Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Hate It When This Happens...

So, Joseph in IL sent in this story, and I was all set to post a quick, light-hearted "ha-ha" story. And then I read a little further into it, and was infuriated.

Man Held On $100K Bond For Stabbing, Running Over Inflatable Rat
CHICAGO (CBS) – A 43-year-old northwest suburban man was in jail on a $100,000 bond Thursday, charged with stabbing and running over a giant inflatable rat that was apparently blocking his access to a building in the Loop in late April.
The incident occurred on April 29, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Lisa Gordon. That’s when some Teamsters were picketing in the area of 50 S. Clark St., and blowing up an inflatable rat, she said.
So, let's recap: The dude in question was on his way to a job, and was prevented access to said job by picketing Teamsters. They put an inflatable rat in the way (ha! Those Teamsters! So original!) and when they refused to move it, the dude slashes it with a boxcutter and then drives his truck over the former inflated rat. Cops are called, he's arrested.

Koukos, of the 600 block of Pamela Court in Wauconda, was originally charged with a misdemeanor, but that was later upgraded to felonies, according to Chicago Police. He is charged with one felony count of criminal damage to property and one misdemeanor count of aggravated assault on public property, according to police.
Felony damage to property? Are you s**tting me? This is a completely victimless crime here, folks. And yet Mr. Koukos is now permanently barred from owning firearms in the United States of America, all because he ran over an inflatable rat. The Onion can't make this kinda stuff up.

This. This is why folks just throw up their hands and stop caring. When a politician says "you don't want criminals to get guns" - remember that Mr. Koukos is a prohibited person and therefore one of those dangerous criminals who is federally proscribed from owning firearms. A completely victimless crime, one that should have been resolved with a fine, has resulted in a felony charge that could haunt this man the rest of his life.

When running over a damn inflatable rat is a felony, the law has made a hollow mockery of the term. If that is a felony, tell me what else falls below the threshhold. Now, I'm sure it has something to do with the value of the item - like the difference between larceny and grand larceny - but the fact remains that no one was harmed by this action; no one is going to go hungry because "Scabby the rat" got slashed. This isn't someone's car getting stolen here.

Or, to put it in terms MA residents can understand, this isn't an illegal alien getting their fifteenth drunk driving conviction. Oh, wait, those aren't felonies, are they? I think that's what frosts me the most. Davey Drunkard pours himself into his car after a hard night of pounding back Bud Light at the neighborhood suds slinger, slams into a telephone pole and gets arrested, that's not a felony. Even though he put every other person on the road at risk, he gets released on recognizance and goes home that night.

But you break a Teamster's inflatable rat, and you're forever ineligible to own firearms. That's fair, right? Put people at real, calculatable risk? No harm, no foul. Go to driver's ed, and in a few years it'll be gone and off your record. Try to make a living for yourself and damage someone's physical manifestation of an insult, be forever barred from exercising your Second Amendment rights.

That's the Chicago way right there, folks.

That is all.


Rob said...

That is Chicagoland, a different set of rules.

Stretch said...

I would add that if convicted he'll be barred from voting but this IS Chicago. I'm sure someone will use his vote ... repeatedly.

Armed Texan said...

IANAL, but it is my understanding that it is unlawful to block access when picketing (or any time really). So, will they be charging the union thugs?

Anonymous said...

Charged is not convicted Jay.
I'm sure there are lawyers drooling at the chance to take this one to a jury trial.


Chris in TX said...

I know that in some places (Texas for one), the degree of the crime is related to the dollar value of the damage. So in theory, felony graffiti/criminal mischief is possible.

Still, that musta been one expensive inflatable rat.

Bubblehead Les. said...

$100K Bail? Lord, there's MURDERERS walking the Streets who've gotten LESS Bail Amounts!

Old NFO said...

Chi-town... Nuff said...

Anonymous said...

12 foot tall Scabby the Rat. The dollar value is over $500. It's felony property damage. The assault charge is probably bogus.

The Unions run Chi-town. We've all seen what that does to the credit rating of the state (We're #50!!) and the deficit ($20 billion and growing).

Joseph in IL

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"This is a completely victimless crime here, folks."

I have to disagree with that. There is a victim - whoever owned the rat. That person is now out $500+ because rather than calling the cops this guy lost his cool and destroyed someone else's property.

As for it being a felony, I can understand why the laws are written with a dollar amount threshold, but what seems to be a growing problem is how easy it is getting to cross that threshold. The laws - specifically the dollar amounts - are simply not being updated to keep pace with inflation. I'd bet that even 10 years ago this wouldn't have been a felony, and that the only thing that's changed is how many dollars it takes to buy the same rat.

The bond - plus his picture, though that may be sheer prejudice on my part - makes me suspect that not only is this not his first arrest (or even his first arrest for an allegedly violent crime), but that he probably has a significant history of not showing up for court. That is, after all, the purpose of setting a bond in the first place.

There's basically zero information on the assault charge, so I won't even comment on that.

Anonymous said...

"one felony count of criminal damage to property and one misdemeanor count of aggravated assault on public property"

Public Property? Was it a city owned inflatable rat?

His real crime was pissing off the Teamsters. How dare a non-union bum work in THEIR TOWN. The Teamsters pay good money for their Chicago Government, and expect value for their money.