Archive for the ‘Seriously?’ Category

Washington Safeway store officials had to eat crow and apologize to the four-year old girl who was banned from their stores for shoplifting. She was apparently seen by a guard eating dried apricots from a package before she placed it back on the shelf. The guard who caught this dangerous criminal took the girl and her father to a break room and forced her to sign a statement detailing how she would never be allowed in the store again. Never mind that the four-year old couldn’t read. Or that she couldn’t possibly understand what was happening. Or that she was four years old. Safeway fired the guard and apologized to the girl and her family. Read about it here.

“A spokeswoman says while the shoplifting policies are there to protect customers, guards have to use common sense too.” (orlandosentinal.com)

Common sense, huh? Ya’ Think?!

Three people in southern Florida have pled guilty to scamming elderly folks out of their money for (get this) toilet paper. Oh, they scammed them into buying other crap too, but it was the reference to toilet paper that caught my attention. Read about it here.

Three have pled guilty, but there are three others awaiting trial. The allegedly got over a million dollars from their victims by claiming an association with the EPA, the FDA, and the Dept. of Agriculture. Damn, but you’ve got to be absolutely heartless to take advantage of gram and gramps like that. I mean, there are people everywhere that will take what they want rather than earn it, but when they target the vulnerable and weak. Hmm, that just seems particularly shitty to me. (Sorry, couldn’t help the puns.)

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as if pepper spray keeps popping up in the news lately. The most infamous incident, of course, is the protest at UC Davis when the campus police doused a group of peaceful protestors. I know, I know, they were told to move and refused, but c’mon people. They were just kids and they weren’t hurting anyone. Was the pepper spray really necessary? I’d have to say no, but that’s just my personal opinion.

There is also the incident in North Carolina where an off-duty officer sprayed a crowd. You can read the story in another post here at Anonymous Artichoke that specifically addresses it. Anyway, the officer claimed the crowd was getting out of hand and that he only sprayed a little “puff” in the air to regain control. That worked beautifully, of course. What better way to calm people down than to shoot a horrendously painful irritant at them?

Also, there’s the story about the elderly lady, the priest, and the pregnant woman who got sprayed at an Occupy protest in Seattle. Sounds like the opening line for a joke, doesn’t it? Unfortunately it isn’t. Read about it here. The police spokesman claimed that “Pepper spray was deployed only against subjects who were either refusing a lawful order to disperse or engaging in assaultive behavior toward officers” (www.seatlepi.com). Wow, so this 84-year-old woman must have been a hellcat I guess. Add in the priest and the pregnant woman and you’ve got a trio of major offenders there.

There were also several people arrested during the incident. A young girl who swung a stick at an officer, several individuals suspected of pedestrian interference, and a man who threw an unknown liquid on an officer. Hmm, it’s enough to make you think twice about visiting Seattle isn’t it? With all those dangerous people on the loose and all.

On a side note, I had to look up “pedestrian interference” because it sounded so damned stupid I just had to know what it was describing. Here is the definition straight from the Seattle Municipal Code*:
SMC 12A.12.015 Pedestrian interference.

A. The following definitions apply in this section:

1. “Aggressively beg” means to beg with the intent to intimidate another person into giving money or goods.

2. “Intimidate” means to engage in conduct which would make a reasonable person fearful or feel compelled.

3. “Beg” means to ask for money or goods as a charity, whether by words, bodily gestures, signs, or other means.

4. “Obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic” means to walk, stand, sit, lie, or place an object in such a manner as to block passage by another person or a vehicle, or to require another person or a driver of a vehicle to take evasive action to avoid physical contact. Acts authorized as an exercise of one’s constitutional right to picket or to legally protest, and acts authorized by a permit issued pursuant to the Street Use Ordinance, Chapters 15.02 through 15.50 of the Seattle Municipal Code, shall not constitute obstruction of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

5. “Public place” means an area generally visible to public view and includes alleys, bridges, buildings, driveways, parking lots, parks, plazas, sidewalks and streets open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings and the grounds enclosing them.

B. A person is guilty of pedestrian interference if, in a public place, he or she intentionally:

1. Obstructs pedestrian or vehicular traffic; or

2. Aggressively begs.

C. Pedestrian interference is a misdemeanor.

Legislative history/notes:

(Ord. 117104 Section 1, 1994: Ord. 116897 Section 1, 1993: Ord. 113697 Section 1, 1987.)

Cases: Subsection B 1 was upheld as constitutional in a challenge based on breadth and vagueness and does not deny equal protection of the laws. Seattle v. Webster, 115 Wn.2d 635, 802 P.2d 1333 (1990).

*Here is the site if you want to look for yourself.

A man who apparently styles himself as a “superhero”, complete with costume and mask, used pepper spray to disperse a fight outside a bar in Seattle. Read the story here. I’m not sure what to make of this one. On the one hand, dressing up in a body suit, wearing a mask, and acting out your fantasies as an “alter ego” is definite therapy territory. On the other hand, stepping in to break up a fight could be seen as the action of a good Samaritan. You’ll have to read the story and judge for yourself. There just isn’t enough information there for me to say, but I couldn’t help posting it here because of the reference to pepper spray . . . and the superhero bit. *Chuckles* Anyone see that movie Kick Ass?