MONDAY, OCTOBER 14 This week of criminal candy stops, tax thieves, and dystopian dream cars kicks off in Maryville, Missouri, with a two-year-old rape story that grew furious new legs, thanks to thorough reporting from the Kansas City Star. "Few dispute the basic facts of what happened in the early morning hours of January 8, 2012: A high school senior had sex with [Melinda] Coleman's 14-year-old daughter, another boy did the same with her daughter's 13-year-old friend, and a third student video-recorded one of the bedding scenes. Interviews and evidence initially supported the felony and misdemeanor charges that followed," the Star writes. "Yet, two months later, the Nodaway County prosecutor dropped the felony cases against the youths, one the grandson of a longtime area political figure." Coleman says that her family was systematically harassed because of her daughter's rape allegation. The details are ugly: Coleman lost her job, her daughter was encouraged to kill herself (and made several suicide attempts), and their family home was eventually burned to the ground. Today, the world turned one huge hairy eyeball on the town of Maryville—led by the "hacktivist" group Anonymous—and by next week, a special prosecutor will be appointed to reinvestigate the case. "This is a victory, not just for me, but for every girl," now-16-year-old Daisy Coleman writes on the website xojane.com, where she told her story and thanked Anonymous for publicizing her case. "I just hope more men will take a lesson from my brothers. They look out for women. They don't prey on them."
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15 The week continues with a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against the City of New York and several NYC police officers by a 25-year-old who was arrested this summer for possession of methamphetamine. Court documents obtained by The Smoking Gun state that shortly after Love Olatunjiojo and a friend exited a Coney Island candy store, they were stopped by two cops who searched them and seized six "crystalline rocks of solid material." Four of the rocks were blue, and two were red. According to Olatunjiojo's lawyer, the "crystalline rocks" were still encased in their Jolly Rancher wrappers. Nevertheless, a "criminal court complaint alleged that officers seized a 'quantity of methamphetamine' that field tested positive for a controlled substance," states The Smoking Gun. "One of the arresting officers 'has had professional testing as a police officer in the identification of methamphetamine.'" Making matters more stupidly worse, a third suspect was arrested for reportedly yelling, accurately, "It's candy!" as the cops arrested his two friends. Two days after the incident, the NYPD's Controlled Substance Analysis Section confirmed that the candies were indeed candy.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16 In much better news, today Congress cast an 11th-hour vote to raise the federal debt ceiling and end a 16-day government shutdown that forced the closure of national parks and the National Zoo's panda cam, kneecapped investigations of food-borne-illness outbreaks, stalled scientific research projects, left low-income women and children without food-assistance programs, and furloughed hundreds of thousands of federal employees, among other things. The good news in all this is that Republicans walked away with nothing after holding the country hostage for weeks in an attempt to defund or delay Obamacare. "We fought the good fight, we just didn't win," Speaker John Boehner told Cincinnati station WLW-AM, which is only half a lie. The bad news is that their temper tantrum cost the country up to $3.1 billion in lost revenue, reports the New York Times, and Republicans have vowed to keep fighting the health care law. Three cheers for the Grand Old Party of fiscal responsibility!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17 The week continues with a dystopian nightmare, courtesy of Toyota, which announced that it is recalling 870,000 vehicles because of recurring problems with its air-bag-deployment system. The problem? Spiders. Specifically, webs built within a range of car models were found to be deploying air bags "with explosive force" reports CNN Money. "Toyota is aware of three air bag deployments as a result of this and 35 cases of warning lights coming on," the website reports. "In the cases Toyota has investigated, the only consistent cause of the blockages has been spider webs."
•• Meanwhile in dystopian dreamscapes: Some generous soul dropped 2.5 pounds of marijuana into a thrift store donation bin in North Seattle, prompting the Seattle Police Department to issue this friendly PSA: "Donating to thrift shops is a terrific way to give a second life to your well-loved velcro sneakers, keyboards, or flannel zebra jammies. However, thrift stores cannot accept the following items: tires, soiled mattresses, laptops, large bags of marijuana." The weed was collected into evidence and will be destroyed, the department states.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18 The week continues with a sentence our fingers already regret typing, as today two New York teenagers were arrested for allegedly shoplifting from a lingerie store in Manhattan and one was found to be carrying around a dead fetus in a shopping bag. Seventeen-year-old Tiana Rodriguez was stopped by a Victoria's Secret security guard who "discovered the fetus when their bags were searched," reports News12 Brooklyn. "Rodriguez allegedly told police she delivered the baby at a friend's house and didn't know what to do." Police say the fetus was born several months premature and then suffocated, but a medical examiner says further testing is needed to confirm that scenario. "The bag also contained a pair of pants that were allegedly stolen from the store, valued at $44.50," reports News12 Brooklyn. The two girls were arrested on shoplifting charges, and Rodriguez could face more charges pending further results from the medical examiner.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19 Nothing happened today.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20 Nothing happened today, unless you count the Robin Hood–esque religious zeal of Seattle accountant Cleo Reed, the operator of We B Tax Services who faces up to four years in prison for cheating the IRS out of millions of dollars for his poor clients. "I had a spiritual calling to give aid, support, and guidance to the underemployed, disabled, and veterans of this great land," Reed said in a letter to the court, which was published today on Seattlepi.com. "My services were not about me exploiting others to gain financial compensation, but rather to give something back to the people who have contributed in some form or fashion to the economical rebounding of our country during our recession period." After a 2010 sting, Reed admitted to faking income claims for unemployed clients, who would not otherwise be able to claim a low-wage tax credit because they earned no paycheck. "Doing so, he ensured they received thousands of dollars in taxpayer money they weren't due," explains Seattlepi.com. Investigators claim that Reed filed at least 1,305 fraudulent tax returns worth $4.3 million for destitute clients. The government has requested that Reed be ordered to repay that amount.
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