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A handcuffed man (behind the back!) escapes from your patrol car, and you’re going to include a charge of stealing handcuffs? Are you sure that’s a part of the case you really want to highlight? Pick one: “Fugitive escapes!” or “Handcuffed fugitive in back of patrol car escapes, and steals $29 handcuffs that are supposed to be restraining him, under the nose of the officer who should be watching him.” As reported by The Daily News (Washington State):

A DOC officer arrested Eric Mitchell Lair on a felony warrant Oct. 1, according to a Longview police report. On the way to Cowlitz County jail, “Lair was able to open the back of (an) unmarked DOC caged vehicle and flee,” the report said.

“Lair was handcuffed behind his back at the time of escape,” the report said. Officers from multiple agencies conducted an “extensive search” of the area, but couldn’t find Lair.

On Thursday, a Superior Court judge issued a warrant for Lair’s arrest on suspicion of first-degree escape.

Police also noted that the handcuffs Lair escaped with are valued at $29 and requested he be charged with third-degree theft.

Not the handcuffs! Cut your losses! HT: The Daily News.

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overdose.jpgIn this case from Australia, two 20-year-old men, Robert Karaca and Jarred Royce Price, were charged with attempted murder. Their “victim” was a 32-year-old friend of theirs named Bruce Levin, who was intent on killing himself, and convinced them to help.

Levin spoke of overdosing on sleeping tablets. If that failed, he wanted to be hit on the back of the head with a steel bar. Oh, and he threw in more than $5,000. (That’d be a little less than $5,000 U.S., but, still, nothing that a couple of broke 20-year-olds would scoff at.)

When Levin’s sleeping pills appeared not to work, Karaca couldn’t bring himself to hit Levin with the pole, so Price was asked to do it. Apparently, Levin thanked them profusely before he was hit, then suddenly had a change of heart – after he was hit twice. He laid still and played dead to avoid being hit again.

Thinking Levin was dead, his pals took off. A bloodied Levin got his wounds stitched at the hospital. A remorseful Karaca told the police what they had done.

So, what happened to them?

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Admit it. You’ve occasionally had one too many. But perhaps not as many as a San Diego, California man recently did, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

A Pacific Beach man had a surprise waiting for him in his living room Sunday morning: a stranger sleeping naked on his couch.

And just in case you need another reason to lock your doors …

The naked man had mistakenly arrived at the condominium after a night of drinking, inexplicably took off his clothes on the porch and entered the unlocked front door, San Diego Police Lt. Jim Filley said.

After discovering the disrobed interloper around 7:30 a.m., the homeowner went back upstairs to his bedroom, armed himself and told his wife to call 911, Filley said.

“This gentleman thought he had been walking into his own home, which is in Mission Valley” nearly 20 miles away, the officer said. “We think it was an honest mistake.”

The homeowner declined to press trespassing charges against the intruder.

“He was sober, so he got dressed and went on his way,” Filley said.

Here The Juice was getting ready to holler about getting a gun out to deal with a naked guy, and the gunslinger goes and does the right thing. Well done, sir.

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Now that is an interesting question, and not an academic one, for identical twins Gavin and Rhys Higgins, and for the alleged victim, Darryl Churchill. Per the Daily Mail:

Darryl Churchill had claimed that one of the twins set upon him after a dispute over a game of pool which he had refereed.

He told the court he was ‘punched and kicked’ and needed an operation to fix his nose after the alleged attack, but could not tell which brother was responsible because they look so alike.

And this went to trial why? Was the Cardiff Crown Court Judge supposed to flip a coin? Shockingly, the Higgins brothers …

… walked free today after a jury took less than a hour to acquit them over [the] rugby club altercation.

The jubilant pair were found not guilty of one charge each of assault causing actual bodily harm at a birthday party at their local rugby club.

What did the brothers have to say after the verdict?

Gavin said: ‘Me and my brother always seem to get dragged into trouble because we look alike. People are always mixing us up.

Um, okay. So that would mean one of you gets into trouble, and you both get “dragged” into it because it’s uncertain which one of you caused the trouble? Hmmm. That sounds familiar … Here’s the source, with photos of the brothers.

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You’re out for a bike ride, with a backpack full of tools. Is that a crime? Apparently it can be. As reported by The St. Petersburg Times:

Kurtis Martin was riding his bicycle Sunday night with no headlight, in an area hit by recent burglaries, with an open backpack full of tools, Pasco deputies said.

When a deputy pulled Martin over, he found the backpack contained several screwdrivers, a claw hammer, pliers, wire cutters and a machete, according to a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office report. The deputy asked what the tools were for.

You have to give this man credit for being honest, some of which you can deduct for failing to know about his right to not incriminate himself.

“I hadn’t stolen anything tonight,” replied Martin, according to the report. “I had the tools with me in case the opportunity arose. I was only scouting the area.”

Doh!

Martin, 36, of Lacoochee, was arrested on suspicion of possessing burglary tools. He remained in the county jail Monday afternoon in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Not being a criminal lawyer, The Juice did not know this was a crime. Did you? Here’s the source.

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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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You will be not be surprised to learn that Mr. William Ernst (who owns a bunch of convenience stores called QC Mart) was known by some as the “boss from hell.” A recent brainstorm to make the case? How about a memo titled “New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!!”? As reported by The Des Moines Register, here’s what the memo said:

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To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today’s date, today’s time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope.

“Here’s how the game will work: We are doubling our secret-shopper efforts, and your store will be visited during the day and at night several times a week. Secret shoppers will be looking for cashiers wearing a hat, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around/behind the counter, and/or a personal car parked by the pumps after 7 p.m., among other things.

“If the name in your envelope has the right answer, you will win $10 CASH. Only one winner per firing unless there are multiple right answers with the exact same name, date, and time. Once we fire the person, we will open all the envelopes, award the prize, and start the contest again.

“And no fair picking Mike Miller from (the Rockingham Road store). He was fired at around 11:30 a.m. today for wearing a hat and talking on his cell phone. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!”

As a result of this wonderful team-building contest, several workers quit. When they sought unemployment, the boss fought it and … lost!

Administrative Law Judge Susan D. Ackerman sided with the workers, calling the contest “egregious and deplorable.” Shelsky was awarded unemployment benefits.

“The employer’s actions have clearly created a hostile work environment by suggesting its employees turn on each other for a minimal monetary prize,” Ackerman ruled. “This was an intolerable and detrimental work environment.”

That’ll probably be the end of the contests, at least for a little while. You can read more (a fair amount) here.

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Yes, folks, this bird is protected by the Constitution, as the City of Pittsburgh learned the hard way. Back in 2006, David Hackbart (of Butler, Pennsylvania) flipped off a cop, and got a disorderly conduct citation. He fought it, hard. Per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Pittsburgh City Council initially approved today a $50,000 settlement for a lawsuit filed by a Butler County man who gave the middle finger to a motorist and a police officer in 2006.

The officer cited him for disorderly conduct. The county eventually dropped the charge, but Hackbart sued to recover the cost of defending himself. U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone ruled in March that the officer violated Hackbart’s First Amendment right to free speech.

You can read more bird-flipping stories here, here, here, and here

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Nobody likes packing for a move. A Florida family, though, would be thrilled to pack. The problem is, there’s virtually nothing to pack. Why? As reported by nbc-2.com:

Denisse Velez was out of town looking for a new place to live when burglars pulled a truck up to her house and stole nearly everything from her home …

What does “nearly everything” include?

…the family’s electronics, furniture, tools, kitchen appliances [including the a/c unit and air-handler], washer and dryer, all the children’s clothing and toys – even their bicycles.

Children’s toys and clothes? How do you do that? Here’s the sadly ironic reason nobody was home during the burglary:

Two weeks ago, the mother of 7 decided she didn’t want to live in her neighborhood anymore because of all the crime in the area. She went to Tampa looking for a new place to live.

Here’s the source, including a news video about the incident.

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Maybe, maybe when the police find a body, they miss a small stab wound. But, and this a big “but,” what if the knife is still in the body? Could they miss it? Yup. As reported in The Medway Messenger:

Police failed to spot a dead pensioner had been murdered – until undertakers found a knife in his back, an inquest heard.

Officers were called to the home of Antoine Denis, in New Road, Chatham, after neighbours raised the alarm.

The 66-year-old was pronounced dead by a police nurse when he was found slumped on his bedroom floor.

But an inquest was told the weapon and a stab wound were only found by undertakers as they prepared to move his body on January 9.

DC [Detective Constable] Linda Robb told coroner Roger Sykes the knife was missed because it was dark in the flat and Mr Denis was lying on his back.

What, you expected the police officer to turn the body over? Don’t be ridiculous.

Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, Mr Sykes said Mr Denis had died from a single stab wound, which penetrated his lung due to “the unlawful act of a person whose identity has not yet been established”.

The perp? Still at large.

Kim Albone, of Luton Road, Chatham, was charged with murder on January 21, but was later released after a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service. Officers are still hunting Mr Denis’ killer.

Here’s the source.