Awesomely Absurd Arrests
Many people read story collections devoted to “stupid criminals,” stories of people caught while doing outlandish and incredible things. These anecdotes usually involve a well-meaning police officer calmly arresting someone for a crime so unusual that no one has ever committed it before.
But what about the other side of the coin? What about the people who get arrested by police officers who are incorrect, inept, or simply vengeful? We’ve compiled some stories where that seems to be the case. These accounts may amuse, surprise, or even shock you. Just remember, they’re all true.
Cut Her Some Slack!
A ten-year-old girl was arrested last month because of what she brought for lunch, according to Foxnews.com. When teachers saw that the student had brought a steak knife in her lunch (for the odious purpose of cutting her steak), they reportedly called law enforcement officials, who arrested the girl. Sources note that the fifth grader rode in a patrol car and was handed weapons charges, since having knives on school property is against school policy. Though she was reportedly suspended for three days, officials eventually decided to drop the charges against the girl.
For all those who doubted that street musicians could collect decent money in their instrument cases, here’s an interesting story. Felix Wilkins, a flute player from Philadelphia, was arrested for performing on the corner of a street, according to LawyersandSettlements.com. In response to the arrest, which Wilkins believed violated his First Amendment rights, the musician reportedly sued the city. Philadelphia settled, and Wilkins got $27,500 – probably more than he earned in an average day of tootling. Besides the monetary compensation, the city agreed to alert law enforcement officials that soliciting money for street performances is legal, as long as performers respect the restrictions placed on their art.
It’s (Not) a Tie!
A Wisconsin judge threatened to hold a prosecuting attorney in contempt of court for not following… the dress code. According to The Houston Chronicle, Judge William Sosnay delayed courtroom proceedings for several hours while waiting for the prosecutor to change into “proper” apparel. The prosecutor apparently wore an ascot instead of a tie in court, and Sosnay threatened to hold him in contempt. The lawyer in question reportedly plans to continue varying his neckwear as the trial progresses, despite the potential consequences.
Daniel Beloungea, a 48-year-old Michigan man, was tased and arrested for disorderly conduct-while having an epileptic seizure! Beloungea, according to reports from abcnews.com, was on a neighbor’s lawn when his seizure began. Because his seizing included repetitive arm motions, the neighbor apparently believed Beloungea was masturbating in public. When police officers arrived on the scene, Beloungea’s seizure was still underway, and he reportedly became agitated and aggressive. Sources say that the police arrested him for resisting arrest and assault to an officer, conveniently overlooking the medical bracelet he wore explaining his condition.
People Behind More Bars in More Places
During a case-update hearing, reports show that a cell phone rang in Judge Robert Restaino’s courtroom. The court apparently has signs posted that demand silence from electronic devices. So Judge Restaino did what any man teetering on the edge of insanity would do-he shouted at the 46 people in the courtroom and ordered them all to prison, if nobody confessed to holding the offending instrument, according to sources. Nobody came forward. After an afternoon to cool off, the judge reportedly set the 46 people free, and a panel voted to remove him from his apparently too-stressful position. Restaino allegedly plans to appeal that decision.
Yahoo! News reports that law enforcement officials are up in arms about the latest breath freshening scandal. Apparently, Hershey’s newest product, Ice Breakers Pacs, looks a bit too much like a heat-sealed drug packet for the police’s liking. Law enforcers are allegedly worried that children who become familiar with the breath mints, which are composed of powdered sweetener inside of two dissolvable strips, could later confuse drug packets for their favorite treat. The Hershey Company’s response? Well, the packets say “Ice Breakers” on them, but who reads labels these days?
A Missouri man faces felony charges after attempting to steal goods from a local grocery store, reports SLToday.com. But it wasn’t high-priced medication or designer cheeses that caught this criminal’s eye-it was a doughnut. A single, 52-cent doughnut. So why the serious charge? He allegedly pushed a grocery store employee while fleeing the scene, changing his crime from shoplifting to strong-arm robbery. Because the man has been convicted of felonies in the past, he could be looking at as much as a life sentence. And the doughnut? He never even ate it. Oh, the sweet, sweet irony.
No Good Deed…
In Elizabeth, NJ this summer, a 25-year-old woman on her way to pick up her daughter from school stopped to help an older woman who had been hit by a car, according to Newsday.com. The Good Samaritan comforted the victim until police arrived, and conversed with her in Spanish, a language which none of the reporting officers apparently spoke. When she realized that she was going to be late picking up her daughter, the woman asked to borrow a phone from one of the officers to call someone to get her daughter, but was denied, sources say. Then, after trying to borrow a phone from an onlooker, she was arrested, cuffed, and put in the back of a patrol car. Charges have allegedly been dropped-but what a way to treat a helpful citizen.
(Bad) Luck of the Draw
A Brooklyn graffiti artist was reportedly caught in the act last week, and a neighbor reported the tagging incident to authorities, who then sent a warning letter to the alleged criminal. The catch? The perp was a six-year-old girl drawing with sidewalk chalk on her parents’ stoop, according to the Brooklyn Paper. If officials choose to take action, the family could face up to a $300 fine. But that’s the life of a persecuted artist.
What’s in a Name?
Marvin Lopez of Florida went to the courthouse to pay some parking tickets he owed, according to reports. Upon seeing his name, the clerk noticed that he was wanted on outstanding DUI and reckless driving warrants, sources indicate, and Lopez was thrown in jail despite his repeated claims of innocence. Though guards allegedly commented on how little he resembled his mug shot, no one thought to verify his identity until he’d been behind bars for 37 days. And then, apparently, they realized he actually was innocent, and a different Marvin Lopez was wanted by the law. Reports suggest that Lopez and his attorney are considering a lawsuit, and Lopez has probably learned an important lesson: don’t pay your parking tickets.
Weapon of Mass Instruction
According to msnbc.com, a couple of runners who were marking a trail with baking flour were arrested for breaching the peace-and charged with a felony! Observers who saw the flour on the ground suspected anthrax or some other deadly terrorist-laid poison. The trail ran through an IKEA parking lot, and the store had to be evacuated to prevent damage to its customers. Way to go, Officer Pillsbury.
Thesmokinggun.com reports that a 12-year-old boy was arrested for opening a Christmas present before December 25th last year when his mother called the cops to restrain him. Apparently, several family members had warned him not to open his gift early, but he didn’t listen. He was charged with petty larceny, since the present technically wasn’t his yet. Makes me kind of miss coal.
In England this summer, a 19-year-old girl was prosecuted for resting the bottoms of her flip-flop sandals on the train seat in front of her, according to the TimesOnline. The conductor brought the case to court, where the girl, if convicted, could have faced a nearly $300 fine. Not to mention a criminal record. Luckily, her case was dismissed as a “ludicrous” waste of resources, without assignment of any penalty.
Arrrr They Serious?
This one’s a real victory for the movie industry. Torrentfreak.com recounts the story of a 19-year-old girl who was taken off her vast ship and stripped of her stolen spoils, charged with “being a pirate.” Except her “vast ship” was a movie theater, and her “spoils” were a 20-second clip of the movie Transformers recorded with her cell phone. The possible penalty? A $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail. Ahoy, inmateys.