Posts Tagged Washington

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.

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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.

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Man Steals Burglars’ Getaway Van

Posted by Rob on Sunday, 15 February, 2009

A recently laid off WaMu employee happened to be at home when a pair of burglars broke into his house. His wife was working, his son was in daycare and he was in the basement.

Just after 1:30 PM, while doing some work around the house, Patrick Rosario thought he heard a knock at his front door. Before he could respond, he then heard a loud noise. He quietly walked up the stairs and was able to peek out of the cellar door, which was cracked open about an inch.

He saw an unknown person walking around and heard the noises of at least another person going through the house collecting his valuables.

Rosario had a cell phone on him, and immediately called 911. He was able to sneak out the backdoor undetected, and arm himself with a hammer before he made it to the front of his house. Hiding behind his garbage can, Rosario was able to peek around the corner and see what was going on. He still had the 911 dispatcher on the phone.

Apparently, while the burglars were busy going through the home, they left their Ford Windstar van running out front. Assuming the burglars expected a quick getaway, Rosario hopped in the van through the unlocked door, and drove away.

He figured the guys ransacking his home would be too busy to notice, and even if they did, they would not be able to catch him on foot. He drove to a friend’s house a few block and waited for the police.

“I kept a pretty cool head,” Rosario said. “You never know how you’re going to react until you’re in that situation.”

Back at the house, a witness across the street later reported that two men exiting the house “looked back… and appeared startled.”

Dude, Where’s my Van?

“I wish I could have seen the look on their faces,” Rosario said.

The two burglars fled the scene and left a couple of flat-screen TVs, game consoles, laptop and a jewelry box by the front door.

Some of the responding officers were quite amused at the details of this attempted burglary. “Two pulled up, and they looked over at me and go, ‘You stole their car — way to go, dude. That’s awesome.’ Another told me that I just made her month.” says Rosario.

Rosario acted against the 911 dispatcher’s advice, and local authorities wouldn’t officially comment if Rosario’s actions were advisable. “We expect responsible adults to make their own decisions,” he said. “Clearly, this worked in this case, but in another case it might not have.”

Even Rosario realized the events could have unfolded differently. If the break in occurred at the same time a day earlier, he would have been napping in the bedroom with his 2-year-old son. “I would have been trapped in my bedroom,” he said.

Rosario has already replaced his front door with a more secure door, purchased some pepper spray and had a “robust” alarm system installed.

Luckily things worked out for Patrick this time, but now if anything happens again, he is better prepared.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gun Owners

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 26 June, 2008

The Second Ammendment, written more than 200 years ago says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Individual Americans indeed have a right to own guns, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday for the first time in history, striking down an extremely strict gun control law adopted 32 years ago in Washington, D.C. The previous ban included a ban on private handgun possession and the requirement that all firearms kept in your home must be unloaded, disassembled or bound by a trigger lock.

“Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today’s ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right — sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly,” Republican presidential candidate John McCain said.

McCain rightly applauded this ruling and criticized his Democratic presidential opponent Barack Obama for comments he made back during the Primary political campaign.

“I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms,” Obama said, “but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common sense, effective safety measures.” And what safety measures might these be?

For many decades, the proper interpretation of the Second Amendment has been argued whether it guarantees the right to bear arms to individuals or to citizens in a militia.

Justice Antonin Scalia say a citizen may prefer may prefer a handgun for home defense because “it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police.”

This landmark ruling paves the way for reconsideration of other weapons control legislatation including other gun restrictions in other areas other than D.C., as well as those affecting other means of self defense such as pepper spray, stun guns and tasers.

Hopefully all law abiding citizens will soon have the luxury or owning whatever means of self defense they are comfortable with carrying from non-lethal options, to less-than-lethal, and up to lethal weapons if the situation so warrants it.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Yours in Safety,
Rob

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