Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

December 2014 Archives

Sex Offender Wins $3M Lotto, Gets Sued by Alleged Victims

A Florida lottery winner (and registered sex offender) is being sued by his alleged victims.

Timothy Poole opted to take about $2.2 million in a lump sum after purchasing a winning Florida Lottery ticket earlier this month. According to Orlando's WKMG-TV, Poole also is also being sued by two brothers who claim he abused them when they were children.

Can these alleged victims get a chunk of Poole's lotto winnings?

Woman Arrested for Smearing Raw Pork on Boston Police Station

A woman was arrested after she allegedly made her displeasure with police known by smearing bacon and pork sausage on a Massachusetts police station window.

Lindsey McNamara allegedly approached the police station in the Boston suburb of Framingham carrying a box of what appeared to be Dunkin' Donuts, reports United Press International. The woman told the officer at the dispatch window that she was there to "feed the pigs" before revealing the contents of her box: raw pork products.

As you might imagine, the woman's actions didn't exactly go over well with police.

Alleged Mail Thief Flees in Kayak Without a Paddle; Gets Arrested

Mail theft gets under many Americans' skins, but one man took to his kayak in order to stop a suspected mail thief.

A pair of alleged mail thieves were acting a bit Grinchy on the morning of Christmas Eve, reportedly going through mailboxes in the town of Sammamish, Washington. According to Seattle's KCPQ-TV, sheriff's deputies responded to multiple calls of suspected mail theft, but the two suspects fled on foot when officers arrived. A male suspect grabbed a kayak and tried to paddle away in a pond with his bare hands, but a Good Samaritan grabbed his own kayak and intercepted the man.

What kind of charges do these fleeing (and apparently determined) suspects face?

Woman Arrested for Vandalizing Florida Satanic Display

A Florida woman wearing a "Catholic Warrior" t-shirt was arrested after police say she vandalized a Satanic Temple holiday display in the lobby of the Florida Capitol.

Susan Hemeryck told Florida Department of Law Capitol Police officers she had "to take down the Satanic display" before attempting to remove the display Tuesday, reports the Tallahassee Democrat. After officers instructed the 54-year-old woman to put the display back she allegedly began to rip the display apart.

The alleged vandalism is just the latest legal drama for the Satanic Temple's holiday display.

Pet Bobcat Ordered to Zoo After Latest Escape From Owner's Home

A New Jersey judge ordered that a pet bobcat be sent to live in the zoo after its most recent escape into the neighborhood.

Rocky, a bobcat owned by Stafford Township, New Jersey, resident Ginny Fine, will be staying at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township, where he was caught after his most recent escape attempt. NJ Advance Media reports that Fine pleaded guilty to letting an exotic animal run wild, an ordinance that was passed after Rocky had escaped numerous times before.

What will become of Fine and Rocky?

Bad Santas, 2014 Edition: A Ho-Ho-Holiday Lineup

We made a list and we checked it twice. It turns out Santa can be a little naughty himself from time to time.

From Santas accused of taking gifts rather than giving them, to a Scottish Santa who eschewed reindeer in favor of riding atop the Duke of Wellington statute in Glasgow's Royal Exchange Square, this year has had no shortage of Santas behaving badly.

Here are five of 2014's most notorious bad Santas:

Grandma Slapped Over Facebook Friend Request: Police

Is it worth slapping your grandma over a Facebook request? This isn't a new aggressive marketing campaign by Facebook (we hope), it's the subject of a recent Florida arrest.

Rachel Anne Hayes, 27, was arrested Thursday after allegedly hitting her 72-year-old grandmother multiple times in the face. According to Tampa's WFLA-TV, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reports that the slapfest was over the senior's refusal to accept Hayes' friend request on Facebook.

What will Hayes have to answer for after this alleged granny-slapping incident?

Top 10 Legally Weird Stories of 2014

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:

Man Faked Heart Attack at Walmart to Steal Barbie Car: Police

A Florida man allegedly faked having a heart attack inside a Walmart store to allow his accomplice to make off with almost $400 worth of toys, including a motorized Power Wheels Barbie car.

According to police, 30-year-old Tarus Scott and 27-year-old Genard Dupree were captured on surveillance video walking through the Walmart store in Lake Wales, Florida, filling a cart with items. As the two approached the store's exit, Dupree reportedly began clutching his chest as if he was suffering a heart attack, reports Tampa's WFLA-TV.

As other shoppers rushed to Dupree's aid, Scott took the opportunity to make his way out of the store with a cart full of expensive toys without paying.

Man Who Can't Use Arms Faces Gun Possession Charge

A New Jersey man who can't use his arms is facing a gun possession charge based on a very strange arrest.

Marcus Hubbard, 28, cannot use his arms because of a spinal condition, but that didn't stop police from arresting him and three others based on constructive possession laws. As the Times of Trenton reports, police allegedly found a stolen handgun in a car that Hubbard and three other men were in, but since none of them copped to having the gun, they were all charged with possession.

Can a man who can't raise his hands be facing a gun charge?

Beard DNA Test Leads to Arrest, 1 Year After Burglary

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.

Woman Arrested for Cursing at Cops Gets $100K Settlement

A woman who was arrested after she "F-bombed" police officers is getting what she deserves... $100,000.

Cobb County, Georgia, is set to pay that amount to Amy Elizabeth Barnes to settle her claims in federal court. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Barnes is a "well-known political activist" who was jailed after a 2012 incident where she shouted "f--- the police" and gave two officers the finger.

How did this ordeal end with Barnes getting paid $100,000?

Ky. Noah's Ark Park Not Eligible for $18M in Tax Breaks

A Noah's Ark-themed amusement park may have sprung a financial leak after being denied millions of dollars in tax incentives.

The Ark Encounter, a Genesis-themed attraction with a 500-foot-long wooden replica of Noah's Ark, was denied approximately $18 million in tax breaks from the state of Kentucky. Why? According to Think Progress, it may have something to do with refusing to comply with the state's existing nondiscrimination policies.

Why is the state giving the Ark park more than two of every legal problem?

3 Students Stole, Killed, Ate Frat House's Chicken: Police

Three University of Vermont (UVM) students are accused of stealing, killing, and eating a frat house's chicken.

UVM police allege that Cameron Dube, Darien Newman, and Hannah Jackman, all 18, snuck into the Alpha Gamma Rho frat house in Burlington, Vermont, snatched a chicken, then killed, plucked, and ate it. The students were originally facing trespass and theft charges, but the Burlington Free Press reports that the three chicken snatchers have been "referred to the university's reparative board."

What's the deal with this fowl deed?

Student Shares Pot Brownie With Teacher, Gets Arrested

A Maryland high school student was arrested after giving his teacher a brownie laced with pot.

The unsuspecting Anne Arundel County high school teacher was taken to the nurse's office and an ambulance was called after she reported feeling ill and acting disoriented. According to Baltimore's WJZ-TV, a 17-year-old student admitted to giving his teacher a piece of the brownie, which he confirmed contained pot.

What criminal charges is this teen facing for giving his teacher a "magic" brownie?

Man Swaps Furniture While Neighbors Are Out, Gets Arrested

A Washington couple came home from a weekend trip to find that their furniture had been swapped out for furniture they didn't recognize.

The couple also found a collection of empty beer bottles and pizza boxes inside their apartment, reports The News Tribune. The receipt inside the pizza box included the name and information of one of the culprits. A traffic ticket also left behind included both the name and the address of the second alleged furniture swapper.

Conveniently enough for police, the address listed on the traffic ticket was right next door.

Satanic Temple Gets Lucifer Display in Fla. State Capitol

The Satanic Temple has won another legal battle, this time in Florida. The Florida Department of Management Services agreed to allow a diorama featuring Lucifer in the Capitol's rotunda.

Looking like a cross between a last-minute history fair project and a black velvet puppeteer's booth, the Satanic Temple's display reads "Happy Holidays From The Satanic Temple" and features a tiny angel figurine tumbling from cotton-ball clouds into construction-paper fire. According to the Orlando Sentinel, this same diorama was rejected one year ago for being "grossly offensive."

What the devil is up with this Satanic diorama?

Chimps Are Not Legal Persons: N.Y. Appellate Court

The rise of the apes may be nigh, as a New York appellate court unanimously denied that chimpanzees were legal persons.

On Thursday, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division issued a decision declaring that chimps -- including a 26-year-old chimp named "Tommy" -- were not entitled to the same legal protections as human inmates because they aren't legally considered "persons." The New York Daily News reports that Tommy is owned by an upstate New York couple, and this case was an attempt to free him from their care.

What exactly does this chimp decision mean for us humans?

Threesome Ends With Male Escorts Fighting Over Who's Highest Paid

A South Carolina threesome came to blows over the weekend when two of the three men involved began arguing over which was the higher paid escort.

Police say that 33-year-old Michael Gordon was spending the evening with 18-year-old escort Austin Adams at a Spartanburg gay club when the two met Douglas Tench, who was in town from Charlotte. The three men decided to retire to the hot tub on the back deck of a house where Gordon dog-sitting, reports the New York Daily News.

The good times were short-lived, however.

Man Hit Pregnant Wife With McChicken Sandwich: Police

A man accused of using a McDonald's McChicken sandwich to hit his pregnant wife is facing a domestic violence charge.

Moody foody Marvin Tramaine Hill II, 21, told police in Des Moines, Iowa, that he threw the breaded chicken sandwich at his wife "because he doesn't like them." According to The Des Moines Register, Hill claims that his wife was actually the one who assaulted him.

Is the McChicken now the official sandwich of domestic squabbles?

'Emotional Support Pig' Kicked Off Flight

A woman who brought a pig on board a commercial airliner as an "emotional support animal" was asked to deplane after the pig reportedly defecated.

The woman was allowed to bring the animal on board the U.S. Airways flight out of Connecticut's Bradley International Airport after claiming it was for her emotional health, reports The Washington Post. U.S Department of Transportation rules generally allow for support animals on commercial flights, in addition to service animals.

What's the difference, and where did this flying pig land?

Married Gays Denied Fla. Drivers' Licenses

Married couples can often drive each other crazy, but this married couple won't be legally driving anywhere in Florida.

Daniel and Scott Wall-DeSousa were married in New York last December and had their names legally changed to a hyphenated form of their original surnames. But, as the Orlando Sentinel reports, when the Palm Bay, Florida, couple obtained drivers' licenses with their new married names, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles canceled them.

Why won't Florida let these married gays drive?