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scales of justice out of balance

For this judge, the job is apparently not all about banging away on a gavel and doling out some justice. Although she has only been charged, it’s not looking good. As reported by lancasteronline.com:

A Lancaster city district judge has been removed from the bench after she was charged Monday with a dozen criminal offenses.

The charges relate to District Judge Kelly S. Ballentine dismissing three of her own parking tickets last year and in 2010, according to a police affidavit.

After a lengthy investigation, the state Attorney General filed 12 charges, including nine felonies, regarding Ballentine’s conduct while on the bench.

She’s charged with tampering with public records (six counts), restricted activities due to a conflict of interest (three counts), and obstruction of the administration of law (three counts).

As of Monday, Ballentine will no longer hear cases or serve as district judge.

“At this time, I have issued an order that she be placed on indefinite administrative leave until all criminal charges are resolved,” said Lancaster County President Judge Joseph Madenspacher, who has authority over the county magistrates.

If you’re wondering how the Judge will get by, here’s how.

Ballentine will receive pay during that time, [Judge] Madenspacher said. “I have no power to suspend her.”

Here’s the skinny:

According to records, Ballentine dismissed three of her own tickets for parking illegally in front of her house.

Ballentine, 43, dismissed a no-parking ticket and an expired registration ticket in December 2010 and a no-parking ticket in January 2011, the affidavit shows.

As The Juice said, it’s not looking good. Here’s the source. And here’s a follow up to this story.

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doctor

If this case is at all typical, it’s very tough for a doctor in the UK to be permanently barred from practicing medicine. As reported by The Daily Express:

Dr Ellen MacInnes, who has also been banned from driving three times, had to provide a blood sample to prove she was fit to get back behind the wheel, a disciplinary hearing heard.

… However the doctor, of Chelmsford, Essex, abused her position of trust and lied to one of her patients by inventing an illness and claiming she needed to take a sample of their blood. She also forged the signature of a fellow ­doctor.

You probably already know what she did with the blood.

… testers became suspicious when two samples arrived at their laboratory – one clean and one with “abnormalities”.

Doh!

Dr MacInnes, formerly of the Baddow Village Surgery in Essex, admitted acting dishonestly when she appeared before a disciplinary panel.

The punishment?

The General Medical Council panel banned her from medicine for a year “for the protection of patients, the public interest and her own interest”.

You might be thinking: “that seems reasonable. Maybe she just needs another chance.” Well, it turns out she’s already had another chance, and another.

She was banned after being sacked from the Tennyson House Surgery in Chelmsford in 2006 after fitting a contraceptive coil “while smelling of alcohol”.

She was also suspended for six months in 2009 after receiving her third conviction for drink-driving.

So, after all that, she can reapply in a year. Here’s the source.

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phone call

Before you go calling the police about that giant schlong on your driveway, perhaps it’s worth determining if it’s paint or … A homeowner in Millville, New Jersey skipped that step, and called Johnny Law, unnecessarily, as reported by The News of Cumberland County.

Someone graced an East Vine Street driveway with a drawing of a penis early Monday morning or before.

The person who called police reported that someone had spray painted the phalus, but police on scene discovered it was chalk. They advised the property owner to wash it off with water and reported no actual property damage.

Um. Er. Uh. Sorry officers.

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birds

Doesn’t everyone like colorful birds? Well, if you’re in Center Line, Michigan, and want to make your drab bird a little more colorful – don’t. Why? In addition to the obvious reasons (so please, PETA, no more emails) because of this law:

Sec. 10-4. Artificially coloring birds.

It shall be unlawful for any person to artificially color, spray or paint any bird or fowl or to sell, offer for sale, or otherwise dispose of any such colored bird or fowl.

Must have been a craze back in the day. And yes, this law is still on the books, under Chapter 10 – Animals, Article I, Section 10-4.

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stalk stalking

Dude. Of all people to stalk, the police? That’s what Thomas C. Massey of Traverse City, Michigan is accused of, per the Traverse City Record-Eagle:

Massey spent a good portion of Monday shouting at officers and making a profane gesture at them as he paced around the building, police said.

It wasn’t an isolated incident. Police contend Massey heckled and harassed local officers since at least March, and he’s often spotted around the law enforcement center.

Massey, of Traverse City, was arrested in March after he crept around the Grand Traverse County Jail property taking information from jail employees’ license plates and peeping in their cars, Emerson said. Charges weren’t approved in that incident.

On Monday afternoon, Massey — who police said was clad in a Hawaiian shirt and a Christmas tie — approached an officer who pulled into the lot behind the building. The officer asked Massey if he needed help, and he began to spew profanities.

Massey repeatedly refused to calm down, so officers arrested him. He allegedly struggled and “body checked” a patrol vehicle and broke a mirror during the arrest, Emerson said.

The charges? Two minutes in the box for body checking a police vehicle…

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Al Schneider charged Massey with attempted malicious destruction of police property and disturbing the peace. He remained in custody Tuesday afternoon and is expected to be arraigned today.

Why the animosity toward the police? Not a clue.

“Nobody seems to know why he has a beef with us or what his problem is … it’s just bizarre,” [Capt.] Emerson said.

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dachsund weiner dog

Ilinois high school senior David Clark will have to think twice, though he’s worn the shirt before, without incident. But not this time. So what did it say? “I [heart] My Wiener” with a picture of a dachsund under it. See, David’s dachsund was hit by a car and killed a few months back. The shirt is David’s way of honoring his dog.

Unfortunately, Principal Wes Choate didn’t see it that way. He gave David 3 choices: change shirts, turn it inside out, or leave. When faced with these stupid choices, David made the best one: he left – even though it meant getting a zero in each class. David Sr. makes a good point about the arbitrary dress code, which prohibits

students from wearing any clothing that is disrupting to the educational process, interferes with the maintenance of a positive teaching and learning climate or compromises reasonable standards of health, safety and decency.

Here’s what David Sr. has to say about the enforcement of the dress code:

They make the rules up as they go. It depends on what mood they are in that day. If you can’t wear that [his son's] shirt, you shouldn’t be able to wear one that says ‘Coke.'”

Right on, Clarks. Principal Choate, lighten up.

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two cents 2

The “Brown ‘N Serve” sausages were 98 cents in the aisle, but rang up at $1.00. When it happened the second time, consumer activist Mary Bach resorted to a familiar remedy – court. Wal-Mart said the overcharge was a mistake. What did the judge say? Per The Tribune-Review:

Murrysville District Judge Charles Conway sided with Bach in her civil lawsuit alleging unfair trade practices. He awarded Bach $100 in damages, plus about $80 in court costs.

Said a victorious Bach:

“Wal-Mart abandoned an earlier chainwide practice of offering scanner guarantees — for no explainable reason — and they also appear not to be following established store procedures for correcting scanner errors when customers report them. This also was occurring at two other stores, in Greensburg and North Versailles.” Wal-Mart has 30 days to appeal to Common Pleas Court.

You can read more (a lot) here.

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monkey

So maybe it’s not 100% certain that he was drinking with the monkeys, but he let them out of their cages, he was drunk, and … as reported by The August Chronicle (Georgia):

According to a GHSU Police Bureau incident report, a co-worker discovered Coley Mitchell, 32, partially unclothed in the Laboratory Animal Services technician locker room at the Sanders Research and Education Building about 10:30 p.m. Monday.

Yikes!

Campus police said Mitchell, a Lab Animal Services technician, was highly intoxicated and sitting in a chair with his pants half-down.

Partially clothed, highly intoxicated – what about the monkeys?

The spokeswoman said two monkeys were found outside their cages in the lab but were confined to the room. There is no indication the monkeys had been harmed.

Whew.

Police said Mitchell became combative and uncooperative with officers while being escorted from the locker room.

He was booked into the Richmond County jail Monday on charges of public intoxication.

A spokeswoman said Mitchell was still employed by Georgia Health Sciences University on Friday.

That’ll probably change. Here’s the source, including a mug shot.

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cheez-its

Everyone craves some type of food at one time or another. And although you may not consider Cheez-Its to be food, a New Hampshire man had a serious craving, and apparently no cash. So, according to The New Hampshire Union Leader …

Officer Jacob Tyler was on patrol when he stopped to check on the business. When he pulled up, the clerk came out to tell him he had just been punched in the face. The officer noted redness around the clerk’s eye.

The clerk told Tyler he saw a man go out the door after hiding a three-ounce bag of Cheez-It in his pants. The clerk confronted him outside, the two got into a struggle, and the shoplifter punched him in the face and then ran off.

The thief is described as a white man, 6-foot to 6-foot-2 and weighing about 220 to 230 pounds. He wore a black hat and black shirt, both with white designs on them. He also wore black jean shorts with a white belt and white socks.

Two things: Clerk, you pursued a good-sized man over a bag of Cheez-Its? and Thief, you punched a guy in the face over a bag of Cheez-Its?

A man and a woman were also with him, the clerk said. Police located them in front of the Carpenter Memorial Library, 405 Pine St.

One of them, April Skinner, 18, of 800 Union St., was arrested after police say she became agitated, repeatedly shouted obscenities and refused to quiet down, drawing the attention of others inside the library.

She was arrested after a brief struggle with officers on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Perhaps the group is bound together by their common lack of good judgment.

Police said they expect to obtain warrants for the arrest of the shoplifter, who they declined to identify.

Here’s the source.

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ant

In a country where past cases have made it quite clear that one may not insult police officers with impunity, this would seem to be a no-brainer. But what is considered an insult is unclear, as this case demonstrates. As reported by DutchNews.nl:

A homeless man has been cleared by the High Court of insulting a police officer by calling him a mierenneuker – literally ant-fucker – a term used in popular speech to describe people who stick obsessively to the rules.

The court said it depended on the context in which it is used whether or not the word should be considered swearing. Only if mierenneuker is used with the intention to insult or cause offence is it a swearword, the NRC quoted the High Court as saying.

The case dates back to 2010 when the man, known as Sietze J, called a policeman a mierenneuker for throwing away his can of beer. Lower courts ruled J had insulted the police officer and the case went to appeal.

This is all stupid, but really? Just to show you what a stupid and subjective mess the Court has created, check out these cases:

In 2009, a 31-year-old man from Tilburg was fined €170 for insulting behaviour after wearing a t-shirt combining the word ‘corrupt’ with the police logo. People have also been fined for waving a middle finger (the Dutch equivalent to the two-fingered V-sign) at a police officer and calling a policeman ‘homo’.

And these …

Last January, the High Court ordered the retrial of a man who was given a fine of €200 for wearing a jacket featuring the letters ACAB because it was insulting to the police.

The letters are said to stand for All Cops Are Bastards. Earlier, three other men were fined €330 each for wearing t-shirts with the numbers 1312 printed on them, which stands for the same thing.

To borrow a word from the Dutch, too much ant-fucking. Here’s the source.