Brickbats

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When officers Thomas Elliassen and Michael Danese caught a 14-year-old boy tossing eggs at cars on Staten Island last Halloween, they did what any cops would do. They took him to a swampy area, made him strip to his shorts and socks, and left him there.

Most people just chuckle when David Pratt wears a T-shirt that reads, "Don't piss me off! I am running out of places to hide the bodies." But the cops in Peterborough, England, decided the shirt could incite violence and threatened him with an £80 fine if they saw him wearing it again.

In Portage County, Ohio, assistant public defender Brian Jones told Judge John Plough he wasn't ready to take a case to trial. So the judge ordered deputies to take the lawyer into custody. According to the public defender's office, Jones had been assigned the case only a day or so before.

Bob Du Broy, vice president of a Christian music station in Ottawa, wants to start another station devoted to spoken-word Christian programming. There's just one problem: Canadian broadcast regulations require him to devote 71 minutes of airtime each day to other faiths, for "balance." Still, he's lucky: Canada banned religious programming completely until the early 1990s.

When Ibrahim Mohammad Lawal's neighbor became ill, he took the 63-year-old woman to the local hospital. In most countries, that sort of thing is considered a good deed. Unfortunately, Lawal was in Saudi Arabia. He was seized on charges of being alone with a woman not related to him and held in jail for 50 days.

Code enforcement officials in Maidenhead, England, have ordered the staff of the Greyhound to close the pub's windows. When people smoke outside, the authorities explained, the smoke could drift into the pub, causing it to be in violation of laws banning smoking indoors.

Amber Dauge ran out of the house to meet her school bus while still making a sandwich. Realizing she was holding a butter knife, she put it in her bag and later in her locker at South Carolina's Goose Creek High School. Weeks later, the butter knife fell out of her locker, prompting laughter from other students. But a teacher who saw the knife wasn't laughing. Dauge was expelled under the school's zero tolerance for weapons policy.

In August, Patrick Walsh of Manchester, England, woke to find a burglar in his flat. He and the man exchanged words, and the robber smashed out a window and climbed onto the ledge of the fourth-floor apartment, then fell to the ground, suffering massive head injuries that killed him. Police arrested Walsh on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

In August, Iranian police arrested some 230 people at a "Satanic" rock concert. They claim also to have seized 150 bottles of alcohol, 800 obscene CDs, and "inappropriate" clothing the concert organizers gave to women as gifts.


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