Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

March 2015 Archives

Where do you sell stolen property? Do you fence it in a dark alley, sell it to your neighborhood thief, or try to hawk it at a pawnshop? Why not sell it on Craigslist?

A Texas salesman unwisely let a customer test drive a red Chevy Silverado alone. The thief was gone over half an hour. In that time, he must have made a key and key fob for the truck. When the salesman returned to his car lot the next morning, the truck was gone.

The salesman knew who stole the truck but had no way to find it. In comes his wife with the rescue. She searched trucks for sale on Craigslist and found it the very next day. Police caught the thief almost red handed. The thief spray painted the red car black. When he was arrested, he still had spray paint on his hands.

An already strange case of a suspected bank robber got down right stinky last week, when the defendant began eating his own feces while on the witness stand Wednesday.

Andrew Gilbertson of (shockingly) not Florida, is on trial for robbing a bank in San Luis Obispo. Gilbertson's sickening snack brought his trial to a temporary halt while the judge called for a recess, presumably to clean the courtroom.

Don't mess with the bacon. A Michigan woman will soon be going to jail for shooting at a McDonald's that forgot to give her bacon not once, but twice!

Shaneka Torres was recently convicted of felony use of a firearm, shooting at an occupied building, and illegally carrying a concealed weapon. She was so incensed by the lack of bacon in her bacon cheeseburger that she shot at the McDonald's drive thru window, narrowly missing the worker who had stood there moments earlier. Torres claimed that she accidentally discharged the gun when she was reaching into her purse for money. The jury did not believe her as they convicted her of all three charges after only one hour of deliberation.

9 Weird Alcohol Laws

Want to hear something surprising? The United States once prohibited the sale of alcohol!

Well, that's probably not surprising. But, while prohibition went out the window in 1933, many states still have some pretty odd laws about alcohol on the books today.

Here are nine weird state alcohol laws.

What are you going to do about it? Suspend my driver's license? Go ahead!

Paul Wheeler, an Indiana man, had his driver's license suspended 68 times in 14 years. The suspensions didn't seem to faze him though.

Until now.

Wheeler has finally been sentenced to 20 days in jail after pleading guilty to his latest charge of driving on a suspended license. Prosecutors say that he'll only spend 10 days in jail and pay $1,000 in fines to restore his driver's license.

But how can he have so many suspensions and spend only 10 days in jail?

A Colorado court has ordered cancer-charity scammer Adam Shryock to repay $1.89 million in ill-gotten income and an additional $4 million in civil penalties for running a fake fundraiser called "Boobies Rock!" According to the state's Attorney General, Shryock regularly sent promotional models into bars to sell "Boobies Rock!"-branded merchandise while leading patrons to believe that they were donating to a breast cancer charity.

"Boobies Rock!," it turns out, was no charity fundraiser, and the money it took never went to breast cancer groups. Instead, Shyrock used the funds on himself, for online dating sites, personal maids, and a BMW, according to the Attorney General's complaint.

Since this wasn't Shryock's first charity scam, the judge also ordered that he never work on or near charitable solicitations again.

Medical Pot for Pets? Nev. Legislator Wants to Legalize It

We thought the weirdest pet marijuana story was the "stoner dog" story from 2012. Veterinarians in Colorado said they were seeing increased cases of dogs high on marijuana after eating pot brownies their owners have left laying around.

Certainly some of those dogs needed marijuana for medical reasons, though, right? Dogs suffer from some of the same pains in old age that humans do. Why not ease their symptoms? That's what a Nevada state senator wants to do: Legalize medical pot for pets.

We've all been there. One day you're casually browsing through your smartphone's hook-up app, looking for the next love of your life. The next you're being arrested for a "three party sexual liaison" with a minor. Who should be responsible?

According to William Sapanaro of New Jersey, the app should bear at least some blame. After being arrested for engaging in an app-assisted sexual encounter with a 13-year-old boy, Sapanaro sued Grindr, the hook-up app, for negligence in allowing the minor to utilize the app.

A man (or woman) is king of his castle. This usually means a person has the right to defend himself in his own home, but in this case, it means a North Carolina man has the right to be naked on his doorstep.

Disproving moms and dads in a Charlotte, North Carolina, neighborhood have been trying to stop their neighbor from standing naked in his doorway for the last 10 years. Despite over 30 calls to the police, the man has never been arrested. Why? Because he's not doing anything illegal.

How is this possible?

A powdered alcohol drink mix going by the name of Palcohol has been approved for sale in the United States, but at least one senator is trying to rain on the powdered booze parade.

So how close are you to getting your hands on a pouch of Powderita? Let's take a look at the law as it currently stands:

Get your bleach and sanitary wipes! A serial pooper, aka the "Bowel Movement Bandit," is on the loose in Akron, Ohio.

In a crime spree stretching back to 2012, a man has been defecating on cars over 19 times. Somebody get this guy a porta-potty!

One of his victims, who did not want to be identified for fear of poopy retribution, got fed up after his daughter's car was pooped on seven times. He set up a time-lapse camera, expecting the pooper to do it again. And lo and behold, after two years of pooping with impunity, the mysterious defector has finally been caught on tape.

Akron police are still looking for the poop-etrator. But if they catch him, what's the crime?

In all our attempts to control people's behavior on social media, haven't we finally realized that social media always finds a way? Clearly not for one Florida apartment complex, which reportedly threatened tenants with a $10,000 fine for negative comments about the property.

Although the current Windmere Cay property manager denied enforcing the "Social Media Addendum," it nonetheless remained part of the complex's lease agreement as recently as this week.

A former substitute teacher has been sentenced to jail for showing an obscene movie to students in class.

Ex-substitute Spanish teacher Sheila Kearns of Columbus, Ohio, who couldn't speak Spanish, showed five classes of high school students a movie called "The ABCs of Death," which portrayed bizarre deaths, full-frontal nudity, and sex acts. She was charged with five counts of felony disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, convicted of four counts, and sentenced to 90 days in jail, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

What did Kearns have to say in her defense? And why is what she did illegal?

A Georgia man will serve 30 days in jail for starting his trash collection route too early. Apparently, Kevin McGill violated an ordinance in Sandy Springs, Georgia, limiting garbage pickup to the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

McGill works for Waste Management Inc., and began collecting trash just after 5 in the morning last month.

A heartbroken woman is suing a restaurant, alleging bad service on Valentine's Day.

Kathleen Hampton's lawsuit accuses Enzo's Caffe Italiano in Portland, Oregon, of refusing to serve her a solo dinner on Valentine's Day. In her complaint demanding a public apology and $100,000, Hampton claims that when she arrived by herself (she'd made reservations for two, but her husband decided not to join her), the restaurant ignored her, refused to take her order, and wouldn't permit her to order to-go. A representative of the restaurant claimed that they offered her a seat at the bar with other single diners, but Hampton just left without paying for two glasses of wine.

Can she really sue the restaurant for bad service?

A man who claimed he was burned while praying over Applebee's fajitas won't be able to sue the restaurant chain.

A New Jersey appellate court affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss his case, saying the sizzling hot fajitas were an "open and obvious" danger.

Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on "Star Trek," passed away last week, and grieving fans have turned to Canadian currency for comfort.

Amateur artists were encouraged to "Spock" their Canadian $5 bills, turning cold hard cash into monetary memorials to the late actor and musician -- who kind of resembles a former Canadian prime minister, if you draw in some pointy ears and angular eyebrows.

The question is: Is this kind of tribute legal? And what are the rules for drawing on our dough here in the United States?

Many of us have dreamt of cruising by traffic in the carpool lane. And maybe some of us have considered propping up a dummy in the passenger seat to get away with it.

Well one brave man dared to follow his HOV-lane dream. And now that dream is dead.