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Blottdown: Big Guns, Tasers, Children and Love

By Caleb Groos on August 21, 2009 | Last updated on November 29, 2021

The weekly rundown of crime stories that blur the lines between idiot and genius, justified and not so much, freedom and incarceration... you be the judge.

Not so smart to very stupid. So we've seen that assault rifles at protests where the President speaks are kosher. What about an assault rifle in the hands of a scantily clad waitress in the "Twin Peaks" restaurant parking lot, sprawled across the hood of a police cruiser for a photo-op? Not quite so cool, in the opinion of the sheriff of the Midland County (Texas) officers involved in the incident. Sheriff Painter understands someone having a drink to unwind, but "in this particular instance, people got stupid real quick... It went from not very smart to very stupid in about 30 seconds."

Get the Guns, Junior. How do you know that mommy loves you? When you're 60 and she's 80, and you're hiding from the cops in the closet of her mobile home, she'll start a shootout with her rifle and/or side arm blazing.

Like taking candy from a kid in a wheelchair and protective medical halo. According to the police report from an incident at a Dallas children's hospital, a Waco woman either intentionally hit a 13 year old boy in a wheel chair and medical halo, or she hit him inadvertently while struggling to grab a ball out of his lap. Ownership of the ball is still under debate. His visiting uncle says he brought the ball to the boy. In her words, "[m]y sister got that ball, she said like 10 o'clock that morning from a center where you can go get, like, sports balls and stuff." Apparently, the woman saw evidence of her vindication in the boy's attempt to turn the other cheek during the dispute between her and his uncle. As she put it, "[t]hen that little boy in the wheelchair with the halo over his head, I recall [him] saying, 'Just let it go, give them the ball.'"

"Time out" in Germany. A German police chief did not appreciate the way a five year old girl was playing with his son. So he drove her home "under arrest." After she allegedly flipped him the bird a few days later, he dispatched officers to her house to warn her parents that she would be charged with anti-social behavior. Those in fear of their own tikes getting sent to the clink, rest easy -- giving a police officer the finger is constitutionally protected free speech in the good old U.S. of A. (at least according to one federal court opinion).

This week in tazings:

  • The old "he tazed himself with his fat belly" defense. A Cleveland cop has asked for a jury trial on his misdemeanor assault charge. Back in December, he says he jokingly asked a convenience store clerk to hit him with a couple of packs of smokes. He apparently was done joking by the time the clerk tossed the cigarettes at him and continued the banter. But the officer never meant to actually taze the man, though he had unholstered his taser, unlocked the safety and warned the man that he might. The clerk simply moved forward and "his large stomach protruded under the counter and made accidental contact."
  • Taser + huffer = fire. Police in Ohio quickly found out that their fancy new tasers, when used on someone fresh from sniffing aerosol fumes, might set that person on fire. (It is unclear whether the inhalants, the tazing, the fire, or a combination thereof caused the man's crazy-eyed mug shot.)

This week in love:

It's a 49, 50, 51... A Chinese man made Johnny Cash smile from above by stealing a motorcycle one part at a time over the course of five years from the factory where he worked. Unfortunately, he could not steal a driver's license or paperwork for the bike he built and was busted quickly after he began cruising.

Always leave with class. After discussing what not to do when robbing a bank last week and the week before, this week offers a lesson in etiquette. Tell folks you're sorry on the way out. Seriously, we're all in a hurry, but the rush of modern life does not have to mean the death of manners.

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