Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

February 2014 Archives

Google Glass Attack: Is Hating on 'Glassholes' Illegal?

Assault isn't really in the eye of the beholder, even if the victim is wearing Google Glass.

Google Glass user and tech writer Sarah Slocum reported Monday via Facebook that she was attacked and robbed at a San Francisco bar by "Google Glass haters." Slocum later recovered her Google Glass, but she says her phone and purse are still missing, San Francisco's KPIX-TV reports.

Is hating on "Glassholes" illegal?

Didn't Know Cocaine Was Illegal? That's No Excuse

A ruddy-faced man was arrested for drug possession in Florida. His defense? He didn't know cocaine was illegal in the state of Florida. Whoops!

46-year-old Guy Lanchester told police "I don't understand... I thought cocaine wasn't illegal in Florida," South Florida's WTVJ reports.

Even if we suspend our judgment and choose to believe he was telling the truth, his ignorance would still be no defense. But what you may not know is that if he'd worded his ignorance differently, it may have been a valid defense.

Penis Tattoo 'Sext' Message Appeal: Court Sides With Sender

If you're a Georgia man who loves to sext pictures of your penis tattoo, rejoice. The Georgia Supreme Court has sided with a man who sexted a picture of his tattooed penis to a lady who wasn't at all impressed.

According to the court, Charles Leo Warren III should not have been charged under a criminal indecency law when he sexted an image of his tattooed penis, UPI reports. Warren's genital tattoo reads: "STRONG E nuf 4 A MAN BUT Made 4 A WOMAN."

Why did the court side with Warren and his unsolicited sext message? Three numbers: 16-12-81.

Man Steals $1.49 Hot Dog, Gets Charged With Felony

An Indiana man with a hankering for hot dogs was arrested Wednesday on a felony theft charge for allegedly stealing a $1.49 weenie from a convenience store.

Rickey Joe Moore II, 21, of Odon, is being charged with a Class D felony after being accused by a convenience store manager of reaching in and snatching a hot dog from the rotisserie, the Greene County Daily World reports.

How is stealing a hot dog a felony?

Alleged Sexual Assault of Cows Caught on Video; 2 Arrested

Although Old McDonald had a farm, he probably didn't think anyone was going to sexually assault his cows.

The same can be said for a farmer in upstate New York, who was wondering why his heffers seemed anxious and "were not producing as usual," the Utica Observer-Dispatch reports. Surveillance video in a barn revealed the answer, showing a man named Michael Jones filming another man, Reid Fontaine, allegedly trying to have sex with the farmer's cows.

For their alleged crimes against nature, the men are charged with sexual misconduct. But does that charge apply when the victim is a cow?

Man's 'Olive Garden' Rap Lyrics Lead to Murder Conviction

Rap lyrics served as evidence in a murder trial stemming from a fatal altercation at an Olive Garden in South Carolina.

Gonzales "Snoop" Wardlaw, 22, was sentenced to life in prison Friday in connection with the murder of 21-year-old Thomas T. Hoefer after a pot deal went awry. He boasted about the murder in rap lyrics.

The lesson here is clear: never underestimate the power of words -- or hubris.

Man Fired Over Candy-Machine Forklift Stunt Is Denied Unemployment

An Iowa man was fired and denied unemployment benefits after he used a forklift to lift a vending machine that had held his Twix candy bar hostage.

Robert McKevitt claims that he paid for the Twix candy bar in question, and was only "trying to get the snack he had paid for," the Des Moines Register reports.

Can KcKevitt's determination for a Twix really keep him unemployed without benefits?

Unreturned VHS Rental Gets Woman Arrested 9 Years Later

A South Carolina woman has been arrested for never returning a VHS rental. If you're wondering who in the world still watches VHS tapes, rest assured, the rental was from 2005 -- the year of "Hollaback Girl," "Capote," the death of Pope John Paul II, and Hurricane Katrina.

Kayla Michelle Finley, 27, of Pickens County, is facing a misdemeanor charge of "failure to return a rented video cassette," CNN reports.

The real crime: It was a Jennifer Lopez movie.

Being 'Annoying' While Drunk No Longer Illegal in Ind.

An Indiana man arrested for being "drunk and annoying" scored a victory on Thursday when a state appellate court overturned his public intoxication conviction.

The Indiana Court of Appeals found that Rodregus Morgan was arrested under a state law that was unconstitutionally vague about just how "annoying" a drunk person could be, Indianapolis' WRTV reported.

What about Indiana's public intoxication law was so annoying to the appellate court?

YouTube's 9th Birthday: 9 Weird Ways It's Led to Legal Fallout

YouTube turns 9 years old today. To commemorate this joyous occasion, it only makes sense to share some of the most ridiculous YouTube videos that have led to legal action.

From the mom who used YouTube for a home circumcision to a man's fake grenade launcher video, YouTube is a legal disaster gift that keeps on giving.

Here are nine wacky ways YouTube videos have led to legal action:

Hustler Club's Lap Dances Too Sexy to Be Tax-Exempt: N.Y. Judge

Are the Hustler Club's lap dances a tax-deductible art form? A New York City judge sure doesn't see it that way, and has ordered the club to pay more than two years' worth of back taxes.

New York State Division of Tax Appeals Judge Donna Gardiner ruled that even if the exotic dancing itself is artistic, it's "ancillary" to the Hustler Club's real business -- to sell a "sexual fantasy," the New York Daily News reports. Unfortunately for the club's owners, such fantasy dances are "insufficiently 'cultural and artistic'" to be tax-exempt, Gardiner explained.

So how much does the Hustler Club owe Uncle Sam?

Judge Bans Man From Internet After Creepy Craigslist Prank

A judge has banned a Wisconsin man from the Internet after he used his neighbor's likeness in a prank involving Craigslist personal ads.

Jason Willis, 31, of Waterford, pleaded guilty to posting ads that solicited people to have sex with his neighbor, a woman whom Milwaukee's WTMJ-TV is calling "Dawn" to protect her true identity.

Unfortunately for Willis, his Craigslist prank went very wrong, taking a turn for the creepy and criminal.

Okla. Restaurant Won't Serve Gays, Disabled: Is That OK?

An Oklahoma restaurant owner isn't letting the law or human decency stop him from refusing to serve gays or the disabled.

Gary James, owner of Gary's Chicaros in Enid, told Oklahoma City's KFOR-TV that he "really [doesn't] want gays around." And some purported former patrons allege that the same goes for blacks, Hispanics, and people with disabilities.

Is there much the law can do for a charmer like James?

Pot Vaporizer in Hospital Maternity Ward Gets Fla. Man Arrested

Celebrating a baby's birth by puffing on a cigar may be a thing of the past, but what about puffing on a vaporizer pen? Just ask the man who was busted for allegedly using his pot vaporizer in a hospital maternity ward.

David Bastin, 28, of Jupiter, Florida, was arrested for possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia after a nurse smelled weed wafting from a certain hospital room and called the cops, reports.

Even though vaporizers or e-cigarettes are legal in Florida, you can't use them everywhere. And using them with illegal drugs could result in a very unchill experience behind bars.

'McGruff the Crime Dog' Actor Gets 16 Years for Drugs, Weapons

A a twist of tragic irony, police and prosecutors have "taken a bite out of crime" by getting McGruff the Crime Dog sentenced to 16 years in prison for a massive pot operation and weapons cache, including a grenade launcher.

John R. Morales, 41, a former actor who played the crime-fighting canine, was pulled over for speeding in Galveston, Texas, in 2011. A real-life dog (this one of the drug-sniffing variety) ratted him out for pot.

What police uncovered next was certainly stranger than fiction.

Remember the Alamo Urinator? He May Get Jail Time

A Texas man will definitely be remembering the Alamo, as he's pleaded guilty to urinating on the historic monument. And this is why we can't have nice things.

In spite of the saying "when you gotta go, you gotta go," Daniel Athens, 23, of El Paso, cut a deal with the district attorney and pleaded guilty to criminal mischief, UPI reports. The DA's office even issued a press release about it, entitled "Don't Whizz On the Alamo."

So can whizzing on a historical site land someone in jail?

Alleged Arsonist Was Told to Stop Masturbating: Cops

In another "of course this happened in Florida!" story, a Tampa man who'd been told by building management to quell his masturbating ways was arrested on suspicion of felony arson after his apartment complex went up in flames.

Kenneth Haskins, 58, is accused of setting the fire as an act of revenge Sunday night, after building managers asked him to "stop masturbating in front of his open windows and front door," according to UPI.

So why do investigators think Haskins had a hand in starting the fire?

Toddler Calls 911 15 Times in 1 Month; Mom, Boyfriend Charged

A New York woman and her boyfriend are facing criminal charges after the woman's 2-year-old daughter dialed 911 a whopping 15 times in one month.

The 23-year-old mother and her 33-year-old boyfriend reportedly tried to keep their cell phones away from the little girl, but she kept managing to find the phones to dial 911, The Associated Press reports.

The lesson for parents: Your kid's little fingers can cause big legal problems.

Beer-Delivery Drones Grounded by FAA

The fun police at the FAA have struck again, grounding a beer drone operation that served as a promising new way to locally deliver microbrews.

Minnesota-based Lakemaid Beer was experimenting with delivering its product -- called "the fisherman's lager" -- to ice fisherman on the state's frozen lakes via unmanned drone, NPR reports. That is, until the Federal Aviation Administration dropped the hammer.

Why are drone beer deliveries so high on the FAA's radar?