Stupidity seizes the day in this look at world crime

Date Published: 
February 28, 2014

Emergency responders were the star of the show last Friday, as the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Joshua M. Freeman Valor Awards. This has always been my favorite event of the year, not only because I get fed, but because it’s truly inspiring to sit in that room and be told of the thankless sacrifices and heroic exploits of the people in our community who stand tall when the rest of us are looking for somebody to do exactly that.

Alas, I missed this year’s event because I was out of town. There were a few updates here and there I read on social media, and I have spoken with a few members of our staff who were in attendance, but I still felt like I missed out on the moment.

And I hate missing out on moments.

That being said, I decided I would inspire myself by scouring the information superhighway and finding a few stories that would restore my faith in humanity once again, and cast a small, personal spotlight on those who rise to the challenge when it is presented.

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to admit that my actions did not exactly mirror my intentions on this one. Though the plan was to research the brave actions of the men and women who serve and protect the well-being of our persons and property, I might have ceded control of my Google finger to my more-natural instinct of, well, goofiness.

For instance...

I learned from a Reuters story about the “Catch me if you can” biker in San Antonio. According to the article, the man taunted the police of the city with a Facebook video of himself driving recklessly through San Antonio, along with the message, “Catch me if you can.” On Monday of this week, police took Alberto Rodrigues into custody for suspected motorcycle theft, and for several outstanding warrants. He was apparently apprehended while sneaking out of a friend’s house.

According to police, when officers pulled up to the house, Rodrigues ran out the back door and tried to hide behind an air conditioning unit. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus enjoyed the capture. “He said, ‘catch me if you can,’ and our detective caught him,” said McManus.

You have to love that.

Of course, it’s not just American social media abusers who steal other people’s wheels. Another Reuters story I came across featured a 10-year-old Norwegian boy who took his parents’ car for a joyride last week, along with his 18-month-old sister, only to be caught and then claim that he was a dwarf who forgot his driver’s license. That alone was enough to slip into my cluttered mind as something that I recognized as pretty darn entertaining.

However...

Our young felon took it another step this week. After dodging a metaphorical bullet when Norwegian authorities declined to press charges against him for stealing his parents’ car, the boy took a relative’s car and managed to drive approximately 19 miles before stopping. Clearly, police are not amused by his antics anymore and have reported the family to child services.

“Nobody was injured, but that was more due to luck than anything else,” said Baard Christiansen, a spokesman for the Vest Oppland police. “The adults around the boy must take responsibility now before a tragedy occurs. It is scary and very sad that he is allowed to keep going on like this.”

Indeed, he is correct. The boy could very well kill himself or innocent people who happen to be sharing the roads with him, not to mention the 18-month-old sister he had with him in his first ride. Also, there was a very ...

Baard Christensen? How cool of a name is that? I mean, that works for a police spokesman, poet, hockey player, fair-haired bad guy in a James Bond film, fashion model, ski instructor or salmon-salesman. It’s a name that invokes ...

But I digress.

A bit closer to home, I discovered a crime story on the UPI site that took place in Annapolis. According to the article, a woman was arrested for allegedly attacking her neighbor with a knife during an argument about dog poop.

Police said they responded to a residence Sunday evening and a 59-year-old victim told them that Tameka Wright, 36, had become angry when asked to pick up dog feces the victim believed belonged to Wright’s dog. Wright then reportedly went inside to her house, retrieved a knife and swung it at the victim, causing a laceration to her hand. Police also said there were several witnesses to the incident.

Remember, this started with dog poop. Dog poop, people. Just another reminder that this world is nuts.

If only we had more Baard Christensens...