Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

November 2014 Archives

'Banana Gun' Gets Man Arrested for Felony

A "banana gun" was cause of a Colorado felony arrest for allegedly pointing the intimidating fruit at officers.

Nathen Rolf Channing, 27, was arrested for felony menacing near Grand Junction, Colorado, for allegedly drawing and pointing a banana at officers "in the same manner someone would draw a standard handgun from a concealed holster," reports Denver's KUSA. Channing claims that he was simply joking, but the cops didn't seem amused.

Can pointing a "banana gun" get you slapped with a felony?

Man Broke Into School With Pipe and 'Scooby Snax': Police

Despite the conspicuous absence of any meddling kids, a Pennsylvania man failed to get away with allegedly breaking into a school to smoke synthetic marijuana "Scooby Snax."

Police in Lower Southampton, outside of Philadelphia, noticed a bike resting against the front door of the Tawanka Learning Center early Monday morning, reports the Bucks County Courier Times. When police investigated, they spotted 35-year-old John Paul Sabara lying on the floor inside the school.

When police tried to wake Sabara, he reportedly began to growl and make strange noises while "acting in an aggressive manner." Ruh roh.

Woman Facing Drug Charges After Locking Herself Out of Apartment

An Iowa woman is facing drug charges after police helped her regain entry into her locked apartment and allegedly found a miniature marijuana operation inside.

Jailin A. Turner, 19, was charged possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to affix drug tax stamp, and disorderly house. That last charge is likely due to allegations that when police arrived at Turner's house early Friday morning she was "yelling and kicking the window," reports the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

How did a lock-out turn into a drug bust?

Couple Having Sex in Car Cause Traffic Jam, Get Arrested

An Oregon couple having sex in a car parked outside a city jail were themselves taken to jail after their vehicular tryst caused traffic to back up.

Kelli Knutson, 24, and Logan Jackson, 33, had been at a local strip club in Springfield, Oregon, reports KVAL-TV. When the couple left the club and walked back to their car, they say they got "caught up in the moment," according to police.

Knutson and Jackson apparently weren't the only ones enjoying the moment.

'Grandmas Smoking Weed' Is a Hit on YouTube, but Is It Legal?

Three grandmas have gotten millions of views on YouTube by purportedly smoking weed for the first time.

Produced by Cut Video, an offshoot of the Seattle-based creative team Super Frog Saves Tokyo, the viral video features three grandmothers taking bong hits and vaping, in addition to playing Cards Against Humanity and being hilarious.

While we found the whole thing to be comic gold, we definitely had some concerns about whether the whole thing was legal.

Fla. Woman's Naked Arrest Leads to Lawsuit

A Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against the Miami Beach Police Department after she was arrested wearing only a loose robe that kept coming off, allegedly exposing her naked body to officers.

Police were called to a Miami Beach apartment building after a cab driver called to report that a woman had gone inside to get money to pay for her cab fare but never returned, reports Miami's WTVJ. The woman, Candice Padavick, was arrested for petit theft, along with battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest after officers said she became combative.

The charges against Padavick were later dropped -- but not before she was subjected to humiliation and unnecessarily harsh treatment from officers, Padavick claims in a lawsuit against the department.

Mass Murderer Charles Manson Gets Marriage License in Prison

Charles Manson, who was responsible for organizing a mass murder in the late 1960s, is getting legally married behind bars.

The now 80-year-old killer obtained a marriage license on November 7 to marry his 26-year-old girlfriend Afton Elaine Burton. The bride-to-be told The Associated Press that they would "be married next month," although the license technically allows them to get married anytime within 90 days after its issue.

So Charlie Manson's getting married, while still in prison, after being responsible for several murders.

Huh?

'Philly Jesus' Arrested After Ice Skating, Vows to Fight Charges

Known as "Philly Jesus" for his Christ-like clothing, beard, and long hair, Michael Grant has become a fixture in Philadelphia's LOVE Park, site of the famous "LOVE" sculpture.

Alas, Philadelphia police apparently weren't feeling the love for Philly Jesus. Grant was arrested Friday while ice skating at the park's new rink, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. Grant was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to disperse.

Pray tell, what led to Grant's arrest?

Weed-Eater's Excuse for Pot on Plane Doesn't Fly in Court

A man arrested for attempting to bring more than 3 pounds of marijuana aboard a flight at San Francisco International Airport claimed the marijuana was for his personal use.

But that's not even the strange part, reports San Francisco's KPIX-TV. Enrico Esguerra, 36, told police that he was a voracious consumer of marijuana by eating it, rather than smoking it. Esguerra, who had a California medical marijuana card with him when he was arrested, said that his doctor had recommended he have 15 pounds of marijuana with him to satiate his appetite.

What did a jury think of Esguerra's pot-eating explanation?

Fla. Man Stuffs Chainsaw in Shorts, Gets Charged With Shoplifting

A Florida man proved to himself (and all of us) that you can fit a chainsaw in your pants, but you might have to deal with a theft charge.

Police arrested Anthony Ballard, 28, on suspicion of shoplifting a chainsaw from the Treasure Coast Lawn Equipment store in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Despite all those sharp metal bits near his nethers, Ballard allegedly made it out of the store and dumped the power tool in a wooded lot before escaping. But as reported by TCPalm, police have some interesting surveillance video in their possession.

What happened after this feat of chainsaw pocketing, and what does Ballard face in court?

McDonald's Hot Coffee Faker Burned by Photos From Internet: DA

A California woman's claim that she was severely burned by spilled McDonald's coffee was revealed to be a scam when investigators discovered that photographs of the woman's alleged injuries had been downloaded off the internet.

38-year-old Selena Edwards of Victorville, California had claimed that an unsecured lid on a cup of coffee she ordered in a McDonald's drive-through had caused serious burns to her hand, reports the Los Angeles Times. The woman submitted photos and medical documents back up her injury claims.

After an investigation, however, state insurance officials determined that both Edwards' documentation and her injury were bogus.

Dad Arrested Over 'Battleship' Dispute Thanks to Cellphone GPS

A Utah man was arrested for pointing a loaded rifle at his own daughter after a game of "Battleship" apparently didn't go his way.

Utah County Sheriff's deputies arrested 68-year-old John Valenzuela after receiving a 911 call from the man's 17-year-old daughter, Salt Lake City's KSL-TV reports. Though the daughter managed to dial 911, she was reportedly not able to speak with dispatchers.

How were authorities able to find her?

Fla. Woman Stabs Boyfriend to Defend Pet Turtle: Deputies

A Florida woman is facing aggravated battery charges for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend to protect her pet turtle.

Marie Seymour, 53, was taken into police custody on Tuesday, while her boyfriend was taken to a Palm Beach Gardens hospital. According to the Palm Beach Post, Seymour is accused of stabbing her boyfriend after a drunken threat that he was going to "harm her turtle."

Is there a legal defense available for this reptile lover?

STD-Positive Dating Site Users Win $16M Class Action Suit

A jury has awarded more than $16 million in damages in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of California users of an STD-positive dating site accused of leaking confidential information.

The jury awarded users of the site Positivesingles.com, which catered to those living with sexually transmitted infections, $1.5 million dollars in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages, reports the New York Daily News. The lawsuit was filed after users of the site discovered that their profiles were being displayed on other websites owned by the PostiveSingles.com's parents company SuccessfulMatch.com.

Where else were these users finding their supposedly private information?

Mom Arrested for Plotting to Feed Daughter's Ex to Alligators

A New York mom has been arrested for allegedly plotting to have her daughter's ex killed and fed to alligators.

Melisa Schonfield, 57, was arrested Friday after meeting with an undercover detective who she believed was her murder-for-hire contact. According to ABC News, Schonfield allegedly tried to hire Det. Dave Pustizzi to kill Ernesto Negrillo, the Florida baby daddy of her 2-year-old granddaughter. In addition to allegedly wanting Negrillo killed, Schonfield thought it best that her contract killer dispose of Negrillo's body by feeding it to alligators.

What kind of charges are pending for this alleged alligator murder-for-hire mom?

2 Pastors, 90-Year-Old Man Arrested for Feeding Homeless in Public

A 90-year-old man and two pastors were arrested by Fort Lauderdale police on Sunday for feeding homeless people in public.

90-year-old Arnold Abbott runs a nonprofit group called Love Thy Neighbor and had prepared around 300 lunches to give away outside Fort Lauderdale's Stranahan Park. However, Abbott and the two pastors were only able to serve three of those meals before being ordered to stop and subsequently arrested by police, reports The Washington Post.

Is feeding homeless people illegal?

DWI Suspect Eats Breathalyzer Results, Gets Arrested

A DWI suspect arrested in New York is facing additional charges after he allegedly tried to eat his Breathalyzer test results.

According to The Associated Press, Kenneth Desormes, 40, was stopped for speeding on Interstate 95 on Sunday and arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. But back at the Tarrytown, New York, State Police station, Desormes allegedly tried to snatch and eat his Breathalyzer results as they were printing.

Will this DWI suspect get more than a tummyache for attempting to take a bite out of criminal justice?

Wash. Man Charged After Trying to Move River With Bulldozer

A Washington man is facing three misdemeanor charges after using a bulldozer in an attempt to alter the course of a river on his property.

William Cayo Sr. was charged with three state environmental violations after authorities determined he had moved more than 5,700 square meters of river bed from the Tahuya River in western Washington, Reuters reports. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police's incident report notes that Mr. Cayo could "own the property under the water, and on both sides of the water," but that doing so "does not allow for him to move the waters of the state and divert the river.

"The water, resources, and fish in the water are property of the state," the report continues.