WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "RIDICULOUS LAWSUITS BY INMATES"?

When Jesse Dimmick was a fugitive from Colorado fleeing a murder charge, he led police in
 Kansas on a chase, and his car was disabled in front of a newlywed
 couple’s house. He ran in and confronted the couple, Jared and Lindsay
 Rowley, at knifepoint. As police surrounded the house, Dimmick says he
 got a verbal agreement from the couple that they would help him escape
 in exchange for an unspecified cash payment, which he says constituted
 “a legally binding oral contract.” But when he fell asleep, the Rowleys
 fled the house and police stormed in, shooting and wounding Dimmick. He
 was convicted of multiple felonies in the case, but after his
 sentencing (10 years, 11 months), Dimmick was extradited to Colorado to
 face the murder charge. In his free time while awaiting trial in that
 case, Dimmick has sued the Rowleys “without the aid of professional
 [sic] legal counsel,” his claim notes, alleging “breech [sic] of
 contract” and demanding $235,000 in compensation. The Rowleys’ attorney
 asked for a dismissal of the suit, but the judge has yet to rule on
 that motion.

A THOUGHT: The law has this backwards – Inmates shouldn’t be allowed to file such suits without the judge’s permission.

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High Security

“She grabbed a bag of apricots, dried apricots, opened them, ate a couple, put it back and the security guard watched her do it,” says Alissa Jones, about an incident at a Safeway grocery store in Everett, Wash. The guard labeled it shoplifting, and grabbed the culprit, Savannah Harp, and took her and her shopping companion, who didn’t see the incident, to the back of the store for interrogation.

 “She’s banned from the store, and we’re pressing charges,” the guard told them. “And she needs to sign this form saying she understands she can’t come into any Safeways.” The problem: Savannah can’t read or write; she’s 4. But the guard made her scribble something like her name on the paper anyway. Her companion at the store was her father. When corporate officials heard about it, the security guard was fired, and apologized to Savannah’s parents.”Our policies on shoplifting are intended to protect our customers, but built on common sense,” said Safeway spokeswoman Cherie Myers. “And everyone understands what common sense is.”

A THOUGHT: Common sense tells those with common sense that common sense isn’t very common, as reviewing the security guard’s actions should have told Ms. Myers if she had any common sense.

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Die Another Day

“I told her I didn’t want to die,” said a 17-year-old boy from Edgewater, Fla., to police. “And then she wouldn’t get out of the car so I had to pull it over. I had to pull like her, like, move her over and she started hitting me. I have bites, cuts and punches all over my face,” he said. The “she” involved is his mother. The family, including his father, was coming home from a Blue Oyster Cult concert, and his mother was drunk and “out of control,” driving close to 110 mph, the boy said. The car eventually ran out of gas, which is when he called 911. Deputies gave the boy a ride to protective custody; his father, Ronald Siciliano, a ride home; and the mother, Patricia Siciliano, 41, a ride to jail. She was charged with domestic battery, child abuse without great harm, resisting arrest, and three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer – but not drunk driving, since deputies didn’t actually see her behind the wheel. “She’s not a very smart alcoholic,” the boy said, “at all.”

A THOUGHT: Not too many of them are, son.

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"Party on Wayne" – "Party on Garth"

Two 20-year-old men at a party in Sweden noticed an 18-year-old woman had passed out from drinking too much. They thought it would be “fun” to take “compromising pictures” of her – they pulled up her shirt and took photos of her breasts. Other shots showed the men giving each other “high-fives” – with their own pants pulled down to expose themselves next to her. But despite the photographic evidence, the unnamed men were exonerated of sexual molestation because, the Stockholm District Court ruled, by being unconscious, the woman was not aware she was being molested. “She considers herself to have been seriously violated,” said prosecutor Gunnar Merkel. He plans to appeal the ruling.

A THOUGHT: Meanwhile, I don’t want to even think about what’s going on in hospital coma wards in the country.

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A Hairy Situation

Sheldon Williams, 12, was sent to the principal’s office at Marshall (Texas) Junior High because his haircut violated school policy. He had two lines shaved on the side of his head, which the principal, Debbie Crooms, claimed were “gang symbols.” Assistant Principal Michael Morse fixed the problem – by coloring Williams’ scalp with a black marker. Superintendent Bruce Gearing said the assistant principal “has been reprimanded,” and that “it will never happen again as long as I am part of the district.”

A THOUGHT: The principal says she thought it was OK as long as they colored within the lines.

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A Sticky Situation

“When I started taking my clothes off, a man said ‘You can’t do that in here!’,” says Ian Robinson, 43. The former mail carrier was at the Jobcentre in Bridlington, England, and his purpose was protest. “So I went over and glued myself to his desk,” Robinson continued. He says he’s upset that he had not been awarded government benefits over the pain he sufferers from arthritis, so he resorted to a mid-morning Full Monty. “A society is judged on how it treats the sick and leaving them without disability benefit is criminal,” he says. The Jobcentre called police and an ambulance, so Robinson pried himself up because “I didn’t want to put the ambulance people to the trouble.” This was not Robinson’s first protest: he also glued himself to a counter at a department store over a dispute with his bill.

A THOUGHT: I would protest the glue store too – the glue they sell clearly isn’t strong enough.

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Try, Try Again

A 54-year-old Charleston, W.V., man was distraught over his recent breakup, so he went to his ex-girlfriend’s house with a .380-caliber handgun, put it to his head, and threatened to shoot himself if she didn’t take him back. Eventually, she convinced him to put the gun down, but he then accidentally shot himself in the left hand and left foot. Police are not releasing the man’s name.

A THOUGHT: Who cares! I just want to know if she took him back.

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If at first you don’t succeed…

When Chaz Ursomanno, 22, of Seminole, Fla., pulled out his pistol, his girlfriend, Naomi Ensell, 24, objected. Don’t worry, Ursomanno told her: the gun was “safe and unloaded.” To prove that, he put it to his head and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. “Confident it was empty, he repeated this again,” said a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. The gun was, in fact, loaded, and this time it fired. Ursomanno was hospitalized in “serious” condition.

A THOUGHT: I’m more interested in Ensell’s condition after watching that.

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Murder Me Not

Maria Simoes of Pindobacu, Bahia, Brazil, thought her husband was having an affair with Iranildes Araujo, and allegedly paid Carlos de Jesus about US$550 to kill her. When de Jesus saw Araujo, however, he discovered she was a childhood friend, and told her about the plot. They came up with a plan to convince Simoes that Araujo was dead. “I tore my own top, I stuck the knife in my side,” she said. “He tied me up and smothered me with tomato ketchup.” They sent a picture to Simoes to show the “murder” and she paid the hitman’s fee. But the scheme unraveled when Simoes saw the couple in town. Amazingly, Simoes went to the police to report she had been conned. Now all three are facing charges, though de Jesus has skipped town. Meanwhile, Simoes is a laughing stock (“Did she really not notice that the knife was stuck in the armpit?” laughed one local), and Araujo is now so popular, she’s a shoo-in to be elected to the town council, the mayor says. Araujo says she’s considering it.

A THOUGHT: Especially now that she knows how to fend off assassination attempts.

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Pawsey the Palsy

Niall Pawsey, 20, won a bet with his friends that he could quit drinking for a month. He celebrated his victory with a drinking spree. His friend Daniel Bellow explained that after being kicked out of a London, England, pub, they were walking and joking next to the Thames river when “the conversation came up about a joke we made years ago about swimming to the other side,” Bellow said. “Watch this,” Pawsey told him, and “started taking his clothes off and chucking them everywhere then dived head first into the river.” He made it to within 10 feet of the other side when he stopped swimming and sank beneath the surface. “Alcohol clearly clouded his judgment,” said Coroner Alison Thompson, ruling that Pawsey died of misadventure. “The alcohol [in his blood] was almost at a level that could have caused his death on its own.”

A THOUGHT: If the alcohol doesn’t kill you, the alcohol might.

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