Crime of the Day - Keep it light-hearted

At least it were only grapes

School activist fined for grape-throwing;_ylt=AhJEZ6rV4BoCoC5jdIJ4qyqs0NUE
DETROIT - An activist who pelted school board members with grapes during a raucous vote to close 34 city schools was fined $250 for disturbing the peace.

Agnes Hitchcock, leader of the Call 'Em Out Coalition, said she will not be disruptive at future school board meetings. She said the case, which ended with her conviction and sentence Thursday, gave her a chance to speak about mismanagement in the school district.

"It was worth the risk in order to be able to talk about these things in court," she told the Detroit Free Press.

The grapes she threw April 4 beaned at least one board member before police led Hitchcock out of the auditorium. The board voted 6-5 to close schools because of a budget deficit and declining enrollment.

"This shows there are consequences to the actions we take," board President Jimmy Womack said. "It's just regrettable (Hitchcock) has no remorse for attacking school board members."

In addition to the fine, Hitchcock must serve six months unsupervised probation.
Thief steals case, but misses $13,000 inside;_ylt=AgqRBbvyispQaln.AN5Xs9Ss0NUE

Thief steals case, but misses $13,000 inside

BERLIN (Reuters) - A thief stole a briefcase and threw it away without noticing it contained 10,000 euros ($13,660) in cash, German authorities said Thursday.

"I think they'll be annoyed when they find out," said a spokesman for police in the western city of Duesseldorf.

The case's owner, a 57-year-old Iranian businessman, had reported it missing as he prepared to board a flight in Duesseldorf airport. A policewoman later found it -- ransacked, but still containing the two cash-filled envelopes.
Salt lands McDonald's employee in jail

Police officer says oversalted meat made him sick; worker faces charges
The Associated Press
Updated: 8:31 a.m. PT Sept 10, 2007

UNION CITY, Ga. - A McDonald’s employee spent a night in jail and is facing criminal charges because a police officer’s burger was too salty, so salty that he says it made him sick.
Kendra Bull was arrested Friday, charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and freed on $1,000 bail.
Bull, 20, said she accidentally spilled salt on hamburger meat and told her supervisor and a co-worker, who “tried to thump the salt off.”
On her break, she ate a burger made with the salty meat. “It didn’t make me sick,” Bull told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But then Police Officer Wendell Adams got a burger made with the oversalted meat, and he returned a short time later and told the manager it made him sick.
Bull admitted spilling salt on the meat, and Adams took her outside and questioned her, she said.
“If it was too salty, why did (Adams) not take one bite and throw it away?” said Bull, who has worked at the restaurant for five months. She said she didn’t know a police officer got one of the salty burgers because she couldn’t see the drive-through window from her work area.
Police sent samples of the burger to the state crime lab for tests.
City public information officer George Louth said Bull was charged because she served the burger “without regards to the well-being of anyone who might consume it.”

so why didn't the supervisor go to jail too?
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Staff member
This is one of those cases where you have to wonder just what kind of settlement the cop is hoping for...

I agree with Prophetess. The girl told her supervisor, who chose not to pull the food. She's not the one who should be facing charges IF anyone should actually be charged with this.

I suspect they'll try and prove she did it on purpose as a way of messing with the cop.
One place not to drive stolen car: Courthouse

S.C. cops nab woman who shows up to pay ticket at wheel of stolen vehicle

The Associated Press
Updated: 2:20 p.m. PTSept 12, 2007

MANNING, S.C. - Amber Renee Helton was trying to avoid legal problems by paying a traffic ticket. She ended up behind bars when authorities found out she drove a stolen car to the courthouse to pay it, police said.

Clarendon County deputies received a tip that Helton was going to be in a stolen car when she paid the ticket, Chief Deputy Joe Bradham said. So officers arrested Helton as she opened the door of the 2001 Dodge Intrepid at the courthouse Tuesday morning, authorities said.Helton, 21, and her passenger, 35-year-old Terry Lynn Alvery, were charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, Bradham said.

Helton was being held at the Clarendon jail Wednesday on $5,000 bail. It was unclear whether she had an attorney. A message left at the public defender's office was not immediately returned.The vehicle had been reported stolen Aug. 28 in Dayton, Tenn., authorities said.Helton had been in court less than a week before. She was found not guilty of possession of a stolen tag and guilty of driving without possession of a state driver's license, Bradham said.
"I guess she thought, 'Hey, I got away with having a stolen tag. I might get away with the entire car,'" Bradham said.
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The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Idaho Man Blames Wild Sex for Car Crash,2933,297259,00.html

MOSCOW, Idaho — A 22-year-old carnival worker blames two friends having sexual intercourse in the back seat of his car for an accident in which his Chevrolet S-10 Blazer struck a telephone pole.
Joshua D. Frank, who is living in a trailer parked on the Latah County Fairgrounds, pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor charge of failing to notify a police officer of a traffic accident. That's after he left the vehicle at the site of the mishap. He was fined $188.
Frank told Moscow Police Department officers that he was driving the vehicle near downtown early Saturday while a man and woman were having sex in the rear of the vehicle.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Frank told authorities that the actions of the pair in the back caused the Blazer, which "was top heavy anyway," to become "tippy" and lose control.
Frank left the accident scene with a minor head wound and returned to his trailer.
The other two occupants of the vehicle were treated for injuries, according to the affidavit, though further information on their condition wasn't available.
Feds: Man reported his lost cocaine

Man allegedly told agents so his cohorts wouldn’t think he stole the drugs
The Associated Press

Updated: 6:45 p.m. PT Sept 19, 2007

SEATTLE - Federal agents thought there was something fishy about Leroy Carr.

On four occasions since last December, Carr either crossed the Canadian border or was found near it with thousands of dollars in cash, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court. He also sometimes carried night vision goggles and a GPS device programmed with coordinates for a well-known drug-smuggling trail.

But Carr refused to speak with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and they let him go — until he called to ask if they had seen his cocaine.
According to the complaint, he told agents that on Aug. 3, he had stashed two blue backpacks containing 68 pounds of cocaine by the entrance to a Boy Scout camp near the Canadian border. When he returned the next day, they were gone, he said.

Carr, of suburban Federal Way, asked if ICE could put out a news release saying that federal agents had seized the drugs. That way, according to the complaint, the organization he was working for would believe his statements that he hadn't stolen them.

Two weeks later, a Boy Scout ranger found the backpacks, which were dry and in good shape, and called police.

Carr was arrested last weekend on a federal charge of cocaine possession with intent to distribute. He made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday and is scheduled for a detention hearing Thursday.
Carr's attorney, Nancy Tenney, was out of the office Wednesday morning and did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.


The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Drunk Man Gets Trapped in Ex's Chimney, She Says 'Leave Him'

Firefighters had to tear though a wall to rescue an intoxicated man who became stuck while trying to climb down a chimney into the residence of his former girlfriend.
Alejandro Valencio said he was drunk when he got into the chimney about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"Everyone do stupid things sometimes when they're drunk," he said.
Firefighters requested assistance from police after arriving because they said Connie Deweese was hampering the rescue effort by blocking the fireplace.
"I told them to leave him in the chimney and let him die," said Deweese, who received misdemeanor citations for disorderly conduct and interfering with a firefighter.
Deweese said she had known Valencio for about eight months but had told him to stay away from her residence. She said she locked the doors but "somehow he got to the roof."
"I've dated a lot of psychos in my life, but nobody like that," Deweese said.
Valencio returned to the residence after being treated at a hospital and was filmed by a local TV station as Deweese hit him with a garbage can and pelted him with bottles.
"Get off my porch, and don't you ever come back here," she yelled.
Valencio said he had a job and would help pay for the damages incurred from his rescue.
"Everyone do stupid things sometimes when they're drunk," he said.
Yeah, and yet people continue to drink way too much. The real question sometimes is whether there are signs of intelligent life on earth. ;)

"I told them to leave him in the chimney and let him die," said Deweese, ......
This cracked me up.
Deweese said she had known Valencio for about eight months but had told him to stay away from her residence. She said she locked the doors but "somehow he got to the roof." Valencio returned to the residence after being treated at a hospital and was filmed by a local TV station as Deweese hit him with a garbage can and pelted him with bottles.
Now these two statements gave me the creeps. Stalkers are unbelievably scary/creepy people.


Staff member

Customs find beetles stuffed with cocaine
Fri Oct 5, 2007 12:59pm EDT

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch customs officers found 100 dead beetles stuffed with cocaine while examining a parcel from Peru, Dutch authorities said Thursday.

The little drug couriers' bodies had been slit open and filled with a total of 300 grams of cocaine, with an estimated street-value of 8,000 euros ($11,270).

"This is a very striking method of smuggling. We have never seen anything like this before," said government spokesman Kees Nanninga.

Officers decided to open the parcel after scanning it and seeing what appeared to be insects inside.


Hey, dude? I got an idea! The perfect way to smuggle this stuff. We'll get a bunch of dead beetles, see....



The cake is a lie.
Staff member
52-cent doughnut may cost man 30 years to life

By Todd C. Frankel

FARMINGTON, MO. — Shoplifters at Country Mart tend to favor cold medicines and packaged meats. They used to steal cigarettes, too, until tobacco was moved behind the counter. But the doughnuts were never a target for thieves.

Country Mart's doughnuts — fried fresh daily in the store — sell for just 52 cents each. That is why the "shoplifters will be prosecuted" signs are displayed in aisle 4 with the pricey pain and allergy pills, and not in aisle 5 beside the glass doughnut case with its tiger tails, jelly-filleds and eclairs.

Then one man's sweet tooth got the better of him. He stole a doughnut. A single doughnut.

Authorities called it strong-arm robbery. The "doughnut man," as the suspect is now known, faces five to 15 years in prison for his crime. And Farmington, a town of 14,000 people about 70 miles south of St. Louis, has been buzzing about it ever since.

Scott A. Masters, 41, is accused of shoplifting the pastry and pushing a store worker who tried to stop him. The worker was unhurt. But with that shove, his shoplifting turned into a strong-arm robbery. Masters, who appeared in court Friday, is stunned. The prosecutor shows no signs of backing down. In fact, because Masters has a prior record, he could get a sentence of 30 years to life.

Masters is a small man, wiry, about 5-foot-6, with short-cropped hair, a graying goatee and hound-dog eyes. He is a "frequent flier" at the St. Francois County detention center.

"Yeah, Scotty is well known," said Deputy Sheriff Dennis Smith, reviewing Masters' criminal history.

Masters, who lives in the nearby town of Park Hills, has been arrested more than a dozen times: for being drunk, for shoplifting, for missed court dates, for marijuana possession. He spent most of the 1990s and a stretch from 2000 to 2004 in state prison for the felonies of torching a car to collect insurance and possessing methamphetamine ingredients.

In a jailhouse interview last week, Masters admitted he had taken the doughnut. Masters said he had been taking a break from his roofing job when he stopped into Country Mart. He was hungry. He fled the scene, but he said he did not lay a hand on the woman.

"Strong-arm robbery? Over a doughnut? That's impossible," Masters said, exasperated. "I've never had a violent crime in my life. And there's no way I would've pushed a woman over a doughnut."

A grand jury agreed with police on the strong-arm robbery charge. County Prosecutor Wendy Wexler Horn said that it was "way too early to know how it is going to play out" but that the charge seemed appropriate given the allegations. She was aware that some people seemed shocked by the case.

"People are missing the point," Horn said. "It is not about the doughnut."

There is more there, but this gets the point across.


The cake is a lie.
Staff member
And the Darwin award-winner goes to:

Shock burns cable thief beyond recognition

BERLIN (Reuters) - A thief in Germany was charred beyond recognition by a 10,000 volt electric shock when he tried to steal a live copper cable, authorities said Monday.
Police in the western city of Duisburg found the 32-year-old man's blackened remains by a set of cable cutters and pile of non-live cables he had already stolen.
Only because one of his hands survived incineration were officers able to identify the man as German of Kazakh origin.
"His fingerprints were already logged on police files," a local police spokesman said. "The force of the shock was so great that the hand was severed from his body."


The cake is a lie.
Staff member
"Passionate" kiss lands art lover in court

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - A self-professed art lover stood trial on Tuesday accused of damaging a $2-million painting by kissing it while wearing red lipstick.
The deputy prosecutor in the southern French city of Avignon accused the defendant, Sam Rindy, of "savagery" for having left a lipstick smear on the work by U.S. artist Cy Twombly, and demanded the court fine her 4,500 euros ($6,320).
The picture's owner, Yvon Lambert, wants $2 million in damages and a further 33,400 euros that he says is needed to pay for the restoration work.
Rindy, an artist of Cambodian origin, has said she was "overcome with passion" when she saw the painting hanging on a gallery wall in July 2007. "This woman is profoundly upset. She was overcome by an emotion that she could not tame," her lawyers, Patrick Gontard Jean-Michel Ambrosino, told the court, describing the kiss as an "act of love."
Lambert's lawyer rejected this line of defense, saying: "In love, there need to be two consenting people."
Rindy, who is in her 30s, told reporters earlier this year that she thought her lipstick had improved the white, untitled painting.
The court will deliver its verdict on November 16.


The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Man jailed for trying to pass $1M bill

PITTSBURGH - Change for a million? That's what a man was seeking Saturday when he handed a $1 million bill to a cashier at a Pittsburgh supermarket. But when the Giant Eagle employee refused and a manager confiscated the bogus bill, the man flew into a rage, police said.
The man slammed an electronic funds-transfer machine into the counter and reached for a scanner gun, police said.
Police arrested the man, who was not carrying identification and has refused to give his name to authorities. He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail.
Since 1969, the $100 bill is the largest note in circulation.
Police believe the $1 million note seized at the supermarket may have originated at a Dallas-based ministry. Last year, the ministry distributed thousands of religious pamphlets with a picture of President Grover Cleveland on a $1 million bill.
Only in New York....;_ylt=AvH5H8rEuQm6XgpLYKwGMhsuQE4F

Woman seeks rich husband, banker says "crappy" deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deal or no deal? An online exchange between a woman looking for a husband who earns more than $500,000 a year and a mystery Wall Street banker, who assessed her potential for romance as a business deal, has cause quite an Internet stir.

The anonymous 25-year-old woman recently posted an ad on the free online New York community Web site Craigslist,, appealing for advice on how to find a wealthy husband.

"I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all," the woman, who described herself as "spectacularly beautiful" and "superficial," wrote.

"I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. $250,000 won't get me to Central Park West," she said, asking questions like "where do rich single men hang out?"

The mystery banker, who said he fit the bill, offered the woman an analysis of her predicament, describing it as "plain and simple a crappy business deal."

"Your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity ... in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!" the banker wrote.

"So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset," he said. "Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!"

"It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease," he said.

While the woman has since removed the ad from Craigslist, it -- along with the response -- has become a popular email joke that, bank JPMorgan Chase says, led to one of its bankers mistakenly being credited with writing the response.

Brian Marchiony, spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, said the banker did not write the response and that his email signature accidentally became attached to the ad and response when he forwarded it to friends and it then wound up on blogs.

Craigslist was not immediately available for comment, but a spokeswoman told The New York Times that "it does look as if the post was made sincerely."
In the rare case of you not being forwarded this stuff already, here is the post and reply referenced in the previous post:

What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I’m articulate and classy.

I’m not from New York . I’m looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don’t think I’m overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that’s where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won’t get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she’s not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms

-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won’t hurt my feelings

-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I’m 25)?

- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I’ve seen really ‘plain jane’ boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I’ve seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What’s the story there?

- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

Please hold your insults - I’m putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I’m being up front about it. I wouldn’t be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn’t able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 432279810

Dear Pers-431649184:

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament.
Firstly, I’m not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here’s how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here’s why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here’s the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity…in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won’t be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you’re 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold…hence the rub…marriage. It doesn’t make good business sense to “buy you” (which is what you’re asking) so I’d rather lease. In case you think I’m being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It’s as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as “articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful”
as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn’t found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn’t need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you’re going about it the right way.
Classic “pump and dump.”

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.


The cake is a lie.
Staff member
A Times Square Pedestrian Is Giving No Ground

Some excerpts:

ALBANY, Oct. 17 — Millions of people have paused to stand amid the hustle, bustle and neon of Times Square.

But when Matthew Jones of Brooklyn lingered on the corner of 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue in the early morning of June 12, 2004, gabbing with friends as other pedestrians tried to get by, something unusual happened: He was arrested for it.
A police officer said Mr. Jones was impeding other pedestrians and charged him with disorderly conduct.
Mr. Jones is not taking the charges lying down (so to speak). After trying twice to get the charges dismissed, he has taken his case to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, which heard arguments here on Wednesday.
In the prosecution’s view, it appears, the innocent do not dawdle. According to the original complaint against Mr. Jones, the officer “observed defendant along with a number of other individuals standing around” on a public sidewalk in June 2004. Mr. Jones was “not moving, and that as a result of defendants’ behavior, numerous pedestrians in the area had to walk around defendants.”

Nancy E. Little, Mr. Jones’s lawyer, said that neither the police nor the prosecutors claimed that he was doing anything other than standing on the sidewalk with friends — an activity, she said, that is not entirely without precedent in Manhattan.
“You need something more,” she said, citing past Court of Appeals decisions. “You need to be being verbally abusive, or really blocking lots of people, or lying down on the sidewalk.”

A lower court came to a similar conclusion last year, and by a vote of 2 to 1 upheld the arrest. But, in a glimmer of hope for Mr. Jones, the dissenting judge wrote that standing and talking with friends on the sidewalk, “even if it requires other pedestrians to walk around him, is commonplace in New York and not disorderly conduct.”
And on Wednesday, Mr. Jones’s circumstances appeared to reach a friendly audience before the Court of Appeals.
“Isn’t that lawful conduct?” wondered Judge Robert S. Smith. Later he added, “Your conduct can’t be illegal just because an officer noticed it.”

Just before 5 p.m., near the corner where Mr. Jones was arrested, stood the following assemblage: a man eating clams out of a Styrofoam container; two men smoking cigarettes together; a man waiting for a woman to finish a phone call; a guy looking at a map; a young woman sending a text message; two men handing out tour brochures; and a family of five, including an infant in a stroller, who stopped to look at the brochures.
Across the street stood Chaya Coppersmith, 18. “That’s just completely ridiculous,” Ms. Coppersmith said when told of Mr. Jones’s case. “Nobody can walk in Times Square. Everyone’s standing around in Times Square. That’s what it’s for.”


The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Thief fails to grasp concept of getaway

BERLIN (Reuters) - A thief caught shoplifting a packet of cheese from a supermarket in Germany tried to make his getaway in a cement mixer, but he was quickly nabbed by police.
"He was out on the job and suddenly got hungry, as honest workers sometimes do," said police spokesman in the eastern city of Chemnitz Thursday.
When a shop detective in the town of Limbach-Oberfrohna caught the man stealing a 2.79 euro ($3.98) packet of processed cheese, the 55-year-old broke free and leaped into his cement mixing truck outside, police said.
The shop alerted police, who arrested the man when he stopped his getaway vehicle at a red light a few hundred yards away.


The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Tipsy driver alerts police by mistake

VIENNA (Reuters) - An Austrian motorist too drunk to change a tire phoned a police emergency number by mistake instead of the breakdown service and wound up losing his license, police said on Thursday.
"He mixed up emergency service numbers," a police official in the central town of Andau told Reuters.
"On the phone it was clear he was highly intoxicated and we sent over a patrol car. He doesn't need his vehicle now because we took his license."
75-year old woman takes hammer to Comcast to make a point

"They thought just because we're old enough to get Social Security that we lack both brains and backbone."

Taking a Whack Against Comcast

Mona Shaw Reached Her Breaking Point, Then for Her Hammer

By Neely Tucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 18, 2007; Page C01

Sometimes truly American virtues arise in outlaws who -- by dint of heroic but questionable endeavors -- display the mettle of the national character.

For instance: The Dillinger Gang, robbing banks (and destroying mortgages) when banks were foreclosing on the poor. Stephanie St. Clair, matron of the numbers racket during the Harlem Renaissance, striking a (dubious) blow for both gender and racial equality. Junior Johnson bootlegging liquor during Prohibition (the benefits of which were self-evident).

Fear not, fellow Americans! In these dark days of war, pestilence and Paris Hilton, a new hero has arisen. She is none other than 75-year-old Mona "The Hammer" Shaw, who took the aforementioned implement to her local Comcast office in Manassas to settle a score, and boy, did she!

This was after the company had scheduled installation of its much ballyhooed "Triple Play" service, which combines phone, cable and Internet services, in Shaw's brick home in nearby Bristow. But Shaw said they failed to show up on the appointed day, Monday, Aug. 13. They came two days later but left with the job half done. On Friday morning, they cut off all service.

This was the company that has had consumer service problems serious enough to prompt the trade magazine Advertising Age to editorialize that Comcast and other cable providers should spend less on advertising and more on customer service. And has spawned a blog called that's filled with posts from angry customers.

So on that Friday, Mona Shaw and her husband, Don, went to the local call center office to complain.

Let's pick it up, mid-action, according to Shaw:

Mona demands to speak to a manager. A customer service representative says someone will be right with them. Directs them to a bench, outside. (Remember, it's mid-August.) Mona and Don sit.

Tick, tick, tick, goes the clock. Sit, sit, sit, go Mona and Don.

For. Two. Hours.

And then -- this is the best part -- the customer rep leans out the door and says the manager has left for the day. Thanks for coming!

Oh, the sputtering outrage!

The insulting idea that, as Shaw puts it, "they thought just because we're old enough to get Social Security that we lack both brains and backbone."

So, after stewing over it all weekend, on the following Monday, she went downstairs, got Don's claw hammer and said: "C'mon, honey, we're going to Comcast."

Did you try to stop her, Mr. Shaw?

"Oh no, no," he says.

Hammer time: Shaw storms in the company's office. BAM! She whacks the keyboard of the customer service rep. BAM! Down goes the monitor. BAM! She totals the telephone. People scatter, scream, cops show up and what does she do? POW! A parting shot to the phone!

"They cuffed me right then," she says.

Her take on Comcast: "What a bunch of sub-moronic imbeciles."

Being a responsible newspaper, we must note that this is a misdemeanor, a crime, a completely inappropriate way of handling a business dispute.


Who among us has not longed for a hammer in this age of incompetent "customer service representatives," of nimrods reading from a script at some 800-number location, of crumbs-in-their-beards plumbing installation people who tell you they'll grace you with their presence between 12 and 3, only never to show? And you'll call and call and finally some outsourced representative slings a dart at a calendar and tells you another guy will come back between 10 and 2 next Thursday? And when this guy comes, pants halfway down his behind, he'll tell you he brought the wrong part?

And there is nothing, nothing you can do.

Until there! On the horizon! It's Hammer Woman, avenger of oppressed cable subscribers everywhere! (Cue galloping "Lone Ranger" theme.)

"I scared the tar out of some people, at least," she says. "It had never occurred to me to take a hammer to a phone company before, but I was just so upset. . . . After I hit the keyboard, I turned to this blonde who had been there the previous Friday, the one who told me to wait for the manager, and I said, ' Now do I have your attention?' "

It wasn't all fun.

"My blood pressure went up around my ears. I started hyperventilating. They had to call the rescue squad and put me on a litter."

By the time it was over, she recalls, there were an ambulance, two police cruisers and a sergeant's car in the parking lot. Shaw received a three-month suspended sentence for disorderly conduct, a $345 fine in restitution and a year-long restraining order barring her from the Comcast office.

"Truly a unique and inappropriate situation," says Beth Bacha, a vice president for Comcast. She says company policy forbids disclosure of clients' records, but did say their files note that the service record wasn't exactly what Shaw has indicated. Besides, "nothing justifies this sort of dangerous behavior."

Bacha noted that Comcast has more than 25 million customers, the overwhelming majority of which are very satistified with their service.

Manassas police spokesman Sgt. Tim Neumann says there have been other police calls to that Comcast office, but he doesn't know what prompted them.

Bob Garfield, who runs, wrote last week he was happy the site had become an outlet for "so much deep-seated rage," but hoped customers would "keep the hammer assaults down to a bare minimum."

From what we can tell, Mona Shaw is not, actually, a raving lunatic armed with construction tools.

She is a nice lady who lives in a nice house. She and Don are both retired from the Air Force (she was a registered nurse). They have been married 45 years. She is secretary of the local AARP, secretary of a square-dancing club and takes in strays for the local animal shelter (they have seven dogs at the moment). She has a heart condition. She lifts weights at a local gym. The couple attend a Unitarian Universalist church.

Police gave her the hammer back, though she swears she's content to ride off into the sunset of True Crime Stories in America, never again to go Com-smash-tic on her local cable provider.

She does, however, finally, have phone service.

On Verizon.

You did it, now clean it up!

Couple make burglar clean up at gunpoint

Thu Oct 18, 9:03 PM ET

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A burglar in Montgomery chose the wrong family to mess with, literally. Adrian and Tiffany McKinnon returned home on Tuesday after a week away to find that thieves had emptied almost everything the family of five owned, Tiffany McKinnon said through tears.

"Tears just rolled down my face as I walked in and saw everything gone and piles of trash all over my home," she said.

Adrian McKinnon sent his wife to see her sister while he inspected the piles left behind. As he walked back into the sunroom, a man walked through the back door straight into him, Tiffany McKinnon told the Montgomery Advertiser in a story Thursday.

"My husband Adrian caught the thief red-handed in our home," she said. "And what is even crazier, the man even had my husband's hat sitting right on his head."

Adrian McKinnon held the suspect, 33-year-old Tajuan Bullock, at gunpoint and told him to sit on the floor until he decided what to do.

"We made this man clean up all the mess he made, piles of stuff, he had thrown out of my drawers and cabinets onto the floor," Tiffany McKinnon said.

When police arrived, Bullock complained about being forced to clean the home at gunpoint.

"This man had the nerve to raise sand about us making him clean up the mess he made in my house," she said. "The police officer laughed at him when he complained and said anybody else would have shot him dead."
Capt. Huey Thornton, a police spokesman, said police arrested Bullock at 2 p.m. Tuesday on burglary and theft charges. He was being held in the Montgomery County Detention Facility on a $30,000 bond.

"The victims were lucky in this case to be able to catch the suspect in the act and hold him until police arrived," Thornton said.;_ylt=Ao_.zVqBUkRHFJ6.vt5FM6AsQE4F


The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Thief fails to grasp concept of getaway

Thu Oct 18, 12:34 PM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - A thief caught shoplifting a packet of cheese from a supermarket in Germany tried to make his getaway in a cement mixer, but he was quickly nabbed by police.

"He was out on the job and suddenly got hungry, as honest workers sometimes do," said police spokesman in the eastern city of Chemnitz Thursday.

When a shop detective in the town of Limbach-Oberfrohna caught the man stealing a 2.79 euro ($3.98) packet of processed cheese, the 55-year-old broke free and leaped into his cement mixing truck outside, police said.

The shop alerted police, who arrested the man when he stopped his getaway vehicle at a red light a few hundred yards away.;_ylt=Ag8JRczsF_SFMa_u95Or0BwSH9EA
You skipped right over post #50, didn't you? ;)