April Fool’s Day means my local newspaper column, usually answering legal questions or focusing on various laws, turns instead to what I call “Fools in the Law”. Here are some choice legal moments over the last year.
Bedford, NH. A 25 year old man hailed a cab to take him home from a Manchester nightclub. But, when he got near his destination, he ordered the cabbie to pull over and robbed the driver of cash, a cellphone and keys. Approximately 15 hours later the same cab company got a call. It was the same Bedford address and the same voice asking for a pick up. They sent a cab. But the driver was a police officer who arrested the man.
Charleston, NC. A 44 year old woman stabbed her husband in the chest with a ceramic squirrel, gashing him from shoulder to chest. The rest of the story, as they say, is that hubby had come home late on Christmas Eve without beer, which he was instructed to bring home. Saying the stores were all closed, he went to the kitchen to make a sandwich, leaving his wife to pick up the collectable squirrel. Bail for the squirrel lady was set at $10,000. The Huffington Post opined: “This is just nuts.”
Hull, U.K. A 27 year old man pled guilty to burglary after entering a home through the roof and getting trapped hanging upside down in the bathroom. He grabbed his phone to call for help, but it fell in what they call over there the water closet. He hung upside down for an hour and a half until the homeowner came home and called police.
Readington Township, NJ. A 34 year old woman is arrested and held at the police station too impaired to drive home. She calls a girlfriend to come give her a ride. The girlfriend arrives drunk, is arrested and held. The two then call a 33 year old male friend who … arrives impaired and was also arrested.
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One by one legal charges against the 9/11 detainees are being addressed. But the lead defense attorney, U.S. Air Force Col. Karen Mayberry, claimed the classified Pentagon computer network used for communications was so porous she went to the Wi-Fi network at the Guantanamo Starbucks, which she considered more secure.
Boston, MA. A Federal Court jury returns a $7,500 verdict in an employment discrimination case. The court then approved a $100,000 (no typo) award of legal fees to the attorneys in the case. The appeals judge who upheld the fee explained that the rules are designed to encourage attorneys to take such cases.
Salisbury, MA. A man was arrested for sticking a piece of paper with colors similar to an inspection sticker to his windshield to fool police. Problem is the fake sticker was actually a recipe for short ribs. Salisbury Police now tweet what’s considered news. The official tweet stated: “needless to say he was arrested.”
It’s not ‘breaking news’. But, it is foolish news.
© 2014 Eagle-Tribune Publishing Co. Fools in the Law first appeared in the Derry News in the column About the Law by Andrew D. Myers.