Legally Weird: Strange Law Enforcement Archives
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Strange Law Enforcement Category

Whether the world is actually getting weirder or we're just more aware of the odd things that people do these days, one thing is for sure: People do a lot of strange stuff.

Often, these off-the-wall events have legal consequences. In 2014 there was certainly no shortage of legally weird occurrences. And since the name of this blog is Legally Weird, we went ahead and wrote about them.

So without further ado, here are our 10 most popular Legally Weird blog posts of 2014. Prepare to get weird:

DNA extracted from a beard hair left at the scene of an armed burglary has led to the arrest of a suspect in the case, one year after the crime was committed.

Sheriff's deputies in Oneida County, New York, say that an armed man confronted a woman inside her home last December. Although the man escaped, the woman was able to grab hair from the man's beard before he fled, The Associated Press reports.

After sending the hair sample in for testing, it came back as a match for 54-year-old Leon Tennant, who was already in jail in another county on an unrelated charge.

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.

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?

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?

An Indiana state trooper is facing a lawsuit for allegedly asking a driver if she had "accepted Jesus Christ as her savior" and handing her a religious pamphlet during a traffic stop.

Motorist Ellen Bogan claims she was stopped on U.S. Route 27 by Trooper Brian Hamilton for making an illegal pass. Hamilton issued Bogan a warning ticket for a traffic violation, but then allegedly began inquiring about her religious beliefs, reports Cincinnati's WLWT-TV.

Bogan and the American Civil Liberties Union are now claiming that Hamilton's actions violated Bogan's constitutional rights.

In a weird story out of Georgia, a woman spent a month in jail because police refused to believe that the residue on her spoon wasn't meth. Turns out, it was actually the remnants of the SpaghettiOs the woman had eaten earlier.

Of course, when the crime lab analysis on the spoon came back negative for methamphetamine, the district attorney's office was forced to drop charges against the woman, reports the Gainesville Times.

How are police justifying their arrest and prolonged detention of a woman whose only crime appears to be bad taste in food?

A Texas sheriff's deputy is facing some charges of his own after allegedly tricking sex offenders into posing for nude photographs.

One man recently released from prison reported that when he went to register as a sex offender with the Wise County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Chad Hightower informed him of a new state law that required all sex offenders to be photographed in the nude. The deputy took the man into a bathroom, where he stripped naked and had photographs taken from all sides, reports the Wise County Messenger.

As you might have guessed, there is no such law. Don't worry, though: The story gets way worse.

The NYPD is getting schooled on Twitter... literally. As part of a "Twitter School" program that began in May, the New York Police Department's top brass have been attending classes on how to be smarter on social media.

NYPD commanders are being educated on the tough questions like "What is Twitter?" and whether or not to help out that Nigerian prince who keeps bugging everyone. The Wall Street Journal reports that the NYPD's Twitter School classes are aimed at increasing the positive power of social media for the Department and avoiding its obvious pitfalls.

But does the NYPD really need to send its officers to Twitter School?

When Ashley Turnbull gave her five-year-old son, Phoenix, baby chickens and ducks for his birthday earlier this year, she wasn't aware they were against the law. But that was no reason for Police Chief Trevor Berger to come onto her property and decapitate a small red hen with a shovel, she said.

The chief of police for Atwater, Minnesota said he was merely enforcing the city's ordinance prohibiting keeping fowl. He told the West Central Tribune he was responding to neighbors' complaints, including one that the chickens were on the loose, which led him to Turnbull's house on that fateful August 16 day. No one disputes that Berger told Turnbull she had until August 7 to get rid of her three chickens and two ducks.

Was this avian atrocity allowable by law?