Busted! Real Stories of Genuine Absurdity March/April 2024

Car without wheels

James L. McClinton, Ph.D.

Gone in 60 seconds… A trio of armed and masked criminals in Commerce City, Colorado, recently robbed a check-cashing service. Unfortunately, the armed robbery went awry when the three pathetic perpetrators emerged from the scene of the crime with cash in hand, only to discover that someone had stolen their getaway car while they were inside robbing the business. Interestingly, police suspect their getaway car “may have already been stolen” from someone else. No one was injured during the crime and, after a foot chase, officers managed to catch and arrest two of the three suspects. (No fair! We stole it first!”)

Does that include when women whistle at men?… In Great Britain, men who wolf whistle or make sexual remarks to women may face prosecution for street harassment even if they believe it is a compliment or a joke, under pending legislation. The new bill will make it an offense to cause “intentional harassment, alarm or distress” to a person in public based on their sex. This means anyone who catcalls, wolf whistles or makes a pass or sexual comment towards a woman which a “reasonable” person would feel amounts to harassment will no longer be able to claim it was meant as a compliment or joke. Police will be given guidance so they can enforce the law. (I was once catcalled by a woman. I gave her the name of a qualified ophthalmologist.)

Honk if you dislike this court ruling… A California appeals court judge has ruled that “expressive honking” isn’t protected as free speech. A woman who was cited for honking numerous times at a protest claimed that “expressive horn use” was her First Amendment right. California appeals court judges disagreed. In a majority opinion, judges for the US 9th Circuit Appeals Court ruled in favor of the state which said that honking a car horn is prohibited “except when reasonably necessary to warn of a safety hazard.” The female driver had driven past a group of demonstrators and honked her horn 14 times. A San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy pulled her over and cited her for misuse of a vehicle horn. She filed a lawsuit to try to block the state from enforcing the statute. (Hey, nobody likes a “honky.”)

Hey, sweetie, on a scale of one to ten, you’re a nine and I’m the one you need… A woman accused of trying to smuggle two illegal immigrants into the US employed an interesting, but unsuccessful, tactic in trying to avoid arrest – flirting. A Texas DPS trooper’s body camera captured a video of a stopped vehicle in Jim Hogg County. After speaking with the driver, troopers suspected she was smuggling two women. When asked if the driver’s licenses presented were legitimate, she told the trooper that she did not know. While running the licenses, she told the trooper, “I’m looking at your eyes, sir. I’m looking at your eyes because you’re pretty handsome.” The woman later admitted that she picked up the women at a stash house and was attempting to drive them through the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint. (That trick only works in adult movies.)

And, the COs were all wearing WELCOME BACK shirts… Investigators from the Pinellas County, FL, Sheriff’s Office working a burglary case responded to a tip and detained a man. When they confronted him, the man refused to cooperate with deputies, including providing his identity. “He was told he would be charged with obstruction and he continued to refuse, stating, ‘call my lawyer,’” the arresting officer reported. After he was fingerprinted, he was identified as a 46-year-old man from Clearwater and booked into jail on the obstruction charge. Deputies noted he was wearing a T-shirt which read, “I Just Got Out of Prison.” Close enough: a cross-check found he was released in March. (The shirt probably said “Kick Me” on the back.)

What a way to celebrate GLOCKtober. I can’t wait for “April Showers bring SIG SAUERs”… An orthodontist in Raleigh, North Carolina, had a catchy new promotion going, “Grins and GLOCK®s.” Yep, you read that right – patients who sign up for Invisalign® braces can choose between a free GLOCK 19 or a membership to Youngsville Gun Club & Range. The deal is open only to those 21 and older and the club will conduct a background check on recipients. The Doc has received mixed reactions to this special offer; notably, Align Technology, which makes Invisalign, isn’t happy, “This promotion does not reflect our brand purpose.” (If you go for the veneers, he’ll give you an AR-15…)

What ya gonna do when the forklift operator comes for you… Workers at Arlington Auto Wrecking in Akron, Ohio, had had enough of a 26-year-old man who had broken into the facility three times. In the most recent incident, the man broke into an SUV sitting on the lot, but before he could drive away, a forklift driver quickly went straight for the SUV and hoisted the vehicle about 20 feet off the ground with the man inside. When they explained the situation to the 911 operator, they said, “Wonderful, that is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.” After officers arrived at the scene, the employee lowered the SUV to the ground and the intruder was handcuffed. (An uplifting story – that employee should get a raise.)