In December, according to police in Jersey City, N.J., Roselean Walker, 36, sat at one screen in a movie cineplex with her boyfriend while her 11-year-old son watched the longer Harry Potter film at another screen, but after her movie ended, she tired of waiting for the son and went home with the boyfriend to New York City. When police called her the next morning to come pick up the boy, she demanded that they drive him home. After officers ordered her immediately to the station, she showed up in a bad mood, threatening a lawsuit for the inconvenience, and wound up being charged with assaulting an officer, in addition to endangering a child’s welfare.
According to the Nov. 10 Evening News of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., a father was under investigation by police after War Memorial Hospital reported an assault on the man’s 11-year-old son. Police said it appeared that the two were playing a video game, that the son had beaten his dad by using a secret upgrade that made his character more powerful, and that the dad, in anger, had spanked the kid, put soap in his mouth and slapped him several times in the head. The father said only that he had punished the boy for lying.
THE CONTINUING CRISIS
In June, a plaintiff’s lawyer in the massive class-action litigation against asbestos manufacturers, under pressure from federal judge Janis Graham Jack of Houston, acknowledged that more than half of previous asbestos claims in one case appear to be fraudulent. The lawyer claims his clients contracted silicosis from asbestos exposure, but most of those same clients also claimed asbestosis from asbestos exposure, when experts say the two illnesses rarely exist simultaneously. Judge Jack found that one plaintiff’s doctor, Ray Harron (who had given up his practice in order to interpret X-rays full-time, at $125 each), had detected asbestosis (but no silicosis) in all 1,807 X-rays he saw, and then, only a few years later, detected silicosis (but no asbestosis) in the same 1,807 X-rays.
With an Oakland Tribune reporter and 20 people looking on in November in a parking lot in Fremont, Calif., Tu Jin-Sheng, 50, “grandmaster” in one of the Chinese arts of Qigong, pulled a rental truck several yards using only a piece of fabric tied to the base of his genitals. Jin-Sheng is supposedly a leader of the branch of Qigong known as “Iron Crotch,” whose 60,000 adherents worldwide believe that strengthening the genitals increases energy. To warm up for the pull, Jin-Sheng had an assistant kick him hard between the legs.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
The robber of a Fastrip store in Joplin, Mo., ignoring a “Use Other Door” sign pointing to an unlocked front door, spent valuable getaway time trying unsuccessfully to bash in the companion (but locked) front door with a chair, then finally bashed in a small window along a side wall and crawled out to escape (December). And Landon McQuilkin, 21, arrested in November in Jacksonville, Fla., after he allegedly abducted a man and said he would kill him, relented to his victim’s “last request” to visit his girlfriend before he died; with McQuilkin waiting in the car outside her house, the victim went in, locked the door and called police. MTW