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

March 2012 Archives

Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy for 29-year-old Robert Wilkinson? The Canadian crooner is getting his six minutes of fame, as his drunken rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" following a DUI arrest has gone viral.

Wilkinson, of Edson, Alberta, first tells Royal Canadian Mounted Police he is not "sort of intoxicated, as you proclaim" in the video taken inside a police cruiser on Nov. 27, Canada's National Post reports.

Moments later, Wilkinson begins belting out the epic Queens tune, barely missing a beat -- despite his apparent inebriation, and the song's famously abrupt changes in tone and tempo.

A Montana man faces animal-cruelty and drug charges after he was caught with a different breed of "DUI": a dog under the influence of alcohol.

The drunk-dog tale began about 11:30 p.m. March 1, when patrons at a bar reported a small dog -- a Pomeranian or Pomeranian cross -- that was visibly intoxicated, Helena's Independent Record reports. The 20-pound dog couldn't walk in a straight line, and kept falling over when placed on the floor, police said.

Officers took the dog to an animal clinic, where a blood test revealed a 0.348% blood-alcohol level -- more than four times the legal limit ... for humans, of course, the Independent Record reports. A bar patron copped to getting the dog drunk.

A former prostitute and ex-McDonald's employee claims her stint at the Golden Arches led to an unseemly life of sex trafficking. Now she's filed a lawsuit -- and it's a whopper.

Shelley Lynn of Pismo Beach, Calif., claims McDonald's failed to institute an employee grievance policy, failed to properly supervise her boss Keith Handley, and failed to conduct "due diligence" in allowing a person like Handley to become a franchise owner, Courthouse News Service reports.

Those alleged failures allowed Handley's conduct to get out of hand, Lynn's lawsuit asserts: He allegedly forced Lynn to become a prostitute -- and that's not all.

Give Mayor Doug Ellison enough rope, and he'll hang himself -- as part of a historic re-enactment for tourists visiting the town of Medora, N.D.

That was Ellison's plan, anyway, until townsfolk started talking. Now the mayor is backing down from his "hang me from the gallows" idea, which he hoped would be a compelling tie-in to his small town's Wild West history.

"I thought it would just be entertaining like a Western movie," Ellison, 49, told the Associated Press. But opponents thought he'd lost his head.

'Batman' Pulled Over by Cops in Black Lamborghini

Montgomery County Police were in for a big surprise last week when they pulled over a black Lamborghini just outside of Silver Spring, Md. The car's license plates had been replaced with the Batman symbol and the driver was dressed in a $5,000 Batman costume.

They had inadvertently pulled over Batman. They were so excited, they even took photos and posted them on the department's Facebook page.

NJ Middle School Bans Hugging on Campus

Give a hug, get detention.

Or maybe not. An outcry erupted last week when Principal Tyler Blackmore of Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School in New Jersey announced a no hugging policy over the school’s loudspeaker. He told approximately 900 students that they were now attending a "no hugging school."

The hugging ban was put in place after Blackmore witnessed some "unsuitable, physical interactions." He seems to have forgotten what it’s like to be a young teen.

An alleged serial burglar is behind bars in Tennessee, thanks to an angry 8-year-old boy and his iPad app.

Someone broke into Landon Crabtree’s home earlier this month and stole two iPads along with other valuables including the boy’s PlayStation, Nashville’s WTVF-TV reports.

“He was really mad, because a lot of the stuff was his,” Landon’s mother said. But then the third-grader figured out how to get even.

A medical marijuana deliveryman lost a bag of cash and pot Friday night, when he was robbed by two men dressed as ninjas and armed with batons, police said.

The masked ninjas confronted the deliveryman outside an apartment building in West Covina, Calif., about 20 miles east of Los Angeles, KNX radio reports. The ninjas used white batons called tong fa to intimidate the deliveryman, who dropped his bag of marijuana and cash and ran off, police said.

The ninja robbers remain on the loose. And though marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the deliveryman likely won't face charges.

Woman Fakes PTSD to Dodge Jury Duty, Gets Caught Bragging on Radio

Look, no one really likes jury duty, but it's not really a good idea to lie your way out of it. Or to brag about doing so on the radio.

Susan Cole of Denver was arrested Thursday and is accused of faking PTSD to get out of jury duty. She allegedly showed up to court in clown makeup, a t-shirt, a dress skirt and reindeer socks. She was also wearing hair curlers and two different shoes.

Thinking the stunt was hilarious, she went on a local radio show to brag about the ruse. The presiding judge happened to be listening in.

TX Man Arrested for Driving With Stepson, 7, on Car Roof

Houston police have arrested Abelardo Araujo, a man accused of driving around with a boy on the roof of his car. Facts seem to indicate that the child, Araujo's 7-year-old stepson, was enjoying the ride.

A patrol car spotted the pair in a parking lot that was doubling as the site of a makeshift car show, explains KPRC-TV. Araujo reportedly put the boy on the roof of the car so he could get a better view of the vehicles as they drove by.

'SMUGLER' License Plates Lead Cops to Cocaine Smuggler

Ah, the criminals just keep getting brighter and brighter. Or not. Recently released court documents reveal the amusing details of a December drug smuggling arrest in Blaine, Wash. The smuggler -- Jasmin Klair -- was reportedly caught riding in an SUV marked with license plates that spelled out "SMUGLER."

Even better, officers spotted the vehicle as it pulled into the parking lot at the Smuggler's Inn Bed and Breakfast. She was carrying nine bricks of cocaine.

White Supremacist Runs for Sheriff, Vows Not to Discriminate

A white supremacist sheriff candidate. It seems like an oxymoron, but Shaun Winkler is the real deal.

The 33-year-old is running for sheriff in Bonner County, Idaho, despite his affiliation with the Aryan Nation and the Church of Jesus Christ-Christian. He calls himself a “concerned citizen,” and believes law enforcement isn’t doing enough to combat drugs and sex offenders.

He also claims he won’t discriminate on the job.

Penguins Vandalize TX High School

El Paso County Sheriff's deputies arrested six penguins on Tuesday, believing they are behind an incident of early morning vandalism at Clint High School. The penguin vandals are accused of breaking into the school and then using glue to close doors and turn lights on.

In a curious move, the penguin vandals also spray painted the number "2012" on a brick wall. Authorities believe they may be minions sent to spread the word about the year-end apocalypse.

Karaoke Singer Attacks Applebee's Manager Over Bad Review

Karaoke and alcohol usually go hand and hand, but the combo isn’t for everyone. In fact, it definitely wasn’t for Jeffrey Thompson on Sunday night.

Police in Melbourne, Fla., arrested the 28-year-old after he instigated an Applebee’s karaoke brawl. None too pleased when the restaurant manager asked him to leave the karaoke stage, he turned violent and punched the guy in the face. He was then tasered by an off-duty cop who just happened to be chomping down on some chain restaurant food.

TX Teen Stabbing Suspect: 'The Ouija Board Made Me Do It'

If you try to kill someone, blame it on a board game. It’s the best defense ever.

Or not. A 15-year-old boy in Weslaco, Texas, has been charged with attempted murder and is accused of stabbing a friend with a 4-inch knife. When asked about his motivation, he claimed the Ouija board told him to do it.

After further investigation into the Ouija board stabbing, police realized that the board game operates on teenage logic. It allegedly told the suspect that his friend was the cause of all of his problems, and then advised him to kill the friend.

A finicky feline refused to go jogging with its owner, police say. Now a Colorado teenager faces an animal-cruelty charge for tying the cat's leash to a rock.

Seth Franco, 19, a senior at Boulder High School, decided to go for a jog March 14, when the temperature soared past 70 degrees, Denver's KUSA-TV reports. Franco thought his cat Stella would enjoy jogging with him in the unseasonably warm weather.

"She ran about 45% of the way, and then it was so hot she started panting real bad," Franco told KUSA. So he tied Stella's leash to a rock under a nice, shady tree, and continued his jog around a lake.

Oregon Death Row Inmate Sues, Is 'Cool' With Being Executed

Oregon death row inmate Gary Haugen wants to die. He's "cool with it." In fact, he's so cool with it, he and his attorney have asked a state court to re-issue a death warrant, which would force the state to carry out his execution.

The move comes after a November 22 order by Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has decided to suspend all executions while he is in office. Haugen believes this move was "legally ineffective" as applied to him because he does not accept the reprieve.

He also calls it cruel and unusual punishment.

CA Man Files Federal Lawsuit Over Right to Wear a Thong in Public

You gotta fight for your right to wear a loin cloth in public, and that's just what Will Walters is doing. The 30-year-old gay man has sued the city of San Diego and some of its police officers, accusing them of violating his scantily clad civil rights.

Walters was arrested on suspicion of public nudity while at the city's July 2011 LGBT Pride Festival. Local law enforcement clearly didn't understand that a "gladiator type kilt over black underwear" is de rigueur for such events.

Fla. Police Seek 'Kidnapped' 6-Foot-Tall Slice of Pizza

Police in Polk County, Fla. are currently seeking a 6-foot-tall single slice of pizza. The allegedly kidnapped pizza slice is believed to be wearing pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and black olives.

The slice was last seen Sunday evening at a local Papa John's Pizza restaurant, where surveillance video showed it being forcibly taken through the front door. Police are also looking for the mastermind behind the operation -- a white male believed to be about 18 years of age.

Authorities are concerned the stolen pizza costume may be in danger.

Brooklyn Water Bagel's 'Brooklynized' Water a Fraud, Lawsuit Says

Some attribute the superiority of the New York bagel to the production process. Others credit the city's water. Whatever the truth, one Palm Beach company is being accused of taking the debate one step too far.

Andrew Greenbaum is suing The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co., claiming it fraudulently led him to believe it owned a unique patented process that can "Brooklynize" water. If he had known it was a lie, he would have never bought the rights to develop bagel franchises in two counties.

A Justin Bieber doll allegedly doubled as an attack weapon in a heated argument that landed a Denver police officer behind bars.

Officer Michael Nuanes Jr., 37, was arrested in connection with domestic violence and charged with misdemeanor assault, property damage, and obstructing telephone service, Denver's KMGH-TV reports.

The argument began in January, when Nuanes said his 42-year-old girlfriend threw two Barbie-sized dolls at him. One, a Justin Bieber doll, hit him in the foot and left a bruise, according to a sheriff's affidavit.

4 Amish Teens Arrested After Buggy Hits Cop Car

The Amish have always been portrayed as a serene, law-abiding community. But it seems their youth -- and some of their wayward adults -- are out to prove this stereotype wrong. Police in western New York encountered the latest of these rebels on Sunday, hauling four of them in after a buggy car crash.

Officers collided with the horse-drawn vehicle while responding to reports of a buggy party near a rural Sherman farm. A group of young Amish men and women were apparently getting their drink on.

WA Woman Plans Wedding to Man Without His Consent

Madeline Desmet is either desperate or severely deranged. When a man rejected her romantic overtures, the 64-year-old started following him around. It got so bad, the man obtained a restraining order. It went ignored.

In December 2011, the man received a strange call from the Seattle Municipal Court. Soon after, an employee from Jared Jewelry called and asked how he planned to pay for a wedding ring Desmet had picked out.

Unbeknownst to him, she had made plans for them to be married by a judge.

Facebook Friend Suggestion Gets Man Charged With Bigamy

Facebook's "People You May Know" feature can at times be obnoxious. But other than suggesting high school classmates you never want to see again, it remains pretty harmless, right?

Wrong. Alan O'Neill is probably wishing he never signed up for the social networking service. The Washington state corrections officer faces felony bigamy charges after Facebook suggested his first wife friend his second wife.

He apparently forgot to divorce the first one.

A Pennsylvania man, bugged by the sounds of his estranged wife's lovemaking, bugged her bed with an electronic transmitter to let him know when "the coast was clear," police say.

Wayne Comet Cripe, 66, of Raccoon Twp., Pa., lived in the same house -- but in different bedrooms -- with his estranged wife Suzanne, 49, the local Beaver County Times reports.

Suzanne and her new boyfriend shared some intimate moments in her boudoir -- with Wayne Cripe apparently listening in without their knowledge, police said.

A veteran Miami-Dade police officer made her bed, so to speak, and is now lying in it, after she allegedly misused her marked patrol car to transport two mattresses.

Officer Sandra Lyles, a 32-year veteran of the force, is set to retire Monday, the Associated Press reports. Meantime, Lyles has been relieved of duty -- with pay -- while an internal investigation gets underway.

Alert citizens spotted Lyles loading two mattresses atop her police cruiser at a Big Lots store, and then driving away. The citizens took photos and videos, and shared them with local TV stations.

"Woman seeking dog" is not a legitimate category on Craigslist's online personal ads. But that didn't stop three Arizona swingers from allegedly using the site to try to commit bestiality with a dog.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Shane Walker, 38, his wife Sara, 33, and their friend Robert Aucker, 29, after they allegedly went online to find a dog for Sara Walker to have sex with, Phoenix's KPHO-TV reports.

The trio got in touch with a man who offered a male golden shepherd canine mix to fulfill their bestiality fetish. But the man turned out to be an undercover sheriff's deputy.

Hearing Roommate Have Sex Caused Suicidal Depression: Lawsuit

A former student at Stonehill College, a Catholic university in Massachusetts, has sued the school over that which plagues many a college student:

Loud roommate sex.

Lindsay Blankmeyer is accusing the school of violating the Rehabilitation Act and the federal Fair Housing Act. Her roommate sex lawsuit claims the school denied her a reasonable accommodation when it refused to move her into a quiet, single room.

Boca Bra Bandits Stole $34K in Bras, Panties

The Boca bra bandits have been caught!

Police in Boca Raton, Fla. have arrested Tysheka Pink, 29, and Katina Summerset, 39, ending a months-long shoplifting spree at local Victoria's Secret locations. The pair is estimated to have stolen more than $34,000 worth of bras and panties since October.

They then returned the merchandise, seeking a full refund.

The wealthy owner of a sprawling New York mansion broke immigration laws by forcing a virtual house slave to overstay her visa, a federal complaint alleges. The illegal alien was also forced to sleep in a closet.

Mansion owner Annie George, 39, of Rexford, N.Y., required her servant to work 17-hour days, seven days a week -- and paid the woman an average of 85 cents an hour over a five-year span, according to the complaint obtained by the website The Smoking Gun.

George's 12-acre, $30 million estate includes a 30,000 square-foot mansion with a helicopter pad, 24-karat gold gilded ceilings, 34 rooms and 10 bedrooms, the complaint states. Yet George forced her servant, identified by the initials "V.M.," to sleep in a walk-in closet.

'Black Madam' Butt Injection Doc Arrested at Philly Pumping Party

Philadelphia police have arrested Black Madam -- a "transgender 'goth hip-hop artist'" known for administering illegal silicone butt injections. Black Madame, legally known as Padge Windslowe, was picked up at a local 'pumping party' where she was getting ready to dole out some injections.

Police caught up with her after a 23-year-old woman was taken to the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. The silicone used in Black Madam's butt injections had migrated into the woman's lungs.

Student Attacks Teacher Over Flying Cheetos

An Indiana high school student attacked his teacher over a bag of flying Cheetos. The bag of Cheetos was thrown outside the school's library as students were waiting for classes to begin.

The Cheetos hit the school's Assistant Principal Roger Francis. He tried to find out who threw it. He asked an unnamed student to come to his office, according to the Huffington Post.

The student refused.

Judge Pulls Gun in Court, Tells Victim to 'Shoot Your Lawyer'

It's not normal for a judge to pull a gun in court, but leave it to Georgia to produce one that does. Judge David Barrett of the Enotah Judicial Circuit brandished a pistol mid-hearing last week while a witness was being questioned on the stand.

The act was not one of self-defense, but instead an attempt to make "a poor rhetorical point." When a sexual assault victim stopped cooperating with her attorney, he told her she was "killing her case."

He then offered her his gun, adding, "You might as well shoot your lawyer."