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August 2015

13 August 2015

If you get stuck in traffic on the way to the airport, you might not want to try Matteo Clementi and Enrica Apollonio's approach. Finding the Ryanair gate for their flight back home from Malta closed, the twenty-something Italians forced open a security door at the neighbouring gate and ran onto the tarmac. They waved their arms to catch pilots' attention, in hopes of being allowed aboard. Instead, they were arrested and fined 2,329 euros.

The New Zealand Herald reports on a 23-year-old man who was driving while disqualified. When he was pulled over by the police in Whangarei, he gave them a false name. He was promptly arrested and jailed - the name he'd chosen belongs to a man who is wanted for violating bail terms. The issue of identity was spotted only when he appeared in court, by officials from Ngawha Prison. The motorist now faces the charges he earned: the driving offence, giving false details, and perverting the course of justice.

A young man in Hempstead, New York, got in trouble because his trousers were hanging low. According to police officers, 18-year-old Taykim Ross liberated electronics, cash, and trainers from a flat and stopped in the back garden to try on the stolen Air Jordans. A neighbour snapped a photo of him there, with red boxers visible above his jeans.
Some time later, Village Officer Russell Harris was sitting in his car for a moment after checking the neighbourhood. He noticed a young man taking rubbish out and providing a good view of 'bright red underwear' while bending over. 'If he would have gone home and put a belt on, I probably wouldn't have noticed him,' said Harris. Ross is being charged with burglary.

Michigan's Antonia Hernandez summarises: 'Our family decided to go camping for the summer to a 10-acre property we are buying'. They set up three nine-person tents and a generator and bought a pass to shower and bathe at the nearby state park. Nine days after Antonia, husband Christopher, and their six children moved into the tents, police officers arrived in response to reports of activity by squatters. The family proved their right to be there, but the children were removed nonetheless and placed in foster care, on account of not being in a 'stable living environment'.
About 20 days later, the children were returned because Antonia and the children happen to have sufficient Tlingit blood that they are subject to laws intended to make it harder to separate Native American families.

Under the US Postal Service's programme Operation Santa, disadvantaged children write letters to tell Santa Claus what they'd like for Christmas, then members of the public post corresponding gifts to the children. New York postal workers Terry Jackson, Mahogany Strickland, and Nickyeves Saintalbord wrote several letters in which they posed as poor children, then displayed those letters prominently at the desk for customers to see. The laptop computers, clothing, and other items that the men received weren't enough for them, so they changed the labels on other Operation Santa packages to feature their own addresses. The three have been arrested on charges that include mail fraud.

After a bank robbery in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, police officers visited a restaurant next to the bank. They knew that the eatery had a surveillance system and hoped to see which direction the suspect had headed. Inside, officers found the man himself, 32-year-old Shane Lindsey, eating biscuits at a booth. He has pleaded guilty to charges of bank robbery and has been sentenced to 2-4 years in prison.

Police in Panama City, Florida, describe a case in which restaurant worker Caleb Joshua Halley, 33, and colleague Orlando Thompson, 26, started arguing about how much spice belongs in a gumbo. The argument over gumbo spices ended with Thompson slashing Halley across the torso with a knife. This proved fatal. Thompson is being charged with manslaughter.

A 32-year-old Brooklyn man complained to the police about the spiritualist he visited in 2013 for help with unrequited love. After his first visits to her, 'psychic' Priscilla Kelly Delmaro explained that she needed diamonds to protect his energy. A spirit was stalking him, bringing bad luck in love. The next step was to conduct a fake funeral ceremony in order to fool the spirit into thinking him dead. The man later paid for a bridge to trap the spirit in another realm and for reincarnating the object of his affections after he learned that she'd died. Out of money after giving her the equivalent of 550,000 euros, he complained to the police. The 26-year-old Delmaro and her companion, 27-year-old Bobby Evans, have been jailed on charges of grand larceny.

Australian neurology professor Thomas Kimber reports on a 35-year-old woman who fell during her walk home after helping a friend move house in Adelaide. The woman was able to crawl to the side of the road and summon a taxi to convey her to a nearby hospital. Medical staff found that her tight jeans had compressed major nerves in the lower leg. Squatting to clean cupboards contributed to her 'massively swollen' calf muscles. Medical staff had to cut the 'skinny jeans' from the woman's legs.

Sean Robert Garcia is accused of stealing cheque books at the house of his two victims in Tampa, Florida. The 19-year-old man allegedly rang the victims shortly after this. Posing as a Lieutenant Brown investigating the case for the police, he told them that matters were in hand and that there was no need to report anything. However, the victims had already made a report, and a sheriff's officer was interviewing them when Garcia placed his phone call. He has been charged with petty theft and impersonating a law enforcement officer.

David Staples was celebrating US Independence Day at a house in Calais, Maine - with fireworks, indoors. The 22-year-old Staples had been drinking when he decided to place a reloadable mortar tube on his head and set it off. A spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, Stephen McCausland, said that 'his friends thought [they had] dissuaded him from doing it, and the next thing they knew, he ignited the fireworks and he was killed instantly'. His brother later said that he'd been goofing off and thought he was dealing with a dud.

When friends locked a 23-year-old Arizona man outside as part of a practical joke at 3am, he tried to get back inside the home via the chimney and became stuck. Someone in the house called in Phoenix's fire and rescue workers. Half an hour after they arrived, they had freed the man, using drills and a sledgehammer to make a hole in the building. According to Captain Aaron Ernsberger, the joke victim was covered in soot but unharmed.

Rhode Island's Kevin Maynard used to work at a cemetery. He took care of veterans' gravestones when they became damaged. However, his interpretation of 'take care of' was closer to 'take home for household projects'. The engravings were quite visible on some of the repurposed markers when investigators got wind of this. Maynard, 59, is accused of stealing 150 gravestones and using them for, amongst other things, foundations for a shed and two garages. The Department of Veterans Affairs have announced that he has agreed to plead guilty to one count of theft of government property.

According to Florida's Bradenton Herald, 18-year-old Ashley Miller has been arrested in connection with activities she engaged in at her grandmother's house. During an investigation into transmission of harmful material to a minor, officers found incriminating images on her mobile phone, of a woman being pleasured by a pit bull. The accompanying police report stated: 'Mrs. Miller was [later] interview [sic] and Mrs. Miller confessed that she had the canine perform oral sex on her 30 to 40 times' over the last five years and that she'd engaged in similar activities with her previous dog. Miller has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor sexual activities involving animals.

While waiting for a Broadway performance of Hand to God to begin, a member of the audience saw that his mobile phone's battery was going flat. He noticed a power point and plugged in his device. The only problems were that the socket was on the stage and that it was a prop.
Some people at the Booth Theatre assumed that this was part of the show, but then the crew stopped the pre-show music, removed the phone, and made an announcement about why the man's actions had been inappropriate. One audience member reported: 'I took great joy in loudly heckling the idiot when he returned to take his phone back.'

Twitter's Periscope App allows people to stream video content live to their 'followers'. This content recently included two 16-year-old boys' theft of several tubs of ice cream from a refrigerated trailer in Utah. A resident of West Weber reported the streaming of the crime to the police, who were able to track down the boy who had posted the video. According to the sheriff's office, the youth 'said he and his friend then went and randomly placed the tubs of ice cream on the front porches of some of their neighbors as a gift'. Both teenagers have been referred to a juvenile court.

Whenever the winds rustled the leaves of a certain tree on a campsite in Mirow, Germany, in recent months, something else rustled, as 50-euro banknotes gently fell from its branches. It turned out that a bag containing well over 100,000 euros had been suspended from a pipe between two branches, and the elastic holding the sack closed had broken. The police are trying to find the owner of the money.

Joseph Anthony Castellanos began yelling at his girlfriend in their shared home, accusing her of not visiting him at work. He then punched her, kicked her, allegedly attacked her dog, and held her against her will for a few hours before coming up with a plan. Castellanos, 31, poured hot sauce and ranch dressing on her and then attempted to force her into the oven.
She escaped long enough to call the police, and he was able only to get her lower legs in the oven before officers reached the Sandy, Utah, home. Castellanos has been arrested on several charges.

When an escort in Charleston, West Virginia, opened her door for an appointment with a man she'd met online, she was greeted with a shout of 'Live or die!', and her 'date', an armed Neal Falls, starting to strangle her. When she hefted a rake, he grabbed it; however, this required setting his handgun down. The escort picked up the gun and fatally shot the 45-year-old Falls.
Officers found knives and axes, a sledgehammer, large bin liners, and bleach in his car. Police officers have tentatively linked Falls to serial killings of escorts who advertise their services online.

People in Billerica, Massachusetts, complained to their elected representatives about fading crosswalks, so town officer George Simolaris decided to do something about the problem. He has now been charged with destruction of property, for repainting six of the ageing paint jobs himself. He did use the city's official green colour rather than the customary white, but the main issue is that painting without authorisation is illegal, according to police spokesman Roy Frost. Town Manager John Curran adds that, because some of the paint has chipped, Simolaris will have to pay the equivalent of 3,000 euros for 'cleaning up the paint'. Curran said: 'His job is to uphold laws, not break them.'

Police in Winter Haven, Florida, describe what happened when a man got off a local bus and then told the driver that he wanted to go to a new destination. The driver explained that he'd need to pay a new fare for that, of roughly 1.50 EUR. While the would-be passenger sat on a bench, the driver locked the bus and went on a break. When he returned, four minutes later, the agitated man took a run up to the bus, head-butting it. This broke a pane of glass in one of the doors and left him unconscious for a few seconds. He then thought for a moment and scurried off.

A couple in Raisin Township, Michigan, wanted to buy a pound of marijuana, and Michael Rafael Suarez was pleased to relieve them of the equivalent of about 2000 euros in exchange. When a traffic cop stopped him for running a stop sign after the exchange, another car pulled up, whose driver explained that Suarez and two accomplices had just robbed his girlfriend. Suarez explained: 'I didn't bring any weed. I brought a bag of dirty socks.'
Suarez's public defender reports that he has agreed to plead guilty of false pretences. The cash was recovered and will be subject to a civil drug seizure claim.

A judge in Texarkana, Texas, offered 20-year-old Josten Bundy a choice: spend 15 days in jail for assaulting his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend or wed her, write lines (Bible verses), and attend counselling. He chose the latter option.
The bride's father is looking into possible charges of judicial misconduct, and the bride lamented that she didn't even have a white dress for her nuptials. The judge was not available for comment.

Back in late April, a woman returned to her home in Queens, New York, to find that the locks had been changed. The three men inside told her that they were working with the bank that holds the property's mortgage and told her to sign papers, including a deed transfer. Her husband, the holder of the deed, returned in May and had a locksmith with him. He discovered jewellery, cash, and other items missing. The three squatters who had changed the locks - Brandon Sestoso, 33; his brother Chas Sestoso, 31; and Jesse Kusinow, 32 - have been charged with burglary, criminal mischief, unlawful eviction, and criminal trespass.

The police were summoned to a bar in Apopka, Florida, where a four- and two-year-old child had been left unattended in a vehicle. As an officer with a body camera approached, the children's mother, 35-year-old April King, emerged from the bar and returned to the vehicle. There, she had the four-year-old boy blow into the breath-test unit that her husband had had installed in the car after her time in rehabilitation.
The husband, Doug King, said that he does not plan to bail her out of jail, explaining: 'I think this is the best thing for her. Rehab hasn't worked and she hasn't learned anything from it.'

Karina Kay Bourcy took a limousine to a shopping centre in Rochester, Minnesota, where she then stole a little over 200 euros' worth of items from a sporting goods shop. After a tussle with security officers, the 22-year-old Bourcy managed to escape and the police were called in to search the area. The driver of the limo asked officers about their mission. Recognising the description, he reported that his passenger from earlier had just called for a limo ride back to the Kahler Grand Hotel. Officers had only to tag along to the pick-up point and arrest her.

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