Nude Bandits “Stick Up” Woman

And Other Zany True-Life Crimes
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Years ago, an armed band of females made news all over the Netherlands by pulling topless robberies. They guessed — and were proven right — that their male victims would be too intent on their nude appearance to remember things like pushing alarm buttons.

They were ultimately captured after an alert store manager pushed the alarm first, then relaxed and “caught the show” while cops were responding.

Now, the birthplace of bad pilsner has its own nudie bandits. In Milwaukee, police Captain George Hegerty reported that a pair of male suspects held up an 18-year-old woman in an empty parking lot on an early Sunday morning. The two wore masks — and nothing else.

The “Skin Bandits” were armed with shotguns. They robbed the unnamed woman, then took her car and fled. One was described as having a sawed-off shotgun, and the other as having a “full-length” shotgun. There were no other observations made in relation to certain Freudian theories about barrel length versus anatomical endowments — at least not in the official police reports.

But when they’re caught, well, how would you like to go down in history as the “Short-Barreled Nudie Bandit”?

This incident did not occur, by the way, in the middle of Wisconsin winter.

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Salsa And Justice

You’ve all seen the commercial: cowboy cooks outraged that one of their number would stoop to using a picante sauce made in New York City — Noo Yawk Si-tee? — and generally reflecting that quality salsa can only come from the Great State of Texas. Maybe it works that way with justice, too, because we can’t imagine this ever happening in Noo Yawk Si-tee.

The saga began when Fort Worth Police Corporal Randy Whisenhunt stopped Jesus Puentes on suspicion of driving under the influence. A struggle ensued, one that almost turned deadly when Puentes grabbed Whisenhunt’s sidearm. The desperate officer knocked the gun away, but this left Puentes on top of the young cop, beating him severely with his fists.

Enter Lee Lively, a passing motorist who observed the scuffle, then saw Puentes going for the dazed officer’s gun. Lively leaped from his truck, beat Puentes in a race-for-the-roscoe, then shouted an order to halt and winged two shots after the fleeing felon as Puentes tried to make his getaway. Puentes gained two slugs in the legs and a new friend, an attorney.

You can all guess what came next: Puentes sued Whisenhunt and Lively for $1.75 million, claiming negligence and excessive force. Perhaps on the coasts Puentes would have scored big, with a healthy cash settlement, riots held in his honor, maybe his own TV show. But this wasn’t happening in Noo Yawk Si-tee, folks; this was goin’ down in the Lone Star State!

Corporal Whisenhunt countersued, and the same Fort Worth jury heard both cases. When all the hoopla and horsefeathers settled, the suspect, Puentes, was ordered to pay $1.75 million in punitive damages and $1,000 for his victim’s medical bills.
Adding insult to injury, Puentes received a life sentence for his attack on the officer.

Radical and absurd as the idea may seem, the jury felt the violent felon — not the officer or Good Samaritan citizen — was the real criminal in this case. Imagine that.

Whisenhunt’s lawyer pointed out that the ruling was diametrically opposed to a recent New York City case in which a subway mugger was awarded $4.3 million after being shot by the police. The jury was pleased with the comparison.

“We just wanted to make a statement,” said juror Elsie Bowles. “We’re tired of the frivolous lawsuits that are plaguing our court system.”

Corporal Whisenhunt and Mr. Lively didn’t expect Puentes to actually cough up the bucks, but felt good about the message sent by their fellow citizen-jurors. Good salsa, good justice — let’s hear it for the Lone Star State!

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Primate Permit

These days, most metro-dwellers seem to expect their restaurant-dinner companions to have certain dangerous objects concealed on their persons: handguns, chemical sprays, stun guns, umbrella-swords, hairbrush-daggers, boot knives, revolving-cylinder 12-shot 37 mm flare cannons, compressed-air shrieking sirens, four-pound spike-studded keyfobs, lightweight tactical thermonuclear devices and such.

But they rarely anticipate the sudden appearance of menacing marmosets or bellicose baboons. Poor Sigmund Rosenbaum may be the U.S.’s first victim of wounds suffered in an attack by a concealed monkey.

Sigmund was peacefully enjoying dinner and drinks at the bar of Georgio’s, a popular restaurant in Boca Raton Fla., when a nearby lady’s purse trembled, then flew open as a hysterical monkey burst forth and landed on Sigmund’s head.

A few frantic minutes later, Rosenbaum was monkified but momentarily monkey-free, bleeding from a bitten ear, suffering from an unusual odor and wondering just what in the hell was going on.

The Ape Assassin and its owner disappeared in the melee. Responding police were unsure what charges, if any, could be filed in this case, presuming they ever found the suspect(s),

There was no immediate determination whether the weapon in question was a standard semiautomatic simian or the dreaded “assault anthropoid.”

Mark Moritz hung up his satirical spurs to a collective sigh of relief from America’s gun writers whom he had lampooned in Friendly Fire for two long, painful years. The 10 Ring is written by Commander Gilmore, a retired San Diego police officer who bases his humor, like Mark did, on actual occurrences. All the incidents described by the Commander are true.

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