BUSTED! – Real Stories of Genuine Absurdity July/August 2018

James L. McClinton, Ph.D.

That’s quite a “handgun” you’ve got there!… Sheriff’s deputies in Lee County, Florida, are investigating an attempted robbery of a Bonita Springs 7-Eleven store. According to police, a man entered the store with his face covered with a red shirt. The alleged robber demanded all of the cash in the register. He then brandished his weapon – his pointed finger. When the clerk refused the demand, the man ran out of the store and made his escape on a white mountain bike. (He was “armed with a finger.”)

That’s gonna be a hot seller this Halloween… A 22-year-old man broke into a GameStop® store in St. Mary’s, Georgia, where he was captured on camera wearing a clear plastic wrapper (the kind which holds bundles of bottled water) over his head. Even with the plastic “mask,” his face is clearly visible in the surveillance video and St. Mary’s police quickly identified and arrested him. The accused already had two active felony warrants for burglary and second-degree criminal damage to property. (Investigators saw right through his clever disguise.)

That’s why it’s called “blow”… A 26-year-old Florida woman was one of two passengers in a car which was swerving in the roadway when it was stopped by Fort Pierce police. An officer approached the car and smelled an odor of marijuana coming from inside. During a search of the car, he found cocaine and marijuana in separate bags inside a purse the woman had on her lap. When questioned about the drugs, she admitted that the marijuana was hers. But, the cocaine was a different story. “I don’t know anything about any cocaine,” she said. “It’s a windy day. It must have flown through the window and into my purse.” She was booked on one felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession. (The trouble with putting both feet in your mouth is that you don’t have a leg to stand on.)

They actually needed a law? Thanks, Captain Obvious!… A new Kansas law makes it a crime for police to fornicate with people they pull over for traffic violations or detain in criminal investigations. The new law bans sexual relations “during the course of a traffic stop, a custodial interrogation, an interview in connection with an investigation, or while the law enforcement officer has such person detained.” If you’re like most of us, you might be thinking that such acts were surely illegal already. But, no, surprisingly, they weren’t. (Why not just pass blanket legislation making it against the law for police to break the law?)

Always looking for a good excuse to skip a workout… A Planet Fitness customer in Saginaw Township, Michigan, was alarmed to find a Wi-Fi network named “remote detonator” while searching for an available connection. The gym manager evacuated the building and called police who brought in a bomb sniffing dog and declared the facility safe after a three hour shutdown. The Saginaw Township police chief told reporters that people often choose odd names for their Wi-Fi networks, adding that one on his own street is called “FBI surveillance van.” (If you think that was clever, consider the password, “TellMyWiFiLoveHer.”)

It’s a sure bet that she had to ask someone for the phone number… A woman called 911 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and told the operator that she was experiencing a true medical emergency. When the responders arrived, they quickly discovered that her “emergency” was not what they were expecting. She told the medics that she was really, really thirsty and was out of beer, and then asked them if they could they please help her out. Not surprisingly, they responded with a resounding “No.” Officers then charged the woman with abuse of 911. (She was later quoted as saying, “Dilly Dilly.”)

This is 100 times worse than a participation trophy A 20-year-old Washington State University junior linebacker has been given the University’s Center for Community Engagement Community Involvement Award after he put in 240 hours of community service. The athlete didn’t exactly volunteer for the time, however. He had been ordered to do so by a judge. The man had pleaded guilty to third-degree assault after hitting another man over the head and running off with his six-pack of beer. The athlete entered into a plea bargain to avoid a felony robbery conviction. (This is a perfect example of what I consider “criminal” justice.)

He must have been “break-in dancing”… A man in Fresno, California, managed to lay his hands on a set of office keys. He then broke into the office and stole a laptop. What makes the crime noteworthy is the fact that he put on a show for the video surveillance cameras, including an impromptu happy dance after successfully entering the building. It turns out he was a better dancer than thief because police spotted him nearby carrying the stolen laptop. He initially gave them a fake name and that led to further investigation, revealing several outstanding warrants. He was arrested. (And, now, he’s dancing to “Jailhouse Rock.”)