Crazy legal scrapes of 2015: Year-end highlights edition

A sampling of people whose actions and close encounters with the law... well, you can only scratch your head and wonder about intelligent life in the universe.


WASHINGTON, December 27, 2015 — As time goes by, people get crazier. This trend continued in 2015, as seen by a year-end review of the legal connections some of those crazies wrought.

Crazy in Love. A Virginia man apparently couldn’t keep his marital status straight, and it resulted in additional jail time for him. Frank E. Blake, Jr. was in jail when wife No. 2 and wife No. 3 showed up to visit him and at the same time. The result of a police investigation discovered that Blake had not divorced wife No. 1 before he married No. 2, and that he hadn’t divorced No. 2 before he married No. 3. He pled guilty to bigamy, a felony, and was sentenced to serve 18 months.

Crazy in Love #2. Isn’t a divorce a divorce? Doesn’t a divorce mean, effectively, that the relationship is over? A British woman sued her lawyers, claiming they should have warned her that by getting a divorce, well, she’d be divorced. Jane Mulcahy argued that her legal team should have clearly explained to her that by getting a divorce, her marriage would be over. She claimed the lawyers should have suggested a judicial separation – a step down from the divorce.

Crazy and Forlorn in Love. According to the owner of an Italian restaurant, an Oregon lady made a reservation for two for Valentine’s Day. When she arrived she was by herself. She ordered and drank two glasses of wine. Kathleen Hampton says no-one took her order and that she was asked to give up her table. She says she “was crushed.” She says she then tried to do a take out order and was refused. So what would someone in her position then do? File a $100,000 lawsuit over poor Valentine’s Day service and demand an apology in person and in community newspapers.

Crazy Enough to Die. The family of a man who died while having a threesome with a woman and a male friend was awarded $3 million from the man’s cardiologist, claiming the cardiologist didn’t warn the man to avoid physical exertion. Despite the fact that 31-year-old William Martinez of Lawrenceville, Georgia was diagnosed as a “high risk” of having clogged heart arteries, and was experiencing chest pains that radiated into his arm, Martinez, scheduled for a nuclear stress test, decided to undertake the threesome the day before the test. The doctors maintained they told Martinez to avoid all activity until after the stress test was completed. A jury awarded over $5 million, but the award was subsequently reduced, as they found Martinez only 40% responsible. Of note, the woman in the threesome was not Martinez’ wife.

Crazy Example for Kids. In Morehead, Kentucky, a man whose identity has been protected went to the annual “Shop with a Trooper” state police program with his son. The police take a bunch of kids to Walmart every year to interact with them in a psotive way, to allow the children to see law enforcement as ordinary people. The mystery man ducked out of the group for a bit and slipped a drill inside his clothing in an attempt to steal it. He ended up in handcuffs and then in jail.

Crazy Paranoia. An Edgewater, Florida man heard a helicopter approaching. As it happened, he was storing illegal marijuana in a shed near where the helicopter was hovering. Jasper Harrison then, as would any logical individual, called 911 and turned himself in, assuming the police were coming to arrest him. They weren’t, and they weren’t looking for him, nor for any hidden drugs or marijuana caches. The helicopter belonged to a local news station.

Crazy Hungry. A New York woman, shopping in a TJ Maxx store in Rutland, Vermont bit an employee of the store when he attempted to retrieve underwear she was attempting to steal. The woman kicked the employee, slapped his glasses off of his face and bit his thumb after he took her purse to check for the stolen underwear. She was charged with theft and assault.

Crazy Vanity. A woman in El Cerrito, California got out of a car and accosted a female high school student who was walking home from school. The woman stole the young lady’s cell phone. The victim was later able, quite easily, to identify the thief who attacked her. The thief had taken numerous “selfies” using the phone. The victim spotted them in the phone’s cloud storage.

Crazy Love of Animals. An Omaha, Nebraska woman sneaked into the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium before it opened on a Sunday morning and tried to pet a Malayan tiger. The tiger bit her left hand. A friend eventually took the woman to a hospital, where she was “aggressive toward staff and showed signs of intoxication.”

Crazy Belief You Are Houdini.  Renee Elizabeth Tarbuck, a Queensland, Australia bikini model who was “on the run” for months, was arrested by police on drug charges. Police handcuffed her and placed her in the back of the police vehicle. When the police then stopped their car to save three dogs that had run into traffic, Tarbuck managed to contort herself and get her hands in front of her body. She then wriggled out the partially opened window in the back of the police car. The result: in addition to the drug charges, she was additionally charged with stealing handcuffs and escaping lawful custody. Recaptured about three months later, she is awaiting sentencing.

Crazy Authority Figure Syndrome. A Brooklyn, New York intermediate-school marching-band instructor, formerly a U.S Marine, couldn’t get a 9-year-old boy to stop talking during band practice. So, what to do? Tape the boy’s mouth shut, of course, from ear to ear. Kenyatte Hughes, 39, left the boy sitting alone in a room with tape over his mouth for about 30 minutes. After practice, Hughes ripped the tape off, causing swelling and redness to both cheeks and a bloody lip. Hughes claimed he was trying to teach the band members a history lesson about slavery.

Crazy Authority Figure Syndrome #2. While shopping in a Burbank, California,Costco, a 24-year-old man perceived that an older man, aged 78, was taking too many free Nutella-smothered waffle samples. Of course, as any real Nutella lover would do, when the older man started to eat another sample, the younger man punched him in the face, causing a one-inch cut and a swollen left eye. The younger man was charged with elder abuse and inflicting great bodily harm. He faces a possible 11-year prison term.

Crazy Education. At Bear Creek Intermediate School in Keller, Texas, 6th graders were given an assignment in business and entrepreneurship, labeled “The Cocaine Trade: From Field to Street.” The students were tasked with tracing cocaine through its six distinct stages of cultivation, manufacture and sale. Teaching kids about profit margins involving the street value of cocaine and the raw coca paste, and learning to understand when they are being ripped off by thugs and middle-men were the “takeaways” from this project.

May 2016 bring us more crazy, but less harmful antics.


Paul A. Samakow is an attorney licensed in Maryland and Virginia, and has been practicing since 1980.  He represents injury victims and routinely battles insurance companies and big businesses that will not accept full responsibility for the harms and losses they cause. He can be reached at any time by calling 1-866-SAMAKOW (1-866-726-2569), via email, or through his website

His book “The 8 Critical Things Your Auto Accident Attorney Won’t Tell You” can be instantly downloaded, for free, on his website:

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