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

December 2011 Archives

NY Man Steals Greyhound Bus to Visit Friend on Christmas

Are you clueless about what you should do if you can't find a ride? Maybe you should take a page from New York man Andrew Hickey. On Christmas day, he stole an entire Greyhound bus in order to visit his friend.

He was arrested and charged with criminal possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Officials caught up to the daring thief after Greyhound disabled the bus electronically. Police then used GPS to track down the vehicle.

An Illinois woman is suing the estate of a man killed by a train, claiming the man's flying body parts hit her and caused injuries.

A state appeals court cleared the way for Gayane Zokhrabov's flying body parts lawsuit to proceed -- though it also called the case "tragically bizarre," the Chicago Tribune reports.

The case stems from a horrific accident in 2008, when a train traveling more than 70 mph struck and killed an 18-year-old man who was running across the tracks. The victim did not know the approaching train was a high-speed train, his mother maintains.

The impact flung the man's body about 100 feet, and flying body parts knocked Zokhrabov, then 58, to the ground. She hurt her shoulder, and broke her leg and wrist.

Man Wields a Cow Bone in Hawaii Bar Fight

Gregory Haas might forever be known as the man who used a cow bone during a fight.

The 45-year-old man injured four men using the large thighbone. The attack occurred outside a Kailua-Kona bar in Hawaii on Christmas Eve.

When police arrived, Haas indicated that he found the cow femur somewhere in a pasture in Kona. Police said that Haas appeared intoxicated.

The attack was reportedly unprovoked. Four men were injured. Two were sent to the hospital for treatment. The other two men were hurt, but did not require medical attention.

A pit bull attack in Seattle has taken a bite out of crime. Actually, a whole lot of bites. A pack of pit bulls mauled a would-be burglar so badly from head to toe, he couldn't stand and had to be carted away on a dolly.

To add insult to injury, the intruder may face charges of criminal trespassing.

The pit bull attack broke out when a 21-year-old man recently scaled a 10-foot fence to steal from two cars parked in a homeowner's back yard, Seattle's KIRO-TV reports. Neighbors told KIRO the intruder, whose name was not released, hopped the fence with his pants down.

Too bad the wannabe bandit didn't know the homeowner had let the dogs out.

Two self-proclaimed witches arrested for an alleged extortion plot are in a ton of toil and trouble.

The bewitching pair targeted public figures and a TV star who forked over nearly $600,000 in exchange for spells that didn't work, the Associated Press reports.

Who were these gullible victims? You've probably never heard of them because they live in Romania.

Sak's Footwear Sale Leads to 'Utter Chaos,' Mad Dash for high Heels

Discounted designer shoes bring out the crazy -- and the crazy fashionistas.

Hundreds of shoe lovers took out their after-Christmas aggression at New York City's Saks Fifth Avenue Monday morning in a scene that could only be described as "utter chaos." The high-end retailer was having a 4-hour, 60% off shoe sale.

The rare year-end sale predictably ended in a year-end Saks shoe riot.

How's this for a holiday greeting from your boss: Best wishes for incredible sexual relations!

It happened in one workplace -- a police department, no less. And it came from the very top -- from Police Chief Euclides Santos of Coimbra, Portugal. His greeting was replete with racy images of scantily clad women, The Huffington Post reports.

While the chief may have hailed his holiday message as hilarious, his colleagues at work felt it was in ho-ho-horrible taste.

Man Gets Caught Returning Woman's Stolen Underwear

It's not uncommon for parents to take a shoplifting child back to the scene of their crime. It's all about teaching them the difference between right and wrong.

But such tactics should be saved for the very young. Property owners aren't often swayed by the stubbly face of a 21-year-old man. Especially when he stole their underwear.

Or in the case of Keith Savinelli, when they've decided to return it.

Utah Woman Attacked Ice Cream Truck Driver Over High Prices

A dollar here, a quarter there -- it all adds up. Which may be why Andrea Chavez, 65, attacked an ice cream truck driver selling too-expensive treats.

The assault occurred at Chavez' apartment complex in Taylorsville, Utah. She approached the ice cream truck driver and told the driver to leave. But when she didn't, Chavez got violent.

She sprayed the driver in the face with an industrial-strength cleaner called Mean Green.

NJ Cop Got Drunk to Teach Police DWI Class, Then Got a DWI

Today's lesson: don't volunteer to get drunk -- especially if you're a cop.

If Joseph Gaeta of the Midland Park police had been aware of this rule, he may not have been busted for driving under the influence. He volunteered to get drunk during a DWI class at the Bergen County Police Academy so fellow officers could see how he responded to sobriety tests.

When he hit a .13 blood alcohol level, class ended and a fellow officer drove him home. He didn't stay there.

A Pennsylvania woman convicted in a sex-for-Phillies-tickets sting operation has scored big-time in court. An appeals court overturned her conviction in a prostitution case that drew worldwide notoriety.

Susan Finkelstein, 45, admits she tried to use her flirtatious nature to score tickets to a Phillies-Yankees World Series game in 2009, USA Today reports. Finkelstein posted a classified ad on Craigslist, calling herself a "gorgeous tall buxom blonde" and adding, "Price negotiable."

When undercover police answered the ad, Finkelstein replied by sending three topless photos of herself, according to USA Today. She then arranged a meeting and offered sex for Phillies tickets -- for herself and her husband.

Geezer Bandit Strikes Again, But Leaves Day Planner Behind

Police might be closer to catching a notoriously elusive California robber: the "Geezer Bandit." The robber has already struck around 16 different banks in the state. He also recently left behind a crucial piece of evidence: his day planner.

The Geezer Bandit's day planner was found in a parking lot after the criminal robbed a Bank of America branch in San Luis Obispo last week.

A bank teller placed cash and some red dye in a bag before giving it to the robber. The Geezer Bandit placed the packet into his day planner before running off. The packet exploded. Authorities believe he accidentally left the day planner behind in his haste to get away from the scene.

An undercover sting operation has apparently exposed the aging underbelly of the flesh trade. Sheriff's deputies arrested three senior citizens after they allegedly solicited sex on the beach from young undercover officers.

The sting took place at Bunche Beach near Ft. Myers, Fla. Online reviews tout the beach's natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and vast array of collectible seashells.

What the reviews don't mention is that Bunche Beach has also been the site of men participating in lewd acts in public, Ft. Myers' WINK-TV reports.

People fed up with the lewd activity called authorities to complain. So the Lee County Sheriff's Office set up an undercover sting with young, attractive male deputies as decoys.

As Couple Shoplifted, Thieves Burglarized Their Car in Parking Lot

Karma's a ... well, you know what karma is. And so do Eldon Alexander and Korin Vanhouten of Ogden, Utah.

The couple was caught shoplifting Thursday afternoon at a WinCo Foods grocery store. And while they were inside being questioned, a different thief was outside breaking into their truck.

That's right -- the shoplifters were robbed while they were off stealing someone else's stuff.

Man Wields 'Star Wars' Lightsaber to Attack Toys 'R' Us Shoppers

What would win in a duel? A lightsaber or a Taser? Keep your answer in mind as you read the story below.

Police arrested David Canterbury outside a Portland, Ore. Toys "R" Us on Wednesday night after he attempted to start his very own Clone War. The lightsaber attack left no casualties, though three shoppers were hit.

The 33-year-old man tried for a quick getaway but was confronted by police. He violently swung his lightsaber while yelling incoherent statements.

The 10 Strangest Naked Crimes of 2011

There's nothing new about nakedness. It's been around since the dawn of time. But 2011 was a very special year for our natural state -- it saw the rise of the naked criminal.

Yes, 2011 saw dozens of criminals stripping down and illegally strutting their stuff. There were women who nakedly hung from cliffs, and others who shook it for the court. There was even a naked runner and an attorney looking for a naked sword fight.

But in the strangest stories of all, thieves, old men and the intoxicated were the naked suspects. With that, here are the top naked stories of the past year:

Man's Free Sperm Donations Result in 14 Kids, Angry FDA Letter

It's costly to give away your sperm for free -- just ask Trent Arsenault. The 36-year-old Northern California man has "fathered" 14 children since 2006, and has 4 more on the way. But they may be his last.

The FDA got wind of his one-man sperm donor operation last year and has ordered him to shut it down. Though he charges nothing for his services, the agency has labeled him a "manufacturer of human cells."

He's fighting the order, but could ultimately face a $100,000 fine if things don't work out.

When a Florida woman couldn't find her missing ring, she apparently went nuts. As in, she grabbed her husband's testicle and refused to let go. For two. Agonizingly. Long. Minutes.

Maryann Scott, 49, of Vero Beach, was arrested after her acutely-injured husband called 911, WTVJ-TV reports. She was released from jail a day later.

It seems Scott and her husband were having marital problems. Her husband told police he was lying on a couch when his wife confronted him about a missing ring -- a gift from him valued at $15,000.

Scott became quite enraged when her husband refused to say where he'd hidden the ring, WTVJ reports. At first Scott grabbed a knife from the kitchen and threatened to kill her husband, the police report states. Then she decided to get a bit more personal.

An alleged "sexting" lesson has backfired badly for an Arizona boyfriend. The man faces child sexual exploitation charges after he forwarded a photo of a naked girl to more than three dozen contacts on her cell phone.

Eugene Foster, 31, of San Tan Valley, Ariz., near Phoenix, was arrested after he forwarded the girl's nude photo Dec. 7. The girl is a teenager, but her age was not disclosed.

Foster was dating the girl's mother, and got angry after he found nude photos of the girl on the girl's cell phone, a sheriff's spokesperson told Phoenix's KPHO-TV.

Foster decided to teach the girl a lesson in the dangers of "sexting" -- by forwarding the naked photo to the girl's cell phone contacts. In all, 37 other cell phones received the offending image, which contained full frontal nudity.

iPhone Captures Video of Grandma, 66, Shooting Her Son-in-Law

A 66-year-old Florida grandmother shot her son-in-law three times at point-blank range when he came to pick up his son. Sal Miglino, the victim, captured the entire incident on film using his iPhone.

He said he expected "something stupid to happen," according to ABC News.

The shooting occurred last week when Miglino came to the grandmother's home to pick up his 3-year-old son. The grandmother, Cheryl Hepner, is the mother of Miglino's estranged wife.

Toronto Couple Caught Having Sex on Subway Train, Platform

A Toronto couple was arrested for subway sex in an incident that brings exhibitionism to a whole new level. The couple was first caught having sex on the subway train.

They were bumped off the train car after another passenger reported them.

The couple was left at the next train station. Instead of going home, they apparently decided that they still hadn't had enough of each other.

So, naturally, they resumed having sex on the train platform.

Botched Penis Injection Kills NJ Man

Botched butt injections are no joke, but botched penis injections are downright tragic. Just ask Justin Street, 22, of East Orange, N.J.

Alas, you can't. The poor man isn't with us anymore. 

A day after Kasia Rivera, 34, administered a penis injection, the silicone entered Street's bloodstream, causing a fatal blood clot. As a result, Rivera has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Man Fakes Own Mom's Obituary to Get Time Off from Work

A Pennsylvania man faked his mom's obituary in order to get paid time off work. Scott Bennett was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct over the incident.

All in all, it was a rather clever ploy in theory.

Think about it this way: how many people actually read physical newspapers these days? It seems more and more consumers turn to the web to catch up on the latest headlines.

Hunting Dogs Shoot Owners, Get Revenge for Deer, Ducks

Gone are the days of man's best friend. These are the days of dog shoots owner. Indeed, Fido's gone crazy.

Or at least Eli the bulldog has. Things turned ugly over the weekend when the once-friendly pup headed out with owner Billy E. Brown as his longtime deer-hunting companion. The trio was happily riding in the front seat along with Brown's loaded shotgun when they came upon a bumpy road.

Eli took it as an opportunity to strike. He "knocked" the shotgun, shooting his owner in the thigh.

What's supposed to be just a funny fad on Facebook has landed a teenager in legal trouble. A judge found him guilty of a "planking spree" and fined him $303, The Smoking Gun reports.

For those unfamiliar with "planking" from either Facebook or Pilates classes, it's when you pose completely stiff in a flat, plank-like position. As an exercise, it's a great way to strengthen your core.

As a social media fad, it's supposed to get laughs and "likes" on Facebook, when you "plank" in incongruous places. The trend began overseas, where people have actually died while attempting dangerous planking pranks.

Maybe that's why police in Manitowoc, Wis., felt compelled to arrest Alexander Hart, 19, after seeing his planking pictures online.

Or maybe it's because Hart's planking spree took place partly on police property -- specifically, atop two police cruisers and the town's monument to fallen officers.

Woman Busted for Cooking Meth in Oklahoma Walmart

Authorities arrested a woman who was trying to cook meth in a Walmart store this week. Oklahoma woman Elizabeth Halfmoon spent around six hours in the Tulsa store before police busted her.

Security officials called authorities after they saw her acting suspiciously.

Halfmoon said she didn't have the money to purchase the materials needed to make crystal meth. So, in her mind, it made sense to make meth in the Walmart store. Sure, that sounds about right.

Cops Arrest Man Who Ordered Pot at Burger King Drive-Thru

Do you want some fries with your marijuana? Floridian Shawn Porter and his unidentified passenger probably would. Porter probably thought he'd get a few chuckles out of the cashier when he ordered pot at a local drive-thru.

Unfortunately for Porter, the Burger King employee decided to report him to the police instead.

Essentially, it appears that the joke is on him. Porter was arrested after police traced the license plate on his car to a residence a few miles away from the fast food restaurant. Authorities found 28 grams of marijuana and a marijuana cigarette in his ashtray.

A phony plastic surgeon has been busted again for illegal butt injections gone bad.

The arrest of Lauretta M. Cheek -- yes, that's her real name -- comes three years after she got spanked in court for performing, and botching, the same rump-rousing procedures in a separate case.

Cheek, 42, of Greensboro, N.C., has no medical license, and never claimed she did, the News & Record reports. But that didn't stop patients from trying to give their behinds a boost.

Cheek's operating room was at a Motel 6. She charged just $500, and seemed to rely on word-of-mouth referrals.

Gamer Uses Xbox to Help Alert Police to Home Invasion

This holiday season, consider giving your loved ones the gift of an Xbox. Not only does it provide endless hours of entertainment, but the Xbox can also help alert police if you're ever getting robbed.

This feature isn't exactly advertised with the console, mind you. It's just a fortunate side effect of the system's online gaming feature.

One Pittsburgh man was on his Xbox when he heard his back door getting kicked in. Two men, wearing half-masks, entered. The gamer, who was playing online, alerted his online opponent that his home was being broken into. He asked his opponent to call 911.

A Maryland man is under arrest for a daring daylight shoplifting attempt. He allegedly tried to steal more than two dozen video games -- during an in-store event called "Shop With a Cop." The store was swarming with uniformed law enforcement.

Suffice it to say that Timothy Randall Clark, 22, was not shopping with a cop when he stuffed 26 video games and other items into his clothes at a Walmart in Charles County, Md.

But Clark was met by some cops -- actually, Charles County sheriff's deputies -- in the Walmart parking lot about 11 a.m. Dec. 3.

Store security officers say they watched as Clark snuck into a back room in the big-box store and sliced open small boxes that contained PlayStation and Xbox video games, WTTG-TV reports.

Something stinks, literally, about Margarita Salais' used car. The Michigan motorist is suing the dealership where she bought her SUV -- which came not with a "new car" smell, but a "dead body" smell.

Talk about bad B.O. Remember the Seinfeld episode about the body odor in Jerry's car that wouldn't go away? Salais claims the stench in her car is even worse, and she's alleging a cover-up, The Detroit News reports.

Salais bought her used SUV on a frosty day in March. The vehicle smelled somewhat strange, but Salais put up with it -- until the frigid spring thawed into summer.

"The warmer it got, the worse the smell got," Salais' lawyer told the News.

A burly naked bodybuilder who tried to muscle his way into a couple's home is behind bars in connection with a brutal beating.

Ruben Arzu, 22, who weighs about 300 pounds, was likely on steroids when he attacked a married couple outside their home in Colton, Calif., police told The San Bernardino County Sun.

The couple found Arzu naked on their front porch when they returned home just before midnight Saturday. While the wife ran inside to call 911, the husband confronted the naked bodybuilder.

Teacher's Holiday 'Panty Party' with Young Girls Lands Her in Jail

It's almost the holidays, meaning children nationwide are spending time crafting Christmas gifts and writing Santa. So where does a holiday-themed panty party fit in here?

Oklahoma teacher Kimberly Crain is facing allegations that her holiday-themed panty party may have crossed a line.

Crain, 48, is accused of inviting five of her elementary school students to her home for pizza and tree-trimming. During the party, she allegedly asked the girls to put on some holiday-themed underwear. She then took pictures and recorded the girls on a camera.

Walmart Shoplifters Wield Baby as a Weapon

Frozen armadillos and dead weasels are weapons. Sex toys can also be weapons. But babies? Babies are not weapons. Not unless you're trying to kill someone with the stench of a dirty diaper.

Megan Kelley and Jodie Willis were unaware of this fact, finding themselves arrested and charged with robbery and child neglect over the weekend. The duo was allegedly in the process of stealing cosmetics from a Florida Walmart when confronted by security guards.

Instead of giving it up, they attacked.

With a baby.

An Ohio man will not face charges for chasing down an alleged burglar and taking the law into his own hands. The homeowner hogtied the burglar -- after recognizing him as a neighbor.

Homeowner William Stanley called 911 last week to report not one, but two break-ins at his home near Athens, Ohio, WBNS-TV reports.

Deputies arrived and found the home empty. A few minutes later, Stanley pulled up in his car -- with the alleged burglar hogtied in the back seat.

Stanley told deputies someone broke in to his home and stole video gaming systems earlier in the day. The thief apparently came back for seconds later that night.

Stanley caught the thief red-handed. He also recognized the guy as a well-known troublemaker in his rural neighborhood.

Man Irons Wife After She Assaults Him With Sex Toy

A jury found Hugo Alquicira of Hutto, Tex. guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on Thursday despite claims that he never ironed his wife. Prosecutors had alleged that police were called to his home after he attacked wife Maria Puente with a heated iron.

Alquicira had an even more bizarre defense to the already bizarre crime. He told jurors that he had pushed Puente onto the bed after she “penetrated his buttocks with a plastic sex toy.”

Burp in Class, Face Juvenile Detention in New Mexico

School children everywhere, here is an unsolicited lesson in proper class etiquette. Never, ever insult your teacher, or spew bad language in the middle of class. You shouldn't tease your classmates, and you shouldn't cheat during your exams.

Oh, and don't burp in class. You might get arrested for that.

That is exactly what happened in the case of one 13-year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The student let out some gas in the middle of a PE class on May 11.

Robble robble!

A real-life McDonald's "hamburglar" who smashed his way into a fast-food joint just to gobble some grub has turned himself in to authorities.

Whitley Allen Teslow, 21, was caught breaking and entering -- and then cooking, eating, and drinking -- on surveillance video recorded at a McDonald's in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The caper took place just before 2 a.m. on Nov. 20, two hours after the McDonald's had closed, The Courier reports. Surveillance video shows Teslow first tapping on the McDonald's drive-up window, then smashing the glass and climbing inside.

Miami Houses Nation's First Stripper Prison?

If the reports are correct, officials at Miami's Federal Detention Center might want to install a stripper pole or two. It would certainly solidify its status as the nation's premiere stripper prison.

Confused? Let us explain. The maximum security prison actually houses a number of wealthy drug lords. Their expensive attorneys allegedly hire "South American pole dancers" to pose as paralegals and legal assistants, explains the Miami New Times. With such credentials, these women are free to visit prisoners, often smuggling in contraband like alcohol and porn.

They've also been reported to go topless during heated sessions of "legal counseling."