Lead Story

For the second time this year a woman from the Houston area was charged with a sexual offense against a teenage girl. LaJeane Sue Thompson, 19, was charged in Conroe, Texas, in January with sexual assault against a 14-year-old girl. Two months later Shana Fuller, 21, received five years’ probation in Angelton for an offense involving a 16-year-old girl whom she had dated for a year. Both Fuller and Thompson had dressed as men, and had bandaged their breasts in order to seduce the girls. In the Fuller case the mother of the girl said “She [Fuller] is an attractive girl, but she also was an attractive guy.”

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Inmates in Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail were watching one of their favorite TV shows, America’s Most Wanted, last November when a photograph of a man wanted for arson and murder appeared on the screen. Several heads turned to Jessie Lee Baker, 27, and one inmate said, “Hey, that’s you!” The inmates notified prison authorities, who called the show’s producers to report Baker’s whereabouts and to submit the inmates’ names for the reward.

In August 1990, police officer Loronzo Jones arrested Thomas Heath Evans in Detroit for armed robbery after exchanging gunshots with him. Sometime later Evans, on release pending trial, jumped bail and allegedly shot up a crack house. One year later Jones, visiting friends in Tallahassee, Florida, about 800 miles from Detroit, wandered into a nightclub, where he encountered Evans and alerted local police. Said Evans’s attorney, “The boy ain’t got no luck.”

Last February Derick W. Williams, 40, of Lauderhill, Florida, was quarreling with a girlfriend in the parking lot of a police station in Penny Hill, Delaware, when the disturbance caught the attention of officers. The police asked Williams for identification, and as he reached into his car, police noticed a box on the front seat that contained seven ounces of cocaine.

Things You Thought Didn’t Happen

Ruben Caro, 32, was arrested in October for attempted shoplifting at the Tropical Showcase pet store in Hicksville, New York, after the manager noticed chirping sounds emanating from Caro’s trousers. Caro reached down his pants and pulled out a lovebird, which bit his finger. Caro then fled the store but was chased down by the store’s owner, whereupon Caro pulled a second lovebird from his trousers.

In March police captain Richard Dana in Riverside, California, rescinded a department policy that officers not answer the home alarms of people who had not paid the city’s $25 alarm-license fee. Dana was responding to criticism after a 35-year-old woman, who had not paid her fee, had been beaten and raped by an intruder while police ignored her alarm.

At the Houston Stock Show in March the grand-champion pig sold for $70,000, the prize steer for $200,000; three broiler chickens each brought $25,000.

Clarence Stelly, 22, who was wanted for the shooting of two people during a robbery in Omaha, tried to turn himself in to police headquarters on a Sunday afternoon in March. However, because of recent personnel reassignments the front desk was open only during “business hours,” so Stelly’s friends had to drive him around town until they spotted a police officer.

In January Dawne Hamblin, 25, a shuttle-bus driver for the elderly and disabled in Milwaukee, was fired for violating company policy when she stopped her bus in order to assist a young girl who had been hit by a car. Contrary to instructions from her dispatcher not to leave the bus unattended, Hamblin had chosen to remain with the girl and direct traffic until an ambulance arrived.

Least Competent Person

Carlos Carrasco, 24, was sentenced to ten years’ probation in March in San Antonio for a bungled burglary of a liquor store in 1991. According to court records, Carrasco had badly cut his hand when he broke through the roof of the store and tried to throw a bottle of whiskey out through the hole he had made. He missed and the bottle fell back to the floor, shattered, and set off the burglar alarm. Carrasco then fell on the broken glass, cutting himself again. During his getaway he left his wallet in the store, fell off the store’s roof, and left a trail of blood from the store to his home just down the street.

Creme de la Weird

Frank Fitzgerald, a retiree living in a Madison, Tennessee, trailer park, died in March after inhaling a massive amount of insecticide–enough to “spray the entire trailer park in the middle of summer,” according to one police officer. Neighbors, who had seen Fitzgerald wearing a gas mask earlier in the week, said he was a nice man and “perfectly sane,” but they had noticed that he had become obsessed with insects.

The Diminishing Value of Life

After a pizza-delivery man refused to hand over his pizzas, two students at California State University at Chico allegedly beat him and left him lying in a pool of blood and near death. The students then took the pizzas back to their apartment to share with ten guests, all of whom ate heartily even though they were aware of the mugging.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.