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Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009

Where’s the Manager?

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In November, Joseph Goetz, 48, was charged with trying to rob the Susquehanna Bank in Springettsbury Township, Pa., even though he had to leave empty-handed. The bank had just opened for the day, and cash hadn’t yet been delivered to tellers' stations. Employees said that Goetz was highly irritated at having wasted his time and threatened to file a "complaint" about the bank's operations.

Least Competent Criminals

In December, Benedict Harkins, 46, was charged with attempted petty larceny in Jamestown, N.Y., after he filed an insurance claim against the Farm Fresh Market for having tripped over a rug at the front door. Shortly after the filing, Harkins was informed that the store's front-door surveillance camera had captured a sequence in which he sat down and adjusted the rug to make it look like he had tripped. Harkins immediately withdrew the claim, but was still arrested.

Government in Action!
Robert Christianson, 64, was arrested in October upon his arrival at Tampa International Airport, based on a hold requested by Canadian customs officials. Christianson was being sought on two warrants: allowing a dog to run at large and having no license for his dog.

Police Report

  • Indicted for cocaine possession in Montgomery County, Ohio, in November: Mr. Dalcapone Alpaccino Morris, 20. Charged in Columbia, S.C., in November with running down her boyfriend with her car and breaking his leg: Ms. Princess Killingsworth. Charged with felonious battery in Bloomington, Ind., in October: Ms. Fellony Silas. Arrested in Carrollton, Ky., in December for allegedly hitting a man in the face with a hammer: Mr. Jamel Nails.
  • Britain's association of police officers complained to the Daily Telegraph in November that bureaucratic requirements are "emasculating" law enforcement. As an example, they said the Home Affairs Department insists that a seven-page form be submitted for any surveillance work, even if that work is merely observing via binoculars. And in December, the Daily Telegraph reported that 45 officers from Lancashire County were assigned to help install speed-indicator signs, but only after being sent to a two-hour class that included safety instructions on climbing a 3-foot ladder. "If we didn't do it and people were falling off ladders, we would be criticized," a spokesman said.


Fine Points of the Law

  • (1) By a 2-1 vote, a Florida appeals court ruled in December that Andrew Craissati could stop paying alimony to his ex-wife. The couple's agreement called for alimony until she remarried or was cohabiting with another person for at least three months. Craissati claimed that his ex-wife, recently convicted of a serious DUI offense, is now cohabiting with a cellmate in prison. (2) In November, a judge at Killorglin District Court in Kerry, Ireland, dismissed two DUI cases because the blood-alcohol readings were not administered properly. The suspects should have been isolated for 20 minutes before the test but had been permitted to use urinals, and the judge accepted lawyers' arguments that steam from the urine might have wafted into the men's noses and raised their readings.
  • (1) In November, Sweden's Social Insurance Agency stopped Jessica Andersson's disability payments despite lingering back pain from a work-related accident six years ago; a doctor found that Andersson's back pain would subside, enabling her to return to work, if she underwent breast-reduction surgery. (2) In December, Germany's highest court ruled in favor of a male inmate who had challenged a prison rule barring men from purchasing skin-conditioning products.

Update
H. Beatty Chadwick, 72, is approaching his 14th consecutive year behind bars, though he has not been charged with a crime. In a 1995 divorce hearing, a judge thought Chadwick was lying about $2.5 million in assets. (Chadwick’s wife said he was hiding the assets; Chadwick said he lost them in a business deal.) The judge decided to hold Chadwick for contempt of court, and he has been in jail ever since. News of the Weird first mentioned him in 2002, when he was closing in on the American record for contempt of court, which he now holds.

A News of the Weird Classic (July 2001)
In February in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, Phillip Buble's father was convicted of attempting to murder Phillip, 44, by smacking him in the head with a crowbar. The father said he was upset because Phillip would not cease public displays of affection with Lady, a mixed-breed dog to whom Phillip considers himself married "in the eyes of God."

  2008 Chuck Shepherd

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