Category Archives: Crime

“The Bill Clinton of Cities”

Ouch.

“San Francisco has squandered its place in the sun,” said John Price, CEO of the genetic engineering company Greffex Inc. “San Francisco is the Bill Clinton of cities. It squandered itself with its flaws.”

Man Commandeers Airport Monitor for Gaming

Good on you, man.

(CNN)Most airport travelers with time on their hands will open a book, browse their phone or take a nap. Others will take things a level further.

A man traveling through Oregon’s Portland International Airport on Thursday was caught playing a video game on one of the airport’s video monitors.
“I couldn’t believe it. You’ve got all these monitors there and he’s playing a video game,” said Stefan Dietz, who captured the moment and tweeted it. The gamer even appeared to be talking on a headset to other players, according to Dietz.

Corrupt Former UWO Officials Reach Plea Deal in Criminal Cases

This better not be a sweetheart deal. Public corruption involving millions of taxpayer dollars needs to be severely punished.

OSHKOSH – The public will have to wait until Wednesday to learn more about the plea agreement two former University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh executives made in a criminal misconduct case stemming from their involvement with the university’s private foundation.

Former Chancellor Richard Wells and former Vice Chancellor Tom Sonnleitner, who have been free on $10,000 signature bonds since their first court hearing in June 2018, reached a deal with prosecutors, Assistant Attorney General Richard Chiapete said this week in a letter to the court.

Winnebago County Circuit Judge John Jorgensen on Friday granted a request from Sonnleitner’s defense attorney, former federal prosecutor Steven Biskupic, to seal the agreement until the end of Wednesday’s plea and sentencing hearing.

[…]

The Wisconsin Department of Justice charged Wells and Sonnleitner in April 2018 with five counts each of misconduct in office in excess of their authority as a party to a crime after negotiations stalled in the lawsuit, which the UW System filed more than a year before. The Justice Department also represents the UW System in the civil case.

The criminal complaint, which largely mirrors the lawsuit, claims Wells and Sonnleitner improperly funneled $11 million in taxpayer money into five foundation building projects: the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel; the Culver Family Welcome Center; two biodigesters, which turn waste into electricity; and the Oshkosh Sports Complex, which includes Titan Stadium.

The complaint also outlines how Wells and Sonnleitner wrote a series of “comfort letters” to various lenders, assuring the banks the university would help out if the foundation was unable to make loan payments. The DOJ says money can’t go from the university to the foundation under state law. Attorneys for both men argued the letters did not constitute legally binding commitments.

Trump Deploys The Hulk to the Border

Hehe.

As the Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno brought the bad guys to book with his famous thunderclap, a signature superhero move as loud as a sonic boom or a hurricane.

But the actor most famous for bringing the Marvel Comics legend to life in the long-running 1970s CBS television series will have to rely on more traditional crime-fighting tools in his latest role, as a sheriff’s deputy in the New Mexico desert.

The 68-year-old former bodybuilder will be sworn in on Thursday as the newest recruit of the Socorro county sheriff’s department.

As a deputy, Ferrigno will continue a journey in law and order that began as the ferocious green alter ego of Dr David Bruce Banner on the small screen and progressed to real-life spells as a reserve deputy in two California counties … and as a member of notorious Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s volunteer posse which targeted illegal immigrants.

No Bail Policy Allows Crook to Continue Crime Spree

Some folks are trying to bring this to Wisconsin.

A serial bank robber targeted four New York banks, was released under the city’s new law which requires no bail for holding suspects, only to strike a fifth financial institution, police claim.

The suspect, Gerold Woodberry, 42, is alleged to have robbed banks in New York’s Midtown Manhattan, Harlem, West Village and the Upper West Side, since December 30, sources said.

However, under the new ‘no bail’ law, he was released on Thursday.

‘I can’t believe they let me out,’ sources said he was overheard saying on the way out of the New York Police Department’s headquarters, reports the New York Post.

‘What were they thinking?’ he added, allegedly striking a fifth bank in Downtown Brooklyn on Friday, the sources told the Post.

[…]

The new law, designed to reduce jail overcrowding and which went into effect in the new year, drops the bail requirement for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, including robberies.

Epstein Video “Lost”

Uh huh.

NEW YORK (AP) — Video footage of the area around Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell on a day he survived an apparent suicide attempt “no longer exists,” federal prosecutors told a judge Thursday.

Officials at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York believed they had preserved footage of guards finding Epstein after he appeared to have attempted suicide, but actually saved a video from a different part of the jail, prosecutors said.

The FBI also has determined that the footage does not exist on the jail’s backup video system “as a result of technical errors,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maurene Comey and Jason Swergold wrote in a court filing.

Governor Evers Wants to Let Crooks Out on the Street to Commit More Crimes

No.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and fellow Democratic lawmakers have introduced a series of proposals designed to reduce overcrowded prisons, but without support from Republican leaders they are unlikely to gain traction in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Evers told the Wisconsin State Journal in an interview published Thursday that he hoped the bills would spur a bipartisan discussion on the need to address the state’s rising prison population, which is expected to reach 25,000 inmates by 2021. Evers campaigned on the pledge to cut the state’s prison population in half.

[…]

The bills would set incarceration limits for non-criminal supervision violations, extend earned release eligibility to include vocational or educational programs and expand on a compliance credit to allow for shortened community supervision options. The measures, introduced by Rep. Evan Goyke and Sen. Lena Taylor, both of Milwaukee, applies only to nonviolent offenders.

Setting a target prison population is not a rational or moral goal. The population of our prisons is a function of how much crime is being committed and how we choose to punish people. If we can reduce the number of crimes being committed so that the prison population declines, then great! If the prison population increases because more people are committing crimes, then so be it. But to just let criminals out on the street to commit more crimes in order to reach an arbitrary number of people in prison so that Evers can feel good is dangerous and immoral.

In my experience, the vast majority of people are decent, law-abiding folks. They might speed or double park every now and then, but they are good people. A tiny slice of the population are wretched human beings who commit the vast majority of the serious crimes. Those people are just bad, and they will continue to commit crimes for as long as they are able to because they are criminals. That’s just what criminals do. Bakers bake. Farmers farm. Drivers drive. Criminals commit crime. The only way to reduce crime is to remove the criminals from society as often as possible and for as long as possible.

Criminalizing Jerk Parents

This is bad law.

State Rep. Don Vruwink, D-Milton, has experienced that firsthand. He’s been officiating since the 1970s. Referees and umpires face more hostility today than they did when he was starting out behind the plate, he said. Vruwink is co-sponsor of a new bill in the state Assembly that aims to address the problem.

The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, could make it a criminal misdemeanor to harass or intimidate a sports official in Wisconsin.

Vruwink said the bill’s purpose is to help address the national shortage of youth and amateur sports referees, which hasn’t spared the state.

[…]

Reports of confrontations and assaults on officials are increasing, said Dave Anderson, executive director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA).

WIAA pushed for the legislation to be drafted, while NASO, the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has also expressed support for it, according to a WIAA news release.

Anderson emphasized that the purpose of the bill isn’t to have parents arrested.

“The last thing anyone really wants to see is somebody to go to jail or going to prison because of their inability to control emotions in a kids’ basketball game,” he said.

Rather, it will serve as a tool to make the environment more comfortable for referees and umpires at a time when it’s critical to retain them, he said. Anderson said the legislation will not only benefit WIAA’s member high schools, but also younger kids who play sports and adults who participate in recreational leagues.

There is no question that there has been a general decline in decorum at youth sports events. However, criminalizing the behavior is not the answer. There are already laws against assault or disorderly conduct. If a parent goes that far, then those laws can be used. This bill is an effort to criminalize behavior that falls somewhere below the threshold of those laws. The bill is attempting to criminalize being a jerk. While nobody likes jerks at games, it is a bad idea to begin hauling those parents off to jail.

Armed Congregants Thwart Killer

Had it not been for an armed resistance, this could have been much, much worse. In the video, I count four armed men responding with the security guard being first.

WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported that the church shooting was captured on a live stream of Sunday’s worship service. In the video, which has since been taken down, a person stands and pulls out a weapon, then appears to fire twice before another person shoots back, according to WFAA.

Some congregants holding guns rushed toward the shooter, while others ducked under church pews, WFAA reported.

Gov. Greg Abbott called the shooting an “evil act of violence” in a statement Sunday afternoon.

“Places of worship are meant to be sacred, and I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life,” Abbott said. “Cecilia and I ask all Texans to join us in praying for the White Settlement community and for all those affected by this horrible tragedy.”

Antisemitic Attacks Sweep Across New York

Five people were taken to hospitals near the rabbi’s home after the suspect entered the Hanukkah celebration in the New York suburb and began stabbing people, according to police and witnesses.
The victims were Hasidic Jews, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council for the Hudson Valley Region said in a tweet. Two people are in critical condition, council co-founder Yossi Gestetnertold CNN.
One of the victims was the son of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, at whose home the attack unfolded, and another victim suffered head wounds and is in serious conditions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The rabbi’s son is recovering, he said.
The attacker pulled out a knife that was “almost like a broomstick,” said Aron Kohn,who attended the Hanukkah celebration.
There were at least 100 people in the home at the time, as the rabbi was “lighting the candle” on the seventh night of Hanukkah, Kohn said.
The suspect tried to run into a nearby synagogue, but someone closed the doors, Kohn added.
[…]
Saturday’s stabbing is the 13th act of anti-Semitism in the state in the last three weeks, Cuomo told reporters. That’s in addition to other hateful incidents targeting the black, Latino and LGBT communities, he said.

Rogue bureaucrats and leftist aggression against self-governance

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News.

Once again Wisconsin finds itself in a heated legal battle over a common sense law because of the insistence of liberals that they be able to cheat in our elections. The latest skirmish comes over the routine business of cleaning up our voter rolls.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission was formed in 2016 after the monstrously corrupt Government Accountability Board was dismantled. The WEC is charged with administering and enforcing election laws in the state. The WEC does not make law. It is charged with administering and enforcing laws.

One of those administration tasks is to maintain the state’s voter rolls. Every Wisconsin voter registers in their local district to ensure that the people in a particular district, municipality, county, etc. are electing their government. It is a cornerstone of representative government that the elected leaders are elected by people who actually live in the area to be governed. It is critically important that these voter rolls are accurate for selfgovernance to be a reality. If people from Chicago, for example, can drive up to Racine and cast a vote, then the good people of Racine are being denied self-governance.

One of the mechanisms that the state uses to maintain the voter rolls is participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), which is a coalition of 28 states and Washington, D.C. that monitors people’s movement. For example, if someone moves from Hudson, Wisconsin, to Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and gets a new driver’s license, the state of Minnesota would update the ERIC system. However, that person is still on the voting rolls in Hudson unless someone removes them.

In order to keep the voter rolls accurate, the state passed a law that requires the WEC to send notices to anyone who ERIC indicates moved within or without of the state to verify where the person actually lives. If they moved or if the person does not respond, then the WEC is directed to remove the person’s name from the voting rolls within 30 days and invite the person to reregister to vote in the correct precinct on or before the next date they want to vote.

This is truly a sensible, routine, administrative function that should not be controversial. There is absolutely no hardship on anyone here. The worst case is that someone might be accidentally removed from the voting rolls, but can reregister when they go to vote next time. Wisconsin has same day voting registration and requires a photo identification to vote. Being accidentally removed from the voting rolls might cause a minor inconvenience for a few people who have to reregister, but the benefit is that hundreds of thousands of incorrect voter registrations are removed, thus lessening the opportunity for election fraud.

In October, the WEC sent out about 234,000 of these confirmation notices, of which only 18,800 responded. By law, the WEC is supposed to use that information to update the voting rolls. The WEC refused, so the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty sued them in state court to make them follow the law. A state court judge ordered them to follow the law. The WEC commissioners — specifically the three Democrat commissioners — refused to follow the court order. The decision is being appealed in state court by the liberal Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and the liberal activist group the League of Women Voters is suing in federal court, but the court’s order still stands and the WEC is still refusing to comply with the law.

This is how our republic crumbles. Our government institutions refuse to comply with the will of the people or the law of the land. Our elections are undermined by the willful manipulation of bureaucrats and activists bent on their own agendas. We allow swamp creatures who supplant their will for the will of the people to hold dominion over us.

Wisconsin could be the deciding state in the next presidential election and that the election could be decided by a handful of votes. That is why the leftists are driven to undermine our electoral process any way they can to open up opportunities to cheat. That is why this exceedingly routine effort to maintain accurate voting rolls is being fought so vigorously. That is why we must insist that our government abide by the will of the people and follow the law.

 

Rogue bureaucrats and leftist aggression against self-governance

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

In October, the WEC sent out about 234,000 of these confirmation notices, of which only 18,800 responded. By law, the WEC is supposed to use that information to update the voting rolls. The WEC refused, so the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty sued them in state court to make them follow the law. A state court judge ordered them to follow the law. The WEC commissioners — specifically the three Democrat commissioners — refused to follow the court order. The decision is being appealed in state court by the liberal Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and the liberal activist group the League of Women Voters is suing in federal court, but the court’s order still stands and the WEC is still refusing to comply with the law.

This is how our republic crumbles. Our government institutions refuse to comply with the will of the people or the law of the land. Our elections are undermined by the willful manipulation of bureaucrats and activists bent on their own agendas. We allow swamp creatures who supplant their will for the will of the people to hold dominion over us.

Wisconsin could be the deciding state in the next presidential election and that the election could be decided by a handful of votes. That is why the leftists are driven to undermine our electoral process any way they can to open up opportunities to cheat. That is why this exceedingly routine effort to maintain accurate voting rolls is being fought so vigorously. That is why we must insist that our government abide by the will of the people and follow the law.

Man Uses Narwhal Tusk to Subdue Terrorist

Um, I guess whatever is handy.

LONDON (AP) — A mysterious figure who used a rare narwhal tusk to help subdue a knife-wielding extremist on London Bridge last month has been identified as a civil servant in Britain’s Justice Ministry.

Darryn Frost ended his silence Saturday, telling Britain’s Press Association that he and others reacted instinctively when Usman Khan started stabbing people at a prison rehabilitation program at a hall next to the bridge on Nov. 29.

Frost used the rare narwhal tusk to help subdue Khan even though the attacker claimed to be about to detonate a suicide vest, which turned out to be a fake device with no explosives. The intervention of Frost and others helped keep the death count to two. He said another man used a chair as a weapon in the desperate struggle.

Alleged Murderer Was In Deferred Prosecution Program for Felony

When will we learn? We are not helping a kid like this by going soft. We are merely encouraging a course that leads down one of two paths: death or prison.

The suspect arrested in Saturday’s fatal shooting on Madison’s Near West Side was previously charged with forgery and recently allowed to enter a deferred prosecution program, according to court records.

Marcus T. Hamilton, 20, was arrested on a tentative charge of first-degree intentional homicide, according to the Madison Police Department. Those charges were referred to the Dane County District Attorney’s Office, Madison Assistant Chief John Patterson said Sunday.

[…]

Last year, Hamilton was arrested after police said he used a fake $50 bill at a restaurant and was charged with felony forgery. In July, he pleaded guilty to forgery and was referred by the Dane County District Attorney’s Office to its First Offenders Program, according to court records.

In September, he was accepted into the program, which typically allows a person to avoid a criminal conviction in return for obtaining treatment and staying out of trouble. The details of Hamilton’s deferred prosecution agreement were not available Sunday.

Outgoing Governor Pardons Killer Whose Family Donated Money to Campaign

This is awful. This is not an old case where the felon has since reformed. This just happened two years go.

The outgoing Republican governor of Kentucky has sparked outrage after he pardoned a convicted killer whose family had hosted a fundraiser for the politician and given him money.

Matt Bevin, who was defeated in his bid for re-election in November, has issued over 400 pardons in his final days in office.

Among those were Patrick Baker, who had been sentenced to 19 years in jail in 2017 after he impersonated a police officer to force his way into a home, then shot a man inside.

In 2018, Baker’s family hosted a fundraising event for Mr Bevin, which scooped $21,500 for the governor. Baker’s brother and sister-in-law also personally donated a further $4,000 to Mr Bevin’s ultimately unsuccessful re-election campaign.

[…]

Mr Bevin wrote in the official order announcing Baker’s pardon that the evidence used to convict him was “sketchy at best”.

He had made a “series of unwise decisions in his adult life”, Mr Bevin added, suggesting a drug problem had led to Baker falling in with the wrong crowd.

But the judge who sentenced Baker in 2017, David Williams, said he had never seen a more “compelling or complete” case in his thirty years of experience. “The evidence was just overwhelming.”

Violent Oshkosh Teen Charged with Felony and gets $1 Million Bail

This seems like an appropriate charge and bail given the offense.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — A 16-year-old Wisconsin boy who was shot while attacking a school resource officer with a barbecue fork texted a friend weeks earlier that he was planning to grab the officer’s gun and either shoot himself or the officer, prosecutors alleged Wednesday.

Grant Fuhrman was charged as an adult with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the Dec. 3 attack on Oshkosh West High School Resource Officer Mike Wissink. Wissink shot and wounded Fuhrman during the attack, which happened in Wissink’s office. Cash bond was set at $1 million.

According to the criminal complaint, Fuhrman texted a friend in late September or early October to bet him that Fuhrman would not go to Wissink’s office and stab him with a pencil, take Wissink’s gun out of his holster and either shoot himself or the officer. The friend said she did not report it.

The friend, identified only by her initials, told investigators that the night before the attack, she told Fuhrman to stop bothering her or she would report him. She said the next morning, Fuhrman smirked at her in school, but she smiled back because she did not want to be rude, the complaint states. She then heard a door slamming and what sounded like chairs being thrown in Wissink’s office.

I don’t fault the “friend” very much. It sounds like he was a creep who probably said all sorts of crazy stuff.

Man’s DNA Changes After Transplant

The implications for criminal forensic work are fascinating.

A Nevada man discovered his DNA had changed after a bone marrow transplant and had been replaced, in part, by that of his German donor.

Chris Long, from Reno, found that not only had his blood swapped, but his semen was also changed, following his treatment for leukemia.

Long, who works at Washoe County Sheriff’s Department, told The New York Times: ‘I thought that it was pretty incredible that I can disappear and someone else can appear.’

Now his police colleagues are looking into how such changes could affect criminal cases and forensic work.

[…]

Long found that all the DNA in his blood had changed three months after his operation. It was four years later he discovered that parts of his lips and cheeks also contained the DNA of his donor.

The change has made him a chimera, which means he has two sets of DNA.

Only his chest and head hair were not affected, according to all the samples taken.

Two West Bend Teens Cited for Threat

From the Washington County Insider.

December 4, 2019 – West Bend, WI – On Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at approximately 6 p.m. a student at a West Bend High School reported he received a message on social media of a picture of a compass. On the compass were the names of five cities including; Waukesha, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Brookfield, and West Bend. West Bend Police began an investigation and notified the City of Brookfield and Sheboygan Police Departments.

On Wednesday, December 4, 2019 West Bend officers identified a 15-year-old West Bend student that created the picture and sent it to friends. We also identified a 17-year-old West Bend student that distributed the picture to numerous other students. The 15-year-old stated he wrote the names of the cities with the intention of suggesting that Brookfield, Sheboygan, and West Bend would be the next victims of a shooting at schools in their cities. West Bend Police took the 15-year-old and 17-year-old into custody. The 15-year-old was referred to Washington County juvenile authorities for Disorderly Conduct. The 17-year-old was cited for Disorderly Conduct.

The information regarding the two actors was forwarded to Waukesha, Oshkosh, City of Brookfield, and Sheboygan Police Departments. The City of Brookfield Police Department is also referring charges of Disorderly Conduct to the Waukesha County juvenile authorities and Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office.

This seems too light a punishment – particularly for the 17-year-old. Making threats like that are no joke, but kids will continue to act like they are if law enforcement treats them like they are.

Chicago Mayor Fires Police Superintendent Weeks Before Retirement

The mayor acted too hastily here:

Sources told the Chicago Tribune that the city inspector general’s office, which has been investigating the October incident, obtained video footage showing Johnson drinking for a few hours on the evening of Oct. 16 with a woman who was not his wife at the Ceres Cafe, a popular restaurant and bar at the Chicago Board of Trade building.

Later that night, when officers responded to a 911 call near Johnson’s home in the Bridgeport neighborhood about 12:30 a.m. Oct. 7, Johnson rolled down the window on his police vehicle partway, flashed his superintendent’s badge and drove off, sources said.

A Ceres employee who identified himself as a general manager declined to comment Monday.

On Monday, Lightfoot told reporters she had reviewed the inspector general’s report into the incident as well as videotaped evidence that left her with no choice but to fire Johnson.

“I saw things that were inconsistent with what Mr. Johnson had told me personally and what he revealed to members of the public,” she said.

With the inspector general’s report still not public, Lightfoot declined to be more specific about what the videotaped evidence showed but hinted that it would be hurtful to Johnson’s family.

“While at some point the IG’s report may become public and those details may be revealed, I don’t feel like it’s appropriate or fair to Mr. Johnson’s wife or children to do so at this time,” she said.

Sources said Lightfoot moved to fire Johnson before the superintendent had even been interviewed by the inspector general’s office as part of its investigation.

The mayor said she personally delivered the news Monday morning to Johnson, the fourth of the last six superintendents to be fired or resign amid scandal. She gave three reasons for dumping him:

— That he “engaged in conduct that is not only unbecoming but demonstrated a series of ethical lapses and flawed decision-making” in the October incident.

— That the superintendent called a news conference later the day of the incident in which he communicated “a narrative replete with false statements, all seemingly intended to hide the true nature of his conduct from the evening before.”

— That Johnson intentionally lied to the mayor several times, “even when I challenged him about the narrative that he shared with me.”

The facts that Lightfoot shared, if true, are certainly unbecoming of the superintendent and may justify his firing, but the investigation is not complete. Also, the full details of the investigation have not been made public, so the mayor’s claim that she wants to protect his family rings hollow.

I suspect that this is the real reason for Lightfoot’s hasty decision:

Johnson had been plucked from relative obscurity as chief of patrol in April 2016 when then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel bypassed three finalists chosen by the Chicago Police Board and appointed him superintendent.

Johnson was clearly Emanuel’s “guy” and Lightfoot wanted to send a clear message that she’s the new sheriff in town. In doing so, she may have alienated a good chunk of the police force and exacerbated the friction between the police force and the public.

Man with Gun Stops Threat

I feel bad for the resource officer who had to shoot a kid.

WAUKESHA, Wis. – A school resource officer inside Waukesha South High School in  Wisconsin shot a 17-year-old student who pulled a gun in a classroom and refused to drop it, according to officials.

The suspect is in custody and the building is safe and secure, according to the Waukesha Police Department.

The student with the gun was the only person injured in the incident.

The student brought the gun to school, school officials tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said the officer who fired his gun is an 11-year veteran of the department.