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

July 2012 Archives

Rural Galesburg, Ill., isn't a hotbed of crime, but a reported sex toy burglary has townsfolk talking.

Whoever allegedly broke-in to Tiara Likes' apartment ignored her pricey high-tech devices and other valuables, the New York Daily News reports. Instead, they went straight for her bag of sex toys.

And Likes had a lot of them.

Drunk Woman Tries to Break Into Jail, Demands to be Arrested

Tiffany Hurd was caught during a break in but ended up where she was trying to go - jail.

Hurd was seen climbing a barbed wire fence outside Butler County Jail in Ohio and deputies asked her to leave. She refused and told staff that she wanted to be arrested.

At first the police were reluctant to give in to her demands.

But Hurd made it difficult, shouting and ignoring deputies requests that she leave. After multiple attempts to remove her, deputies did eventually arrest Hurd on Sunday.

She was asking for it but Hurd was eventually arrested because she broke the law, not because of her insistent requests.

NY Thief Stuffed Tiny Pomeranian Puppy Down His Pants

A Long-Island man wanted a puppy so badly that he grabbed a tiny Pomeranian and shoved it in his pants.

We would give him ten points for creativity, but in reality he probably wasn't motivated by puppy love.

The man and his accomplice, neither of whom have been identified by police, went into Zoorama Pet Store and one pretended to be interested in dogs. He distracted the clerk while the soon-to-be puppy thief tried several times unsuccessfully to open the cash register.

When he failed to steal the cash, Mr. Puppy Pants took the nearest item of value he could get his hands on and put it where no one could see it.

It might have been better for him if he'd just stolen the money.

NY Man Takes Bat to Head Shop for Selling Bath Salts to Son

Daniel Avery took the law into his own hands when he smashed a local head shop with a baseball bat for selling bath salts to his son.

The upstate New York man says that Tebb's Head Shop sold the bath salts to young people knowing that the bath salts were being abused as drugs. Avery said that his 24-year-old son was one such customer and was hospitalized after overdosing on the synthetic drugs, reports WNYF.

Avery apparently has no regrets for what he did, but he now faces several criminal charges including third degree criminal possession of a weapon and third degree criminal mischief.

TX Ballpark Urinal 'Peeping Tom' Arrested for Child Porn

A peeping tom was arrested at Rangers ballpark in Arlington, Texas back in May. Now it appears he will face both state and federal child pornography charges.

Michael Manske, a registered sex offender, wasn't exactly subtle when he started checking out boys in the restroom. Someone noticed his inappropriate glances and reported it to a police officer. The officer found Manske and questioned him. That questioning led to some interesting discoveries.

Manske clearly didn't know the eyes-forward-at-the-urinal rule.

A Las Vegas man fell victim to a toilet lid attack and near strangulation when a crazy man invaded his home.

Police say that 41-year-old Ronald Hetzel broke into the home of an unidentified man and struck the homeowner over the head with a guitar and porcelain toilet lid. Hetzel then made several threats about killing the man and attempted to strangle him, reports the Las Vegas Sun.

The struggle for life and death lasted about 20 minutes before police intervened. It's still not clear what prompted Hetzel to lose it, but he had been acting strange for quite some time, report the police.

Border Patrol Detain Men Over Illegal Chocolate Kinder Eggs

Kinder Eggs seemed like a perfect gift for family and friends so Chris Sweeney and Brandon Loo bought a few to bring back to Seattle without knowing they were illegal.

Kinder Eggs, also known as Kinder Surprise, consist of a chocolate egg wrapped around a small toy or prize. The eggs are legal in Canada but have never been permitted into the U.S. because of safety concerns.

The couple was vacationing in Vancouver, British Columbia and put the eggs in the trunk of their car on their way back to the U.S. Before they got home, they were stopped by border patrol agents who weren't happy to see the eggs.

The men were detained but the whole incident was ultimately an exercise in futility.

Woman Shoplifts Diapers, Escapes Arrest Topless, Police Say

Aishana Clayton recently got caught trying to shoplift diapers from a Pennsylvania Pathmark store. Security guards noticed her trying to hide $23 worth of diapers in her purse and leave without paying.

Guards detained Clayton and led her to a security office to wait for police to arrive. But she didn't go quietly.

Once in the office, Clayton fought to escape. In her efforts she punched, kicked, bit, and scratched the 47-year-old female security woman who was guarding Clayton.

The guard got hold of Clayton's shirt to attempt to hold her, but Clayton found a way to wiggle out of that.

'Russian Hitman Prank' Gets Prankster Arrested

Two "filmmakers" who try to earn their fame through viral homemade videos on YouTube got their just desserts for a Russian hitman prank gone horribly wrong.

In the video, one of the filmmakers approaches a random man on the streets and tells him that he has a bomb in a suitcase. With 60 seconds to run to safety, the camera operator catches the prankster and victim running for their lives.

However, when the victim realized he was getting punked, he got really angry and that's when the video finally gets interesting.

TX Woman Stabbed Husband Over Either Facebook Post or PCP?

Rhonda Washington's husband says she stabbed him over a Facebook dispute. She says the stabbing was an accident that happened while they were arguing over drug use.

Both agree that the incident took place in the evening but the similarities end there.

Washington says her husband was high on PCP and while the couple was fighting she accidentally stabbed him with her keys. He says that she got upset over his Facebook page and then started chasing him with a knife which she then stabbed him with.

He said, she said. So who are the police to believe?

An Oregon man who famously bared it all in a naked TSA protest has stripped victory from prosecutors who charged him with indecent exposure.

A judge acquitted John Brennan, 50, of Portland, Ore., after finding his striptease at an airport security checkpoint in April was free speech, The Oregonian reports.

"It is the speech itself that the state is seeking to punish, and that it cannot do," the judge said.

A Pennsylvania mom changed grades on her kids' official school records by hacking into the school's computer system with stolen passwords, investigators say.

Catherine Venusto, 45, of New Tripoli, Pa., should get an "A" for effort, but an "F" for poor execution of her alleged crime. She faces six felony charges for unlawful use of a computer, computer trespassing, and altering data, ABC News reports.

Venusto allegedly went to great lengths to change grades for her daughter and son. But the marginal results of those changes may make you wonder if it was worth the trouble.

Life-Size David Hasselhoff Cutouts Just Keep Getting Stolen

They say any news is good news. Ask Cumberland Farms. The Massachusetts-based convenience store chain signed on "The Hoff," David Hasselhoff, to help sell iced coffee. They are using life-sized David Hasselhoff cutouts outside 570 of its stores to hawk the drink.

And the ad campaign has been a hit. Just not in a way that the company expected.

Apparently, people have gone so crazy over the ads that about 550 of the 570 Hasselhoff cutouts have been stolen from in front of stores, reports The Associated Press. Perhaps realizing the unintentional marketing opportunity, Cumberland Farms has taken the thefts with good humor.

A karaoke shooting trial in California could soon clear up confusion over what led a man to open fire on his own son.

William Oller Sr., 70, allegedly shot and injured William Oller Jr., 50, at the younger Oller's home in rural Shingletown, Calif. An argument over the son's country music karaoke singing allegedly sparked Oller Sr. to pull the trigger, the local Record Searchlight newspaper reports.

But there are parts to the shooting that remain a mystery.

A Florida pothead's broken bong led to his arrest for allegedly pulling a gun on his girlfriend and choking her, The Gainesville Sun reports.

Officers arrested Brandon Chviek, 20, of Gainesville, after his live-in girlfriend walked into the local sheriff's office showing off bruises and scratches. Investigators found Chviek at the couple's apartment.

Chviek also had scratches on his face and neck, and told police he'd been goofing around with friends. But officers had reason to believe he was just blowing smoke.

Woman Fined $200 by HOA for Brown Grass During Drought

When the Green Valley Ranch Home Owner's Association calls itself "Green," they really mean it.

Lori Worthman was fined $200 by the HOA of the Denver subdivision for not keeping her grass green enough. Worthman reportedly had unsightly brown spots on her lawn.

The Colorado woman did have a valid excuse for the brown grass as the region grapples with one of its worst droughts of the year. But that was no excuse for Green Valley Ranch.

A Wendy's drive-thru worker who served child porn to select customers will spend nearly 22 years behind bars.

Juan Antonio Rosa, 36, had previously served five years in prison for possession of child pornography. But investigators caught Rosa in the act again, this time distributing porn from a Wendy's drive-thru, San Antonio's KENS-TV reports.

Rosa's ruse involved taking orders from people he met online via social media and giving them a choice of secret passwords to use in-person: "Scooby Doo" or "(Expletive) on a Stick," prosecutors said.

Man Impales Leg on Fence During Dine and Dash

A man attempting to dine and dash in New Hampshire got a rude awakening when he was impaled on a fence during his getaway.

He was dining at the Hilton Garden Inn when he decided to hop the fence instead of paying his bill. Rather than a quick up-and-over, our man landed on the fence and sent a fence pole through his leg.

He underwent minor surgery but recovered according to statements by firefighters who cut through the fence to help the injured man.

No charges have been filed so the man's name has not been released. That may change in the next few days.

Pack of Large Raccoons Viciously Attack WA Woman

Wild animals generally keep to themselves but a pack of raccoons attacked a woman in Washington on Monday during her afternoon run.

Michaela Lee was out jogging when her dog did what dogs do and chased a few raccoons up a tree. She went to retrieve the dog's leash to head for home. But when she got close, several more raccoons came at her from a nearby bush.

The raccoons chased her about 75 feet and then a few of them knocked her over. By the time her dog scared them off she had scrapes, scratches, and about 16 bite punctures all over her arms and legs, according to MSNBC.

Raccoons and other wild animals don't usually attack, but when they do it can be in part because some illegal activity has been taking place.

Bob Saget Impersonator Man Sucks Teen's Toes at Georgia Walmart

Toe sucking is probably something that should be kept in the bedroom and out of the Walmart.

Joey Leaphart, a registered sex offender, approached an 18-year-old woman in a Georgia Walmart on Tuesday and pretended to be part of America's Funniest Home Videos. As part of his fraudulent story, he told the woman he would pay $100 of her shopping bill if she would participate in a prank with him.

She agreed when he asked to take a picture of her feet and again when he asked to kiss her feet, reports The Columbia County News-Times.

Then he led her behind a clothing rack and said "Don't worry. I don't bite."

He didn't bite, but she screamed anyway.

Yoga Teacher Fired for Telling Facebook Employee 'No Phones'

At least one Facebook employee couldn't put down her cell phone in June, even when the yoga teacher made a point of asking students to stop texting during class.

Alice Van Ness was teaching a yoga class at Facebook's Menlo Park campus when she asked students to put away their cell phones. During the class, a female student took out her phone and started texting while doing half-moon pose.

Van Ness gave her a stern look for breaking the no-cell-phones rule but said nothing reports New York Daily News.

She didn't make a statement then, but Van Ness has certainly made one since Wednesday.

Serial Hugger 'Jack the Gripper' Preying on Women in St. Louis

"Serial hugger" doesn't sound too dangerous but an unidentified man in St. Louis may make it a crime.

The man, dubbed "Jack the Gripper" by a local paper, approaches women in the supermarket pretending they used to be neighbors. He asks for a birthday hug and the victim is usually too surprised and confused to tell him to get lost. In at least one circumstance, he actually kissed a victim on the lips.

Dude, that's creepy.

So far more than 30 women have been identified as victims of this serial hugger and St. Louis County is deciding whether to press charges for third degree assault.

Is it even a question?

Sorry Girls, The Canada Stripper Visa is No More

The Canadian government says it's protecting foreign workers from sexual exploitation.

Strip bars and their patrons say the government is just being prudish.

Our neighbors to the north announced that they will be cutting off the Canadian stripper visa. With a shortage of homegrown strippers, Canadian bar owners say their entire industry is threatened. The bars will now either have to pay more to attract Canuck strippers or seek out strippers from a different source -- foreign students.

Rape is always a terrible crime but when the victim sees a video of the incident, it adds a whole new level of invasion to the offense. That's what happened to the young woman who was sexual assaulted by Elric Shawn Millner.

Almost two years after the alleged event, police arrested 24-year-old Millner on Friday.

It took the victim, whose identity has been protected, a year to tell anyone about the assault which occurred when she was 17. When she told her boyfriend, who was a Military Police Officer with the Marines, he pretended to befriend Millner in order to get evidence for the case.

There aren't many nice things to say about someone who would commit rape, but at least Millner kept the video tape.

Man Sues FL Strip Club Over 'Impossible' $50K Bar Tab

Lokesh Simon James is suing a strip club he freely admits to have visited. The basis for his lawsuit: James says just do the math.

James went to a Clearwater, Florida strip club for three hours. He rang up what he felt should have been a $600 tab.

To his surprise, when he checked his credit card bill, he noticed that the Bliss Cabaret had charged him with a $50,000 bill. Now he's suing for what he calls fraudulent charges.

Escaped Python Found Wrapped Around Sleeping Baby

Like many parents, Devin Winans checked in on his sleeping infant in the middle of the night.

His one-year-old baby boy was stirring in his sleep and Winans felt around the crib. To the parent's shock and horror, he found that a python had slithered its way into the crib.

The python's attack on the baby had just gotten under way, as it had gotten ahold of the baby's foot, reports ABC. The snake was contracting around the foot and had taken a bite. One can only imagine that the snake was preparing to swallow the boy whole.

Most couples vow to stay married "'til death do us part." Or at least, 'til a strange attack by one spouse, usually over alleged cheating, rips them apart.

Divorce and family lawyers know a thing or two about strange spousal attacks. While some attacks can be justified in the "heat of passion" -- when a person is provoked into an intensely emotional state of mind that causes impulsive behavior -- others stand alone as flat-out crimes.

Here are our Top 5 strangest attacks on a spouse:

Man Attacked Women with Sword, Peanut Butter Sandwich

Be careful when knocking on doors.

You never know who might answer. And you never know what you might be attacked with.

Two Florida women banged on a man's trailer door. An angry man answered and responded with a sword attack on one woman and peanut butter sandwich attack on the other. Which woman got the worst of the attack is surprising.

The paper sign said "Vote Satan" in red, white and blue, right next to an American flag. But a thief ripped down the sign, and the Satanist couple who made it are as mad as... well... H-E-double-L.

"We are Satanists," Luigi Bellaviste of Mountain View, Colo., told Denver's KCNC-TV about his and his wife Angie's religious beliefs. "I feel like we're being treated unfairly because it's not a so-called mainstream religion."

Not only did a thief rip down their "Vote Satan" sign, but police wronged the couple a second time by declining to classify the theft as a hate crime, the Bellavistes say.

There's that old saying, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." In Lori Teel's case, that saying should be modified to: "Don't steal the Twilight movie from your local library, if you're not prepared to be arrested in front of your kids."

In a case about ridiculous things and ridiculous reactions, Teel had a long overdue Twilight book. When she ignored demands to return it, she was arrested. And now she's suing over the arrest.

Puke in a Cab, Pay $50 Fee in Chicago

After three years of lobbying, cab drivers in Chicago finally got their wish -- a Chicago cab vomit tax.

When a cab driver gets a call late on a Friday or Saturday night, there's a pretty good chance that the cab driver is picking up an inebriated passenger.

Just how inebriated these passengers are (and just how sturdy their stomachs are) is purely the luck of the draw. Unlucky cab drivers could get stuck with a customer with a weak stomach and too much to drink, leading to puke all over the cab. And prior to this week, Chicago cab drivers were powerless to charge the passengers for the cleanup.

But now that's changed.

A disgraced priest sexually abused a young woman during an exorcism ritual, a lawsuit claims. The spirit is now moving her to seek $5.3 million in damages, but not from her abuser.

The woman, identified as Jane Doe, has already settled her claims against the Rev. Thomas Euteneuer of Palm Beach, Fla., Reuters reports. The financial settlement's terms were not disclosed.

Euteneuer resigned as president of an anti-abortion group and its endowment in 2010 after the woman came forward with her allegations. Weeks later, Euteneuer confessed to sexual indiscretions.