by Christopher Rosenthall
Petoskey, MI – On May 11, 2011, local police received a call that a man was on the roof of a building in the center of town. They arrived to find Mark Wayne Williams, 31, dressed as Batman and hanging over the side of the building. Once they pulled him back onto the roof, police searched Williams’ utility belt and discovered weapons such as a steel baton, lead-lined gloves and a can of mace. Williams was arrested and charged with concealing dangerous weapons and creating a disturbance.
At some point in time, most children choose to imitate their crime-fighting heroes, be they men of the Super, Spider, or Bat variety. They climb trees, fight imaginary bad guys and return imaginary bags with dollar signs on them to their rightful imaginary owners. Since children usually lack the means to bring these dreams to life, they rarely end up hurting themselves or those around them. When an adult attempts the same, serious physical or property damage is likely to ensue. Quite frankly, it’s best to leave crime fighting to the professionals.
You may be thinking “but wait, the real Batman gets to climb buildings with a cache of dangerous weapons, why can’t I? Seems like a double standard.” If that’s the case, here’s some bad news for you, and likewise, some good news for Batman: as a fictional character, Batman is under no obligation to abide by any laws, be they local or federal.
In conclusion, it’s a generally poor idea to dress up as a superhero and run throughout your town pretending to fight crime, but if you insist upon doing so, here are two pieces of advice:
- Do it on Halloween, when you’re far less likely to draw attention for being a grown man dressed as Batman.
- Actually, never mind. Don’t do it ever.
By Christopher Rosenthall
According to the Associated Press, Ryan Stephens of Mason, Ohio was charged with teasing a police dog on April 3. Stephens is scheduled to appear April 21 in municipal court. Officer Bradley Walker wrote that he heard the K9 dog barking uncontrollably inside his patrol car while he was investigating a car crash at a pub early Sunday morning. Walker says Stephens was making barking noises and hissing at the animal. Walker reported that Stephens appeared highly intoxicated, and that when asked why he was harassing the animal, Stephens said,“The dog started it.”
As most of us learned somewhere around the 2nd grade, “he started it” is rarely a justifiable excuse in the eyes of authority. When the “he” you are referring to is a dog sitting inside a car, you’re far less likely to garner sympathy to your cause.
Furthermore, it’s important to note an important element of this arrest that may otherwise be ignored. Much like service animals such as Seeing Eye dogs, police animals are protected by their own sets of laws. While on duty, police animals should never be played with, touched, or (if you find it reasonable) spoken to in their own language unless you have received consent from their supervising officer. It’s entirely conceivable that you could be arrested for barking at a police dog, whereas you may not necessarily be arrested for yelling at a bird that’s in your yard, unless of course, that bird is a member of your local police force. For the sake of argument, we’ll assume it is not.
A 49 year old New York man was jailed after he came to court allegedly late, drunk and carrying beer. According to Times Herald Record, Keith Gruber was running about 90 minutes late for a hearing on his Felony DWI case. Security officials at the courthouse noticed Mr. Gruber trying to discard an open beer. They then confiscated his bag which contained four additional beers.
The judge later asked the Defendant if he enjoyed his “liquid lunch”. Mr. Gruber replied that he had.
There are a number of things about this story that fascinate me. Obviously its hard to understand why anyone would decide to get drunk right before court. But alcoholism can be difficult and I can understand making that bad decision if you struggle with addiction. But to find yourself drunk and 90 minutes late for court and decide to try to make it anyway. To feel the need to bring 4 beers into court with you. To make the decision to walk up to the courthouse with an open beer. And finally to tell the judge that you did enjoy your liquid lunch. I don’t necessarily have a good answer for when a judge asks if you enjoyed your liquid lunch. I’m not sure there is one. But answering that you did enjoy it has to be about the worst.