AMERICAN DREAM COME TRUE
In 2007, after a stay in the United States distinguished mainly by his acquisition of a long police record, illegal immigrant Cecil Harvey, 55, was deported to his native Barbados. However, according to records revealed by the New York Post in May, Harvey received, in late 2009, one last remembrance of America: $145,000 from the city of New York in settlement of his lawsuit over having once been held at Rikers Island jail for about a month longer than the law permitted.
IF ONLY THERE’D BEEN A BUMBLING COP AROUND
Betty Lou Lynn, 83, was mugged and had her wallet stolen in her new hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina, in April. Lynn is the actress who played Barney Fife’s best girl, Thelma Lou, on the Andy Griffith TV show and had lived in Los Angeles until she became alarmed at the city’s crime rate. She decided in 2007 to move to the quieter, peaceful Mount Airy, which was Griffith’s birthplace and the model for the TV town of Mayberry.
Gary Null filed a lawsuit in New York City in April against the maker of a nutrition supplement called Ultimate Power Meal, alleging that he had suffered constant pain, kidney damage and internal bleeding from the product’s recommended daily regimen. Ultimate Power Meal is one of the “health” supplements packaged under the label of…Gary Null, a nationally prominent pitchman for homeopathic remedies. Null is suing the manufacturer who supplies the product on which Null affixes his Ultimate Power Meal label. (According to consumer advisers at Quackwatch.org, Null is “one of the nation’s leading promoters of dubious treatment for serious disease.”)
According to court records cited by The Washington Post in April, Rene Fernandez, 45, will plead guilty to one count of a DUI-caused injury in connection with a 2009 traffic accident in Montgomery County, Maryland, that severely injured a retired county judge and his wife, both in their 80s. Fernandez and the judge, Edwin Collier, had met previously, in 1998, when Judge Collier pronounced sentence on Fernandez for DUI. At that time, Judge Collier released Fernandez on probation, even though Fernandez had been arrested for DUI twice in the previous three months.
(1) The reason career criminal Kevin Polwart gave for his brief February escape from New Zealand’s Auckland Prison was to demonstrate that he posed no threat to society on the outside and thus that he should be parolled. Instead, authorities added nine months to his sentence. (2) A judge in Scotland went lenient on George McIntosh, 53, who had been convicted of embezzling the equivalent of about $87,000 from two pro golfing organizations. McIntosh claimed that his medication for Parkinson’s disease had made him “compulsive[ly]” generous so that he needed to embezzle money in order to buy gifts for his friends.
THE MOTHER JONES OF LAZY BEER DRINKERS
In April, warehouse workers at the Copenhagen, Denmark, brewery that makes Carlsberg beer went on strike after the company cut back on its allowance of providing up to three free beers per shift, which workers thought made their mundane jobs easier to take. As of April 1, only one beer per shift was provided, and only at lunch. (The previous “right” belonged also to delivery drivers, according to a Reuters report, but it was not clear how that right squared with drunk-driving laws.)
Police in Austin, Texas, executing a search warrant in May, discovered an elaborate, three-story tunnel complex extending as far as 35 feet underground, beneath the home of Jose Del Rio, 70, which he apparently dug over at least a two-year period. Police also found 19 guns, plus ammunition, batteries and compressed gas (which presented a serious safety hazard). The property showed signs of caving in and posed a threat to adjacent property, as well. Police noted that Del Rio (who neighbors said “kept to himself”) was cooperative during the search although he offered no particular explanation for the tunnels.