Monday, January 21, 2013

The Crime Beat Gets Weird Again

It seems weird crime stories come in waves, and we have a good tsunami of weird crimes in the past week.

Let's start with South Africa, where a motorist is credited with stopping a drunk driver, who turned out to be a cop erratically driving the local paddywagon. The motorists managed to grab the keys away from the drunk cop, then shove him into the back of the police van, lock him in there until other, far more sober police arrived to make the arrest.

Apparently, it was the drunk cop's birthday, and he celebrated too much. Not a good start to the next year of the man's life, is it?

Speaking of citizens taking the law into their own hands, a woman got her vehicle back after a carjacking in Cairo, Egypt. It was one of the few times horrible traffic jams made someone happy.

The woman said she saw the guy who stole her car stuck in traffic. She ran to the car, and demanded it back, scolded him, berated him. Luckily for everyone, the teenager who took the car sheepishly gave it back, instead of opening fire or something.

Next, we go to Cleveland, where the local news crew was trawling for news. Ah, but wait! It's not a real news crew. It's a couple idiots who think pretending to be a news crew, then tasing their on the street interview subjects would be a blast of fun, according to the honest to god real news team at television station WKYC.  "The station that does not tase its interview subjects!"

I'm guessing the suspects, Solomon Herbert and Derek Rowell, 25, thought they could get fame and fortune uploading their exploits to YouTube. Instead, they might face jail time.

Finally, we go to the Big Apple, New York City, where a couple has been exonerated and got a settlement from the city, even though police still insist they committed a terrible crime. Their dastardly deed: They danced the Charleston on a subway platform.

Caroline Stern and George Hess had just left a jazz event in 2011 and were still caught up in the dancing. So they did so on the subway platform on the way home. This did not make NYC cops happy. They said the couple was blocking the platform and that was illegal. They were held for 23 hours before charges were dropped.

Seems kind of harsh. It's kind of fun to watch people dancing in unlikely places. And did anyone try asking them to move if they were that much in the way? In the end, the city is $75,000 poorer and the couple is $75,000 richer after a legal settlement in which the cops did not admit wrongdoing.

But next time I'm in New York, I might go the Footloose route and dance on subway platforms, but I'll be careful to stay out of everybody's way.

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