Arrested minister: Let my people go

Image_8521008 A minister who was running for Belle Glade city commission got arrested Tuesday night outside a polling place, where he allegedly swung a baseball bat at a woman.

Police and witnesses said the Rev. James Richard Harris (who wound up losing the election, btw) got angry at the woman for "talking to my people" in the polling site's parking lot.

He then said he was "going to crack me some heads," and swung a bat within five feet of the woman's face, according to this Palm Beach Post report. Harris was booked on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Attack of the chubby ninja

Image_8161089 We'll file this one in the Unfit Criminals Dept.:

Cops in Palm Beach County are looking for a pot-bellied man who tried to rob two ATMs recently while dressed in an all-black ninja getup.

He was unsuccessful both times.

'Toe-curling pleasure?' Not quite, man says

Nut001 A West Palm Beach sex-drug manufacturer is being sued by a New Jersey lawyer who claims he spent $106 on Vazopren capsules and they didn't live up to the company's promises.

The lawsuit, a copy of which is posted here by Courthouse News Service, alleges Nutrasci Inc. advertised that its pills would create the "ultimate sexual experience," provide its customers with 36 hours of "toe-curling pleasure" and give them the ability to "please their parteners [sic] 2, 3 and even 4 times in a night."

But pro se attorney Harold Hoffman says not exactly.

"Vazopren does not, and lacks capacity to, induce the results promised, advertised and represented," the lawsuit states.

Cops in trouble after kicking 'cuffed man

FootageA West Palm Beach officer resigned and two others were placed on administrative leave after a dashboard camera showed them kicking and punching a handcuffed man.

The Palm Beach Post has the story and great video that shows rookie officer Kurt Graham and officer Louis Schwartz kicking Pablo Gilberto Valenzuela outside a CVS.

Valenzuela_2 Valenzuela (left) had run out of the drugstore's emergency exit upon seeing the officers walk in, and he tried to spritz them with pepper spray when they chased him, according to police. After they caught up and cuffed him, the officers kicked Valenzuela in the face (they said he was trying to bite their legs).

A third officer, Jason Zangara, punched a still-cuffed Valenzuela in the face (he said Valenzuela tried to spit on him).

Graham resigned, and Schwartz and Zangara are on administrative leave, the Post reports.

PBSO: Stripper, friend behind club shooting

Sheilmartins Who hasn't been here before?

Man goes on business trip to a tropical destination.

Man goes to a strip club appropriately named "Sugar Daddy's."

Man walks out with a stripper, only to get shot seven times during a robbery attempt -- which the stripper herself helped set up, according to authorities.

OK, that's never happened to me, but it did happened to Carlos Franco, 41, of Texas, who was shot while visiting West Palm Beach last month.

Franco is now clinging to life in a Palm Beach County hospital.

The Palm Beach Post has the story.

A mug only a mother could love (UPDATED)

0530082mugs6 One of our favorite Monday time-passers here at Crime Scene is scrolling through the freshly posted mugshots The Smoking Gun compiles from all over the country.

This week's collection includes the requisite pretty girls, funny T-shirts and bad haircuts. And my personal favorite, the woman at the left who's flipping the bird.

The mugshots must be a popular feature, or else I'm guessing TSG wouldn't post them every week.

The Palm Beach Post now links the latest county jail mugshots prominently on its homepage. That recently got New Times blogger Bob Norman questioning whether this application of public records is "appropriate for a serious newspaper." 

An interesting debate. What do you think? Would you like to see the Herald post mugshots of every person who comes through the Miami-Dade and Broward jails?

**UPDATE: We do have a gallery of celebrity mugshots. Click here to see what everyone from muzak impresario Yanni to rock legend Jim Morrison to state Sen. Mandy Dawson looked like after their South Florida busts. 

From the WTF? Department

A Palm Beach County teenager had anal sex with his mom's male German shepherd and videotaped the act. On Thursday, a judge said the 18-year-old and his mother must surrender their pets to the county.

The mother objected, saying she didn't do anything wrong and was "mortified" to learn of her honor-student son's sick fetish. But the judge took the pets away and ordered $1,800 in court costs.

Here's the thing: Shocking as bestiality is, it's not illegal in Florida. The most prosecutors can hope for is a cruelty-to-animals conviction, but the penalties for that aren't too stiff.

State Sen. Nan Rich from Sunrise tried unsuccessfully this year to pass a law making bestiality illegal. Rich, an child's rights advocate who says animal abusers and child abusers are often one in the same, vowed to refile her bill next year.

Until she does, here's hoping no dog has to endure what the poor shepherd in PBC did. 

Rats, roaches invade Lake Worth home

Image_7116976 This is nas-ty.

A Lake Worth home has become overrun by roaches and rats, prompting the city to hire an exterminator and causing neighbors to set bug traps to preempt the critters from invading their homes.

Crime Scene friend Rochelle E.B. Gilken at the Palm Beach Post paints the scene (actual photo, left) with her lede: "Rats were hanging out of the windows of a home on South E Street this morning watching health department officials and the mayor survey the infestation."

Unclear if the owner -- who has been cited previously for the code violations -- will have to repay for extermination costs.

Someone Thomas Crowned those Picassos

Pic1 Two pieces of Pablo Picasso artwork valued at $450,000 were stolen from a Palm Beach gallery Thursday morning.

Now, I only dabble in Picasso, but I believe one of the etchings, Le Repas Frugal (1904), is from the artist's Blue Period. The other, Jacqueline Lisant (1964), is a much later work.

Pic2 The hunt is on to find the perp or perps who lifted the artwork in a manner that was much less smooth than what Thomas Crown woulda done: They scaled a six-foot wall and broke a glass window to get into the gallery.

Granny: Thug video is fine with me

Alfinez The grandmother of an 18-year-old Lake Worth man told investigators she consented to him filming her while holding a weapon, cursing and saying things like, "This is for all the pigs."

We wrote about Michael Alfinez when he was arrested last month after police discovered the footage in his car during a traffic stop. They charged him with elderly abuse and weapons charges. Apparently, he planned to submit the granny footage to a video series called Gangstas & Thugs.

Now, in a court affidavit, Alfinez's grandma, Marie Huertas, says she wasn't being abused and she wants prosecutors to drop the charges.

"I miss him and love him very much," she said to investigators, according to The Palm Beach Post, which also has a video on its site.

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