Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

July 2011 Archives

'Truck Nuts:' Jury Trial for SC Woman with Fake Testicles

When Bonneau, South Carolina resident Virginia Tice adorned her pickup's trailer hitch with "truck nuts," chances are she didn't see herself fighting for the right of plastic testicle lovers everywhere.

A recipient of a $445 ticket, the 65-year-old woman is challenging the application of South Carolina's obscene and indecent bumper sticker law to her beloved car ornament.

She says their display is free speech.

Pa. Woman Faked Cancer for Gifts, Donations: Sentenced to Prison

A Pennsylvania woman who faked cancer in order to get donation money will likely be facing the ire of her friends in combination with a stint in jail. Alicia Tolton, 27, was sentenced to 11.5 months to 23 months in jail.

Tolton allegedly told friends that she had breast and ovarian cancer, and then tricked them into holding a fundraiser on her behalf, reports The Pottstown Mercury.

Friends then organized a "beef-and-beer" benefit, called "Wishes for Alicia." Tolton got about $1,000 from the fundraiser as well as two tickets to a Philadelphia Eagles game.

Firefighters Rescue Pet Alligator from Burning Trailer Park

Forget the dogs, chickens, and cows--the alligator is taking over the Great White North.

In yet another strange story involving the prickly reptile, firefighters in Lewiston, Idaho were called to a local trailer park on Friday evening when a single-wide caught on fire.

Though the owners were not home, firefighters still had to rescue a pet alligator.

Pot Plants Growing in Yard of Florida Mayor, 84, Are Not Hers

Since she took office in March 2010, Oak Hill, Florida's Mayor Mary Lee Cook has been part of a heated battle with officials at the local police department.

In what she calls the newest manifestation of the dispute, narcotics officers with the Volusia Country Sheriff's Office have found 10 potted marijuana plants growing in the 84-year-old's yard.

She claims someone planted the potted pot plants on her property to "ruin her reputation."

Drunk Miami Beach Cop Injures 2 in South Beach ATV Crash

A drunk Miami Beach cop was on-duty when he the ATV he was driving crashed into two tourists on the beach earlier this month. Derick Kuilan has since been fired. Another on-duty police officer who was partying with Kuilan at the time, Rolando Gutierrez, was also fired.

Officer Kuilan was originally assigned to a late-night ATV beach patrol, reports Reuters.

For some reason, Kuilan and Gutierrez instead decided to head over to the Clevelander Hotel, reports Reuters. There, the two on-duty police officers were acting so wildly that apparently the women they were mingling with thought they were there for the bachelorette party, though they were both wearing uniforms.

Facebook 'Flashrob:' DC Victoria's Secret Robbed via Social Media

Most people use social media to arrange dates or outings with friends, but some are actually using websites to organize Facebook "flashrobs." What exactly is a "flashrob"? A growing trend of coordinating, through social media, a robbery or a theft.

A recent incident that was initially described as a "flashrob" was a theft that occurred inside a Victoria's Secret store in Washington, D.C.

Basically, the groups organize themselves on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. They then go into the store, distract the employees somehow, and grab merchandise, The Daily Mail reports.

Chicago Man in Wig, Halter Top Shot Love Rival at Dice Game

Let’s think of some creative disguises: a fake nose, a mustache? What about women’s clothes on a man? While it probably works as a pretty good disguise, it’s not every day that a man in drag shoots his love rival. Lepaul Williams, 35, allegedly donned women’s clothing in order to disguise himself from his victim.

Williams, from a neighborhood in Chicago, got into an argument with his victim, also his neighbor, earlier in the day before the shooting occurred. The argument was about his ex-girlfriend, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Apparently, after the argument, Williams got to thinking about a plan to get close to his neighbor. That’s when he put on his disguise: a black wig, pink halter top and blue pajama pants, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Malinda Knowles Sues JetBlue: Kicked Off NY Plane for 'No Panties'

Malinda Knowles, a Harlem financial consultant and former fashion model, filed suit against JetBlue on Thursday in Queens Supreme Court, accusing the airline of battery, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The 27-year-old New Yorker alleges that in July 2010, a male supervisor accused her of not wearing panties, forcing her off a plane so that he could inspect her undergarments.

She was wearing shorts.

Put Defendants in a Glass Box? Marin Juvenile Court Closes Instead

California's Marin Superior Court has decided to back off from a strange plan which would have put arrested juveniles in glass boxes during their court appearances. Instead, the Marin Juvenile Court will be closed - and juveniles will now go through hearings at the main courthouse.

So why put juveniles in glass boxes in the first place? Are they fragile like some sort of prized treasure or age-old dinosaur bone?

No, it's because state budget cuts have forced Marin to eliminate security at the Juvenile Court, reports The Marin Independent Journal.

Diaper-Wearing 'Autistic' Con Man Gets 3 years in OK Prison

A diaper-wearing man poses as autistic to get his adult diaper changed and to grope teenage girls? You can't make this stuff up. Mark Anthony Richardson came to the public's attention late last year after a woman reported to police that a diaper-wearing man had pretended to be autistic, and then groped her 18-year-old daughter while she was sleeping.

After pleading guilty last month to felony sexual battery and seven counts of outraging public decency, Mark Anthony Richardson was sentenced to 3 years behind bars, 5 years of probation, and ordered to register as a sex offender by a judge in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Indiana Police Officer Has Sex in City Pool While Children Watch

Myron Helms is a reserve officer with the Laurel Police Department. Now, to add to his list of accomplishments, he has been arrested for having sex with a woman in a public pool in Connersville, Indiana.

Apparently, Helms and his lovebird (identified as Victoria Cross, 40) were having some adult play time at the Roberts Park Family Aquatic Center, reports WLWT-TV.

Note that the public pool facility has the word "family" in it. Ironic, considering their behavior in the pool was nowhere near something that can be considered family-friendly.

Chicago's Only Topless Bar: VIP's 18-Year Fight with City Hall

As owner of VIP's--Chicago's only topless bar--Perry Mandera has spent much of the last 18 years attempting to keep the club's doors open despite pressure from City Hall.

But after countless courts, including the Illinois Supreme Court, have declined to find Chicago's ban on liquor-touting semi-nude establishments unconstitutional, it appears as though VIP's legal battle has reached its final act.

Chicago has officially moved to shut the place down.

Fake Apple Store has Fake iPads, iPhones: Even Staff is Fooled

Want to visit an Apple store in China? Make sure you're not actually visiting a fake Apple store, because apparently the real ones and the fake ones look incredibly similar.

The fake stores are so realistic that apparently they're also fooling the employees, who think they work for Apple, according to The Daily Mail.

The only real giveaway that the stores aren't exactly legit is the signs that say "Apple Store," which is something that the real Apple does not do, The Daily Mail reports.

Drunk Amish Teen's Buggy Chase: NY Cops Spot Can of Beer in Buggy

A 17-year-old Amish youth in Conewango, N.Y. has been arrested for leading police on what can only be described as an alcohol-induced buggy chase.

New York police spotted the underage Amish in his horse-drawn buggy, reportedly holding a can of beer in his buggy. 

When officers attempted to speak with Lewis D. Hostetler early Monday morning, the Amish teen reportedly became belligerent, urged his horses to action, and then tore off.

WA Woman Tried to Sell Newborn Baby at Taco Bell for $500

Heidi Lynn Knowles is an interesting person.

The 36-year-old woman from Vancouver, Washington was arrested on Thursday night after she tried to sell her 3-day-old son.

Inside a Taco Bell.

For $500.

A woman called 911 to report that Knowles had handed her the newborn and then offered to sell him for $500, reports The Columbian.

Paco the Chihuahua Chases Away 2 Armed Robbers in LA

A heroic Chihuahua chased robbers who had entered into the Ace Smoke Shop in Altadena, California. Paco the Chihuahua is only 15 pounds, which means that his bark is probably worse than his bite.

But, the robbers don't know that.

The two robbers broke into the Altadena store earlier in July, armed with shotguns. They demanded some cash. That's when Paco rushed in, reports LA Weekly.

Unfortunately, while Paco's yelping and barking were enough to probably annoy the two would-be robbers, the two still managed to make it away with some of the cash in the backpack, reports LA Weekly.

Convicted Murderer Daniel Self Sues Colo. Jail for Saving his Life

It's not every day that a convicted murderer sues the jail that he is being imprisoned in for saving his life. But, Daniel Self is no ordinary inmate.

Self, a convicted murderer currently serving time in Colorado, has a signed DNR (do-not-resuscitate) order.

So, according to Self, when prison officials disregarded his DNR and helped administer life-saving medical procedures when he stopped breathing one night, they were being negligent, reports the Denver Post.

Accused of throwing peanuts at a flight attendant, Utah native Pogos Paul Sefilian was arrested this week after disembarking a Southwest plane that had traveled from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, his mission was not to assault airline employees or other passengers, but instead to protest the airline's heinous policy against in-flight use of electronic cigarettes.

How dare they.

Semen-Tainted Yogurt: NM Man Charged After DNA Evidence Link

Would you like some granola with your semen-tainted yogurt? No? 

Some unlucky shoppers at the Sunflower Market in Albuquerque, New Mexico got a taste of Anthony Garcia's "stuff" in January.

Garcia had been handing out what was supposed to be yogurt samples at the Sunflower Market. A woman got a taste of the sample. She realized it wasn't yogurt. It was something else, reports KASA-TV.

The yogurt was actually tainted with Garcia's semen, a fact that was verified through a DNA test, KASA-TV reports. Now, Garcia has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

'Bang Bus' Porn Star Arrested with Goats, Ducks, Guinea Hens in Miami Van

A porn star and another man left eight roosters, four guinea hens, four pigeons, a duck and four goats were amongst the trove of animals left in a van in Miami. The goats in the car were tied up in plastic bags. The car full of animals was left parked in a parking lot during the afternoon.

One of the men is Raul Armenteros, 46, also known by his porn name "Ramon" in the "Bang Bus" porn series. In the "Bang Bus" videos, Armenteros has backseat sex with women in a van.

Police had been alerted to the situation when a passerby thought that he heard something that sounded like a child crying coming from the parked van, reports CBS4-TV.

Instead, responding officers found the distressed animals. One of the goats tied up in the plastic bag was already dead. All of the animals looked like they lacked water, according to a police report, CBS4-TV reports.

Tiger Poachers' Posing Cell Phone Photos Led to Arrest

Two tiger poachers have been arrested in Thailand. And part of the trail of evidence that led to their capture was a tiger poacher’s cell phone, which had images of the poachers posing with their unlucky catches.

The group of tiger poachers is believed to have killed around 10 tigers in the region, reports MSNBC. Two of the men were arrested, while a third member of the group escaped.

The seized cell phone, complete with incriminating photos, was taken after a gun fight between park rangers and the poachers in a protected wildlife area, MSNBC reports.

Naked Woman with Loaded Gun Storms CA Motel Lobby

The California town of Vacaville woke up to some strange news on Sunday morning when residents learned that Patricia Wright of nearby Fairfield had stormed a Super 8 Motel, taking control of its lobby for nearly 20 minutes.

While such behavior isn't completely out of the ordinary in California's larger farming communities, Wright also happened to be naked and wielding a gun.

Talk about seedy.

Could 'South California' Become Our 51st State?

California secession is on the mind of Jeff Stone, a Republican who sits on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Have you ever heard of "South California"?

Maybe you will!

Stone wants to create a 51st state, "South California," which will include 13 counties in Southern California. Los Angeles County is noticeably absent from the list of counties Stone wants to include, the Los Angeles Times reports.

CA Woman Cut off Husband's Penis, Tossed in Garbage Disposal

California woman Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, has been arrested for cutting off her husband's penis. After she sliced it off, she then threw the penis in the garbage disposal.

Police are still trying to figure out why Becker cut off her husband's penis, but reports are that told officers that he "deserved" it, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Slicing off her husband's penis? Putting it into the garbage disposal? Becker must have been upset about something.

Plaza Hotel Chef Thrown in Trash, Chocolate Sauce Poured on Her

Melissa Rodriguez, a former Oak Room pastry chef at New York's Plaza hotel, has filed a $25 million lawsuit against former Executive Chef Eric Hara, claiming that, as her boss, he subjected her to sexual and physical harassment for the year she was on the job.

In one of the stranger allegations, Rodriguez accuses Hara of throwing her in the trash, and dumping cream, chocolate sauce, and honey in her hair on a near-daily basis.

Ohio Woman Steals Frozen Bull Semen to Blackmail Bull's Owner

An Ohio woman was charged with theft last week after police located a vat of stolen bull semen in her garage.

Prosecutors allege that Karen Saum of Springfield stole $110,000 worth of frozen bull semen from her former employer, Genetic Connections, as part of an elaborate extortion plan.

Her apparent goal was to force the company to help her start a business of her own.

AZ Man Gets 90 Days Jail for Shooting His Car That Wouldn't Start

What kind of man shoots his own car? Apparently, one that is really frustrated with their vehicle of choice, including Arizona man Lauriano Lawrence Lovato.

Lovato went out to his car at around 9 a.m. in April and tried to start up his car, reports the Daily Miner.

But alas, it did not start. And in what was probably a fit of a rage - or at least a fit of frustration - Lovato shot his car twice. The shots went through the windshield and into the car's dashboard. And, guess what: Lovato's actions actually set off a SWAT team standoff.

Porn Ban in Michigan Jail Unconstitutional, Inmate Sues Gov.

Upset over his lack of erotic material, Kyle Richards, 21, is suing the state of Michigan on the grounds that a local prison porn ban constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th Amendment.

Proceeding in pro per (or writing his own pleading to the court without an attorney), he claims that Macomb County Jail's porn ban is a "method of 'psychological warfare' against prisoners" that aims to break their spirits via sensory deprivation.

It's also apparently a poor standard of living.

Va. Soldier Arrested in Sex Shop with Blow-Up Doll

Justin Dale Little Jim is an officer of the U.S. Army. And, Little Jim is now facing charges after a blow-up doll arrest in Virginia after he broke into an adult store.

Yes, a "blow-up doll" as in an adult toy that can be "blown up" which can then be used to (fill in the blank here).

Little Jim was found inside an adult store which sells these blow-up dolls. Police dogs sniffed him out and found him in a precarious position: wearing women's panties and trying to do the dirty with one of the dolls in a closet, reports The Washington Post.

NJ Tax Collector Paid Dominatrix with City Money, Stole $800K

Alan Bartolozzi, former tax collector for the New Jersey town of Secaucus, is expected to be sentenced this week after pleading guilty to two counts of theft back in May.

The accusation? He stole in excess of $800,000 in city tax payments and funds from the local municipal union between February 2008 and May 2009.

And what did he do with it? Prosecutors believe he used it to pay a dominatrix.

NY Biker Dies at Anti-Helmet Protest: Hit Head With No Helmet

A motorcyclist was taking part in a helmet protest over a NY helmet law when he died.

Philip Contos, 55, went over the handlebars of his Harley Davidson, hitting his head on the pavement, after he hit his brakes, reports ABC News.

He was later pronounced dead at the hospital, ABC News reports. And, he would have survived the accident if he was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, said a medical expert to ABC News.

Colo. Woman Tries to Swim Away from DUI Crash

Just sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to driving under the influence, Boulder resident Lisa Norton was charged with first degree murder last week after trying to swim away from a DUI crash that resulted in the death of Gabriel Nielson.

While her two other victims — Nielson's sister and young daughter — remain in critical condition, Norton is being held at the Boulder County Jail and is under suicide watch.

Shaun Fawster, Homeless, Arrested for Charging Cell Phone

Shaun Fawster, a homeless man from Bangor, Maine, was arrested last weekend after falling prey to his basic electrical needs.

Local police scouring the downtown area reportedly located him just after midnight last Saturday, hovering over a hidden outdoor electrical plug that belonged to a local business.

Like a typical technology-obsessed American, he was allegedly charging his two cell phones.

And now he's been charged with theft of services, as well as with carrying a concealed weapon, as police found a knife tucked into his shirt.

Coupon Thief: Texas Woman Arrested for Stealing Coupons

Even though the penny pinchers that appear on TLC's Extreme Couponing go so far as to dumpster dive for coupons, it's rare that anyone even approaches the line of becoming a coupon thief.

But one coupon queen in Denton, Texas, has been arrested for allegedly doing just that.

She's been accused of masterminding a coupon crime spree.