Thou shalt not kill over T-Shirt
Melinda Frye Toney, 44, of Oak Hill, West Virginia, was charged with wanton endangerment on Aug. 22 for brandishing a pistol in the parking lot of the New Life Apostolic Church on May 11. It seems Melinda, wife of Pastor Earl Toney, and Lori Haywood, 29, wife of Youth Pastor David Haywood, had an ongoing conflict, according to a police spokesman. Fayette County Sheriff's Detective Kevin Willis told the Register-Herald of Beckley, West Virginia, that the "straw that broke the camel's back" was an argument over a T-shirt Lori Haywood wore to a church event. The two couples met at the church that day to try to hash out the wives' differences, but, said Willis, "(I)t just made it worse, I think." Melinda Toney left the meeting and went to her car, where she retrieved her firearm. When Pastor Earl moved to stop his wife, the gun discharged. Det. Willis confirmed that Melinda Toney had a concealed weapon permit.
Serving the Public
The Sharonville, Ohio, police department found a way to turn a resident's misconceptions about marijuana laws in Hamilton County into a teaching moment on Sept. 3. The department posted on its Facebook page a recording of a call received on Aug. 25 from "Mr. Marilyn Manson," who complained that "two Sharonville cops ... stole my f-ing weed last night." The angry man insisted that anything "under 100 grams is cool, right?" but was, in fact, wrong. (It is legal to possess up to 100 grams of marijuana in the city of Cincinnati, but that law does not cover the entire county -- including Sharonville.) The officers who confiscated the weed were arresting the man's wife, whom he identified as Marilyn Manson during the call, when they found the contraband in her purse. In a second call to police, the caller also complained that the officers had taken his carryout order from Red Lobster. "It was a fresh meal of Cajun f-ing pasta!" he ranted. Fox19 reported that a police supervisor later met with the man to clarify the laws about marijuana and explain what had happened to his dinner.
What’s in a Name?
Rep. Raul Ruiz, 47, a California Democrat representing the 36th Congressional District, may face an unusual opponent in the November 2020 election: GOP candidate Raul Ruiz, 57, a construction contractor. “I want to give the citizens another option,” challenger Ruiz told Politico. “I’ll say this. I had the name first.”
Police in Wilton, Connecticut, told WVIT they scored a two-fer on Sept. 7, thanks to 64-year-old Ellen Needleman-O'Neill. The woman was arrested that afternoon after a caller alerted police of a driver who hit a parked car in a parking lot. Officers conducted field sobriety tests, which they said Needleman-O'Neill failed, and she was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, along with possession of a controlled substance (for the Tylenol 3 found in her bag). Police released her, but hours later she was seen driving away from a liquor store in her car. Officers stopped her again and found her to still be under the influence, they said. Police also said they learned Needleman-O'Neill didn't have a valid driver's license, hadn't registered her vehicle, and had lost her right to drive after the first offense earlier in the day. She was charged with additional crimes and is scheduled for two court appearances on Sept. 17.
A Texas motorcyclist with the memorable nickname "Baby Jesus" taunted Blue Mound police on Aug. 10 as they tried to pull him over. Police posted dashcam video of Jesus Sebastian Gomez doing wheelies and standing on his motorcycle while weaving in and out of traffic, eventually getting away from officers. Fox News reported that witnesses viewing the video helped identify the rider, and police issued a statement urging Gomez to turn himself in. "(Y)ou need to come speak with us regarding this incident or we can come to you. (We could have a come to 'Baby Jesus' meeting)," they offered. Gomez surrendered to the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office on Sept. 4 and was charged with evading arrest.
Least Competent Criminal
Gary Lambe, 54, made the job of the Toronto (Canada) Police Service easier on Aug. 23 when he allegedly made a photocopy of his face during a break-in at a commercial property there. Police said the suspect "ate some food items" and created the picture of his face -- which he left behind. Fox News reported that police eventually arrested Lambe, who was already in custody for an unrelated incident, and charged him with breaking and entering and failing to comply with probation.