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Why should police officer read Legal Juice? If they did, they would know, as all regular Juice readers do, that the Constitution allows folks to flip them off, and to cuss. Sure, they can make an arrest, but in the end, the flipper or cusser will be walking away with some cash. (For example, see this recent Juice post.) Until Legal Juice is required reading for all police officers, The Juice has no doubt that this will happen over and over again. The most recent example was reported by The Marietta Daily Journal.

Amy Barnes, a member of the Occupy movement, says she flipped off police and cussed at them as she was on her bike on Austell Road near her Marietta home. Two Cobb Police officers had teenagers stopped outside a store as Barnes showed her displeasure from the moving bike.

A two-fer – flipping and cussing. Whether she was disrespectful or not is irrelevant. The First Amendment applies regardless. So what happened next?

Police followed and arrested her couple of blocks away.”They told me I shouldn’t be presenting a lewd gesture in front of children,” said Barnes.

The children!

Police charged Barnes with disorderly conduct. She says she spent 23 hours in jail — six in solitary confinement. The misdemeanor is still making its’ way through the courts, but Barnes’ attorney, Cynthia Counts, says police violated Barnes’ constitutional rights.

“It’s infringing speech; the government cannot just chase down a citizen and arrest them when they speak their mind,” said Counts.

Yes, it is. Now stop wasting everyone’s time, dismiss the criminal case, and pay the lady. And next time, as difficult as you may find it, just walk away. Here’s the source. (Image via Thirteen-Fifty/Shutterstock.com)

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So you say you did this for lunch money? Who knew the cost of living in Goose Creek, South Carolina was so high? As reported by The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina):

Goose Creek police responded to an alarm at Stratford High School about 9:30 p.m. They chased down a man with a yellow crowbar, a prying instrument and $125 in dollar bills that had been taken from vending machines, according to the incident report.

The man told police he was breaking in because he was starting a new job the next day and needed lunch money, according to the report.

And the next day, and the day after that, and …

Matthew Thomas Moses, 33, of Ladson was charged with second-degree burglary, making implements capable of being used in a crime and resisting arrest. He’s being held at the Berkeley County jail.

Here’s the source.

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Who do you think this woman called after the crash, on the way to the hospital? She called her insurance company – to report it, right? Well, not exactly. As reported by PhillyBurbs.com:

On the way to the hospital after she was involved in a four-car accident last October, Regina Whitehead did what most people do: She called her insurance company.

Really? As a personal injury lawyer, The Juice can assure you that this is not something most crash victims do in an ambulance, on their way to the hospital. Anyway …

Only she didn’t call to report the accident, but to add comprehensive, collision and rental coverage, according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

On Friday, Whitehead was charged with insurance fraud and criminal attempt/theft by deception. The 22-year-old Ambler woman was arraigned before Bensalem District Judge Joseph Falcone, who set her free on $25,000 unsecured bail.

Both charges are third-degree felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison.

According to the AG’s office, Whitehead’s 1998 Ford Taurus was involved in the accident Oct. 6, 2011, shortly before 4 p.m. on West Chester Pike in Chester County. At the time, Whitehead was insured through Infinity Insurance, which has an office in Bensalem, according to a probable cause affidavit.

About an hour after the accident — during an ambulance ride to Chester County Hospital for treatment — Whitehead allegedly called the insurance company to add extra coverage to her car, according to court documents.

Better late than never? Not exactly.

A few hours later on the night of the accident, she called Infinity to report she was involved in an accident and to verify that she had comprehensive collision coverage. She was told during the phone call that if she didn’t have the coverage in place at the time of the accident, the insurer wouldn’t cover the damage, according to the attorney general.

The next day, Whitehead spoke with an Infinity representative in Bensalem and specifically affirmed that her collision coverage was added “before the accident,” according to the affidavit. Later that same day, though, she withdrew her insurance claim.

The attorney general said Whitehead admitted last month that she added the coverage after being injured in the accident and while in the ambulance and then lied about it. “Whitehead said she did this at the advice of a friend so she would be covered by the insurance company,” according to the attorney general.

Time for a new “go to” friend.

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Criminals don’t always make the best decisions. Here’s an excellent example, as reported by the South Asian Post:

Angry villagers in eastern India [Jharkhand] burned eight robbers and beat four others to death, police said. About 20 robbers raided a remote village in Jharkhand state, but were surrounded by hundreds of villagers, who began chasing them, the police said. “Four were beaten to death, while eight took shelter in a house, which was set on fire by the villagers,” Mohamed Nehal, a senior police officer, said. Armed villagers stood guard to ensure none of the robbers escaped.

Yikes. Think that village will be safe for a while?

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Some people just seem intent on sucking all of the joy out of life. Here’s a case in point, as reported by The Seattle Times:

The staff at Lafayette Elementary School in West Seattle has decided to uphold its decision not to allow students to dress up for Halloween this year, according to a Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman.

The decision, however, was centered around the costumes being a distraction during an abbreviated day of school, not around the possibility of offending students from other cultures, or offending some students’ religious beliefs, district spokeswoman Teresa Wippel said in an email sent out this morning.

So you made a bad decision, reviewed it, and decided to stick with it. Brilliant!

“Staff suggested that since Halloween falls this year on a half day of school, the school not allow costumes. It takes students a while to change into their costumes, and students are distracted, taking away from the already limited instructional time,” Wippel wrote.

“The principal said that staff also had a conversation about cultural issues that will also be discussed further, but the reason for the final decision about costumes this year was due to instructional time.”

As Colonel Sherman Potter of M.A.S.H. was fond of saying, “horse hockey!” In keeping with the teachings of Otter in Animal House (“We’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!”), one parent is somewhat defiant.

Although Halloween has its roots as a religious observance, parent Ken Allen said it’s pretty clearly a secular holiday now, and that’s what he’s hearing from other parents.

Allen’s daughter plans to dress up as Hunger Games protagonist Katniss Everdeen, and will get in costume after school if the costume ban holds.

Wippel said there is no district-wide policy on costumes. The decision to allow costumes is up to individual schools.

At least he’s a straightforward joysucker. Here’s the source.

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Running from the authorities? Not a good idea. Running from the authorities in the courthouse? Doh! Per wane.com:

It happened Tuesday in Tampa. A 25-year-old man in a purple shirt refused to sign his paperwork in a court case. Surveillance video shows the man took off running through the courthouse.

Bailiffs and two Tampa police officers gave chase and he was eventually tackled. The man was arrested and jailed without bond.

He was in the courthouse to be sentenced for giving false information to a police officer. Now, he faces battery on a police officer and resisting arrest charges.

 

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It’s nice to see a couple in love, right? Yes, and no. In this case, definitely “no.” As reported by wkmg (clickorlando.com):

Orlando police said Jeremie Calo, 32, and his date were “having sex on a table in view of minor children” on the patio of Paddy Murphy’s restaurant.

Yikes!

“That’s ridiculous that they would do that out in public and also in front of kids,” said Ashley Webster. Several witnesses told Local 6 that parents with children were eating on the patio as the couple started making out, then things went further.

The kids!

“That’s totally unacceptable and insane. I’m shocked. I can’t believe that,” said Jackie Kelvington as she watched her daughter at gymnastics across the street. “I would absolutely yank my kids, get them away from that situation and hope that they didn’t see too much.”

Run!

The manager at Paddy Murphy’s, Tom Murphy, said as soon as he realized what was going on he put a stop to it. He told the couple, “Compose yourself, pay your tab or I’ll call the police,” according to the report.

Said Mr. Calo:

“She can’t get up at this time” because his date was still on top of him.

Funny. Not smart or cool. But pretty funny.

Murphy called police, and the couple then stopped what they were doing.

When police arrived, they arrested Calo for fighting with the manager and refusing to pay the $101 bill.

Wait, not fornicating in public, or some such charge?

Neither Calo nor his date were arrested for any of the sex allegations because none of the parents who saw the sex acts wanted to write statements for police.

Here’s the source.

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Hey, what’s the big deal? Clearly their yard wasn’t big enough for the bash, so these Texas twin brothers decided to “borrow” someone else’s property. Can you believe the property owners were not okay with this? As reported by khou.com:

[19-year-old twin brothers] Shawn and DaShawn Butler reportedly promoted the party online and invited people to an open field in Huffman on Saturday.

Deputies said they found the twins and a juvenile there on Friday. They also discovered the lock on the private property’s gate had been cut.

The land owners said they never gave anyone permission to use their land for a party and they agreed to pursue criminal trespassing charges.

So, how many people were expected to post?

Four thousand people were expected to converge on the property until deputies had one of the twins post a message saying the party has been cancelled.

Shazam!

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Do you think these provisions of the Tennessee Constitution might be unconstitutional?

ARTICLE IX
Disqualifications.

Section 1. Whereas ministers of the Gospel are by their profession, dedicated to God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions; therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatever, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of the Legislature.

Section 2. No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.

Yikes. Here’s the text. (Scroll down to page 553.)