Weekly Daily Brickbats Archive 2009 July 22-31

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Doctors in Training

A federal appeals court has ruled San Carlos, California, police did not have the right to break into Brian Hopkins home because they allegedly believed he might be in a diabetic coma. Hopkins got into a minor traffic accident with another driver. They got out but didn't see any damage, so Hopkins drove off. The woman apparently thought he'd been drinking, so she followed him home and called police. Police knocked on his door but didn't get an answer. They say they feared that instead of being drunk he was having a diabetic seizure, so they forced their way in. A jury found Hopkins not guilty of DUI, and now he is suing the police.

Poor Situational Awareness

Like clockwork, each Monday for a month New York City police ticketed the van parked illegally under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. But only when a marshal showed up to tow the van did anyone notice the corpse in the back seat or notice the smell of the decaying body. The family of George Morales, the driver of the van, now wants to know why police didn't notice his body.

What Time Is It?

Australian police nabbed Dylan O'Brien, 17, for violating his curfew. When he was bailed out on charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and unlicensed driving, one of the conditions was that he not be out between 7 p.m and 7 a.m. He didn't violate those conditions. Unfortunately for him, a typo on the bail form had his curfew running starting at 7 a.m. He was locked up for several days before anyone noticed the error and figured out he shouldn't be in jail.


Non-Muslims aren't supposed to be subject to Islamic law in Sudan. But several women, some of whom were Christian or animist, were flogged recently for wearing pants, a violation of sharia law in that country, according to the BBC.

Lemons into Lemonade

A Haverford Township, Pennsylvania, police officer apparently put some fear into seven youngsters selling lemonade. He accused them of peddling without a license and asked the mother of four of them to put a stop to it. It turns out the law requiring a license doesn't apply to anyone under 16, so their business was perfectly legal. Deputy Chief of Police John Viola said the "officer would have no way of knowing this on the street."