Archive for September, 2008

Home Intruder Dies During Struggle

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 30 September, 2008

Police do not anticipate any arrests, I’m thinking the evidence speaks for itself.

Indianapolis police responded to a call just after 3 AM Sunday morning and found a 64-year-old dad choking out a 52-year-old intruder on the floor in the hallway of his house.

Now this wasn’t just any petty cat burglar looking to score some jewelry and electronics. The suspect was a convicted sex offender, wearing only latex gloves and a face mask. Besides effectively being naked, he also had rope, some condoms and was wielding a knife.

From the report, the intruder entered through a window and made his way into the bedroom of the 17-year-old daughter. Upon waking up and seeing the naked man in her room, the girl screamed and alerted her father.

A struggle ensued, where the father was able to avoid being stabbed with the knife and wrestled the man to the ground. The dad got a head lock or choke hold around the creep’s neck and didn’t let go as the police were called. The intruder was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police spokesman said the sex offender had a pre-existing heart condition which may have contributed in his death. I’m sure the pummeling and choke hold may have also contributed, but lets just call it a heart attack. Of course an autopsy is planned.

Apparently, this man had already jailed for 10 years for criminal confinement and sexual deviate conduct. He also failed to register as a sex offender which listed him as wanted in Boone County to boot.

The police not anticipating any arrests and the planned autopsy kinda bothers me. Let’s repaint the picture. Its 3 AM. Your 17-year-old daughter wakes you up screaming. You find naked man, with a knife in your house, more specifically in your daughter’s bedroom.

Where exactly is there a question worth anticipating? It is pretty clear what this creep was planning. I’m thinking the dad’s self defense actions were quite justified given the situation. What would you have done?

It’s pretty obvious this repeat offender was not properly rehabilitated the last time he spent time in the slammer, pretty sure another trip wouldn’t have mattered much either. One less sexual deviant running around preying on young girls.

Sure there are some less-than-lethal self-defense options, but in the heat of the moment in the middle of the night, all bets are off. You do what you can do, without thinking about it.

Perhaps a window alarm or security system might have scared him off from this house. That just leaves him ready to pick out another house the next day, possibly a house less able to defend itself.

Some pepper spray to his face would have changed his tune real quick, and the UV identifing dye would have made it easy for the police recognize him… Because a blinded, screaming, naked guy running down the street would be hard to pin the crime on…

What if the dad wasn’t home and it was just mom and the daughter? What if the dad was stabbed, the daughter raped and possibly killed, and the same to the mother? I’m thinking this case ended up as good as could be expected. Even with this outcome, I’m sure the family is quite shaken up and will continue to be concerned with their safety.

Strategically sprinkling some self defense tools around the house is always a good idea. You never know when that can of Mace, a stun gun or other personal tool of mass destruction can save your life or the life of a loved one. Don’t wait until 3 AM in the morning when a naked sex offender is roaming your house.

Be prepared for the worst, now.

Popularity: 10% [?]

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What’s worse than running out of beer?

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 25 September, 2008

Police in Fargo, ND arrested a guy for stealing a beer truck. Unfortunately the truck was empty, so the guy dumped the vehicle and took off. Apparently one of the guys friends tipped off the police, probably because the thief failed to show up with beer…

Speaking of running out of beer, in South Charleston, WV, another guy was charged with battery on a police officer. Apparently the guy was pulled over for driving without headlights… And he smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech, failed a couple field sobriety tests and was taken to the police station.

So where did the battery on a police officer charge stem from? According to the report, while a breathalyzer machine was being set up, the suspect scooted the chair closer to the officer, raised his leg, and loudly passed gas and fanned it towards him.

He was also charged with driving under the influence, driving without headlights and two counts of obstruction.

Our last beer incident of the day comes from the Fond du Lac County Fair in Wisconsin. Father of the year candidate goes into the beer tent and orders 2 beers. One for himself, one for his 4-year-old son and 2-year-old to share.

When confronted by a police officer, the guy actually responded that it is legal for underage children to drink in Wisconsin as long as they are with a parent.

Are you kidding me?

Next the guy became belligerent, gets kicked out of the fair and is cited for disorderly conduct. I’m kinda hoping they can drum up some other charges…

Popularity: 10% [?]

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Goldibear and the Three Humans?

Posted by Rob on Monday, 22 September, 2008

A twisted real life version of Goldilocks occurred in Billings, Montana where a man (more resembling a bear than the little blond haired girl), was found sleeping in baby bear’s bed, I mean a little boy’s bed.

Ok, it wasn’t bowls of porridge either, it was cheese from the fridge.

Apparently the mentally-challenged man broke into a house, ate some cheese in the refrigerator, made some sort of “mess in the bathroom” (no broken chair mentioned), then wandered into a bedroom. He found that the child’s bed was just right, and fell asleep in the unoccupied bed.

The mother (not mother bear) heard snoring coming from the room of her 2-year-old child around 8:30 in the morning and found a stranger fast asleep. The child, luckily ended up sleeping in the bed of his parent’s that night, and was not present in his bedroom when the burglar was on the prowl.

The mom ran to wake up her husband (not papa bear either, but it goes with the story) and called the police from a neighbor’s home. The father, armed with an unloaded shotgun, held the disheveled man until the police arrived.

The man was charged with burglary, although he pleaded not guilty in District Court.

Mace Wireless Security System anyone?? Don’t wait to hear snoring in the morning, get an ear-piercing alarm as soon as an intruder attempts to gain entry.

This home alarm system is your complete Home Security Essentials, all in one package. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a security system and pay monitoring fees when you can get the Mace Wireless Security System for a fraction of the cost? This easy to operate security system will sound an alarm at the first sign of Goldilocks when you are home. When you aren’t home, you can have it sound the alarm and then call up 5 preset phone numbers to let you know motion has been detected in your house or a door or window has opened in your home.

The Mace Wireless Security System is a new and inexpensive way to protect you, your family, and your home. Even small businesses can benefit greatly by the cost-effective and reliable protection provided by this wireless security system.

This simple and effective security system is quite impressive. It requires no wiring of any kind, and can easily be installed by anyone. Forget your monthly security monitoring service bills and frequent visits by the service man, you’ve got all that you need with this entire package.

Keep your family, porridge, cheese and the rest of your belongings safe and secure.

Popularity: 9% [?]

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Dishwashing, Gladiator Style

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 18 September, 2008

The other night my wife wasn’t feeling well, and the sink was full of dishes. I wasn’t particularly keen on washing them all by hand, so I loaded up the dish washer. Apparently I did not properly clean the dishes enough before I put them into the machine. I guess I figured the point of the dishwasher was to clean the dirty dishes, not mostly clean and rinse the dishes first then have the dishwasher finish up the last 10% of the job.

Needless to say, if you are already familiar with the limitations of this “time and effort saving device”, the dishes were not properly clean in the morning when she went to empty my handy work. Yes, I saw the oatmeal, peanut butter and other food remnants on the dirty dishes, just figured the dish washer expected to do a little work.

Luckily, the clothes washing machine seems to do a better job with handling dirty objects; however, it is not capable of cleaning dishes. I figured that out in my head, I didn’t actually load plates, pans and silverware into the front load washer and dryer in the basement.

So in the morning, my wife was less than thrilled with the dishes, but at least she didn’t bite me, break a picture frame across my face and try to slash me with a sword. I mean it is only some dirty dishes, right?

Well a Fort Worth, Texas couple got into a heated dishwashing dispute resulting in the guy getting bit on the shoulder, smacked in the face with a picture, and getting a 2-foot sword swung at him. Luckily the woman missed the guy with the sword, however the picture frame cut him up pretty nicely.

Apparently it was his turn to do the dishes and when they were still left dirty, all hell broke loose. After an intense argument and blatant refusal to do the dishes, the 20-year-old gal told the 21-year-old guy to leave the apartment, to which he again refused.

Next, the woman attempted to physically remove the noncompliant man from the premises. This turned into the struggle where the guy ended up with bite marks on his right shoulder, visible cuts to his face where the picture frame was broken across his face, and having to dodge the wild swing from sword.

It was not known how many less violent dishwashing episodes lead up to this boiling point event during the four months the couple lived together.

Popularity: 9% [?]

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First Rule of Fight Club…

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 17 September, 2008

During the winter of 1994, I spent 8 weeks in Fort Jackson, SC for Basic Training in the US Army. Out of the 8 weeks, I don’t remember exactly why now, but I ended up at the medical center for most of one day. I missed the half-day session on hand-to-hand combat. Personally, It didn’t bother me a whole lot, I was seemingly well versed in the martial arts by then and as much as I wished I was present at that training session, it wasn’t a huge deal.

Unlike training and qualifying with an M-16 rifle, the hand-to-hand combat training wasn’t a critical task and did not affect basic training completion. Which was sad. Perhaps if I was a combat arms soldier, the hand-to-hand training would have been more robust, but they must have figured us support troops didn’t require it.

Which in retrospect was true. I spent 6 years in the service and didn’t see any combat or conflict time. I was in between Desert Storms, and only spent a year in peace time Korea, while the rest of my duty was in Virginia.

I didn’t have the Afghanistan and Iraq rotations like the troops do now. A report just came out of Fort Lewis, WA where they are attempting to deepen the hand-to-hand training due to the more stressful situations that the soldiers are currently expected to deal with. It is becoming less and less uncommon for deployed soldiers of various backgrounds to be faced with a situation where some sort of physical hand-to-hand or self defense related confrontation may arise.

Whether it is restraining a unarmed, but non-complying Iraqi prisoner, or facing a knife-wielding terrorist, some extra training goes a long way. When 3 or 4 untrained soldiers struggle trying to handle one guy, there is a problem.

Sure these soldiers are trained how to read a map, survive in the desert/jungle, shoot a rifle and a wide variety of other extremely useful military training tasks. But what if they never actually got into a fist fight or other real physical altercation?

“You have a kid out of high school, he’s never been in a fight before, they get a chance to learn what it feels like to get hit in the nose,” says a Fort Benning Army Combatives trainer.

“And then they get over it. They realize they’re OK, it wasn’t that bad.”

During the U.S. Army Combatives School training, “They get their first fight out of the way,” says the instructor. “Because you don’t want the first time they ever get in a fight to be when they’re over there (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.).”

If this sounds too harsh, you are missing the point. We are talking about the men and women who are thrust into harms way to defend the freedoms near and dear to your hearts.

“In some of our units this is ingrained in our culture, the combat arms,” says Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe of Fort Lewis. “But I’ve got to have it throughout all the units…”

“We owe it to the trooper, we owe it to the families that they come back alive,” he said. “We owe it to the taxpayers that every trooper out there has the most positive effect on the fight, and negative effect on the enemy.”

Many more non-combat arms units are now employing various training sessions at basic, intermediate and advanced levels, and hopefully this becomes ever increasingly wider spread. I wish I had more of this training while in the military, but like I said, I didn’t end up a clueless support troop in the desert hiding behind the sufficiently trained combat arms guys.

So what does all this mean for the vast majority of non-military civilians “safely” living state-side? well ask yourself the question. Have you ever been punched in the nose? Have you ever been knocked to the ground in a physical altercation? Do you know what to do if you are being bullied by 1, 2, 3 or more aggressive individuals?

If you are not capable of handling yourself in a basic self-defense situation, you are doing a disservice to yourself and a disservice to your loved ones looking up to you to protect and provide safety and security.

And we aren’t talking about a scene in a Jason Statham or Jet Li movie where he single handedly takes down 15 men armed with handguns, baseball bats, and steel chains. But I did just read a news article about a man attacked in a parking lot by two unarmed teenagers. The man had about $300 bucks in his wallet, a really nice watch on his wrist and a briefcase with at least an expensive Blackberry and Ipod.

The two assailants, didn’t steal any of these items, they just beat the hell out of this guy in broad daylight and put him in the hospital. No reason was known, the police just ruled this an isolated case of thrill seeking assault. Not too thrilling for the beaten and bloodied guy. Probably his first fight ever.

To use another movie reference, I am also not talking about starting up a local Fight Club like the Brad Pitt and Edward Norton movie. Because we all know the first rule of Fight Club…

Yes, you can learn some basic self defense from a instructional fighting DVD. No, you will not become the next Bruce Lee, but if you watch, listen and practice the moves, you can become proficient in some basic techniques that may help prevent getting hit in the nose, or worse.

Of course, for the less hands-on types, a shot of pepper spray from 6-10 feet away is just as good as a forceful shot to your opponent’s nose. Again, once you practice, practice, practice using it. Spray, run to safety and call the police.

To appease the many “best defense is avoiding bad situations” advocates, I will be the first to admit that if you are not there in the first place, it is better than all the self-defense training and pepper spray in the world. So yes, keep avoiding potentially bad situations, do not go out after dark, and lock your doors with a dead bolt.

But if some bad buy seeks you out in a parking lot in broad daylight, or breaks the window on your sliding glass door in the middle of the night when you are sleeping in your own house, I hope you can still passively avoid the danger. Can’t happen? Read the news; look up assault, home invasion or robbery.

Popularity: 8% [?]

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No Coconuts for You!

Posted by Rob on Friday, 12 September, 2008

A man in Vero Beach, FL was arrested the other day after slashing a co-worker with a machete. Apparently the guy wanted to take a drink from a coconut, and a disagreement broke out over the break.

So these two guys are doing some landscaping in the hot Florida sun and one of them wants a drink. Sounds reasonable, so he cuts down some coconuts from a nearby coconut tree. The other guy gets irate and tells him to get back to work. No coconuts for you! When the first guys refuses, the victim grabs a lawn mower and runs over the coconuts.

Now the thirsty guy, still armed with the machete from cutting down the coconuts moments before, whacks the other guy with a machete. Charged with aggravated assault, It wasn’t reported if he chopped down another coconut and got his drink while the other guy laid wounded.

The guy is also now being held for Immigration and Customs violations. All over a coconut.

This story reminded me of that joke about the race up the coconut tree.

There is a very, very tall coconut tree and there are four animals underneath: a lion, a chimpanzee, a giraffe, and a squirrel.

They decide to compete to see who would be the fastest to get a banana off the tree.

Who do you think will win?

The lion?

The chimp?

The giraffe?

Maybe the squirrel?

Well if you guessed any of those, let me know when you find a tall coconut tree that is growing bananas…

Popularity: 8% [?]

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Enough of this Monkey Business, Missing Mechanical Gorilla Found

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 10 September, 2008

Where else do you dump a 8-foot mechanical gorilla after you steal it from Maine? If you said a cornfield in Vermont, some 400 miles away, you are correct!

Aiding in the media fury to locate this famous primate, the gorilla’s dad, err creator Ken Booth posted a YouTube video and reward for any information to assist in its return. So where do you actually get one of these gorilla if you wanted one for yourself? Well the Gorilla Robot Factory of Akron, Ohio of course. Apparently these are more popular than you may have thought.

Soon after Ken’s video was posted, the response video from one of the captors surfaced on YouTube that showed a hooded man demanding a $1 million ransom in jest, and then apologizing for causing such an unexpected big deal over the theft.

Perhaps he was unaware of the readily available pre-made mechanical gorillas he could order at the Gorilla Robot Factory in Ohio. He could have gotten his own brand spanking new mechanical gorilla.

This gorilla, aptly named Seemore, as in “See More at Sandy’s Sales” has seen more sights since this past Labor Day’s gorillanapping then he ever expected. The owner, Sandy from the East Machias, Maine flea market still wishes to press charges if the culprit is apprehended. “What really upset me was the YouTube video. He was so nonchalant,” said Sandy. “You don’t steal other people’s property and take it out of state.”

Regardless of the pending legal action, the gorilla will soon be reunited with his flea market fans. Unfortunately, the owner’s beat up old truck is probably not able to make the 750 mile trip to the Vermont State Police Station in St. Albans, Seemore’s current location.

Many people have offered assistance in the transport back home.

Popularity: 7% [?]

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Truck Theft, Sub Sandwiches and Missing Gorillas

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 3 September, 2008

Couple winners in the news today.

First we have a 22-year-old truck burglar in Tampa, Florida. Looks like he was doing the rounds in a parking lot when the owner of the truck he was breaking into shows up. A fight breaks out and the suspect flees the scene. The owner chases him to a construction site where the burglar ducks inside a Portable Toilet and attempts to hide.

The truck driver sees the man enter the construction site restroom, and tips the entire housing over. Needless to say the toilet had in fact been used a number of times, and the spill covered “him in huge amounts of human waste.”

Not cool.

Next we have a 25-year-old drunk driver in Iowa City, Iowa. Early Sunday morning a police officer sees the drunk man driving without his headlights on and pulls him over. The driver is arrested and put into the police car. While driving to the station, the man offers “free sub sandwiches” to the cop in exchange for letting him go.

Apparently the man has some sub shop connections and free food at his disposal. The officer declined the offer. Perhaps if the man worked in a donut shop a better deal could have been made?

The last unusual crime story of the day is the apparent theft of am 8-foot mechanical gorilla. AN outdoor flea market in East Machias, Maine displays, well used to display this primate statue at the entrance to the marketplace. All of the sudden in broad daylight, the flea market owner noticed this rather large and heavy monkey was missing.

At first, he asked his clerk if he had wheeled in inside, but the clerk thought the owner must have moved it. Which in either case would have been a feat, as this huge gorilla has a concrete base and some heavy electric motors that moved the arms up and down when running.

“Who the hell would ever steal a gorilla as heavy as that thing was?” said the owner. A Maine State Police Officer said he believes the 8-foot-tall, concrete based, electronic moving armed gorilla might be “decorating some college student’s apartment.”

That must be some determined group of college kids pulling off a prank of that magnitude. It would be one heck of a conversation piece at the next frat party.

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Freedom of Speech, Throwing Rocks, and Pepper Spray

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 2 September, 2008

I never quite understand these peaceful, read violent and destructive, protesters. This time in St. Paul, MN, in a stunning display of their non-violent civil disobedience, rocks and bottles were thrown, windows were broken, dumpsters were tipped over, tire were slashed, traffic was blocked, traffic signs were torn down and thrown at police cars… 300 some people arrested, good times… You know, all the normal peaceful demonstration techniques used since the 1960s.

I have nothing against people holding signs, dancing around like fools, and exercising their freedom of speech, but there is a line that should not be crossed. Most rational people understand this. As soon as you start smashing innocent store windows or throw Molotov cocktails at the cops, you might want to rethink your tactics while protesting the Republican National Convention.

When your peaceful demonstration degrades into mass chaos, you might want to cut your losses and head home before the pepper spray, concussion grenades and tear gas are deployed by the local law enforcement trying to maintain peace. You know peace, just like your peaceful anti-war protest was talking about.

Don’t bum-rush the riot police and cry when you get pepper sprayed, well you will cry, but don’t whine about it. After you tip over a dumpster with your friends, throw a rock at the police, turn around throw another rock into a display window, and then proceed to resist arrest when the police move in, are you seriously wondering why they are doing this? Don’t worry, the media is there in force and have your whole pathetic escapade on tape.

“We will not tolerate lawlessness in the city of St. Paul,” said St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington. “If you come here to throw rocks, if you come here to throw Molotov cocktails … we will stop you.” Not that you needed the warning.

“The cops are being very aggressive,” said one of the protesters. “Hopefully, they’ll let us keep practicing our free speech.”

I’ll have to Google free speech and check the definition. Maybe someone edited Wikipedia to include all these shenanigans into the Free Speech entry. Maybe the cops are just on edge from all this freedom of expressing oneself in a violent and destructive manner.

Again, feel free to assemble peacefully to protest to your heart’s content. But when the police are tipped off before your event and are forced to conduct raids seizing knives, axes, bomb-making materials, maps and anti-war literature? Come on now.

I’ll even buy the 80/20 rule where the majority of you are mostly peaceful, and the 20% bad apples are making you all look bad. At some point, you should get yourself out of a bad situation. Are those 20% really the ones you want to be associated with and get pepper sprayed or arrested because of? It isn’t the fault of the police, the Republicans, the US Army or whoever else you want to blame. It is your companions making your peaceful cause look hypocritical and silly.

*Knock, Knock* This is your wake up call?

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