Legally Weird: February 2012 Archives
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

February 2012 Archives

Man in Wheelchair Robs Store With Knife, Gets Stuck in Sand

A physical disability does not preclude you from being arrested for a crime.

John Champion, 22, didn't realize this when he rolled his wheelchair into a gas station located in Chiefland, Fla. Once inside, he pulled out a knife and demanded money, telling the clerk to "push the panic button because the police would not arrest a handicapped person."

Well, they did. After they found him and his wheelchair stuck in the sand, of course.

A South Carolina man could face multiple charges after he allegedly stole a fire truck for a naked joyride -- then struck and killed a pedestrian, police say.

The naked man, Kalvin Hunt, 26, of Sumter, S.C., was taken to a hospital after he crashed the fire truck and was pinned inside, the Associated Press reports. The pedestrian, Justin N. Miller, 28, of Port Royal, S.C., died at the scene.

Firefighters and medics were responding to a separate emergency a few miles away when Hunt, already naked, somehow climbed into a fire truck and drove off, the AP reports.

An Ohio magistrate gave Mark Byron a difficult choice: Go to jail, or post a long-winded public Facebook apology to his estranged wife -- every day, for the next 30 days.

"It's outlandish," Byron told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "I'm afraid to do anything. People are even fearful that Facebook can be regulated by a judge."

But a judge affirmed the magistrate's ruling, and found the Facebook apology fitting in Byron's case. Byron had blasted his wife in an earlier rant on Facebook, which violated a restraining order, the judge ruled.

Miami Strip Club Sent Patrons Hundreds of Spam Text Messages: Lawsuit

Perhaps the last thing anyone wants on their cell phone is a strip club text message. Or you know, 280 of them in one year.

That's just what happened to Bret Lusskin, lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit filed against the parent company of Tootsie's Cabaret, a strip club in Miami Gardens, Fla. He, and perhaps hundreds of others, received a constant stream of text messages from the strip joint after entering a contest.

Now he wants $500 for each message received.

A Wisconsin man who posed as a Denny's manager didn't make a grand slam in the kitchen. But he had a message for customers as he was hauled off to the slammer:

"This is why you don't dine and dash, kiddies," he yelled out, the Associated Press reports.

James Summers, 52, of Madison, Wis., wore a tie and carried a briefcase when he strode into a Denny's restaurant and proclaimed he was the new manager. While the real Denny's manager called corporate to confirm, Summers allegedly fired up a griddle and made himself a meal.

An investigation has uncovered a meth-making odd couple — a white supremacist meth maker in rural Missouri, and a black inner-city gang member who procured the ingredients needed to make the illegal drug.

Aryan Nations member Richard Treis, 38, and gang member Robert “Biz” Swinney, 22, were among seven people arrested in an alleged conspiracy to make and distribute methamphetamine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

“It was all about the money,” one law-enforcement officer told the Post-Dispatch. “They put away their differences to get the job done.”

Woman's Implant Explodes After Boyfriend Stomps on Her Chest

If you stomp on a woman's breast implant hard enough, it'll explode inside her chest.

This little tidbit of information is brought to you by Samuel Cole, 60, of Cincinnati, Ohio. He spent Sunday arguing with his 52-year-old girlfriend, and then chose to stomp on her chest. After he punched and choked her, of course.

The violence ended when her breast implant burst and he decided to take her to a local hospital.

FL Teen Falls for Undercover Cop, Gets Busted

Floridian Justin Laboy's love story is not that traditional. It's not a "teen falls in love with high school sweetheart, and lives happily ever after" story. No, it's quite different. It's a "teen falls for undercover cop, gets busted for marijuana" story.

Yeah, you read that right.

Laboy's boyish crush landed him in some legal trouble, according to the Huffington Post.

Couple Gets Married in NC Walmart Where They Met

For Susan and Wayne Brandenburg, choosing a place for their nuptials must have been relatively easy. It was a no-brainer, even. The couple was married in a Walmart store in North Carolina.

The ceremony took place last Tuesday.

Now, before you naysayers nix the idea as unromantic, know this: the store is where the couple first met. That's why they decided to have the wedding inside the retail store.

Facebook Photo with Wax Obama Gets Sicilian Drug Dealer Arrested

A Sicilian drug dealer was arrested in the U.K. after he was spotted in some unusual pictures. Michele Grosso, 27, took photos with a wax President Obama figure. The figure is known to be located at Madame Tussauds in London.

Grosso had been on the run for quite some time. In 2008, he fled his hometown of Taormina in an effort to evade arrest. Police, however, kept track of his Facebook page. Maybe he should have realized that uploading photos that hint at your location is not such a good idea.

He was also seen posing in photographs with famous landmarks around London. He even took a picture of himself at a restaurant where he waited tables, according to the Huffington Post.

Put Down the Crack Pipe When in Court on Crack Pipe Charges

You just don't bring a crack pipe to court. And that goes double for people who are at the courthouse to make an appearance on a previous crack pipe charge.

This isn't that complicated of a notion, but Stanley Ramos needs a little help navigating the world of common sense. The 32-year-old Florida resident brought a crack pipe to the Manatee County Judicial Center on Tuesday and with predictable results.

The crack pipe was found when he went through court security.

A very unhappy Valentine's Day led to a violent attack, a boyfriend barricaded in a bedroom, and the arrest of his knife-wielding girlfriend, a sheriff's report asserts.

The alleged motive: Anger over the boyfriend's failure to buy a Valentine's Day present, Cincinnati's WKRC-TV reports.

Kierra Reed, 22, of Colerain Twp., Ohio, faces a charge of aggravated menacing in connection with a Valentine's Day spat that allegedly turned into a life-threatening, and knife-threatening, situation.

Las Vegas' famous Heart Attack Grill has claimed its first heart-attack victim. A man suffered a coronary as he bit into the restaurant's gluttonous "Triple Bypass Burger," Vegas' KVVU-TV reports.

The grill's owner at first thought it was a joke, but quickly realized the customer wasn't kidding. The owner called 911, and medics took the man to a hospital.

The man, in his 40s, has not been identified. If and when he recovers, the customer may try to sue the grill for allegedly causing his heart attack.

A jury, however, may have a beef with that potential claim.

Couple's Valentine's Bondage Sex Stunt Lands Them in Jail

While you were off eating away your dateless sorrows, Oregon couple Nikolas Harbar and Stephanie Pelzner were spending their Valentine's Day behind bars. The problem? The couple just couldn't contain their love -- or their kink.

Police spent 20 minutes looking for Harbar's blue Suburu Legacy after a witness reported having seeing a naked woman bound and gagged in the backseat. When questioned about Pelzner's compromising state, the couple explained they were just "doing some Valentine's Day role-playing."

John Goodman Adopts Girlfriend, Gets Sued by Biological Children

Would you ever adopt your girlfriend, making her legally your daughter? Most people wouldn't. Then again, most people aren't John Goodman. Goodman, a Florida businessman, adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend Heather Laruso Hutchins as his daughter last year.

The motive seemed clearly financial. Goodman faced a lawsuit brought by the parents of 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilson. Wilson died in a car crash after Goodman ran a red light. It was later determined that Goodman had an elevated blood-alcohol level.

Goodman is now facing a lawsuit brought by his real children. Apparently, they aren't too pleased that daddy adopted his girlfriend. Especially because the adoption means Hutchins is entitled to part of a trust originally set up for Goodman's kids.

A Hawaii pet store's groomers cut off a dog's ear and tried to cover it up by gluing the ear back on, a lawsuit claims. Careless groomers at the same store also allegedly snipped the tip of another dog's tail.

The painful trims allegedly occurred at a Petco store in Kaneohe, on the island of Oahu, Honolulu's KGMB-TV reports. Two dog owners are suing the store for negligence and emotional distress.

The plaintiffs have a big dog, legally speaking, in their corner: Michael Green, a prominent criminal-defense lawyer known for his colorful courtroom attire, is representing both dog owners.

One of them just happens to be Green's wife.

Man Gets 3 Years for Penis Pumps Billed to Medicare

Gary Winner's penis pump scam was anything but a winner. In fact, it was a big fat loser, landing him in jail for a little over 3 years.

The Illinois medical device salesman pleaded guilty to health care fraud, selling a misbranded medical device in interstate commerce and money laundering in November, but his sentencing date was earlier this week. Federal authorities had accused him of carrying out a $2.2 million Medicare fraud scheme.

He billed the healthcare agency for re-branded penis pumps, claiming the devices treated erectile dysfunction and diabetes.

An apparently angry mom's anger-management session was recently cut short, after she allegedly punched her 10-year-old son in the face.

The mom also punched her kid in the "body area" while an anger-management counselor looked on, a police report alleges.

Misty Lawson, 30, of Louisville, Ky., was arrested in connection with assault (child abuse), the website The Smoking Gun reports. Child Protective Services placed her kids in foster care.

It wasn't the first time the anger-management mom's questionable child-rearing skills have landed her in legal trouble.

They answered God's call to a life of religious service. Now a group of nuns in suburban Chicago are calling for intervention -- divine or otherwise -- to stop a strip club from opening next door to their convent.

The sisters' next act may be legal action. The mayor of Melrose Park, Ill., where the convent is located, has asked the village attorney to "see if there's anything we can do to block this thing," he told the Chicago Sun-Times.

But the strip-club dispute also involves the neighboring village of Stone Park, where the club is under construction. (The nuns' property lies in both jurisdictions.) And Stone Park's attorney admits the village made a mistake.

A high roller who bet on some creative tax accounting has lost an appeal in court. The Canadian man tried to deduct more than $96,000 in gambling losses as business expenses.

Giuseppe Tarascio's business-expense claims may have been a gamble from the start, but the phone-company technician tried to back them up with proof, the Toronto Sun reports.

Tarascio kept records of his gambling and touted his "special knowledge and skill as a gambler" in trying to claim casino and horse-betting losses as business expenses, according to the Sun. But a Canadian appeals court held that wasn't enough.

Rape Suspect Wages Facebook Comment War with Sheriff

Dustin McCombs is a rape suspect who loves Facebook. Or at least he loves giving the Jefferson County Sheriff's office a few online jabs.

You see, the Alabama sheriff's office has a Facebook page. They also have a section labeled "Creep of the Week." One day they posted a photo of McCombs.

McCombs, 21, was listed as accused of forcible rape. After his photo went up, the strangest thing started to happen. McCombs started posting on the sheriff's Facebook page -- even though there was an outstanding warrant out for his arrest.

PA College Gets Nation's First Plan B Vending Machine

Drunken nights of debauchery are part of every good college experience, but they often lead to embarrassing situations. For some, this includes a trip to the pharmacy, where one whispers a request for the morning after pill.

Enter the Plan B vending machine. No eye contact or hungover conversations necessary. For $25 cash, women -- and men -- can snag a bit of post-coital birth control.

It exists, but only at Shippensburg University in central Pennsylvania.

Beer Pong 'Winner' Tries to Sue Bar After Getting Run Over

New Jersey man Alan Berger is a beer pong winner. He beat out numerous competitors at a bar called Wicked Willy's in June 2009.

Unfortunately, his victory came at a price. And now he's suing the bar where the festivities took place.

Berger took a bus home after his beer pong win. But he was so drunk that he ended up getting hit by a car on Highway 9. Berger suffered numerous injuries. He broke his hip, leg, and foot. He sustained tears on his knees. His liver was lacerated.

An attempted bottle-rocket launch from a drunken frat boy's anus backfired and caused a fellow frat boy to fall off a deck, a lawsuit claims.

Louis Helmburg III, a sophomore at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., is suing his fraternity and fellow frat brother Travis Hughes for injuries from his fall at a house party in 2011, Courthouse News Service reports.

Helmburg's lawsuit makes Hughes sound like, well, an ass. Hughes "decided in his drunken stupor that it would be a good idea to shoot bottle rockets out of his anus," Helmburg's lawsuit states. "But instead of launching, the bottle rocket blew up in the defendant's rectum."

Talk about "butt-for" causation.

Naked Burglar Arrested Covered in Chocolate, Peanut Butter

There's a new kind of candy on the market, and it's just in time for Valentine's Day. It's called the peanut butter and chocolate burglar, and you only want to give it to the stalker you're trying to scare away.

Sound good? Well, you can't have one. The original -- and only -- peanut butter and chocolate burglar is cooling off in a jail cell in Neon, Kentucky. Named Andrew Toothman, the questionable character was arrested last week after breaking into a local supermarket.

He was found naked, covered only in peanut butter and chocolate.

Two girls, one cup. And a pair of pliers.

Two Wisconsin sisters are facing sexual assault charges in connection with allegedly forcing a boy to drink a cup of urine, and then using pliers to pinch and twist the boy's penis.

On a scale of one to 10, "the pain to his penis was a 10," the police report states, according to the website The Smoking Gun.

Here's what else the report says about the sisters' bizarre alleged sexual assault with pliers:

FL Tycoon, 48, Adopts His Girlfriend, 42, as His Daughter

A Florida man has adopted his girlfriend. Yes, you read that right. Businessman John Goodman adopted his girlfriend Heather Laruso Hutchins as his daughter October 13.

In case you're wondering, Goodman is 48. Hutchins is 42. Hutchins and Goodman have been dating since 2009.

Now, you might wonder why Goodman would do such a thing. No normal person would want to have their girlfriend legally considered their daughter, right? Well, not so fast. Apparently Goodman's move might be a carefully calculated ploy.

The Force has run out for a wannabe Jedi master accused in a Toys "R" Us toy lightsaber attack.

David Allen Canterbury, 33, of Portland, Ore., will surrender to the Dark Side ... of a jail cell. A judge sentenced him to 45 days behind bars and possible mental-health treatment, The Oregonian reports.

In court, Canterbury apologized to his victims, though no one was hurt in the attack -- except Canterbury himself, when police used a stun gun to try to subdue him.

It didn't work. As Yoda might say, "Too strong he was."

Woman Robs Her Own Tax Preparer With a Curling Iron

If there's one thing you can learn from Sonia Watson, it's that you shouldn't rob your tax preparer. Especially if you plan to use a curling iron.

Police in Toledo, Ohio are currently searching for Watson and her son after such an incident. The pair went to a local Liberty Tax Service where they encountered a woman who had recently prepared Watson's taxes.

Fumbling, they then carried out the curling iron robbery.