Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Crimes of Rage

A few unusual crime stories (HT: WorldNetDaily)

Customer Attacked for Being Deaf:

The Star-Telegram reported Friday about a deaf man attacked by a cashier.

FORT WORTH -- A store cashier struck a deaf customer in the head with a crowbar after he mistook the man's silence for rudeness and disrespect, police said.

The cashier, Ricky Benard Young, 20, faces a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The customer, Cody Goodnight, 31, suffered "a large knot" on his head during the incident, which occurred Saturday at the Family Dollar Store at 4117 E. Lancaster Ave.

Goodnight said he went to the Family Dollar several blocks from their house to buy a soft drink for his 5-year-old son. Inside the store, he put the soda on the counter to pay.

The cashier tried to speak to him but got angry when Goodnight didn't respond, Goodnight told police. The cashier threw Goodnight's change at him, scattering it on the floor.

As Goodnight picked it up, the cashier hit him in the side of the head with the crowbar, Goodnight said.

Now, I'm a semi-chatty person (I have friends whose chattiness leaves mine in the dust), and it never occurs to me that the person I try to start conversations with in turnouts at National Parks just might be deaf. So I can understand the cashier's failure to think that Goodnight might have a hearing problem.

But I don't understand how the lack of friendliness by the other party could drive a person to commit physical violence. The guy has a problem: "Be nice, like I am, or else..."

"It is a really big problem," [Emily] Robinson[, a Fort Worth deafness resource specialist,] said. "Businesses should be professional and sensitive to deaf people. There are training workshops about the deaf culture and what to expect in interactions with us."

I agree. Large corporations have multicultural awareness training all the time. They should include the deaf culture while they're at it.

Stinky Feet Murder:

The Houston Chronicle reported yesterday about a fatal stabbing.

A man who allegedly fatally stabbed a roommate who complained about his smelly feet has been charged with murder, police said.

The two men shared a 10-foot-square bedroom at the Magnolia Cove Apartment Homes in the 100 block of Goodson, said Sgt. M. Sosa of the homicide squad.

They subleased the bedroom from a married couple and their newborn baby, who also lived in the apartment, Sosa said.

On Saturday night, the mother was sitting outside with her child while the two roommates drank together inside, he said. The woman's husband was not home at the time.

At some point, an argument broke out over one of the men's "stinky feet," Sosa said.

About 8 p.m., the woman peeked inside the window and saw one of the men with two knives in his hands, Sosa said.

"By the time she got inside, he was on top of the other man," he said.

The woman called 911 and fled the apartment. "The suspect comes after her and says, 'I didn't mean to do it, I didn't mean to do it,'" Sosa said.

Hmmm... a recipe for murder. Two people in small quarters (10 x 10, not 5 x 2, as one commenter misread), alcohol, and a big stink. Did I mention alcohol?

Revenge Against an Ostrich:

The San Mateo Daily Journal reported (today? They're not big on giving recent dates) on the sentencing of an ostrich killer.

The 19-year-old Half Moon Boy man convicted of fatally shooting Gaylord the ostrich while trespassing at a ranch last Halloween was an affable, responsible student who never showed any violent tendencies, according to a trio of former teachers who testified as character witnesses before a judge sentenced him to five months in jail for animal cruelty.

On July 13, [Timothy Andrew] McKevitt pleaded no contest to the single charge. The deal came months after co-defendant Jonathon Michael Porter, 20, took a plea for an immediate sentence of 213 days already served plus three years supervised probation and court-ordered animal cruelty counseling.

Gaylord’s owner Karen Schmidt tracked down the pair on her own after discovering her 10-year-old deceased pet lying near the front gate. A neighbor reported hearing several consecutive shots fired. Rifle and shotgun shell casings were discovered next to Gaylord — leading prosecutor Aaron Fitzgerald during sentencing to remark that nobody will know how long it took the animal to die or what kind of death he suffered.

Prosecutors claim the men went with a group of drunken friends to see the animals — Gaylord, Apple and Tomato — the first time and then specifically returned with guns by themselves later that night. More specifically, the District Attorney’s Office has said the men’s motivation was bruised pride after the bird attacked them in front of girls. McKevitt provided the weapons and the two men returned to the ranch without their companions.

My ex-husband's second ex-wife owned some emus (relatives of ostriches) when they got married, and my kids complained sometimes that the emus came after them. A pugnacious distrust of strangers must run in the emu-ostrich family.

Once again, though, the seeds of violence are evident in the story. Strong drink, combined with humiliation in front of girls, can lead to big trouble for even the most outstanding of young men.

I have to admit I was relieved, for the sake of Texans, that the ostrich killing took place in California. It would have been too much for all three crimes of strange passion to happen in Texas. Still, two out of three...

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