Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

June 2011 Archives

Fla. Principal George Kenney Hypnotized Suicidal Students Who Died

Principal George Kenney hypnotized his students, defying orders to stop the practice - and then he lied about it.

Kenney, the principal at North Port High School in Florida, reportedly hypnotized up to 75 staff, students and parents at the school, reports the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Kenney's hypnosis sessions came under scrutiny when reports surfaced that he hypnotized Wesley McKinley, a student at the school, who later committed suicide, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

Baltimore Woman Trademarked 'Hon:' Restraining Order for Protestor

Denise Whiting is known around Baltimore as the woman who trademarked "Hon"--a local term of endearment that has become so entrenched in the city's culture that there is a yearly festival dedicated to the beehived women who coined the term.

Since the community found out about her not-so-secret desire to control the market for "Hon" merchandise across the city, she and her local businesses have been the subject of protests.

But thanks to a court order, one of those protesters won't be able to get near her anymore.

Peacock Lawsuit Ruffles Neighborhood's Feathers

It appears as though a Grand Rapids neighborhood has been hit with a peacock lawsuit, a rare breed of complaint that is brought only by those with a secret fear of birds.

Or William Tingley, a resident of the neighborhood near Kent Country Club, where a group of wild peacocks has made its home for the past several years.

He wants his neighbors to stop feeding the birds.

Toilet Paper Theft: Mass. Man Steals Toilet Paper, Blames Brother

Workers at Lawrence City Hall knew there was a toilet paper thief amongst them, but for a while there, they couldn't figure out which one of their coworkers stole toilet paper from the building's bathroom.

Finally, at the end of last week, they learned that it was an outside job, perpetrated by none other than Lawrence, Massachusetts resident Roger Pinkham.

But only after he tried to frame his brother.

Fla. Man Arrested for Trying to Have Sex with Family Dog

Having sex with a dog is animal cruelty. Keep that in mind, Eugene Hickman.

Hickman, 54, was reported to authorities after his grandson saw that he was naked and trying to have sex with the family dog, a 3-year-old female bulldog.

Seriously? So, not only was Hickman abusing an animal, but he inflicted his poor grandson with images that will likely haunt him for a good, long while.

Ohio Woman Sprays Cops with Breast Milk

It's probably safe to assume that most straight men tend to like breasts. But, that's breasts, not breast milk. So, when a woman sprays breast milk on cops during an altercation, chances are they aren't going to appreciate it. Ohio resident Stephanie Robinette learned this the hard way.

Robinette, 30, was arrested over the weekend after a domestic dispute, reports The Columbus Dispatch.

Police responded to the domestic dispute call at around 1 a.m. outside a banquet facility. When they arrived on scene, a man told him that he and his wife were in a dispute, and that she had locked herself into their car after striking him multiple times, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Circumcision Ban: Lawsuit Would Nip SF Law in the Bud

San Francisco's impending vote on circumcision may be short-lived now that a group of Jews and Muslims have asked a San Francisco Superior Court judge to weigh in on the issue.

Though the circumcision ban lawsuit ultimately seeks to kick the initiative off the city's November ballot on the grounds that state law prohibits cities from interfering in such matters, there are some pretty good Constitutional arguments, too.

Rap Video Film Crew Catches Fla. Assault Suspect on Tape

Lucas Jeffrey James of Seminole, Florida has got to be one of the stupidest criminals ever.

Fleeing from the scene of his crime--shirtless and clearly intoxicated--he ran into a crew filming a rap video. Instead of acting like a normal criminal and protecting his identity, he took the opportunity to shove his face into the camera.

Makes you question the future of mankind, doesn't it?

According to police, Lucas Jeffrey James attacked two women on a busy downtown street before running off, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

Naked Man Caught Stealing Flat Screen TV in Conn.

If you're a naked man, TV theft is probably something you wouldn't usually consider until after you've put on some clothes. That is, unless you're Willie Hayes.

Hayes, 35, was caught stealing a TV from a residence in Connecticut by the home owner's granddaughter - and he was in the buff, according to Patch.

The granddaughter, only 15, arrived at her grandmother's house at around 9 a.m. She saw Hayes, naked, standing on top of the stairway. When she told him he should leave, he growled at her and walked into the bathroom, and then into her grandmother's room, reports Patch.

Fake Baby Funeral Scam: Women Raise $700 in Donations

As sad as it is, dead baby scams really do work.

After all, scammers are profiting off a stranger's goodwill. A picture of a cute baby is comparable to the picture of an adorable puppy. Both can melt even the coldest of hearts. And when you say that the baby has recently died - and you need money for a funeral - tugging on heartstrings can loosen people's purse strings.

California scammers Chasity Doll, 20, and Tiffany Lyon, 27, capitalized on the goodness of strangers in this very way.

Feces-Covered Man Hid in Portable Toilet at Colo. Yoga Festival

If you are a security official, and your suspect is running away from you - but he is in fact, a feces-covered man, would you chase after him? Apparently a security officer had to, after a man hid in a portable toilet.

The more-than-slightly barf-inducing facts are as follows.

A woman attending the Hanuman Festival, a yoga event in Colorado, noticed something was suspicious about the tank in the portable toilet she was in, reports the Daily Camera.

Amish Man Sexting: Willard Yoder's Buggy Sex Invite

Willard Yoder, an Amish man, was sexting a 12-year-old girl.

Yes, Yoder is Amish. And yes, this means he has horses and his house probably has no electronics. But yes, the Amish have cell phones. It's actually a rather common occurrence now - although for the most part the Amish culture still shuns technology.

Yoder, 21, was arrested for soliciting buggy sex from a 12-year-old girl. Police caught up to him outside a restaurant in Indiana where he had arranged to meet up with the girl, reports The Smoking Gun.

Bride Bites New Husband Twice, Arrested 13 Hours After Wedding

Want to make a memorable wedding night? Bite your husband! Twice! Mike Keeler, newlywed, was bitten by his new wife, Bernadette Besario Catan-Keeler, 30, in Florida.

Catan-Keeler is reportedly the ex-girlfriend of Michael Lohan, the father of Lindsay Lohan.

Most newlyweds tend to spend their wedding night in romantic bliss. Well, not so for these two lovebirds.

Bikini Underwire Burns Breasts, NY Woman Sues

In a very bizarre lawsuit filed in Manhattan, 50-year-old Robin Corrente of Long Island is claiming that three years ago, she suffered from bikini burns.

The alleged culprit? The underwire of her black Coral Reef bikini, which she says heated up to dangerous temperatures, searing her flesh.

Who knew this was even possible?

Drunk Man Tries to Operate on His Dog: Chicago Cops

A drunk man's "dog operation" has led to an arrest and a charge of felony animal cruelty. Stewart Gibbs, 44, was arrested last weekend by Chicago police.

Gibbs is the director of cardiovascular services at DuPage Medical Group.

Police initially responded after a call from Gibbs' landlord. The landlord had received some complaints about a leaking ceiling. The landlord let himself in after a knock had no response, and reportedly Gibbs ran towards him, naked, and covered in blood, reports the Daily Mail.

Peanut Butter Assault: Did Ex-Wife Smear Letter to Harm New Wife?

Have you ever been a victim of a peanut butter assault?

Didn't think so.

But a woman in Battle Creek, Michigan claims she was, and wants prosecutors to bring charges against her husband's ex-wife, who she claims tried to harm her with peanut butter, a known allergen.

The ex-wife apparently just wanted to keep the new one out of her business.

Illegal U.S. Open Lemonade Stand Gets Squeezed

A group of kids in Montgomery County, Maryland had wonderful intentions when they opened their U.S. Open lemonade stand this week outside the country club where the major golf tournament is taking place.

They were going to sell lemonade and donate half the proceeds to charity.

Too bad Montgomery County authorities shut them down.

Facebook Contempt: Juror's Friend Request Sends Her to Jail for 8 Months

From here on out, Joanne Fraill will be known for committing Facebook contempt.

For contacting a former defendant in an ongoing drug trial for which she was a juror, the mother of six was sentenced to 8 months in jail on contempt charges brought by prosecutors upset that her actions had initiated a mistrial.

The judge found the Facebook contempt especially infuriating since taxpayers had already spent $10 million to conduct the halted proceedings.

Top 5 Things You Can't Do on a Plane

Do you know some of the things that are illegal on planes - or that can get you summarily kicked off a plane?

There are actually a lot of weird things (and also some not-so-weird things) that can get you in trouble with an airline.

Here is a list of 5 things that have been proven from past passengers to get you kicked off a plane:

Pad Thai Slapper Not Guilty for Trader Joe's Fight

Though she may have slapped television commentator Dr. Cathleen London across the face in the middle of a Trader Joe's, opera singer (and newly dubbed "Pad Thai Slapper") Marcella Caprario was acquitted yesterday of all charges, leaving her free to consume as much vegan Pad Thai as she can get her hands on.

The verdict, decided by Judge ShawnDya Simpson in Manhattan, came down to one question:

Is a slap in the face of supermarket rudeness self-defense?

NH Man Tricks Nurse Into Changing Diaper with Craigslist Ad

With the help of Craigslist, diaper fan Eric Carrier was able to live out his sick, sick fantasies.

Via an elaborate scheme that involved an internet ad, a faked brain injury, and a non-existent interview, the 23-year-old from Hooksett, New Hampshire tricked an unsuspecting in-home nurse into changing his adult diaper.

He's now being charged with indecent exposure.

NY Strip Club's Lap Dances Are Not Tax Exempt, Court Rules

Say you're in the business of stripping and giving lap dances. Tax deductible? Nice try, but no.

At least, so says a New York Court. Nite Moves, a New York strip club trying to appeal a $125,000 tax on its lap dances from a 2005 audit, argued that the lap dances were "dramatic or musical art performances" and therefore tax exempt, reports Reuters.

The court was not convinced, ruling instead that the lap dances were in fact rightfully taxable, according to Reuters.

Monkey Scratches 2 Girls in Ohio Rampage

A monkey rampage in Ohio left authorities scrambling. That's what happened when an escaped pet monkey scratches girls in Ohio, leading police and neighbors on a 2.5 hour chase for the wild animal.

The animal escaped from its owner, Cecilia A. Pinkston, 44, running amok around the neighborhood, reports the Sandusky Register.

Two girls were chased by the monkey. The monkey grabbed one girl's leg, and didn't let go until it jumped onto the other girl's head. One girl suffered a scratch on her leg.

Computer Tech Peeping Tom: Trevor Harwell Spied Thru Webcams

Peeping Tom Trevor Harwell was arrested on Wednesday after nearly a year-long investigation into allegations that the computer technician was spying on dozens of women after gaining remote access to their webcams.

Charged with 12 felony counts of computer access and fraud, police have recovered hundreds of thousands of images and videos stored on a remote server and Harwell's computer.

Most depict women in various stages of undress.

Woman Gets $95M Verdict: Boss Masturbated on Her

Ashley Alford sued rent-to-own furniture store Aaron's Inc. with sexual harassment. An Illinois jury has now awarded her with $95 million in damages.

Her attorneys believe that this is one of the largest jury verdicts ever in a sexual harassment lawsuit, reports the New York Daily News.

Alford was a former employee at Aaron's, Inc. in St. Louis. She suffered some strange - and likely humiliating - sexual harassment from her former manager, Richard Moore, according to the New York Daily News.

Ore. Women Steal Cheese Wheels: $600 of Gouda, Blue Cheese

The cheese thieves must be stopped!

Two women walked into a Bend, Oregon Whole Foods Market on Tuesday night and then proceeded to walk out with about $600 worth of stolen cheese.

It was even the good stuff--aged Gouda and decadent blue.

Where's the party?

Topless DUI: Fla. Bare-Chested Woman was Driving Drunk, Cops Say

Topless drunk driver Keila De Oliveira Leite was charged with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia in Florida.

Yes, she was topless. And perhaps even more strange is that she was pulled over partly because she was driving under the speed limit, reports UPI.

Leite was driving around 20 miles under the speed limit, something that likely drew the attention of police, reports WPTV-TV.

Woman Shows Up Drunk to DUI Hearing

Want to know a quick way to get your bail revoked? Show up drunk in court.

Sandra Uher, 54, had been arrested for and charged for her sixth DUI in Illinois. Her bail was revoked when she showed up for her latest court hearing date intoxicated.

Uher has been charged with DUIs since 1997. Her recent charge was for running a stop sign in a suburban neighborhood. At the time of her arrest, her blood-alcohol content was 0.30, which is four times the legal limit. She was also driving on a revoked license.

Man with Dead Weasel Bursts into Home, Assaults Man

Dead weasel assault! Dead weasel attack? Assault with a deadly weasel?

Take your pick. A man was arrested in Washington state for allegedly bursting into an apartment and assaulting a man - while holding a dead weasel.

Now let's take a pause here. Why bring a dead weasel to an assault? 

Turns out the suspect was looking for his girlfriend (love makes you do strange things, after all). So, naturally, the weasel-toting suspect busted into the ex-boyfriend's apartment. Unfortunately, the victim was apparently an innocent bystander who was just staying at the ex-boyfriend's apartment as a guest, reports the AP.

NJ Barber Bites Customer's Ear Off, Cops Say

Taking a page from the Mike Tyson playbook, a New Jersey barber, upset with a customer's complaints, left a man with his ear bitten off in addition to a likely lopsided haircut.

Though the unnamed customer probably would have been better off with a scissor-provided dismemberment (apparently clean cuts are easier to reattach), the fact that his ear was bitten off provides us with an opportunity to learn two essential things:

Why you should not harass your barber, and why you shouldn't protect your property with extreme force.

Forest Park Breastfeeding Rules Changed After Moms Protest

After a public protest, a Forest Park breastfeeding ban has been lifted. An ordinance passed last month in Forest Park, Georgia created a breastfeeding ban against mothers who were nursing children over the age of 2.

Well, a group of pro-breastfeeding mothers, or "lactivists," protested the ordinance when it was passed. About 300 women organized a "nurse-in" in front of the Forest Park City Hall, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The ordinance had been aimed at public indecency and public nudity. Moms disagreed.

Tiffany Startz on Trial after $5 Bet to Punch Rapper Killed Him

Would you let someone punch you in the face for $5? And, if you did, do you think you'd die from that one hit? Tiffany Startz's trial is for just that - the one-punch death of rapper John Powell, 25, spurred on by a $5 bet.

Startz, 21, was attending a party in commemoration of a woman who had killed herself. Another party-goer, Jimmy Mounts, 27, started a party game - $5 to anyone who would let Startz punch them in the face, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Powell, a rapper with the group Krazy Killaz, agreed to the $5 bet, and let Startz punch him in the face. A few minutes after the punch, he told Startz "that was a good punch," reports the Tribune. Soon after, he collapsed and died.

Pig Odor Lawsuit: Farm Must Pay Neighbors For Smell

A new year, a new pig odor lawsuit.

Another in a long line of pig odor lawsuits filed against corporate hog farms in Missouri has ended in a jury verdict favoring the plaintiffs.

For soiling (and stinking up) their property, the hog farmers must now pay its neighbors $1.95 million.

Sound weird? Well, it is, unless you live in Missouri.

Orlando Volunteers Feed Homeless, Get Arrested

Feed homeless, get arrested.

At least if you're passing out meals in an Orlando park for the third time this year.

Which is exactly what happened to three members of Orlando's Food Not Bombs, a non-profit organization that feeds the homeless and tries to bring attention to the issues of poverty and social inequality.

Jessica Cross, Ben Markeson and Jonathan McHenry were arrested on Wednesday for feeding about 40 homeless people in Orlando's Lake Eola Park. After speaking to the judge Thursday morning, the Orlando Sentinel reports that the trio was banned from the park for the next year.

Subway Pot Sandwich: Ask for 'Extra Meat,' Get Pot with Foot Long

You've probably all heard of pot brownies - but what about a Subway pot sandwich? When you get a case of the munchies, sometimes all you really crave is something salty and savory. Well, one Florida Subway worker was making this delicious combination come true.

Apparently, if you told Subway sanwich artist Elizabeth Hunt, 47, that you wanted a sandwich with "extra meat," she would slip a small bag of marijuana into your bag. Though, you'd be required to deposit a $10 tip into her tip jar, reports UPI.

Deputies tried the code word twice last month, and each time they were rewarded with a small bag of weed, according to UPI.

Clown Laws: Should Children's Entertainers be Licensed?

Should we license clowns? Linda Beaudoin, a former clown, is petitioning to create some new clown laws in Canada to battle child abuse.

Beaudoin has long been campaigning for laws on licensing clowns, and she has been documenting the arrest of clowns, mall Santas, and other hired child entertainers on her website.

Beaudoin has especially been paying close attention to the case of an Ontario clown Randy Miller who pled guilty to possession of child pornography. He had 60,000 illicit images of children on his computer, reports AOL News.

Missouri Police Shoot Fake Alligator in Suburbs

In the eyes of Independence, Missouri police officers, the difference between a burglar and a fake alligator may just be limited to each entity's penchant for ignoring the law.

Unable to fight off the fugitive beast on Saturday evening, officers shot the fake alligator in the head.

The bullet bounced off. So they tried again.

KKK Protests Westboro Baptist Church at Arlington National Cemetery

What do the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church have in common?

For one, they both are rabidly intolerant of certain groups of people. The KKK doesn't like minorities. Westboro doesn't like the LGBT community.

And, secondly, both groups turned up on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery. Westboro was there to protest the proceedings, while the KKK showed up to protest... Westboro.

Video of Florida Deputy Spanking Naked Girls is Child Porn

There's a former Florida deputy spanking girls, videotaping the act, and sending them to a boyfriend. Sounds bizarre, but unfortunately it's real. Robin Pagoria, 45, was arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse, production of child pornography, promotion of child pornography and possession of child pornography, reports The Ledger.

Disturbingly, Pagoria was hired in 2005, so she has been a Florida detention deputy for nearly six years, reports The Ledger. She has resigned her position as a detention deputy, reports the New York Daily News.

Pagoria is accused of paddling two girls, between the ages of 10 and 17, filming the paddling, and sending them to her online boyfriend that she met on a fetish website, reports the New York Daily News.