Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Tears of a clown

The man arrested yesterday for allegedly making threatening threatening phone calls to the office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi appeared in court today for his arraignment and cried. The SJ Mercury News put it like this:

He was crying in court and appeared disheveled in a T-shirt and khakis. The magistrate ordered the U.S. Attorney’s Office to interview Giusti to see if he is mentally competent enough to be released to a halfway house, or if he should continue to be detained.

It could be said that a more sympathetic portrait of the man is emerging. If he’s just some poor crazy fuck, can he really be held responsible for his actions? Legally, that’ll be up to the courts, and I’m glad we live in a country where mentally ill people are not held fully responsible. And yet people who live with him, or have dealt with him in recent years — see the previous entry here — have found him scary and intimidating. At what point do you stop being a harmless if abrasive nut and start being a dangerous creep? It’s not up to the victims of a bully to evaluate his mental state or even confront him if they believe they are in physical danger.

Meanwhile, KGO’s Dan Noyes reported (via Politico.com) that his mother said her son was the victim of bad influences like “Fox News, or all of those that are really radical.”

Angry white man arrested for threatening Pelosi looks the part

Gregory Lee Giusti

Here’s the guy arrested Wednesday for making multiple threatening calls to the office of House Speaker and San Francisco Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

After the FBI hauled him away from his Tenderloin (of course!) subsidized housing building (of course!), his neighbors told TV reporters things like, “He was not one of my favorite people. He had a real attitude problem… I personally was afraid of him.”

He was even kicked out of a local church a few years ago for being “menacing while angry” and a general asshole. Apparently a tech geek (of course!), he rigged a system to make continuous harassing calls to church members.

But that photo gets me. It’s like a picture staged by The Onion to show a generic Tea Party protester all hot under the collar about Obama’s birth certificate, the New World Order, and the secret internment camps at Fort Irwin* for a story headlined “Local man can’t stand it when people won’t engage him in heated political discussion.”

*If this seems unnecessarily detailed, it’s because I’ve been reading up on right-wing paranoid drivel lately.

Torture maven John Yoo to appear on KQED Monday

John Yoo. Courtesy Infowars.com

UC Berkeley law professor and former Bush administration lawyer John Yoo will appear on San Francisco’s KQED radio Monday at 11:06 a.m. on Michael Krasny’s Forum program.

Yoo was one of three lawyers responsible for drafting memoranda to the Bush administration suggesting legal justifications for “enhanced interrogation techniques” to be used on terror suspects. An internal Justice Department investigation found Yoo and his colleagues guilty of misconduct, but a DOJ administrator Friday overruled the report’s findings and ruled their actions did not rise to the level of misconduct. The ruling saved Yoo and the others from possible disbarment.

Yoo is promoting a book, “Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush.” His appearance last month on The Daily Show, in which he unctuously eluded pointed questions from host Jon Stewart and so confounded the usually incisive interviewer that Stewart actually apologized to viewers, was the very definition of slick and slippery. Here’s hoping KQED’s Krasny — whose roundabout questions can themselves amount to a sort of informational filibuster — has more success.

CHP radar on Deadman’s Curve

CHP_carThose 40 m.p.h. speed limit signs recently installed on the Bay Bridge’s S-curve (aka Deadman’s Curve since the fatal semi truck plunge early this month) mean business.

How do I know? I was just nabbed by a CHP officer with a hand-held radar gun, standing next to her car at the end of the S-curve, at the point where the S-curve roadway rejoins the old roadway just before the tunnel.

So resist the temptation to accelerate when you get to the end of the S-curve, folks, unless you want to spend the rest of your trip across the Bay Bridge with a CHP car on your tail and everyone else laughing at you.

KTVU-TV story: CHP launches crackdown on speeders at S-curve

Affluent teens often blotto at parties, parents find

In a long feature in today’s LA Times about the death of an affluent teenager at an Orinda party where alcohol flowed freely, local parents were stunned to find out “that students from good families and strong schools” commonly attended such parties. Indeed, passing out drunk was such a common occurrence that “teens who passed out at parties often were ignored” (emphasis mine). Yeah — oh, her, she’s always passing out.

In other drunk news, Sen. John Kerry’s filmmaker daughter Alexandra was arrested in L.A. Thursday on a DUI charge, but released after the breathalyzer showed she was under the limit. Kerry’s filmmaker daughter is not to be confused with Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter who is also a filmmaker and also named Alexandra.

The future of journalism: ‘Oh shit!!’

There’s a scene in The Wire where Omar, a psychopath with a shotgun whose trade is robbing drug dealers, gets into a drug stash house he intends to rob by disguising himself as an old lady in a wheelchair. Once he pulls off his wig and pulls his weapon from under the lap blanket, one of the guards realizes what’s happening and blurts out, “Oh shit!” And Omar gleefully echoes him: “‘Oh shit!!’ Yeah!”

Somehow that’s what came to mind when I saw this announcement of a program at City Arts and Lectures on the future of journalism. Why, just today in the NYT’s media blog came the news that the Newark Star-Ledger is planning on more newsroom employee buyouts-slash-layoffs. I have the feeling the disemployed reporters felt somewhat the same way as the drug dealers felt when they realized they had been tricked by Omar Little. They had the feeling it was coming, they did everything they could to prevent it, and when it came, all they can do is blurt, “Oh shit!”

Right. Anyway, at City Arts and Lectures, “two seasoned journalists and editors will discuss the current state of print journalism, the impact and implications of the shift toward a more digital world, and the future of print media.” Good luck with that!

COP “I’ll break your arm like a twig”

Illegal to skateboard in San Francisco?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAsUOZpPN9w[/youtube]

Never mind that this cops understanding of the law is way outdated, try 6 years old. It is a matter of fact, Skateboarding is allowed in all those places he claims it is not. Read for yourself, the only provision in the county code when Skating isn’t allowed:

San Francisco City and County law

“a) Prohibits skateboarding on any city street at any time, on any sidewalk in any business district at any time, and on any non-business district sidewalk commencing 30 minutes after sunset and ending 30 minutes before sunrise (Traffic Code, Section 100)”

Snipped from the Supes Legislative analysts memo from 2003.

Skateboarding is only illegal at NIGHT. This kid looks to be right, this cop is acting like a fucking dick. I mean fer chrissakes we even have a SF Skateboarding Task Force (PDF)!

Death and the Giants

Villalona. Photo by Tony Medina, courtesy San Jose Giants

Villalona. Photo by Tony Medina, courtesy San Jose Giants

Nineteen-year-old Giants prospect Angel Villalona, a first baseman who hit .267 for the minor-league San Jose Giants this year, is the prime suspect in a killing last night in his home country of the Dominican Republic, the Associated Press and other news organizations reported today.

Villalona, a 2006 draft pick, turned himself in to police twelve hours after the killing of 25-year-old Mario Felix de Jesus Velete in a bar in the coastal city of La Romana. He could face up to twenty years in prison. Villalona, who had been ranked among the top 50 minor league prospects by MLB.com, had returned to the Dominican Republic to play winter-league baseball.

Meanwhile, the big club’s prospects for the postseason continued to fade as they dropped two out of three games in Los Angeles this weekend even as the team they’re chasing in the Wild Card standings, the Colorado Rockies, won two out of three. The Giants’ 6-2 loss to the Dodgers today (scoring summary) was painful for many reasons, but I think a new low for the season was reached when the Giants batted in the top of the fifth inning.

Trailing by a score of 4-1 on a hot day, 2008 Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum was clearly already exhausted. He had just suffered a long fourth inning in which the Dodgers had scored twice, and he badly needed a breather. As he was due up third in the inning, it was up to the usually ineffective hitters Ryan Garko and Aaron Rowand to, at the very least, extend their at-bats and give Timmy time to catch his breath. Instead, Lincecum hardly even had time to sit down before Garko popped out and Rowand struck out. Utterly gassed, Lincecum (14-6) grounded out quickly, then in the top of the inning walked the first two batters and was pulled from the game.

The Giants scored only one run the rest of the game, and were left to watch the scoreboard helplessly as the Rockies overcame a one-run deficit and overpowered the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Giants’ loss and the Rockies’ win puts the Giants four and a half games back with just 13 games remaining in the season.

Things that happened to San Francisco

The mayor, every member of the Board of Supervisors, and several other elected officials take a 2.4% pay cut with the just-signed budget for the city.

Police have arrested a suspect in the series of car fires that struck the city last week, a 62-year-old homeless woman. She might also be responsible for the porta-potty fires that broke out several months ago.

The Eddie Bauer business is now the property of a San Francisco firm called Golden Gate Capital Partners, though its corporate headquarters will continue to be in Bellevue, Washington.

Five cops versus a non-resisting suspect — guess who won?

This San Francisco blogger on Open Salon writes of a “disturbing” police takedown of a fleeing suspect who was, judging from her account, pretty much not fleeing when they tackled him.

He was practically standing still when they tackled him. There was no shout, no order. The first cop hit him squarely from the back, another hit him from the side. They knocked him face down on the pavement, hitting his head on the neighbor’s motorcycle fender. More cops jumped on top. There was no resistance from the guy at all. Now there was a lot of hollering, which seemed to be about handcuffing the guy. It sounded like the cops were saying to each other to get the cuffs on him. There were so many of them — five cops — on the guy, I’m sure it was difficult to do even the simple task of handcuffing an immobilized, unresisting suspect. The guy must have had an even harder time breathing.

The man survived the arrest.

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