Impersonator

Some people aspire to become police officers, and a few unsuccessful candidates, like this one, have to hire themselves as "cops":

KINGMAN (AZ) - Police say an 18-year-old Kingman man took people on ride-alongs and responded to fictional calls as he posed as an officer with the Department of Public Safety.

Skyler Lee Whalen is charged with impersonating a law enforcement official and forgery.

He was arrested Saturday afternoon after he went to the fairgrounds and told people he was responding to a 911 hang-up call.

One of those people he contacted was an off-duty KPD officer, who suspected Whalen wasn't a real officer and contacted his on-duty colleagues to come out and investigate.

Whalen left the fairgrounds in a grey colored Ford Explorer. Officers located and stopped Whalen driving the vehicle in the 1000 block of E. Andy Devine Avenue.

He reportedly admitted to impersonating a police officer and was arrested... Kingman Police Capt. Rusty Cooper said Whalen was wearing a DPS badge and ballistic vest and was carrying a police radio, handcuffs, and DPS business cards with his name on them.

He also had several guns and rifles in his SUV, which had been outfitted like an unmarked police car with emergency lights...

Whalen had reportedly taken at least two people on ride-alongs and made them sign release waivers he doctored from documents he downloaded from the DPS website...

Wow, now that is someone who allegedly put lots of thought into a ruse.

Considering he took at least two people on ride-a-longs with him, investigators will have their hands full learning what "Pretend Officer Whalen" did to impress friends for his two work shifts.

Scary.

I am glad that he was caught before someone got hurt.

-----------------

I also saw that this is not the first time that the young Whalen was accused of impersonating someone in uniform.

Several US Marines were obviously offended when he allegedly boasted of his service in the Corps.

Evidently, Whalen created a Facebook page showing him in a Marine uniform (dated 2010).  Of course he had to be shown wearing a chest full of ribbons and a Silver Star--an easy hint of an imposter for someone so young.

Anyone interested in Mr. Whalen's previous issues with the US Marines is welcome to Google his name or send me an email and I'll share the links with you.

_________________________________________

Have a super weekend everyone.

Polly Pocket

On many nights, 7:30 pm is synonymous with one thing for our five-year-old daughter, Sissy.


Polly Pocket time!

Polly Pocket time with dad that is.

Sissy gets her bags of figures out, complete with clothing and options, and we play.

After the "gals" properly accessorize, the Polly Pockets have tea parties...

We prepare for an antique show...

Or sometimes, we arrange them as an audience to cheer on a musical performance by one of the Polly Pockets; strangely the figure singing sounds always identical to Sissy's voice.

But at least one odd thing occurs during this 7:30 play time.

 Like:

--WHAM! Polly and friends will be suddenly struck by a large toy cement mixing truck; or

--SLASH! Darth Vader will appear swinging a lightsaber and knock over several tables and chairs; or

--BOOM! Soldiers in green camouflage and armed with automatic weapons launch a flanking attack.

Sissy will react with a surprised laugh, and then scold me with a "Daaaaaddddyyy!"

Order in Polly World is then restored.

----------------------

Wait, can you blame me for the violent intrusions to the doll gathering though?

I believe it is simply my male genetic code righting itself to equilibrium.

And, perhaps Polly Pocket time is the real reason I blog anonymously.

Fundraising Fail

I think decision-makers involved in this fundraising effort made an error so egregious that it should have inspired some sort of a David Letterman Top Ten List; maybe one entitled "You Know We Should Have Went with the Bake Sale when...":

An alert has gone out for the recall of thousands of beaded bracelets sold in tourist attractions after it emerged they are made from a highly toxic seed.

The Eden Project in Cornwall, which sold 2,800 in a year, is one of 36 retailers urging customers to return the red and black wrist charms.

They are made from the Jequirity bean - a deadly seed of the plant abrus precatorious which contains the toxin abrin, a controlled substance under the Terrorism Act....

The Eden Project in St Austell was selling the bracelets, which originated from Peru, for about a year before one of the attraction's own horticulturists spotted the poisonous seeds...



"Lethal poison jewelry for sale!" "Get your deadly bracelet now and impress your friends!"

In hindsight, I guess those "silly" fundraising suggestions of potluck dinners, bingo, and rummage sales were not so bad after all.


Which are Worse: the Criminals or City Leaders?

Still playing catch-up, so no Monday missing person post.

Instead, I'll tackle the following story.


___________________________________________________

Named as one of America's most dangerous cities a few years ago, the city of East St. Louis (IL) continues to struggle with this label.

A recent national news story on the conviction of that community's former police chief will not help with that negative perception.

The embattled police chief...was brought down by stolen video game players he gave to relatives.

Michael Baxton Sr. abruptly resigned Wednesday and pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court of two felonies after being snared in an FBI sting.

He was caught stealing four expensive Xbox 360 game systems in an undercover investigation of corruption in the neighboring community of Alorton, where he was police chief until late last year...

Officials said that certain Alorton police officers reported to federal authorities that Baxton was giving favorable treatment to some suspects, and mishandling evidence. In response, FBI agents abandoned a bait car equipped with surveillance devices in a parking lot on Oct. 5 and reported it stolen.

Baxton inspected the car, along with another officer, prosecutors said. The chief found five Xbox players in the trunk and told the accompanying officer to place four of them in Baxton's car and keep one for himself.

U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said Baxton first blamed the other officer for the theft, but admitted the truth after being confronted with evidence of his own role. He said Baxton had set up one game device in his basement for his son and gave the others as gifts to family...

It was also learned later that former Chief Baxton was convicted of one or more felonies in the early 1980s that had been expunged (one article said it was for burglary and theft, while another cited the charge as robbery).

Hmmm, so here is a summary on the ex-chief of police for East St. Louis:

--He is convicted of stealing X-Boxes.

--Then lies and tries to blame the officer he was with when filmed by the FBI.

--And, he has at least one, likely more than one, past conviction(s) for a felony crime.

--------------

Sadly, this is not the most disturbing part of this story.

No, leave it to mayor of East St. Louis, Alvin Parks, to make me fall out of my chair.

Mayor Parks had this to say about the now convicted former chief Baxton:

...Parks said he would like Baxton to play a limited "advisory role" with the police department, if Michael Floore, the new police chief, needs any help...

Yes, Mr. Mayor, that is what every police department needs.

Please hire a dishonest managerial advisor with a resume that features more than twice as many felony convictions as undergraduate/advanced degrees.

My condolences to the residents of East St. Louis.

How Many Words Do You Know?

I guess all the vocabulary review from studying for the GRE a few years ago was good for something.

Word Dynamo estimates my vocabulary at 45,599 words (that must include driving words).

Too bad I still fail so often at communicating well with the Mrs.

The test is a quick 10 questions, and you can go here to take it:

Word Dynamo: How Many Words Do You Know?

Let me know how you did, and definitely make me feel bad about my score so I'll read more...

_____________________

Have a good weekend everyone.

Lacks Speed and Acceleration

While researching public databases that include arrest histories for a project, I noticed this one:

Name: Defendant #45635
Date of Arrest: March 10, 2012
Location: Gwinnett County, Georgia
Charge: EXHIBITION OF SPEED/ACCELERATION

The odd charge of "exhibition of speed and acceleration" got me thinking.

When was the last time that I could have been accused of something similar?

Well, I currently drive the same speed as Mr. Magoo (that is slow for all you youngsters), and feel like I run similar to the shelled star from the children's story "The Tortoise and the Hare."

So, unable to identify with this driver's situation, I found that I can definitely relate to the charge against Ms. Brenda Jackson of Snellville, GA:

"MAINTAINING A DISORDERLY HOUSE"

Yes, drop by our house before bedtime on a school night, and you will definitely be exposed to a "disorderly" residence.
 _________________

 Happy Thursday everyone.

No Time for Humor Just Horror

Author and blogger friend Miranda Hardy left a comment on my previous post demanding humor (haha).

But before I attempt humor, I wanted to get this good old fashion horror story off of my clipboard:

The University of Nebraska at Lincoln is the latest college to face a bedbug problem in some dormitories -- an event that has been treated as a serious annoyance by students elsewhere, but hasn't led to scandals.

As The Lincoln Journal Star reported, however, a resident assistant in one housing unit reported that when she found bedbugs, she was discouraged from telling the students, and was told to tell them that her room was being remodeled, not that it was being scrubbed for bedbugs. The university denies a cover-up...
In follow-up stories, University officials seem to have dug themselves out of a hole by aggressively assessing, removing the bugs, and then regularly updating students and parents.



The final tally was 197 rooms with bug issues, and um...well.. lots of "contraband" discovered (wow, 300? I think someone is less than accurate with that total) during surprise room inspections.

Though it is unclear if the university acted inappropriately and tried to cover up the initial creepy crawler problem, one lesson is applicable:

Whatever the problem, just tell the truth and move forward. It is the cover-up that almost always results in the most damage. 

As far as the bed bugs, man, I am glad my biggest problem with my undergrad roomie was him hanging his smelly socks off my bed to air out.

 Those were the days.

Back

Yes, I am back and with a new computer.

After our house has become a laptop graveyard, we went a different direction and are trying a desktop--little ones and portable computers have not mixed well here.

Now, we hope that when one of the three kiddos spills a liquid into the wireless keyboard that we are only out $40 instead of well, the cost of a new laptop.

We'll see.

Anyway, happy March everyone.