Browsing: Bizarre

3090392251_911be4dfaf_zScott Davidson/Flickr

Ain’t nobody got time to handle emergency phone calls in which some people could possibly die — or at least that’s the opinion of one 911 operator who is now facing criminal charges for hanging up on thousands of panicking callers.

Crenshanda Williams has been charged with interference with an emergency phone call after an investigation by police and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Unit revealed Williams was consistently blowing off callers from October 2015 through March 2016. Williams’s superiors started to grow suspicious after noticing that Williams had logged an unusual number of calls lasting shorter than 20 seconds (superiors are notified any time that happens, according to court records). Here’s what she actually tells people.

carlos-rodriguez-half-headed-manMiami-Dade Department of Corrections

Let’s get this over with: The photo above is real, the man is alive, and his name is Carlos Rodriguez. He is 31 years old and goes by the nickname “Half Head,” and the reason is obvious. Half Head lives in Miami and got into a car accident when he was high some years ago. This forced doctors to remove part of his brain and then fuse his skull back together.

So, without a full brain, Half Head seems to have issues with impulse control and can’t keep himself out of trouble. Today he’s back in jail.

On Monday, Half Head was arrested for two felony counts of attempted murder and one count of first-degree arson, according to the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections. 


When Martin County Police arrived Monday to find 19-year-old Austin Harrouff standing over the bodies of two bleeding victims while violently biting one man’s face, police first fired stun guns. When those didn’t work, cops unleashed a dog. When that didn’t work, three officers pulled Harrouff off the man and took him to jail — alive.

Some activists are drawing a stark contrast between that approach and those employed in other recent police actions in South Florida. Take, for instance, the July incident when North Miami cops sent a SWAT team with military-style assault rifles to surround unarmed African-American behavior therapist Charles Kinsey, who was trying to help an autistic man “armed” with a toy car. Police shot Kinsey in the leg, although video showed him lying on the ground with his hands up.

Critics say Harrouff’s treatment highlights the vast disparity between how whites and blacks are treated by police. After all, Florida cops were able to take calm, measured steps to subdue a white, possibly drug-addled cannibal armed with a knife and no shirt, but somehow felt it was necessary to shoot Kinsey — who was cooperating and unarmed — from afar.


In 2013, Austin Harrouff was starring as a defensive tackle at Suncoast Community High, a Palm Beach County school ranked among Newsweek’s ten best schools in America at least eight times in the past decade. He’d also been taking advanced-placement classes in the school’s International Baccalaureate program.

So it’s anyone’s guess how he ended up in a Martin County garage yesterday, chewing off parts of a stranger’s face after killing the man and his wife and stabbing their neighbor.

22513614321_df5f786802_z_1_N i c o l a/Flickr

Seventeen-year-old Blake wouldn’t necessarily consider his poolside lifeguard job to be a fun-in-the-sun type of summer gig. He’s had to rescue drowning kids whose parents instead yelled at him for pulling them out of the water. He’s been dehydrated. He’s had to stay late putting strong-smelling chemicals in the water so you don’t have to deal with other people’s urine contaminating the pool.

But to Blake, as an employee of A-Beautiful Pools, the worst part of the job is being cheated out of money. (Blake asked that we give him a pseudonym since he still works for the company.) It’s so bad, in fact, that he’s pretty sure he has lost between $400 and $500 the past two summers as a result of strict, punitive measures he says the company takes to make damn sure its employees to show up on time and never miss a shift.

Don’t ask us how they did it, or whether the science is 100 percent accurate. But it’s pretty fascinating.

The folks at the Aizman Law Firm, an L.A.-based criminal defense practice, commissioned a computer analysis of more than 30,000 American mug shots to discover differences in the emotions of suspects based on the state in which they were collared.

The numbers crunchers relied on Microsoft Cognitive Services, a program that developers claim can detect emotion based on facial recognition–type indicators. And based on the data, it turns out mug shots from the Golden State appear to show folks who are the most unhappy in their predicaments — which the study characterizes as “disgust.”

caicaiLan Cai

A lawyer helping Lan Cai—the 20-year-old waitress sued by a Houston law firm for sharing her bad experience with the firm on Facebook and Yelp—has asked a judge to immediately dismiss the case.

The Law Firm of Tuan A. Khuu sued Cai, a former client, for between $100,000 and $200,000, arguing that the things she wrote on Facebook, urging no one to ever hire the firm, are defamatory and libelous, meaning the firm believes the statements are false and will seriously damage its reputation.

Houston Attorney Michael Fleming, however, thought the case was bogus almost immediately after seeing media reports about it — including ours — and thought it was nothing but a bully’s attempt to silence unfavorable criticism on the Internet. Should a Fort Bend County  judge agree, Fleming is asking that Tuan A. Khuu pay $50,000 in damages plus attorney’s fees, as Fleming is representing Cai pro bono.

“Whenever you see a situation where a lawsuit is being used to coerce somebody into taking an action —like removing an online review — it’s a red flag,” Fleming said. “The intention is to have a chilling effect and to stop other people from speaking out.”

As we reported Wednesday, Cai originally hired attorneys from Tuan A. Khuu to represent her after she was hit by a drunk driver, then subsequently hit by an SUV that couldn’t swerve out of the way in time. Her first meeting with the attorneys was already off to a bad start: They entered her private bedroom while she was half-asleep under the covers in her underwear (the attorneys maintain Cai’s mother told them to go inside). Then, after Cai was enticed by the discount attorneys offered, she hired them — but says they ignored her calls for a few days while she was bombarded with questions from insurance hounds.

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