Dateline: Maryland—A Montgomery County judge ruled last Tuesday that the act of mooning someone is not illegal in the state of Maryland. The decision cleared Rockville resident Raymond Hugh McNealy, 44, on charges of indecent exposure after brandishing his buttocks to a neighbor during an argument. Judge John W. Debelius III said McNealy committed a “disgusting” and “demeaning” act when he exposed his posterior to his neighbor and her 8-year-old daughter on June 7 of last year. But the judge overturned an earlier decision by a District Court, clearing the defendant of criminal wrongdoing. “If exposure of half of the buttock constituted indecent exposure, any woman wearing a thong at the beach at Ocean City would be guilty,” Debelius said, according to a report in The Washington Post. McNealy allegedly had a heated debate with his neighbor, Nanette Vonfeldt, at a homeowners association meeting last June. The morning after the clash, Vonfeldt accused him of yelling at her as she and her daughter walked out of their apartment. “Then, for whatever reason, in full view of my daughter, he mooned us,” Vonfeldt wrote in court documents. Debelius agreed with McNealy's attorney that, under Maryland law, indecent exposure only covers display of a person's “private parts,” which does not include buttocks. McNealy attorney James Maxwell said the Debelius ruling should “bring comfort to all beachgoers and plumbers” in the state.
Dateline: California—An artist who wandered out into the desert to draw a picture of chains wrapped around his legs ended up hopping for 12 hours after realizing that he lost the key and couldn't unlock the restraints. According to San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Ford, Trevor Corneliusien, 26, tightly wrapped and locked a thick chain around his bare ankles last Tuesday while camping in an abandoned mine shaft about five miles north of Baker. The artist had just finished drawing when he realized he didn't have the key to his restraints. Corneliusien spent the next 12 hours hopping through the boulder-strewn desert. “He did put his shoes on before hopping,” Ford said. Corneliusien eventually made it to a gas station, where he called the sheriff's department. A paramedic team soon arrived with bolt cutters. The artist's legs were bruised, but he was otherwise in good shape. He even showed his drawing to police. “It was a pretty good depiction of how a chain would look wrapped around your legs,” assessed Ford.
Dateline: California—A police officer who was escorting a teenager home after a traffic stop in Fremont found himself attacked by a pack of angry Chihuahuas. The officer suffered minor injuries, including several bites to the ankles, Detective Bill Veteran said. The five Chihuahuas escaped from the 17-year-old boy's home and rushed the officer as he stood in the doorway last Thursday. The officer was treated at a nearby hospital and returned to work less than two hours later.
Dateline: Virginia—Animal rights activist Chris Garnett has legally changed his name to KentuckyFriedCruelty.com in a bid to publicize PETA's new anti-KFC website. The 19-year-old works as a youth outreach coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and says that his new name “never fails to spark a discussion.” On his namesake website, Mr. com says that his parents have been supportive since he became a vegan at age 15, but were a bit shocked when he changed his name. PETA's complaints about KFC stem from video footage shot last year recording alleged mistreatment of birds at a Pilgrim's Pride plant in Moorefield, W.Va. KFC has disputed the claims of mistreatment and, last June, a grand jury refused to indict former workers at the West Virginia chicken plant.
Dateline: Missouri—A Kentucky woman has been ordered to spend 10 days in jail and pay nearly $3,000 in fines after she told authorities she was kidnapped, raped, shot and left for dead near Kansas City International Airport in order to avoid an Internet date. Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said 18-year-old Laura E. Crews of Nicholasville has pleaded guilty to filing a false police report. “Saying you got shot, stabbed and left for dead I would think is a very elaborate story to avoid a date,” Zahnd said. “Why she persisted with it once the police got involved is beyond me.” Crews met her Kansas City-area boyfriend over the Internet and arranged a first in-person rendezvous with him and his mother at the airport. Apparently having second thoughts, Crews called her boyfriend on the day they were to meet and told him she had been abducted, assaulted and dumped in a ditch. The boyfriend's mother quickly called 911, setting off a flurry of activity by eight local, county and state agencies. Traffic was even diverted at the airport to allow a helicopter search. According to Zahnd, police called Crews on her cell phone and asked her to call 911 so they could pinpoint her location. “She said ’nah, I'm not going to do that.' That's when they became suspicious.” In addition to reimbursing authorities the $2,994 they spent searching for her, Crews will perform 100 hours of community service.