sentence for Evading Highway Tolls

Man, and you thought fines were unreasonable in the U.S.? A court in China has announced that it is going to retry a farmer sentenced to life in prison for evading highway tolls. The case came under second review after public outcry over his harsh sentence.

According to the court, Shi Jianfeng committed fraud by avoiding highway tolls. Jianfeng apparently mounted fake military plates on his cars so he could bypass the tolls over 2,300 times, the Associated Press reports. Shi was convicted of driving through the tolls for eight months while running a business transporting gravel. The alleged violations added up to $560,000. That's a lot of tolls. He was fined an additional $302,000 for the violations.

New York Prisoner Sues: 'Rodent Bit my Penis'

A federal judge is allowing a federal civil rights lawsuit to go forward by Peter Solomon who says that a rodent bit him on the penis. Solomon filed the suit contending the county exercised "deliberate indifference to his health and safety in failing to adequately protect him from rodents."

Solomon was being held in a Long Island jail at the time of the alleged rodent biting. U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt denied a motion by Nassau County arguing that Solomon's lawsuit should be dismissed by summary judgment. Solomon contends that jail officials didn't take reasonable steps to ensure his health and safety during his time at the East Meadow jail, the Associated Press reports. The judge agreed that Solomon's case satisfied to minimal threshold to survive a motion for summary judgment.

Stalker Leaving Animal Heads on Family's Porch ala 'The Godfather'

There is weird, there is gross, and there is strange. A case in Idaho Falls involving a stalker is all three together, mixed with a pinch of "The Godfather."

Police say that in the past two months, an Idaho family has found a severed elk head, a gutted rabbit corpse and the severed head of a mule deer on their front porch. The mule deer was left in the early hours of New Year's Day, which is a rather disturbing New Year's gift.

A family of seven lives there, with five children. It is unknown what motive the person leaving the animal corpses might have. The Idaho Falls police do not have a suspect, but they do have one person of interest that the family suggested they speak with, the Post Register reports.

Woman, Depicted As Smuggling Drugs In Her Private Parts, Sues Network

While A&E Television Networks is no stranger to lawsuits, its current lawsuit may be the most strange. A&E is currently being sued by Marlorita Battle for falsely portraying her as smuggling drugs in her private parts, according to Courthouse News. Marlorita Battle claims that she never gave the television permission to use her image or likeness at all, but they filmed her during their "Conspiracy" episode on its show called The Squad: Prison Police.

The episode was filmed by Wild Eyes Production at the Riverbend State Prison in Nashville, TN on Aug 30. Marlorita Battle visited her husband in prison with her infant child that day. She claims that A&E Television Networks showed her entering the prison, zoomed in on her driver's license, and interacting with her husband. Ms. Battle claims that she never gave the television network permission to film her or show her driver's license.

Explosive Orgasm: Man Plants Bomb in Sex Toy

A man in Minnesota is accused of loading vibrators with explosives which he planned to give to ex-girlfriends as Christmas gifts.

Terry Allen Lester, 37, has been arrested and charged with creating an explosive device and making terroristic threats, both felonies, the Toronto Sun reports. Making terroristic threats can typically be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the facts of the case and the discretion of the prosecutor.

Even Romanian Witches Have to Pay Taxes

Bummed about having to pay taxes? You're not alone. Romanian witches are threatening to cast a spells with dog feces on the Romanian government over new labor laws that would force them to pay taxes on their income. Witches, in addition to, fortune tellers, models, valets and astrologers are vowing to hex the government for its taxing ways.

 In addition to being reclassified as those practicing in a professional trade, under a new classification, they would have to declare their income and pay taxes on it.

The laws are designed to fight tax evasion, according to the Romanian government. The law will force Romanian witches and other related professionals to register their professions and pay 16% in taxes, as do other self-employed Romanians.

Where There's A Will: Mass. Pet Lovers Get Pet Wills

Owners of pets in Massachusetts got the news they wanted when Gov. Deval Patrick signed a piece of legislation that allows for pet trust law in the state.

The bill not only allows owners to take care of their pets in pet wills, but the bill would help the state out in terms of spending. "Having trust mechanisms is just one more tool to try and keep pets in homes and out of shelters," Kara Holmquist, director of advocacy for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told the Boston Herald. That means that there are less abandoned pets in state facilities that need state funding.

Match.com Sued: Love Seekers Claim Site Full of Fake Profiles

New allegations of fake profiles have gotten Match.com sued. The Dallas-based dating website, which claims more than 20 million users, is under fire after former employees allegedly confirmed that half of the profiles are fake. The case has been filed as a class action in a Dallas federal court.

According to the consumer lawsuit, Match.com uses the fake profiles to lure people into the site and pay a monthly subscription fee. The inflated number of users purportedly makes the site seem bigger and more popular than it actually is. The attorney for the class action says that Match.com users want a refund of the subscription fees they have been paying. Match.com denies all claims being made in the lawsuit.

'Butt Dial': SWAT Team Responds to Accidental Pocket Dial

Anyone with a cell phone has probably experienced the embarrassing phenomenon of the "butt dial." However, one man in Winnetka, Ill. got the surprise of his life when his "butt dial" summonsed out the SWAT team. The Huffington Post reports that his accidental cell phone call to his wife led to a SWAT team storming into a Chicago suburb's school where the man worked.

For those of you readers who don't know what a "butt dial" is, Winnetka Police Chief Joseph De Lopez explains it best: "You know how when you sit on your phone when it's in your back pocket and it calls the last number that was dialed? His wife was the last number he'd dialed."

Ozzy Osbourne DUI Defense: Rocker's Music Made Man Drive Drunk?

Here's a novel DUI defense: "Ozzy Osbourne and his music made me do it."

Ozzy Osbourne, also known as the Prince of Darkness, is no stranger to controversy. He has bit off the heads of both a dove and a bat. He has been accused of encouraging suicide and Satan. But now he is being accused of something strange even by his standards: making music that causes another person to drive drunk. Call it the Ozzy Osbourne DUI defense, or the "Ozzy Defense."

William Liston of Aurora, Ohio, was arrested Christmas Eve in suburban Cleveland after allegedly driving erratically and aggressively, at one point forcing an SUV off the road. Frank Klarich spotting Liston on the road, and called 911. "His head was bouncing around and he was losing consciousness the whole time he was driving," he told Fox 8 News of the Ozzy Osbourne DUI defense. Upon being pulled over, Liston was also found with a bottle containing four different kinds of prescription pills. (I wonder if Ozzy made him take those as well?)

Drunk Burglar Gets Stuck Inside House, Calls 911 for Help

Here's something to add to your list of things not to do. Break into a house, get drunk, get locked inside and call 911 for help.

That's just what 44-year-old John Finch did, according to New Castle County police. But just how drunk do you have to be to get stuck inside a house? Naturally, there is more to the story.

John Finch, also known as the "drunk burglar," had broken into the 81-year-old victim's home before in April, prompting the homeowner to install locks that required a key, even from the inside, according to New Castle County police. This time, no one was home when Finch allegedly broke in through a rear window. He decided to stay for several days, drank three bottles of gin and two bottles of whiskey.

New Balance Class Action: Shoe Buyers are Still Fat, Not Tone

Exercise is a good thing. But according to a New Balance class action lawsuit filed in Boston, shoemaker New Balance has been hawking TrueBalance and Rock Tone sneakers that falsely claim to have health benefits.

New Balance ads claim they increase muscle activation by at least 27 percent and increase calorie burn by up to 10 percent with each step using a spring sole. However, shoe buyers are remaining obese, and not seeing any increased toning. Enter the New Balance class action lawsuit.

Advice to Thief: Don't Accept Victim's Facebook Request

What kind of thief steals a television from a carwash? The same kind that gets caught on Facebook.

A thief hid a 27 in. flat screen television that he stole from the men's restroom of a Taunton, Mass. car wash under his sweatshirt, Gearlog.com reports.

While no one actually witnessed the thief take the television, car wash manager Nicole Telles reviewed a video surveillance tape in order to identify the thief. Not only did the thief take the television, the footage revealed that he paid with a credit card at the car wash before he stole the television.

Mom, Daughter Sexually Abuse Same Teen Boy for 3 Years

How's this for weird and certainly not legal. An Arizona mother and her daughter have been accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy for three years. That's weird and odd in and of itself. But here's the twist that makes it Legally Weird worthy: they allegedly sexually abused the boy separately and without knowledge that the other had a relationship with him.

Susan Brock, 48 allegedly met the boy for sexual relations that started when he was 13. Rachel Brock, 21 also had a relationship with the boy, which allegedly included sending nude photos and videos of herself, or "sexting." The victim, who is now 17, said that Susan Brock regulary took him in her car to secluded areas where she molested the boy, police said, the New York Daily News reports. Rachel Brock, allegedly molested him at her family's house. Police have said that there are not allegations of sexual intercourse by Rachel or Susan Brock.

It's a Stick Up! Robber Wields Huge Stick, Clerk Grabs Hammer

"Freeze, it's a stick up!"

A hooded Virginia man took the phrase stick up to an absurd new level. Out of all the weapons that a person could choose to threaten someone with, he picked a large piece of a tree. A really tall piece of a tree. We're talking at least a 6-foot tall stick, taller than the robber.

In this case, the 58-year-old store owner, Jugal Uppal grabbed a small hammer to defend himself against the big stick, WRC-TV reports. The robber was able to escape with some cash, as well as his precious stick, NBC Washington reports.