Category: news

Jul 23 2014

Dine And Duh

I’ve never dined and dashed, but I know what the first rule is. No, it’s not do not talk about dine and dash, though that one’s probably on the list somewhere. The first rule of dine and dash, quite sensibly, is make sure you’ve gathered up all your stuff before you leave, fool. Unfortunately for Kyla Anne MacMillan, that’s the one she broke.

After MacMillan and a couple of friends had polished off $160 worth of food and liquor at a pub in Brandon, Manitoba, she said she needed to go outside and use a nearby bank machine. but instead of grabbing money, the three made a run for it. The other 2 (who I’m sure are soooo off the Christmas card list right now) got away, but MacMillan had to come back. Why? An attack of the guilties? Nope. She needed her medication…which was in her purse…which was still inside the restaurant.

Barring a whole lot of missing information, that’s what they call an open and shut case, kids. And odds are nothing was missing, as MacMillan pleaded guilty to a charge of fraudulently obtaining food. She was ordered by Judge Donovan Dvorak (who’s name is quite fun to say) to pay the original bill, plus $325 in court costs. Or put another way, there go 2 more nights out.

Jul 23 2014

Help! I Need Somebody. An Arborist, To Be Specific

In 2004, a tree was planted in memory of George Harrison. Recently, something killed it. That something? An infestation of beetles.

“That’s what you get for spelling our name wrong all these years!”, I like to imagine they said.

A tree planted to honor of the memory of the Beatles songwriter George Harrison has been killed by actual beetles. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the living local monument fell victim to an infestation of insects that couldn’t be bested. According to Councilman Tom LaBonge, the 10-foot-tall pine planted in 2004 bit the dust only recently, and a new one will be planted in its stead shortly.

Harrison’s last years were spent living in L.A. — he died there at 58 in late 2001, and was cremated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The so-called George Harrison Tree was accompanied by a plaque reading: “In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener.”

Jul 22 2014

He’s In Some Real Deep Shit Now

it’s been a few years since we’ve written about David Truscott, but he’s back at it, going after the same people. And as sometimes happens in cases like these, I think we’ve hit the point where it’s not quite so funny anymore.

He made the new threats shortly after being released from jail and transferred to the hostel, where he was being treated for a type of autism.

Truscott spent a few weeks at another supported hostel in Somerset where staff allowed him to indulge in some aspects of his fetish, but he became angry and upset after being moved to Exeter, where he was not.

His threats have had a devastating effect on the Roth family and the farmer is now seriously ill, while his wife and family say his vendetta has affected their work and their lives.

He boasted of having £2,000 cash which he wanted to spend on a hitman and spoke of his admiration for revenge killer Raoul Moat.

He fantasised about kidnapping members of the Roth family, tying them to trees, dousing them with petrol and setting them alight.

His hate campaign started in 2004 when he was caught rolling naked in cow pats and then banned from the property after stripping off and climbing into a muck spreader.

He defied court orders to stay away from the land and when Mr Roth cleaned the muck spreader to deter him he set light to the milking parlour in revenge.

He was jailed in 2005, 2009 and 2011 and made the fresh threats within weeks of being released half way through a two year sentence in 2012.

He also threatened to burn down the family’s farm, which considering he’s already proven he’ll set pieces of their property on fire when angry sounds like more of a promise.

He admitted to making threats and has now been sentenced to 5 more years of custody, which will be divided up between prison and a mental hospital.

Jul 18 2014

Little Seizures

Everything about this story Amanda sent us hurts my brain a little.

First, since when are you allowed to make calls using your own cell phone when you’ve been arrested? I’ll admit ignorance here because A: I’ve never been arrested and B: maybe the rules are different in Kentucky than they are in Canada. For our purposes we’ll go with C: Michael Harp was being processed by the most trusting police officers in the history of the universe, because that’s the only way I can get any of this to make any sense.

So with that established, let’s move on to the part that may or may not be worse. Honestly, I can’t decide.

Harp, having been given the gift of trust and/or sloppiness, decided to spend his good fortune and presumably his one phone call (unless that’s not true anymore either) on having 5 pizzas delivered to the police station under the name of his arresting officer. That’s what the police say he did anyhow, and really, what a silly thing to lie about if he didn’t.

Speaking of silly lies or at least what walks and quacks a lot like a duck that tells silly lies, Harp told a local TV station that the whole thing was a misunderstanding and that 10 or so people used his phone. Let us ponder that a moment. You take advantage of some rather undeserved and possibly rule breaking trust from the authorities, and the best you can come up with when caught is well, I was passing my phone around a room full of accused criminals, so it could’ve been anybody? Yeesh. I’d toss you in jail just for that, had I the power.

As for the people who do have the power, they’re tossing him in jail or at least hoping to for theft of identity, theft by deception and impersonating a police officer in addition to the shoplifting charge that lead us to pizza day in the first place.

Jul 17 2014

Dear TSA: Washington, D.C. Is Part Of America. Signed, Anyone Who Ever Went To School For A While

Remember that time when a TSA agent didn’t realize that a valid Washington, D.C. driver’s license counted as United States identification? It appears the agency would appreciate it if you did, because they’ve done it again.

Gray, who lives in Washington, D.C., was flying out of Orlando International Airport when a TSA agent said Gray’s District of Columbia driver’s license wasn’t a valid form of identification. Gray said his license is legal and up-to-date, but the TSA agent didn’t seem to know what the District of Columbia was when Gray arrived at the security checkpoint over the weekend.

When Gray handed the man his driver’s license the agent demanded to see Gray’s passport.

Gray told the agent he wasn’t carrying his passport and asked why he needed it.

The agent said he didn’t recognize the license.

Gray said he asked the agent if he knew what the District of Columbia is, and after a brief conversation Gray realized the man did not know.

Jul 17 2014

Thank You For Calling Rogers. Please Hold While We Ensure You Have A Search Warrant

And now, a rare “Good job, Rogers!” moment. Starting presumably now, there’ll be no more of that here’s everyone’s personal info, officer stuff going on.

After hearing your concerns and reviewing the Supreme Court ruling from last month, we’ve decided that from now on we will require a court order/warrant to provide basic customer information to law enforcement agencies, except in life threatening emergencies. We believe this move is better for our customers and that law enforcement agencies will still be able to protect the public.

Supreme Court decision? Yes. That would be this one from June, which looks like it’s going to pretty well nuke the ever loving hell out of one of the cornerstones of the government’s proposed internet spying law.

A breakdown of some of the relevant points:

First, the Court recognizes that there is a privacy interest in subscriber information. While the government has consistently sought to downplay that interest, the court finds that the information is much more than a simple name and address, particular in the context of the Internet. As the court states:

the Internet has exponentially increased both the quality and quantity of information that is stored about Internet users. Browsing logs, for example, may provide detailed information about users’ interests. Search engines may gather records of users’ search terms. Advertisers may track their users across networks of websites, gathering an overview of their interests and concerns. “Cookies” may be used to track consumer habits and may provide information about the options selected within a website, which web pages were visited before and after the visit to the host website and any other personal information provided. The user cannot fully control or even necessarily be aware of who may observe a pattern of online activity, but by remaining anonymous – by guarding the link between the information and the identity of the person to whom it relates – the user can in large measure be assured that the activity remains private.

Given all of this information, the privacy interest is about much more than just name and address.

Second, the court expands our understanding of informational privacy, concluding that there three conceptually distinct issues: privacy as secrecy, privacy as control, and privacy as anonymity. It is anonymity that is particularly notable as the court recognizes its importance within the context of Internet usage. Given the importance of the information and the ability to link anonymous Internet activities with an identifiable person, a high level of informational privacy is at stake.

Third, not only is there a significant privacy interest, but there is also a reasonable expectation of privacy by the user. The court examines both PIPEDA and the Shaw terms of use (the ISP in this case) and concludes that PIPEDA must surely be understood within the context of protecting privacy (not opening the door to greater disclosures) and that the ISP agreement was confusing at best and may support the expectation of privacy. With those findings in mind:

in the totality of the circumstances of this case, there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in the subscriber information. The disclosure of this information will often amount to the identification of a user with intimate or sensitive activities being carried out online, usually on the understanding that these activities would be anonymous. A request by a police officer that an ISP voluntarily disclose such information amounts to a search.

Fourth, having concluded that obtaining subscriber information was a search with a reasonable expectation of privacy, the information was unconstitutionally obtained therefore led to an unlawful search. Addressing the impact of the PIPEDA voluntary disclosure clause, the court notes:

Since in the circumstances of this case the police do not have the power to conduct a search for subscriber information in the absence of exigent circumstances or a reasonable law, I do not see how they could gain a new search power through the combination of a declaratory provision and a provision enacted to promote the protection of personal information.

So while Rogers certainly didn’t do this purely out of the goodness of it’s big, corporate heart, the company still deserves some credit for not dragging its feet on the issue. Hopefully Bell and the others will adopt similar policies soon.

Jul 15 2014

Foster: Floridian For He’s Over There, Officer

I think we at least have to give Herbert Foster an A for effort. His getaway plan was actually sort of clever, especially if we’re grading on the Florida curve.

Investigators said Foster was stopped in the 1200 block of Ridgewood Avenue near Holly Hill at 11:16 p.m. Friday.

Foster ran from the traffic stop and two witnesses said Foster was headed to his Espanola Avenue home. As deputies headed to the home, a caller reported Foster was hiding behind a sport utility vehicle. As officers got there, they saw Foster walking out but he then turned and took off running, the report states. Shortly after, dispatchers got a call from someone reporting Foster drove from the area in a Ford Mustang. In a second call, the same person reported Foster was in Hollyland Park, reports show.

That person, as you may or may not have figured out, was Foster, who police found with the help of one of their dogs in the same area in which they’d last spotted him. When he was searched, a cell phone was discovered, and a check soon revealed it to have the same number that had been calling 911.

He was charged with making false 911 calls, cocaine possession, resisting an officer without violence and driving with a suspended license.

Jul 14 2014

Massa-choo-shits

Today in “People do things like this in groups?”, police are looking for 4 people who are reported to have shat onto the top of a train as it passed under a bridge.

Officials say they received a report from a P&W railroad conductor that on Monday, four people standing on a train bridge at Route 122 were defecating on a passing train.

The department issued the warning on its Facebook page after receiving the complaint.

“Yes you read that right, we have no idea what would possess someone to drop their pants and poop on a passing train, but guess what it is happening,” the post said.

“Take this as a warning… If we catch you with your pants down defecating on the train you will be charged with everything we can find that fits the elements to the crime,” it added.

I’ve gone back and read that last sentence no less than 5 times, just letting it all sink in.

In addition to not turning every train into the number 2, police and railroad officials would also appreciate it if you morons would stop graffitiing said bridges and even more importantly, quit leaving garbage on the tracks for the trains to hit.

Jul 14 2014

When Mom And Dad Taught You To Love Vegetables And Libraries, I Don’t Think This Is What They Had In Mind

It’s a beautiful day. I think I’ll head to the library. I’ll be on my way just as soon as I grab the laptop, a cucumber and my sex drive.

Officers received a call around 11 a.m. Saturday for a suspicious incident at Agincourt Library in the city’s Scarborough area.

They found a man holding a cucumber in one hand, while allegedly performing the same lewd act that library staff recognized from an incident in April.

“On April 7, he sits down and a (26-year-old woman) sits next to him and he opens up his laptop,” Const. David Hopkinson said Wednesday.

The man then started masturbating with one hand while holding a cucumber with his other hand, the officer alleged.

No, you’re not reading that wrong. He’s apparently done this more than once this year.

Police have charged Fredrick Tennyson Davis, 49, with committing an indecent act and dinged him with a couple of probation violations for good measure since more than once also includes June of 2012, a case for which he was given a year’s worth of it.

Oh, and this police quote is pretty great, too.

When asked if Davis appeared threatening to the library staff or patrons, Hopkinson said he wasn’t sure if there was any threat.

“I don’t think he had any free hands to make any threat,” the officer said.

Jul 14 2014

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Smoke

Police believe they’ve caught the fellow who started California’s latest wildfire. His name is Freddie Alexander Smoke III. Bonus: They say the fire was caused by exhaust from the truck he was using to deliver supplies to an illegal marijuana farm.

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