Monday September 01, 2014

Odd crime stories from the south


Seemed like a good idea... not

What do you do if you're a wanted fugitive, you've been drinking and get pulled over by the cops. If you're Thomas Harter, a 41-year-old New Orleans man, you jump off a 20-foot bridge into the frigid current of Lake Pontchartrain.

It's perhaps not surprising Harter wanted to avoid arrest as he was facing an outstanding warrant for a hit-and-run and had seven prior convictions for DUI according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

After agreeing to a sobriety test, the criminal mastermind suddenly bolted. Rescuers were afraid he had been swept away, but eventually found him clinging to a utility building at the base of the bridge.

To add insult to injury, prosecutors tacked on a resisting arrest charge for the daring escape attempt.

Coupons and guns not a good mix

For many Americans, including 61-year-old Florida woman Mary Alday, the second is the best of the amendments. But while the second may be the best known, it may also be the least understood.

Alday, in fact, possessed a concealed carry permit for the .38 special she kept in the central console of her Ford Escape. After pulling the gun on Walmart employees who would not honour a one dollar coupon she had printed from the Internet, she took off in her car.

When officers pulled her over and asked about the gun, she proudly admitted having it and defended her second amendment right telling the cops they were not going to take it from her according to the Miami New Times.

Unfortunately for Alday, the police had a slightly different interpretation of the second that did not include threatening people and reaching for something in your car after admitting to having a concealed weapon while an officer is pointing a taser at you.

Alday was charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of battery and an unofficial count of reinforcing the stereotype of Floridian gun nuts being bat-poop crazy.

Tasty assault

Speaking of nutty Floridians, apparently authorities in Volusia County take domestic violence extremely seriously. In December 2013, 29-year-old Rachel Byrd was arrested for assaulting her brother Gabriel with... wait for it... peanut butter.

The siblings started arguing when Gabriel's dog started "doing his business" in the living room of their shared house according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Crimes of passion frequently involve improvised weapons. For Rachel Byrd what happened to be at hand was a spoonful of peanut butter, which she hurled at her brother.

The dog came to his master's defence biting Rachel on the leg.

Police were alerted by a 911 hang-up from the household. Gabriel told the deputy who attented that he didn't want press charges but the officer was unsympathetic and charged the woman with battery as the aggressor despite the dog bite.

Accidental Surrender

I'm not even going to try to find out what a bunch of college students in College Station, Texas were doing playing with handcuffs, but 19-year-old Michael Brown made a bad situation worse with his solution to getting a set of handcuffs off after he and his friends lost the key.

I'm guessing this criminal genius didn't think very long or hard about his possible options. Who using handcuffs? The police, of course. Brilliant.

Yes, in fact, it would have been a smart solution had he not been wanted on an outstanding warrant for criminal mischief and if he had not walked into the police station with marijuana in his front pocket.

The cops didn't bother to take the handcuffs off.



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