Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

May 2013 Archives

'Bucket List' Shoplifters Busted Over Swimsuits, Beef Jerky

Two bucket list shoplifter BFFs in Florida might be reconsidering how to celebrate friendship. Police say that two longtime friends who reunited recently after years apart came up with a friendship bucket list -- and added "shoplifting" as a to-do, reports the Ocala Star-Banner.

The bestie bandits -- Andrea Mobley, 36, and Jennifer Denise Morrow, 38 -- were each charged with petty theft.

What did they steal, hand-in-hand? (Spoiler alert: It wasn't friendship bracelets.)

For Street Slang in Court Cases, Urban Dictionary Rules

Word on the street says that courts nationwide are turning to Urban Dictionary to fill the gaps in their knowledge of slang, leaving some of us to wonder: Is Urban Dictionary a real thing now?

If actual adult judges -- the professional ones charged with interpreting the laws that govern our society -- are treating this website like it's Webster's, then maybe it is a real deal.

Man Crashed Car During Drunken Sex, Hides Behind Cactus

Move over driving while texting, a New Mexico man has brought car-multitasking to a new level by crashing his car while driving drunk and having sex with his female passenger.

The allegedly liquored-up lothario, 25-year-old Luis Briones, crashed his SUV on Monday night and attempted to flee from officers by hiding behind a cactus, reports The Associated Press.

Although his lady companion survived the crash, Briones may face major charges for his drunken sexcapade.

Mom Gets Son Arrested for Stealing Her Pop-Tarts

The logical extension of "L'eggo my Eggo": Po-pos for Pop-Tarts. A woman in Charlotte, North Carolina, had her son arrested for stealing her Pop-Tarts, reports WCNC-TV. The scene of the crime is the woman's home -- probably by the toaster.

The report said that the boy was placed under juvenile arrest and was charged with misdemeanor larceny.

Fake Disney Heir Busted Over Disneyland Ticket Scheme

A 51 year-old fake Disney heir is under arrest for falsely representing himself as a member of the Disney family -- and handing out tickets to Disneyland, which he allegedly stole.

Stephen Urquidez -- whose fake driver's license reads "Stephen Disney" -- also allegedly falsely reported on tax forms that he'd received income from the Walt Disney Corporation, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the real Disney corporation insists there is absolutely no connection between Urquidez and the corporation or the Disney family.

Urquidez was arrested and taken to one of the unhappiest places on earth -- jail -- before he posted bond. How did he get caught?

Manatee 'Cannonballing' Video May Lead to Federal Charges

Three Florida men who made a manatee "cannonballing" YouTube video more than a year ago may soon face federal charges.

The three unnamed suspects produced a video that shows one of them jumping into a canal in Cocoa Beach, Florida, "cannonballing" over a manatee and her calf, possibly hitting them upon contact with the water.

What charges could they potentially face?

Crooks 'Butt-Dial' 911, Get Busted for Break-In

A pair of alleged burglars butt-dialed 911, allowing a dispatcher to listen in as they planned and committed a burglary.

The bosom buddies now face charges of breaking into a car, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit a crime -- and several counts of embarrassment.

Topless Women OK in Public, NYPD Memo Reveals

As summer approaches, weather-appropriate attire is an absolute must, and on a hot sticky summer day in NYC, the dress code may call for you to be topless.

But it's not only the fashion police who will have to give you a pass. The boys in blue of the NYPD will also have to keep their cuffs in their pockets, according to a memo revealed in a topless woman's lawsuit.

The NYPD memo clarifies that being a shirtless woman is not an arrestable offense in New York City.

Inmate Sues Taco Bell for Stealing Doritos Locos Tacos Idea

A federal prison inmate is suing Taco Bell over its new menu item, the Doritos Locos Tacos.

But Gary Cole, who's serving a 25-year sentence at a super-max prison in Florence, Colorado, isn't looking to get his hands on some of these ingenious tacos with hard shells made from Nacho Cheese Doritos Chips.

Instead, Cole claims in a federal lawsuit that he is the inventor of the Doritos taco shells, and that someone has stolen his now hugely successful idea, the Dallas Observer reports.

Rich Moms Hiring Disabled Guides at Disney to Cut in Line

What does the upper crust at Disney World look like? According to the New York Post, they're rich Manhattan moms who hire disabled tour guides so that they (and their non-handicapped children) can cut in line.

To be a part of the elite 1% who get to feel nauseous after a whirl on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party or get delightfully drenched on Splash Mountain without waiting in line for hours, these "black-market tour guides" cost about $130 an hour, or more than $1,000 for an eight-hour day.

Disney's message to these line-cutting moms: Cut it out.

'Robin Hood' Parking Meter-Feeders Sued for Harassment

To the dismay of every urban damsel, a parking meter "Robin Hood" group is being sued for harassing parking enforcement officers.

Garret Ean and his band of merry men call themselves "Robin Hood of Keene," as in Keene, New Hampshire. They walk the streets and feed parking meters about to expire, WMUR-TV reports.

A far cry from Sherwood Forest, the city of Keene is accusing the group of harassing Meter Maid Marians and interfering with their work.

Man Who Fled 'Zombies' Pleads Guilty in Hit-and-Run Crash

The "man who fled zombies" Jeremiah Clyde Hartline pleaded guilty to three felony counts Monday after a wild big rig crash that he claims was caused by the walking dead.

The plea bargain allows the potential "Zombieland" cast member a sentence of up to five years in prison, which is a no-tasty-brainer compared to the approximately 12 years he might face if he went to trial, reports U-T San Diego.

Belief in zombies might be laughable, but possible defenses to felony theft charges based on zombies might not be.

Woman Slaps Deputy to Go to Jail, Quit Smoking

Smoking is a nasty habit and quitting can be a challenge. Some people try the nicotine patch, while others apparently go to jail to quit smoking.

Not rehab, jail.

Etta Mae Lopez decided to slap a sheriff's deputy so she could go to jail, where smoking isn't allowed, the Associated Press reports. (Dear smokers: Does nicotine chewing gum taste that bad?)

New Twist in Rastafarian's Religious Pot Case: Where Is He?

Dude, where's my defendant?

A Rastafarian pot enthusiast has pulled the "religion" card in his defense. But when his case came up in court this week, he was nowhere to be found.

Robert Joseph Simmons, 33, believes he doesn't need to worry about a thing -- not because every little thing is gonna be alright, but because he claims marijuana is a "core tenet" of his religion. Simmons appears to take his religious practice very seriously, because he was busted with more than two and half pounds of pot and 13 pills of hydromorphine, The San Francisco Examiner reports.

But where is Simmons now? And is it possible to legally smoke Mary Jane in the name of religion?

Mothers Do the Darnedest Things: 10 Dumb Ways Moms Get Arrested

When you filled out your Mother's Day card this year (you haven't?), did you pause and think of some bonehead move your mom pulled over the last year?

Here's hoping that dumb move by your mom didn't get her arrested, as happened to quite a few conniving (and some unwitting) criminal mothers over the past few years.

Proving that having the ability to produce or rear children does not a criminal genius make, here are 10 dumb ways moms have gotten arrested:

Facebook Stalking 'Victim' Stalks Herself in Bizarre Revenge Plot

The alleged case of a phony Facebook stalking victim raises an interesting philosophical question: What happens if Narcissus looks into the water and sees a catfish?

We apparently have an answer, as the purported Facebook stalking "victim" -- 52-year-old Cheryl Nelson of Grand Rapids, Michigan -- has now been charged in the matter, after trying to pin the blame on her ex-boyfriend's new love interest.

But police say Nelson actually Facebook-stalked herself in a bizarre plot for revenge.

Woman Set Up Own Adoption to Get 'Dad's' Apartment: Report

A New York woman is being called to task for allegedly setting up her adoption by an elderly man in order to get his rent-controlled apartment.

Pamela Becker, 62, was legally adopted by 85-year-old Nicholas DeTommaso in 2009. After DeTommasso died that year, Becker took over the lease to DeTommaso's flat in Queens. The monthly rent: just $100.

But last month, Becker was crestfallen to learn that the New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal had ruled that she was not entitled to the extremely cheap apartment, The New York Post reports.

'Punny' Judge Rules on Strippers' 'Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Pasties'

"Does size matter?" That's what a Texas judge pondered in a case about strippers and their "itsy bitsy pasties." (Spoiler alert: The answer is yes, according to the judge.)

In a ruling that's gone viral, Judge Fred Biery affirmed an ordinance in San Antonio, Texas, that requires strippers at clubs that aren't defined as sexually oriented businesses to trade in their itsy bitsy teeny weeny pasties for itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini tops. It doesn't have to be a yellow polka-dotted one, though.

The decision has perhaps the best opinion title ever: It's formally 35 Bar and Grille v. The City of San Antonio, but the judge's ruling called it "The Case of the Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Bikini Top v. The (More) Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Pastie."

Prison Yelp Reviews: 5 Do's and Don'ts

Been to jail or prison lately? How would you rate your experience behind bars?

Prison Yelp reviews are becoming more popular, and reading them can be a guilty pleasure, as shown recently on "The Colbert Report." Many reviewers complain about (or laud) the quality of the food, housing, and treatment by guards, but there are also some potentially incriminating statements being posted as well.

If you're planning on writing a Yelp review about a prison or detention center, you may want to consider these do's and don'ts:

Fla. Girl's 'Science Experiment' Blows Up Into Felony Charges

A Florida teen learned the hard way that science experiments are best kept in chemistry class, after the student's volatile brew blew up into felony charges.

Kiera Wilmot, a 16-year-old student in Bartow, Florida, was arrested last week on charges of possession and discharge of a destructive device on school grounds, reports the Miami New Times.

With the homemade bombs of the Boston Marathon still fresh in many people's minds, it isn't a far cry to see why Wilmot is facing felony charges.