Browsing: Bizarre


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.

thomas.proesel.mug.shot.800.croppedBreakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: The snowboarder fell more than twenty feet to the snow below — and video showed that Proeser had done it. But a high-powered attorney who defended basketballer Kobe Bryant from sex charges came to Proeser’s aid — and a psychiatrist has now ruled on what’s been called a “psychotic episode.” Westword has the story.

palmettoexpresswayImage via Google Maps

The action in Carl Hiaasen’s Miami crime novel debut Tourist Season begins when a body is found floating down a river in a suitcase. That was very much fiction, but the idea of body parts being found stuffed into weird things in weird places remains very much a chilling reality in Miami.

Today, Miami Gardens police found two bags full of body parts that were hidden in the brush right off the embankment of the Palmetto Expressway. The discovery happened late in the morning. The location was near NW 12th Avenue.

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