Society - Legal
By: - at September 8, 2013

25 Funny & Crazy Arrest Stories

Without laws and officials to enforce them, society would disintegrate. They’re crucial for the stability and fairness for each and every community throughout the world. However, while laws and enforcement are fundamentally sound, not all legislation and officials within the legal system are well intentioned. It is one thing for there to be ridiculous, outdated laws on the books, and it is a totally different thing when those absurd laws are actually enforced. There is also the issue of interpretation and how each individual law enforcer sees certain laws and how best to enforce them.

policeman arresting criminal

As ridiculous as it is, there are numerous instances where law enforcers have arrested and/or fined everyday law abiding citizens for the craziest reasons. There have, of course, been numerous individuals who needed to be arrested for the dumbest of crimes. Ultimately, it is this combination of questionable law enforcement and personal decision making by some citizens that result in some of the funniest arrests of all time. The following are 25 examples of funny and crazy arrest stories:


25)  Reading Emails
In 2010, Leon Walker was facing five years in prison for reading his wife’s emails. He had wanted to determine if she was cheating on him. Unbeknownst to Walker, it’s illegal to read another person’s emails without their consent, due to the prevalence of identity theft.

reading emails

Despite Walker’s reasons for reading his wife’s emails, he was prosecuted as if he were a hacker. The charges were later dropped in 2012 when it was discovered that Walker’s wife had herself been secretly snooping on him by looking through his phone.


24)  Refusing a Pat Down
In 2010, Claire Hirschkind (former rape survivor), was arrested and banned from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) because she refused to let the airport’s security touch her breasts as part of a pat down. Hirschkind had agreed to a pat down but specified that she didn’t want her boobs touched. When security insisted that she had to have her breasts felt, Hirschkind said no and she was subsequently forced to the ground and handcuffed.

pat down, arrest

She was then dragged away by security. An ABIA spokesman defended the TSA’s policy which states that anyone who draws security’s attention can either choose not to fly or allow for a thorough pat down. As far as the TSA and ABIA were concerned, Hirschkind refused either option and thus it was appropriate in their minds to arrest and ban her from the airport.


23)  Swearing
In 2010, a Milwaukee man, Tim Duncan, was fined $500 for disorderly conduct after he swore on a bus. Specifically, he used two four letter words, starting with the letters F and S. He was given the fine after an undercover police officer overheard him, ordering him off the bus. Duncan had merely sworn while having a conversation, and hadn’t directed the words at anybody specifically.

swearing, WTF

When Duncan went public with his intentioned to contest the fine, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s department explained that they had a zero-tolerance policy in regards to disorderly behavior on buses, as it was an issue of quality-of-life for the area’s citizens.


22)  Not Recycling
In 2010, officials for the city of Cleveland detailed plans to examine residents’ rubbish to make sure locals were recycling – and those that were not would be fined $100. The plan made use of a high-tech rubbish collection system that involved trash and recycling carts that had barcodes and radio frequency identification chips. These allowed city employees to determine just how frequently locals put their recycling bins out to be collected. If a chip highlighted that a recycle bin hadn't been put out for collection in a number of weeks, then a supervisor would inspect the resident’s regular bin for recyclable content. If a bin had more that 10% material that could be recycled, then a fine would be handed out.

Recycling

The city spent $2.5 million on the project. Washington, D.C. and a number of cities in England had already made use of the technology. The city’s motivation was that the council would spend $30 million per ton to dump rubbish in landfills, while earning $26 million per ton of recyclable material a year.


21)  Drawing on a Desk
In 2010, twelve-year-old junior high student, Alexa Gonzalez, was arrested in New York City for writing on her desk. Not only were the words relatively harmless (one scribble involved her name and the date, while another was about how much she loved her friends), but both could easily have been removed. Rather than punishing the student with a standard detention, Gonzalez’s school opted to have her handcuffed and taken to a police station.

angry teacher, drawing on desk

Gonzalez was held for a number of hours, before being released. Ultimately, she ended up doing community service for eight hours and writing a book report, coupled with an essay that illustrated what she’d leaned from the event. In retrospect, a spokesperson for the Education Department, David Cantor, stated that the whole incident should never have occurred – rather, common sense should have prevailed.


20)  Flatulence
In 2008, a thirteen-year-old from Spectrum Junior-Senior High School was arrested for the crimes of turning off a classmate’s computer and passing gas. By all reports, the flatulence was the worst of his crimes, as he was alleged to have repeatedly interrupted class with his passing of wind. The student was put under arrest by the school resource officer. After the boy confessed to his misbehavior, he was released into the care of his mother. He was charged with disrupting a school function.

smelly fart, farting in school


19)  Selling Milk
In 2010, federal agents stormed an Amish farm at 5:00 a.m. in search of milk. The feds suspected that farmer, Dan Allgyer, had violated the Public Health Services Act by selling raw milk. For his offense, he was facing a seizure and/or injunction. Allgyer had been part of a movement in natural food that was promoting traditional means of food production that connected farmers directly with customers. This created a conflict between the farmer and federal food regulators.

Dairy farm, federal regulators

The federal agents looked in Allgyer’s cooler and freezer area, taking numerous pictures, while keeping him from being able to work. Advocates for raw milk say it is healthier than store bought milk and insist that factory farming and the foods produced make people sick. Whether that’s true or not, was of no regard, however, as the law prohibits the sale of untreated milk.

In a similar incident, farmer Mark Nolt also had his farm swamped by federal agents, who fined him more than $4,000, and confiscated his equipment for distributing unpasteurized milk.


18)  Using a Knife to Cut Lunch
In 2007, a ten-year-old girl brought her own lunch to school, along with a small steak knife, with which to eat it. For her action, she was arrested and faced with a felony charge. Despite the fact that the girl was using the utensil properly when school officials discovered the knife, the police were called. As the police were unable to contact the girl’s parents, they opted to arrest her. She was taken to the county's juvenile assessment center.

fork and knife, lunch

School officials insisted that they had no choice but to call the police. They stated that anytime a weapon was brought on campus they had to report it because they didn’t want to take any chances. For their part, the police even thought the case was extreme. Law enforcers made it clear to the media that they had responded, not because of the law, but to enforce the school’s policy. Ultimately, the police handed the case over to the State Attorney's Office, with the student facing a felony charge regarding possession of a weapon on school premises. The girl was suspended for ten days from her school.


17)  Food Fight
In 2009, more than two dozen students aged between 11 and 15 were arrested after a food fight took place in a school cafeteria. The event happened spur of the moment after a couple of pieces of food were thrown, which then led to the all out food fight. As a result, 25 students were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor of reckless conduct.

food-fight

The children involved were also detained by police for up to five hours before their parents were notified.


16)  Not Returning a Ball
In 2008, 88-year-old Edna Jester refused to give back her neighbor’s football when it ended up on her property. She was irate over yet another instance when a ball had found its way into her yard. Her neighbor, Paul Tanis, who owned the ball, called the police. The officers arrested Jester when she maintained that she would not hand over the football, which led to charges of petty theft.

returning football





15)  Sex with a Picnic Table
In 2008, Art Price Jr. was arrested for having sex with a picnic table. To make a strange situation even stranger, it turned out that Price had an extensive history of sexual relations with outdoor furniture, as witnessed by his neighbors on at least four separate occasions.

picnic table

This is one crazy arrest story!


14)  Shouting at Trees While Naked
Another funny story that may catch your attention is about Dieter Braun. In 2009, Braun maintained that he was simply employing a “stress release" technique when he was found standing naked and screaming at trees. Apparently his marriage counselor had suggested he try the curious technique as a form of relaxation therapy.

shouting at trees naked

Indeed, Braun had found that the method worked with the breeze on his naked skin calming him down. However, members of the public near the forest in which Braun practiced the therapy didn’t appreciate the positive effect of the outcome. Neither did the police who arrested Braun for being a public nuisance.


13)  Swearing at Police in Sign Language
In 2009, Balraj Gill who is deaf and unable to speak was arrested when he swore at the police in sign language. The incident happened when police escorted Gill to a hostel where he’d been staying. Though the officers initially had no idea what Gill had said to them, a worker translated Gill’s comments, detailing the extensive explicit language that was said to them.

sign language

While the officers knew that Gill was deeply upset, it wasn’t until the translation that they understood just how angry he was. They decided to charge him, despite the fact that he never made any sound. Gill later pled guilty to disturbing the peace.


12)  Selling Pierced Cats
In 2009, Holly Crawford was arrested for selling pierced black kittens. The animals were pierced in the neck, ears and tail, and they were promoted as "gothic." She sold them for $100 each over the internet, which quickly led to charges of animal cruelty. Ultimately, it was PETA who busted her for the abuse of the animals.

cat piercing

In her defense, Crawford stated that she didn't believe that there was a difference between piercing a human or a cat – even if cats can’t consent to the act.


11)  Passing Gas Near a Police Officer
In 2008, Jose Cruz was arrested and charged with assault when he passed gas near a police officer. T.E. Parsons had been in the process of fingerprinting Cruz when Cruz edged towards Parsons and “loudly farted” on the law enforcer. Cruz then attempted to direct the gas into Parsons’ face.

Policeman passing gas


10)  Sex with Street Signs
In 2009, police in South Dakota arrested 60-year-old, Verle Peter Dills, when he was caught performing a variety of sex acts on a traffic sign. When police searched his residence, they discovered a significant quantity of video footage that showed Dills involved in various sex acts with numerous traffic signs.

road signs

Dills was charged with unlawful occupancy and burglary, along with six counts of public indecency.


9)  Burping
In 2011, a thirteen-year-old was handcuffed and taken to juvenile a detention center after he burped loudly in gym class. When the student was transported to juvenile hall, the school failed to notify his parents. Furthermore, he was suspended for the remainder of the school year without any justification – other than the fact that he had burped.

burping

While in juvenile detention, the boy was evaluated and found to be absolutely no threat to anyone. Ultimately, the student wasn’t charged for the incident and his parents launched legal action against the school.


8)  Spilling Milk
In 2011, two teenage students, a boy and his former girlfriend, were arrested for getting into an altercation at school. In the process, the two ended up pouring milk on each other, when their break up got out of hand. The event led both of them to appear in court to explain their actions.

spilt milk


7)  Spraying Perfume
In 2012, twelve-year-old, Sarah Bustamantes, was arrested for spraying perfume on herself during a lesson at school. The teacher felt that the move was disruptive to the rest of the class. Despite the fact that Bustamantes had applied the perfume because she was being bullied by other students who were teasing her - saying that she smelled, the teacher felt that it was only Bustamantes’ behavior that was inappropriate – apparently, the bullying was fine.

spraying perfume

The charges were later dropped.


6)  Freeing a Whale
In 2010, a U.S. District Court handed down a fine of $500 to fisherman, Robert J. Eldridge, when he opted to free a whale from nets rather than contacting the authorities. When Eldridge appeared in court over the matter, he was informed that he should have notified wildlife experts to help the whale – even if the whale may have suffocated by the time they had arrived.

tailfin of whale, freeing whales

As ridiculous as the situation was, it could have been even worse, as the maximum punishment for Eldridge’s crime was a year in jail and a $100,000 fine.


5)  Being a Vocal Child
In 2010, six-year-old, Haley Franklin, was handcuffed and taken to a mental health facility because she was disruptive in a class at her school. The child had a history of throwing items and hitting school officials, which is why the school staff ended up calling the police after she became vocally upset one day. Whether the extreme measures were intended to actually help her or scare her straight, the result was traumatic for the little girl.

yelling child

As many youth arrest stories conclude, the child’s misbehavior was associated with being the victim of bullying.


4)  Opening a Christmas Present Early
Another crazy story happened in 2006 when a twelve-year-old boy, Brandon Jones, was arrested after he opened his Christmas present early without his parents’ permission. In a bizarre attempt to teach him a lesson, Jones’ mother called the police and he was arrested after his mother insisted that the police charge him for unwrapping a Nintendo Gameboy Advance.

christmas presents

After confessing to the “crime,” Jones was put in handcuffs and led to the police car. He was then taken to the station and charged with petty larceny. Jones had to wait at the police station for four hours while his mother attended church. His mother had hoped the anxious wait would scare her son straight, as her son was uncontrollable and he had an extensive history of misbehavior. In the end, Jones’ mother gave the Gameboy to someone else.


3)  Attending a Meeting
In 2012, five-year-old Michael Davis had his hands and feet bound with zip ties and he was taken from his school to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation. He was then charged with assault of a police office. The police officer had been called to the school to speak to Davis.

ziptied child, revolting child

The meeting had been arranged by Davis’ school, in an attempt to scare the hyperactive child straight and stop him from disrupting classes. It was this misguided plan that led to the child being treated like a common (adult) criminal – despite the fact that it was the meeting itself that agitated the child in the first place, causing him to act out.


2)  Dog Droppings
In 2010, 49-year-old Ann Stanczyk was beaten by NYPD officers, Richard DiMartino and Shaun Grossweiler, over a dispute involving a mess her dog had allegedly made. Stanczyk had been walking her dog Psotka when she was confronted by the police. The officers claimed that Stanczyk hadn’t cleaned up Psotka’s mess. Stanczyk insisted to the officers that her dog had only urinated but the officers disagreed when they saw a mess nearby.

no dog pooping allowed

Stanczyk was ordered to pick the mess up. She refused because it wasn’t her dog’s mess. Ultimately, Stanczyk ended up in handcuff and under arrest. It was when she struggled against being put into the police car that the officers began to beat her. She was struck in the face, chest and stomach in the altercation. She also injured her knee in the scuffle. The case was later dismissed.


1)  Being a Goat
In 2009, a group of vigilantes in Nigeria tried to capture a pair of would-be car thieves. While one man got away, the group managed to capture the other man involved... kind of. According to the vigilantes, they captured the man but only after he had transformed into a goat in an attempt to avoid prosecution. The suspect goat was taken to police who held the animal until they could confirm that he had nothing to do with the crime for which he was accused.

goat chewing on grass


Conclusion
With the fundamental need for laws there is also the necessity for sound and committed enforcement, both on a personal and systematic level. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case from one society to the next. Certainly there are a number of people out there who break the law – sometimes in the weirdest ways – and it’s reassuring that the authorities are there to properly deal with these unusual situations. But sometimes the police and the law themselves are the very problem. Even when citizens are doing the right thing, they can still be falsely accused of a crime, fined unjustly and even arrested due to the misguided or downright bizarre actions of law enforcers. Alarmingly, this means that any one of us can be arrested at any time for pretty much anything and everything.


 

 

 

 

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