Archive for March, 2009

Our Twenty Top Selling Self Defense Items

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 26 March, 2009

Many people agree that it would be a good idea to purchase some sort of personal protection device for themselves or someone they know. But then, many people are unsure of which of the many available options would be right for them.

It really is a personal preference decision. The best product on the market will do you absolutely no good if you don’t feel comfortable with it and just leave it at home.

Given the choice, a larger sized pepper spray is better, as it holds more spray, just in case. But then if your wife or daughter is not willing to carry a “Red Bull can”-sized pepper spray, at least the “roll of quarters”-sized keychain model is better than nothing.

Telescopic steel batons, one of my favorites, are great self-defense tools. They are available in 3 sizes, basically depending on your physical stature. A petite female may prefer the smaller, 16 inch model. It is slightly lighter in weight, and more conveniently stored. The 21 inch model is the most popular sized model, for an average size adult, but the extra length of the 26 inch provides a further reach and extra power due to 5 more inches of steel.

Then there is the telescopic stun baton. You are not swinging this one like the steel baton, but this 800k volt stun gun has almost 22 inches of reach.

Sure there are even more possible considerations, pepper spray in the “Windy City” may be challenging depending on which direction you are facing. And handing any self-defense tool to someone without any training or practice time may yield poor results.

No matter which item you purchase, make sure you are very comfortable unsheathing, deploying and otherwise handling the item in the most efficient and effective manner. Most of this items are very simple and easy to get used to with a little practice.

We aren’t trying to master the nunchucks like Bruce Lee. We just want you to be able to pull out a can of pepper spray, a stun gun or a telescopic steel baton without fumbling around like you never held one before. Don’t add to the stress of trying to defend yourself or a loved one by trying to learn how to press the on switch in front of an attacker.

So here is the list of our 20 top selling items. You will notice, some are accessories of other items on the list, such as the LED flashlight attachment for the expandable batons and the holster for the Bear Spray.

1. Kubotans – Pointed and Flat tips, Black, Red, Blue or Silver in color
2. 1/2 oz Pepper Spray w/Injection Molded Holster
3. Wildfire 18% 1/2 oz Pepper Spray
4. Mace Pepper Spray for Dogs
5. Telescopic Steel Batons – 16 inch, 21 inch or 26 inch models
6. Wildfire 18% 1.5 ounce Pepper Spray
7. Diversion Safes – Wide variety of styles
8. 1/2 oz Pepper Spray w/Leatherette Holster
9. Mace Pepper Spray for Bears
10. 4 oz. Wildfire 18% Pepper Spray – Fogger
11. Lipstick Pepper Spray – Black, Red. Blue, Silver or Pink
12. Cell Phone Stun Gun – 4 models to choose from
13. Bear Spray Holster - Holds 9 oz. Bear Spray canister
14. Heart Attack Key Chain
15. 800,000 volt Telescopic Stun Baton
16. Electronic Dog Repeller
17. Screw-on LED for baton – Attaches to the end of a Telescopic Steel Baton
18. 1/2 ounce Pepper Spray w/Quick Key Release Keychain
19. Folding Pocket Knifes - Several models to choose from
20. Keychain Personal Alarm w/Light

Remember, just because an item you were considering did not make the list, doesn’t mean that item is not perfect for your particular situation. This list was generated purely on number of items sold.

There are many higher value items that are excellent personal protection tools that I would recommend highly, but just didn’t out sell the quantity of some of these other listed items. The C2 Taser, 950,000 volt Runt Stun Gun, 775,000 volt Stun Master Stun Gun and our Mace Pepper Gun to name a few, are some very serious self-defense options.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Popularity: 17% [?]

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Two teen girls arrested in accidental pepper spray discharge

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 24 March, 2009

Two 14-year-old girls from Westover Middle School have been charged with possessing a weapon on campus and simple assault after a canister of pepper spray discharged in a classroom this past Monday in Fayetteville, NC.

A teacher was taken to the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for treatment and thirteen students received medical attention at the school. None of the injuries sustained were serious.

The report states that a key chain pepper spray was accidentally discharged while one of the girls was looking for something in the other girl’s purse.

Now this was not criminal mischief. It would be one thing if this was a smart ass punk deliberately spraying a classroom with pepper spray as a prank. Then go ahead and charge the kid with the misdemeanor charges that these girls are facing. Expel them, charge them with a crime, no problem.

Unless this story gets clarified that there was malicious intent, which seems unlikely, basically we have a 14-year-old girl, getting in trouble for having a personal protection device.

Now if this girl pulled out the pepper spray during a Columbine or Virginia Tech type incident and disabled a crazed shooter before a rampage, she’d be a hero. But no one took Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold or Seung-Hui Cho down before it was too late.

If this girl was walking home from school and got attacked by a rapist or kidnapper and was able to defend herself and disable a sex offender long enough to get arrested, she’d be a hero.

I bet she doesn’t carry pepper spray now, and if her, her friend, or any other student gets assaulted and is unarmed, I hope there is a teacher close enough to help out. Or the 0.01% chance there is a cop standing on the same corner, yea right.

Sure this was an unfortunate incident, and it sucks that a teacher and a over a dozen students caught a minuscule whiff of OC spray, but does it really warrant criminal charges? The one girl is being charged with simple assault on the teacher. Come on now.

What I would rather see is the school and local police use this as a learning opportunity and do some training classes and institute some personal protection instruction. Teach them something useful for once.

Pepper spray is not the bad guy, but basically they are making this teenage girl one. That’s as bad as blaming a Taser (inanimate object) instead of a poorly trained police officer. We have thousands of well-trained cops out there and hear nothing about their good deeds, just the small percentage of bad cases. Over and over again. After hearing the media dwell on the same case 20 times, you’d think there were 20 separate incidents, not just the one.

I understand the feeble attempts at the Zero-Tolerance policies in school, but seriously… who are the ones following the rules? Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold or Seung-Hui Cho? Um… no, the dangerous criminal psychopaths disregard what ever rules you have posted on the wall.

I’m all for punishing the first punk who pulls out the spray during a silly argument with another student and does something stupid in the hallway. But I bet if students thought there might be some resistance if one of them gets the bright idea to bring an assault rifle to school and go postal, perhaps less incidents would occur? I don’t know.

I mean the police are several minutes away on a good day, and that elderly security guard armed with a walkie-talkie and a clipboard is about useless. Sorry Gramps, you mind as well be a Walmart greeter.

I wonder what the death count would have been if a dozen students pulled out a pepper spray and hosed down Harris, Klebold or Cho before they got on a roll? Boo hoo if the teacher catches a whiff, better than catching a bullet to the chest.

I had a post a while ago, 300 Reasons to Learn to Defend Yourself. It talked about how back in the day, parents actually taught their children how to defend themselves, their land, and their country. Responsibility and duty was actually passed down from generation to generation. Amazing concept.

I remember back when I was in the military and we were all learning how to fire an M-16 in boot camp. Guess who already had a leg up on the training? The city folk losers that ran around playing with cap guns, or the hard working country boys whose fathers taught them how to hunt, shoot and handle firearms at an early age?

Sure we all eventually learned, but it is always nice to have a head start and a slight edge.

Everyone wants to complain about the youth of America, but no one wants to take any responsibility for them. Not that the grownups in the political or financial sectors are setting a good example lately…

I think punishing these two teenagers is sending the wrong message.

Before someone goes all liberal on me, again, I’m not talking about arming a bunch of kids and letting them duke it out, or spray it out on a whim. Children or teenagers can be responsibly taught incremental self defense concepts over the course of their entire schooling. I’d see no problem with a responsible 14-year-old girl carrying a key chain pepper spray after being taught how, when and why to use it. Maybe that pedophile hiding in the bushes might think twice if he thought the girl was going to inflict some serious pain if he tried anything.

Sigh, Leonidas would be sad. (If you are missing that reference, you needed to read the 300 Reasons to Learn to Defend Yourself.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Don’t cry, it’s only Pepper Spray.

(OK, you might cry a little, but you aren’t going to die)

Popularity: 16% [?]

Violent Altercation at Bowling Alley

Posted by Rob on Monday, 23 March, 2009

I have not gone to a bowling alley in a long time, but I do bowl an occasional Nintendo Wii bowling game here and there. Of course, the kids usually beat me since they play a whole lot more.

However, if I did go to the local bowling alley, I do know some of the informal bowling etiquette. Like if the person in the lane next to you is about to throw, you wait until he is finished before you take your shot.

I guess it is distracting, not that it would help or hinder my game either way.

But in Sacramento, California, at least one bowler was not aware of this unwritten rule at the Rocklin AMF Lanes last Wednesday and resulting in some bowling rage.

Joseph Hinkle, apparently a more serious bowler, got into an argument with some bowlers in neighboring lanes over their blatant disregard of proper lane etiquette.

This verbal altercation quickly escalated into a six-man melee where Ryan Scott David, wielding a 16-pound bowling ball took a shot at Hinkle’s face. BAM!

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 20 years, and this is my first bowling ball attack,” says Rocklin Police Department’s Lt. Lon Milka.

I’m not sure how good David’s bowling game was going, but he hit a split on Hinkle mouth, knocking out one of his front teeth. Which I guess is better that David getting a strike as far as Hinkle is concerned.

David was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and Hinkle was rushed to the Sutter Roseville Hospital with facial injuries and his tooth in a cup of milk.

They serve milk at bowling alleys?

His tooth is expected to set back in place.

Mark Miller is a spokesperson for the US Bowling Congress, the national organization that regulates the sport of bowling. Miller stated that much like golf or pickup basketball games, violations of unwritten rules occasionally lead to conflict.

He added that while an experienced league bowler would know to hold back when a neighboring bowler is about to throw, it is less likely that a beginner would know.

“It’s not like when you start to bowl you are handed a piece of paper. There is not a formal way where a newcomer will be taught that,” Miller says. Perhaps bowling alleys should put up a sign.

The vast majority of these conflicts are usually solved “pretty casually” and without violence. Not that this helps Hinkle’s smile at the moment.

So the next time you go bowling, try to mind your bowling manners. And if you see a 16-pound bowling ball coming at your face, DUCK!

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Popularity: 14% [?]

Tips for Surviving an Angry Mob by AIG Corporate Security

Posted by Rob on Friday, 20 March, 2009

American International Group is apparently warning their employees to take “protective measures” due to the public outrage over AIG’s retention-bonus payments. Supposedly a company spokeswoman has confirmed that the memo was indeed legitimate.


To: AIG Employees
From: AIG Corporate Security
Subject: Enhanced Security Notification
Date: 3/18/09


Due to a growing sense of public attention fueled by increased media scrutiny, AIG Corporate Security would like to highlight certain protective measures all employees can take in order to increase their overall safety and security.

It is crucial that everyone remain vigilant during this time and understand that if any given moment a threat is perceived; 911 should be dialed immediately. All other information, suspicious behaviors, questionable activities, etc. should be reported to your local building security as soon as possible. In order to mitigate these threats we have provided the following safety and security guidelines for your review:

- Avoid wearing any AIG apparel (bags, shirts, umbrellas, etc.) with the company insignia

- Ensure any badges with the AIG insignia are not readily visible when exiting the office

- Be aware of individuals who appear to be out of place or spending an inordinate amount of time near an AIG facility and report these sightings immediately to building security

- At night, when possible, travel in pairs and always park in well lit areas

- Avoid public conversations involving AIG and do not engage any media personnel regarding the company

- Immediately report lost or stolen employee badges to Corporate Security

- If you think you are being followed, immediately dial 911

- Do not give out personal information over the phone or via email

- Ensure visitors are escorted by an AIG employee at all times when inside an AIG facility

- Immediately report all windows, locks and doors that are broken or appear to be tampered with

- Question individuals that you do not recognize and appear to be out of place; if you do not feel comfortable doing so, notify building security or your local authorities in order to do so

- Avoid propping doors and be aware of those attempting to “Piggy Back” into AIG workspace

We ask that all employees remain vigilant and report any threats/suspicious behaviors to your building security as soon as possible. Again, if an immediate threat or danger is perceived, 911 should be dialed immediately. Individual Senior Business Managers should ensure that such information is also reported to Corporate Security at (212) 458-2020 following the aforementioned instructions or as soon as practical.

It seems people are rather upset about the use of bailout money by AIG and the threats, protests and other media backlash is starting to concern employees and Corporate Security. Perhaps some more thought before things got out of control may have prevented some of this?

It is sad that there are probably only a couple dozen high level executives actually reaping any benefit from the money while any employee all the way down to mail room staff may now have to look over his or her shoulder if he or she wears an AIG logo shirt.

Not that many AIG employees are probably too proud of the company anyways, but in this economy, if you have the luxury of a job, you probably aren’t too willing to quit and look for another.

Especially with AIG on your resume.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Popularity: 13% [?]

Double Jewelry Heist in Wisconsin

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 19 March, 2009

Times must be tough in Wisconsin. Robbers are now ripping off other robbers. Is there no honor among thieves?

Two burglars leaving a jewelry store got mugged by another set of thieves before they even left the crime scene in Milwaukee.

Police reported a fight broke out between the two sets of men over the cash and gems from the initial heist. Both parties then jumped into their respective cars and a chase ensued.

Police Lt. Thomas Welch says officers pulled both vehicles over and arrested all four of the people. The original two robbers were 40 and 31-years-old, and two men from the second group were 22 and 27-years-old. All four of them are from Illinois.

Police were yet to recover any of the cash or jewelry and are still searching for more suspects.

Perhaps another pair of guys grabbed the loot bag during the scuffle?

Popularity: 12% [?]

McDonald’s in North Carolina Not Lovin’ It

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 18 March, 2009

Two men armed with a power saw cut their way into a McDonald’s this past Tuesday morning in NC and rob the place.

According to Police reports and store surveillance video, a couple guys climbed on the roof, sawed a hole through and entered the restaurant at 2:12 AM. McDonald’s apparently does not have any motion detection alarms installed?

Once inside the building, it took another hour for the men to break into the manager’s office and then do some more cutting, breaking into the store’s safe.

“It took some work to get through that safe,” says Cherryville Police Lt. Mike Allred. “They went through several saw blades. We found several blades at the scene and are checking them for fingerprints.”

They didn’t have to cut their way out of the building, the men just opted to escape through the side door with the $4500 dollars they found in the safe.

Police figure that the 4-foot wall on the roof shielding the heating, air and other equipment provided cover for the suspects as they sawed the hole in the roof and broke in.

McDonald’s employees discovered the break-in around 4:30 AM Tuesday when they arrived at work, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Surveillance tapes provided a general description of the two men, and a gray pickup truck was seen in the parking lot at the time of the incident.

“There may have been a third suspect driving the vehicle,” Allred says.

We had an article awhile back, Inside the Criminal Mind: Home Burglary where we discussed some of the Points of Entry for burglars, one being a sledge hammer through the roof of some homes.

Not sure a sledge hammer would have worked here, It definitely would have been louder. Apparently no one noticed the sounds of the saw ripping through the roof at 2 AM in the morning.

Someone posted a comment on the original news story talking about all the work involved to get this mere $4500 and they should just get a job. I did the math. Three guys (if you count the suspected driver), 2 hours or so of work, $4500 total (tax free) equals an astounding $750 an hour.

Unless you are getting AIG bonuses, you aren’t going to find that kind of payout in this economy.

While locals were stunned by the burglary tool, they were not shocked by the burglary. They expressed a certainty that more people in unemployment lines may end up finding themselves in police line-ups.

“I feel like we’ll be hearing more of it as times get worse,” says one neighbor. “A lot of people have families and they are going to try to do whatever they can to get money.”

Even Lt. Mike Allred agreed, “With the economy the way it is, I think you are going to see a little be more of this,” he says.

What are you doing to protect yourself and your loved ones?

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Popularity: 12% [?]

71-year-old man fights off knife-wielding robber

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 17 March, 2009

It’s starting to warm up a little bit and finally feel like spring. I did have some frost on my windshield this morning, but it was nothing that the windshield wipers and some washer fluid couldn’t handle.

But it looks like there are still some frigid spots around the country.

A 71-year-old man from South Dakota successfully fended off a 20-year-old man armed with a knife early yesterday morning.

Rapid City Police say the elderly man was scraping ice off his car when Talon LaClaire pulled out a knife and demanded money. It is reported that the senior used his ice scraper to fight off the attacker. After being bested by the old man with a plastic ice scraper, the robber fled to his girlfriend’s house nearby.

Next thing LaClaire knows, he gets into a fight with his girlfriend. Meanwhile, the 71-year-old called the police, who dispatched a K-9 unit to track the man down.

Apparently with nowhere else to flee to, the would-be attacker surrendered to police without additional incident.

LaClaire was charged with attempted first-degree robbery for his altercation with the senior, then an aggravated assault and domestic violence charges after the argument with his girlfriend.

Definitely not his day.

A robbery conviction could net the man up to 25 years in prison, with an additional 15 years for the assault charge, although I’m sure he wouldn’t get the full sentence.

While not quite as lame as the plastic candy cane self-defense, but you suck if a 71-year-old guy kicks your butt with an ice scraper, Sonny. Hopefully it was at least a long handled ice scraper, not a tiny hand-held model.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Long driving trip? Don’t forget your chili peppers.

Posted by Rob on Monday, 16 March, 2009

Everyone has experienced at least slight drowsiness while driving. Some of us have even fallen asleep only to be awakened by the blaring horn of an oncoming car.

According to a Chinese newspaper, Police in southwest China are encouraging drivers to spice up their pit stops with raw chili peppers in an attempt to stop them falling asleep at the wheel.

Highway service stations in the Chongqing region have started to offer drivers hot chili peppers, holding to the traditional Chinese belief that people often feel sleepier in the Springtime.

The report added that most of the drivers are from neighboring Sichuan, Yunnan and Hunan provinces and chilies are a local favorite anyways. Aren’t those flavors of chicken and pork on US Chinese food menus? Sichuan chicken, Yunnan pork and Hunan chicken?

“It’s really good to have some hot peppers when you are tired from driving,” says Chen Jun, a van driver. “They make you alert.”

China’s roads have long been among some of the most dangerous in the world due to overloaded and speeding trucks. Drivers often switch lanes without signaling and often ignore traffic lights. I know first hand South Korean roads are rather crazy also.

Then again, many busy US cities could offer these areas suitable competition. D.C., LA, Miami, the list could go on and on.

And that is the alert drivers, not falling asleep.

Make sure you do not fall asleep while driving!

Are you a late night trucker, going on a vacation or other long trip? Do you know someone who is? If you are driving and may be prone to dozing off and are looking for a less spicy solution, you need this driver alarm.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 100,000 police-reported crashes annually (about 1.5% of all crashes) involve drowsiness or fatigue as a principal casual factor.

Drowsiness and fatigue may play a role in crashes attributed to other causes too. In about one million crashes annually, one-sixth of all crashes are thought to be produced by a driver’s inattention.

The Nap Alarm is an innovative and potentially lifesaving anti-drowsiness alarm. It is worn over your ear and has an electronic position sensor. When your head nods forward, it sounds a loud alarm to instantly wake you and alert your passengers.

The Nap Alarm is not only designed for drivers, it is also perfect gift for people who need to be fully alert while on duty, for example, security guards, machine operators and even prevents students from dozing off while studying or where concentration is required. Although I wouldn’t suggest taking into class during boring lectures.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Stay Awake.

Popularity: 12% [?]

Happy Friday the 13th

Posted by Rob on Friday, 13 March, 2009

A man bought a brand new Mercedes to celebrate his wife leaving him. He was out on the interstate for a nice evening drive.

The top was down, the breeze was blowing through what was left of his hair and he decided to open her up. As the needle jumped up to 80 mph, he suddenly saw flashing red and blue lights behind him.

“There’s no way they can catch a Mercedes,” he thought to himself and opened her up further. The needle hit 90, 100… Then the reality of the situation hit him. “What am I doing?” he thought and pulled over.

The cop came up to him, took his license without a word and examined it and the car.

“It’s been a long hard day, this is the end of my shift and it’s Friday the 13th. I don’t feel like more paperwork, I don’t need the frustration or the overtime, so if you can give me a really good excuse for your driving that I haven’t heard before, you can go.”

The guy thinks about it for a second and says, “Last week my nagging wife ran off with a cop. I was afraid you were trying to give her back!”

“Have a nice weekend, Sir.” said the officer.

Related Friday the 13 Posts:

Friday the 13th not as unlucky as you thought?

Popularity: 10% [?]

Inmate Arrested Trying to Break Back IN to Jail

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 10 March, 2009

Apparently there is a little racket going on down in Georgia where inmates sneak out into the prison exercise yard and collect contraband items tossed over the fences. It seems the contraband is usually non-dangerous items, but lockup luxuries such as cigarettes. I suppose it could just as easily be a weapon, which is more disturbing but this incident only concerns some smokes.

It looks like it was 25-year-old inmate Harry Jackson’s turn to collect the goods was this past Saturday.

Jackson was originally locked up for driving with a suspended license, possession of a controlled substance, obstruction of an officer, possession of drug objects, possession of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and violating his probation.

So just before 2 AM, Jackson picks an electronic lock on a recreation room door with some wire taken off a broom and makes his way into the yard. Upon inspecting the grounds for the expected loot, Jackson was unable to locate anything. Someone dropped the ball.

Previously told by the other Camden County inmates to not come back without the cigarettes, Jackson climbed the outer fence and made his way to Snappy Foods convenience store about a block away. Aren’t jail perimeters equipped with really high, double fences with barbed wire at the top?

When he got to the store, he broke a window and set off the security alarm. Jackson was able to grab about 14 packs of cigarettes and head back towards the jail.

Meanwhile back at the prison, a routine door check by a detention officer found an unlocked door that was locked a few minutes earlier and he alerted the staff that an inmate was missing. As prison officers were trying to determine who was gone, patrol deputies outside were responding to the alarm at Snappy Foods down the road on U.S. 17.

Firefighters at the station next to the store told officers they saw a man dressed in white, inmate-like clothing leaving the store. Back at the jail, a deputy spotted the shadowy figure of a man trying to sneak back into the facility.

Jail surveillance cameras showed other inmates acting suspiciously during the incident and investigators are interviewing them to determine if others were involved. I don’t know, maybe get some security cameras on the exercise yard and install some door alarms?

The inmate was arrested for breaking out of jail and the burglary of a nearby convenience store. I am guessing breaking back in to jail will probably not be charged.

“We thought we had two separate incidents. By the time we locate this guy, he’s one and the same,” Sheriff Tommy Gregory said.

“When I took office Jan. 1, there were rumors that inmates were using wire off brooms to pop these electronic locks,” Gregory said. “It turned out to be true.”

Gregory had also recently banned smoking at the prison.

Although his office had not detected any previous breakouts, he has been working with the county engineer to get metal plates to make the locking mechanisms more secure, but they have not been installed yet. They have also started to replace the brooms containing wire.

I’m wondering if there were any other break out, break back in incidents that went undetected? Frankly, I’m surprised the guy came back. “Don’t come back without any smokes.” So the guy breaks out of jail, rips off a store and tried to go back in? If it was that easy to get out, I would have thought he’d be gone. Get your own freaking cigarettes.

However, it was very considerate of Jackson to attempt to accommodate his cellblock friends… I hope that the gesture was well received, seeing that he had to disappoint them when the cigarettes were confiscated.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Kangaroo Intruder Terrorizes Family in Australian Home Invasion

Posted by Rob on Monday, 9 March, 2009

Only in Australia…

An unsuspecting Australian couple thought they were being attacked by an intruder this past Sunday night. It turned out that it was a kangaroo that crashed through their bedroom window and started bouncing on their bed.

Only half awake, Beat Ettlin and his partner Verity Beaman had no idea was going on in their bedroom. “I thought it was a lunatic ninja coming at us through the window,” said Ettlin. “That seemed to make about as much sense as anything else that was happening. I just couldn’t comprehend what was going on.”

Cowering under the blankets, Beaman thought to herself, “This is one big possum.”

“When Beat said ‘It’s OK, it’s just a kangaroo’, I thought it’s really not OK. I thought – now this could be really dangerous. I was absolutely terrified.” said Beaman.

The family was asleep in their Canberra home in the early hours of Sunday morning, when their terrier started to bark and alerted them that an intruder was in their courtyard.

Ettlin got up to investigate what the dog was barking about and a large dark figure smashed through the window. It began jumping up and down on the bed while his terrified wife and 9-year-old daughter remained huddled under the blankets.

39-year-old Beaman said “I just pulled the covers over our heads and screamed. It jumped on my shoulder, bounced across the bed and onto the bedside table. Can you imagine how close it was to my head?”

“I really didn’t know what was happening,” said Ettlin. “I just saw this black thing jumping on the bed and bouncing against the wall. The bed collapsed on one side under his weight. When I realized it was a kangaroo at first I was relieved but he was going crazy trying to escape.”

The animal, also terrified, gouged holes in the bed and smeared blood on the walls before it took off out of the first bedroom. It then bounded down the hall and found the bedroom of their 10-year-old son, Leighton. The boy hid behind his teddy bears screaming, “There’s a kangaroo in my bedroom!”

“That was enough for me,” Ettlin said, “I thought I have to do something about it. There is no way I can let him jump in there and hurt my son.” Beat Ettlin was forced to lay a beat down on the rampaging ninja kangaroo.

“I knew this was a big threat to my family, it could really have hurt us. My wife and daughter were terrified, they were screaming as they hid under the blankets and my son was trying to hide behind his little teddies. I had to do something.”

Wearing only his underwear, the 42-year-old Ettlin jumped on to the kangaroo’s back and wrestled it to the ground. Using his entire body weight to pin the approximately 6-foot-tall, 90 pound kangaroo down, he slapped a headlock on the marsupial and was able to drag it down the hallway and out the front door.

“I had to push with my full body weight and I got him as low as I could. It was quite aggressive and tried to escape of course. I could feel how powerful it was. said Ettlin.

Ettlin was able to open the front door with one hand and push the animal outside. It was then the kangaroo bolted away and vanished into the bushes.

“It took only a few minutes,” Ettlin said. “And all that time there was no sound at all. I could feel the kangaroo breathing really hard and fast against my body but he didn’t make a sound. All I could hear was Verity’s screams.”

“When it was all over I had a few scratches on my legs, and there wasn’t much left of my underwear” said Ettlin. The kangaroo left a trail of blood through the house and claw gouges in the wooden frame of the bed.

This unusual incident occurred in Garran, a suburb of Canberra near a wildlife reserve that is home to a number of grey kangaroos. Coincidentally, the family had recently moved to this home three weeks ago, and believes that their housewarming intruder may have been one of the local kangaroos.

“The poor thing, he was terrified,” Beaman said. “He must have got stuck in our courtyard, and was terrified by the dog’s barking so leapt for a dark space to escape. But that dark space was our bedroom.”

Describing Ettlin as a “hero in torn underwear”, Beaman said, “He’s quite burly, but it was a struggle for him to control the kangaroo.” She added “I don’t know many Australian men who would do the same thing. We all know kangaroos are very dangerous. But Beat knew there was a real threat to his son, his male instinct was to protect his family.”

Some of the neighbors had previously reported seeing at least one large kangaroo grazing on their front lawn.

It is not unusual for eastern grey kangaroos to invade the city, and are known to look for food and water during droughts. Normally these animals are timid, but can become aggressive if they feel threatened. Able to reach a height of six feet, kangaroos can seriously injure humans.

Four years ago in the same area, a kangaroo attacked a woman while walking her poodle down a Canberra street and another incident involved a kangaroo killing a golden retriever while the owner helplessly watched.

Kangaroos rarely invade homes but have done so in the past when panicked, says Greg Baxter, a lecturer at Queensland University and expert on native animals in Australia.

“It is very unusual, but when kangaroos become panicked they lose all sense of caution and just fly for where they think they can get away,” Baxter said.

Well, we already know a Taser works on an emu, so I would imagine you could effectively tase a 6-foot-tall kangaroo? Pretty sure I wouldn’t want to find out, especially after growing up watching all of those Bugs Bunny episodes with the kangaroo boxing. You never know when you might need to know how to fight a kangaroo.

Be Safe, Be Prepared. Watch out for crazy ninja kangaroos.

Popularity: 13% [?]

Dirty Mouth? Clean it up.

Posted by Rob on Friday, 6 March, 2009

A guy from Connecticut has been charged with stealing hundreds of packs of Orbit chewing gum from area stores.

He must have had a very dirty mouth.

21-year-old Kenneth McManus surrendered himself to police after a warrant for his arrest was issued on charges of fourth-degree larceny.

On a Jan. 22, McManus was accused of stealing $500 worth or about 175 packs of Orbit gum from a Shaw’s supermarket on Black Rock Turnpike.

According to the Police, McManus was recorded by supermarket surveillance cameras stuffing the individual packs of Orbit gum into his pockets and then leaving the store.

Three days earlier, he was charged with stealing about $200 worth of Orbit gum from another Shaw’s in Stratford.

Another 12 days prior, he was arrested for stealing around $75 worth of Orbit gum from a Bridgeport CVS store on Boston Avenue.

That is a lot of gum. It would make the Orbit girl proud.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Keep your mouth clean and fresh.

All of the sudden I am craving gum…

Popularity: 19% [?]

Mountain Dew Does a Would-Be Robber In

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 5 March, 2009

We have another “Be a Better Criminal” tip: If you are going to rob a store, do not use your debit card during the holdup.

I know, it seems common sense to most folk, but 33-year-old Shawn Thomas Lester from West Virginia gets credit for this useful bit of information, much at his own expense.

Apparently, the scholarly Lester walked into a convenience store, grabbed a Mountain Dew and wandered up to the register. Once there, he told the cashier he had a gun and he demanded all of the money.

Before the cashier could comply, another customer walked in, flustering the would-be robber. The quick thinking cashier then asked Lester if he was going to pay for the soda.

Since Lester had no cash on him, seemingly why he was trying to rob the store in the first place, he whips out his bank debit card to pay the $1.47 for the soft drink. Knowing that this might be a bad idea, Lester used some West Virginian logic and signed the receipt “John Doe”.

Ah ha, that will make his identity less obvious. So now Lester, I mean… So now, John Doe leaves the store with a drink, but no cash. At least he wasn’t thirsty any more.

Now one could argue that Lester himself was also the victim of a crime. $1.47 for a freaking soda?? Give me a break, that’s highway robbery!

Much to the surprise of Mr. Doe, even West Virginian police were able to quickly trace the true owner of the debit card. John Doe my arse.

When the police arrived in Charleston to pick up Lester at his residence, Lester told the police he was just kidding around about the gun and holding up the store. I’m sure the arresting officer at least laughed to himself as he arrested the funny guy.

All kidding aside, he was charged with armed robbery, but luckily not stealing the soda. Grand theft beverage holds a pretty steep penalty.

So if you are taking notes, our “Be a Better Criminal” Tips now include: pull up your pants so you don’t trip or get a wedgie, don’t leave your getaway van running with the keys inside, eat the whole doughnut, leave the cell phone at home, and now don’t use your debit card at the scene of the crime.

I know I could come up with more tips, but I’ll just wait for other would-be criminals to bring them to our attention. It’s funnier that way.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, Do the Dew.

Popularity: 10% [?]

McGruff the Crime Dog becomes a Crime Statistic in DC

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 4 March, 2009

Fresh off yesterday’s story of mascot rage on Chuck E. Cheese, today we have McGruff the Crime Dog getting clocked in the face down in DC.

District of Columbia Police officer Tyrone Hardy was wearing the full McGruff ensemble and passing out flyers to a group of kids on the corner of 14th Street and Spring Road in Northwest Washington this past Saturday. You know, the Take a Bite out of Crime drill…

Around 2:30 in the afternoon, a Metro bus pulled up to the curb along side McGruff and the bus driver hopped out. He nonchalantly adjusted the side-view mirrors then walked up to the occupied Crime Dog.

The bus driver, 38-year-old Shawn Brim, trying “to be funny,” punched McGruff dead in the face as the kids stood by confused and horrified.

So while McGruff staggers to regain his composure, kids screaming on the sidewalk, and passengers on the bus yelling at him, Brim climbed back on the bus laughing to himself and drove away.

“But nobody here finds it funny, believe me,” a Metro spokeswoman said. “That kind of behavior is not tolerated.”

Neither did the officers working with McGruff who jumped into their cruisers and pulled him over about three blocks away.

The police mascot who usually teaches kids how to stop crime before it happens, had little chance of seeing the shot coming. The costume has an oversized head with limited visibility. Hardy ended up with a swollen right cheek but refused medical treatment. He did however call in sick on Monday.

“He was in good spirits,” but Hardy seemed more concerned that the attack “upset the kids,” says Lt. Alan Thomas.

Brim has been employed by Metro for over 15 years was charged with simple assault and has been ordered to undergo drug and alcohol testing. He also has a history of arrests in DC, including a prostitution charge in October 2006, possession of PCP in 1994 and the illegal possession of a gun in 1990.

I don’t know what these people are thinking. I suppose the Chuck E. Cheese mouse isn’t a very imposing figure. But you would think that freaking McGruff the Crime Dog, a well known Police mascot, who is probably being worn by a cop, with several police officers standing near by, would be moderately safe from being roughed up?

Am I wrong? Well, apparently yes.

I know there was a funny scene in a movie where someone got into a fight with a costumed mascot, but I can’t for the life of me remember which one it was…

All I remember was the mascot was doing pretty good until the other guy smacked the head backwards and then the mascot couldn’t see anymore and got schooled.

I bet the San Diego Chicken doesn’t have to put up with this crap. He looks like he could hold his own. Perhaps he can give some mascot self defense tips to these guys and show them how to bust out some Kung Fu Panda moves.

It is looking like there might be some people interested.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Chuck E. Cheese Assaulted in Gaming Area

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 3 March, 2009

We haven’t had a good Chuck E. Cheese story since the Whack-a-mom article last March. This incident happened soon after in May 2008, but the details from the court hearings are just coming out.

This time it was it was “Chuck” who was assaulted. Twice in the same day, at a Dartmouth Towne Center Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Massachusetts. Once by some kids, then by a father.

The first time, Jessie Carvalho, the 19-year-old Chuck E. Cheese employee who was unlucky enough to have to wear the full size mouse costume was assaulted by some kids. Carvalho reported to police that while he was doing the rounds through the gaming area, a rowdy group of kids jumped on him, attempted to knock him over and tried to remove his costume.

He then said he had to put his arms forward to move the youths away from him, but never actually grabbed any of them. A woman who was also at the restaurant at the time of the incident said she saw Chuck telling the kids to stop, and agreed that he never grabbed any of them. She did however add that Carvalho accidentally bumped into an 11-year-old child while turning around.

Next thing Chuck knows, Trahan Pires comes running up to him, rips off the mouse head, points his finger into his face and starts yelling at him for messing with his kid. Apparently, the child he just accidentally bumped into ran to his family crying, and said “Chuck” picked him up by the arms, pinned him against a game machine and ordered the boy to leave him alone.

When the police were called, the boy did not have any visible injuries and went back to playing with his friends after being questioned at the restaurant.

Originally, Carvalho was charged with assault and battery on the child, but was acquitted this past Jan. 12. Pires, the boy’s father pleaded guilty last week to assault and battery on the mascot and was ordered to pay a $500 fine.

That job has to suck. Wearing a hot, sweaty, fuzzy mouse costume all day while being tormented by wild kids all day, and the possibility of being accosted by angry parents. I wonder if the Mickey Mouse mascot has similar problems down at Disney World? At least Chuck is inside an air conditioned restaurant, not outside in the hot Florida sun.

Be Safe, Be Secure.

Popularity: 10% [?]

Mom Sentenced to Three Months in Jail for Beating Sex Offender with Baseball Bat

Posted by Rob on Monday, 2 March, 2009

Whether she was protecting her children or assaulting a neighbor, a Tacoma woman will be spending the next 3 months in jail for introducing her baseball bat to a Level-3 sex offender.

Tammy Gibson said she had no remorse for the beating last June but pleaded no contest to the assault charges. She could have received up to eight months in jail, but the judge sentenced her to three.

“No, I’d do it again if not better,” she said. “I don’t care if it hurts me, I don’t regret it. It got him away from my kids and all the other kids in the neighborhood.”

According to police reports, the Level-3 sex offender had moved into his uncle’s home in early June. Following his move to Tacoma, county deputies handed out flyers around the neighborhood to alert residents of William A. Baldwin’s presence.

Besides being a Level-3 sex offender, Baldwin is reported as being an imposing and memorable 7 feet, 3 inches tall.

On June 19, Gibson went to Baldwin’s house in the trailer park and asked for him, after he was seen talking with her daughter.

As Baldwin stepped outside, Gibson claimed she was going to kill him because he had molested her children. She then proceeded to pummel Baldwin repeatedly with her bat, reportedly injuring his arm.

“I kept swingin’ and swingin’, and swingin’,” Gibson told investigators.

Contrary to what Gibson originally said to Baldwin, she later told investigators Baldwin had not actually molested her children. However, she did say that she recognized Baldwin’s picture from the flyers, and was the man who had been seen talking to her then-10-year-old daughter during the previous summer.

“For him to be right there, in front of my house and talking to my child — made me crazy,” Gibson said.

“And I told him I thought he was a piece of crap and I smacked him,” she added. “I just didn’t stop hitting him. I just told him that ‘if it were up to me, I’d kill ya.”‘

“I was scared. I was frightened. I didn’t know what the hell to do,” Baldwin previously told a reporter about being assaulted by Gibson.

“He tried to give me fireworks and I wouldn’t take it,” said Gibson’s daughter, in tears during the sentencing.

One of Gibson’s other daughters, added, “I think it’s crap; that she was protecting her kids like she should have been. They locked her up for way too long.”

“I would hope that me doing this and going to jail would change something, change some kind of law, change something where people like him can’t be standing around little kids you know what I mean?” Gibson said in a TV interview. “It’s not right, it’s not fair to the kids at all.”

Right or wrong, it appears Gibson did successfully prevent any further contact with Baldwin and her children. It was reported Baldwin moved out of Tacoma and is now living in Seattle.

Perhaps there will be an equally protective mother in Seattle too.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Popularity: 9% [?]

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