Curses, Foiled Again
John K. Rosenbaum, 22, drove from Jacksonville, Fla., to Kingsland, Ga., to illegally purchase a black mamba snake. During the transaction, the venomous snake bit him, he later told Georgia wildlife officials. He was hospitalized and released but faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. (Jacksonville’s The Florida Times-Union)
After snatching a woman’s purse at a store in Johnson City, Tenn., Cody S. Smith, 18, fled but was apprehended by some shrubbery planted just outside the door. The victim approached the entangled Smith, who returned the purse and apologized for taking it. Police arrested him anyway after finding him in possession of drug paraphernalia and a stolen driver’s license. (Johnson City Press)
Florida authorities said Oneal Ron Morris, 30, posed as a doctor and performed illegal cosmetic procedures, notably buttocks augmentation by pumping women’s rear ends with a tire sealant known as Fix-a-Flat. Authorities learned of the operations from a disfigured victim, who waited a year to come forward because she was too embarrassed. She revealed she had hoped to get a job at a nightclub and paid Morris $700 for a series of injections to accentuate her buttocks.
According to Detective Michael Dillon, the 30-year-old woman lay flat on her stomach on a table at a Miami Gardens residence while Morris inserted rubber tubing attached to what looked like a cooler into her buttocks. She felt enormous pressure and then pain “to the point that she was screaming,” Dillon said. The victim finally had to stop Morris, who sealed her wounds with Super Glue. She later became seriously ill.
After other victims, some of them transsexuals came forward to accuse Morris of also disfiguring them, Morris appeared on TV’s Entertainment Tonight
to proclaim her innocence. “They didn’t catch me doing anything,” she
declared, accusing the so-called victims of lying and “ruining my life.”
Investigators described Morris, who was born a man but identifies as a
woman, as herself having a butt “the size of a truck tire.” (The Miami Herald, Britain’s Daily Mail)
Justice for All
Former District of Columbia mayor for life Marion Barry said he wants the D.C. Council to extend the city’s Human Rights Act to ban employment discrimination against offenders who have served their time. Already considered the broadest in the nation, the act offers protection based on “race, color, religion, national age, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, disability, source of income and place of residence or business.” Barry wants to add the words “past arrests and convictions.”
The four-term mayor, who now serves on the council, himself served six months in federal prison, after a 1990 conviction for misdemeanor drug possession stemming from an undercover videotape of him smoking crack cocaine at a hotel with a woman not his wife. When FBI agents rushed into the room, Barry famously declared, “Bitch set me up.” (The Washington Post)
What Could Go Wrong?
South Korea announced it would begin using robots to patrol prisons. The 1.5-meter-tall, four-wheel guards are designed to monitor conditions inside cells and detect abnormal behavior, such as violence and suicide attempts. “The robots are not terminators,” insisted Lee Baik-chul of Seoul’s Kyonggi University, who headed the $850,000 project to develop the robots. “Their job is not cracking down on violent prisoners. They are helpers.” Noting the first robot is scheduled to begin a month-long test in March at a jail in Pohang, Lee said the researchers “are now working on refining its details to make it look more friendly to inmates.” (Agence France-Presse)
Kyle Richards, 21, an inmate at Michigan’s Macomb County jail, filed a
lawsuit against Gov. Rick Snyder and the state, insisting he is being
subjected to cruel and unusual punishment because jail rules prevent
convicts from possessing erotic and pornographic materials. Declaring
that the ban amounts to “psychological warfare,” Richards stated that he
suffers from chronic masturbation syndrome and severe sexual
discomfort, which he labeled as physical ailments caused by living
conditions behind bars. John Cordell of the state Department of
Corrections said the suit is misdirected, explaining that state prison
inmates are allowed to possess porn. Macomb County bans porn, but
Richards didn’t sue the county. (The Detroit News)
The visitor rooms at Miami’s maximum-security Federal Detention Center have been taken over by South American pole dancers posing as paralegals for incarcerated drug lords, according to attorneys who complained that if they don’t provide strippers, they risk losing clients to colleagues who do.
“The majority of these young, very attractive women are non-citizens brought in exclusively for the purposes of visiting the FDC,” veteran defense attorney Hugo Rodriguez said. “Any lawyer can sign a form and designate a legal assistant. There is no way of verifying it. The process is being abused.” He added, “They take off their tops and let the guys touch them.” (Miami New Times)
The Medford, Ore., City Council voted to allow advertising on the city airport’s control tower. The 25-by-25-foot corporate logos will appear on all four sides of the 100-foot-tall tower and could raise as much as $3,000 a month. Councilor Al Densmore said the revenue would be spent to lower landing fees and help attract new airlines. (Associated Press)