Couples, criminals conspire for crazy column


Anybody who has been in a relationship has been there.

You spend a lot of time with another human being, hopefully share more good experiences than bad, and deal with life’s stresses as a team. There might be shared laughter over a story that happened during the day, shared tears over a bill that was much more expensive than anticipated and shared warmth as the embrace of your loved one can momentarily make all the bad things fade away.

I’m guessing you can close your eyes right now and clearly remember a brief spat over taking out the trash. Or some minor bickering over social plans that one partner made without the consultation of the other. Or a wee stabbing over who ate more salsa.

Wait. What?

A recent Associated Press story told the tale of a couple in Akron, Ohio, who took their condiments a little too seriously. Ronnie Buckner reportedly told police that his girlfriend, Phyllis Jefferson, began yelling at him because he was eating too much of the couple’s salsa they were sharing.

It apparently didn’t slow him from his salsa hoarding, however, and her anger boiled over to the point that she stabbed him with a pen. When he attempted to catch a television she knocked over in her salsa-deprived rage, she reportedly then upped the stakes a bit, stabbing him with a kitchen knife.

I’m glad to report that Buckner is recovering from his injuries, and that Jefferson was arrested by police — though she was only charged with misdemeanor criminal endangering. It would have probably been a felony if the argument was over ranch dressing.

It’s stories like that one that make me lose any envy I might hold over the job a police officer must do on a day-to-day basis. I imagine many of them came to that career choice because they dreamt of rescuing people from the clutches of bad guys or stopping robbers from stealing from innocents — not playing referee to a salsa fight. Or drunks who weren’t happy with their bar tabs.

According to another AP story, Phillip Poissonnier, of Post Falls, Idaho, was given a ride home by an obviously-kind police officer after the man was kicked out of Club Tequila early Monday morning.

“Club Tequila” just sounds like the kind of bar one would get thrown out of in the early-morning hours of a Monday, right? You wouldn’t expect someone to get tossed from the “Crystal Ballroom” or “House of Intrigue” at that time. No, it has to be “Club Tequila” or “Cuthroat Bar” or “Last Chance Saloon” or...

But I digress.

After getting a ride home from law enforcement, the man reportedly called 911 a dozen times to report that he was overcharged at the bar. According to police, he wanted authorities to come back to discuss his bar tab. Eventually, police had enough, and he is being charged with misusing 911.

His was a pretty simple task for police. Some criminals, however, make their job a little tougher.

A 35-year-old South Korean man reportedly had plastic surgery to obscure his identity and go on a nine-month robbery spree that netted him more than $479,000, according to a Reuters article.

Police said the man underwent surgery to alter the structure of his jaw and also to stretch his limbs to gain height. According to police, the man indeed confessed to the robberies, but claimed he had the surgeries because he did not like his appearance.

“I’m ugly, sir. Not diabolical.” Is that a defense?

And though that man seemingly went through some drastic measures to conceal his identity (allegedly), others just don’t employ the same artistry in their craft.

For instance, state police in Pennsylvania arrested a 41-year-old man recently in Clay Township, according to an AP story. The man is scheduled to face a preliminary hearing on criminal trespass next week, following accusations he used a credit card to jimmy open a garage door.

Oh, he used his own credit card. And he left it at the scene. And he apparently told police he did jimmy open the garage because he wanted to steal some gasoline for another friend’s car.

At least he wasn’t trying to steal salsa.