Watercooler Stories

Suit: NYC enforces unconstitutional law

NEW YORK, March 5 (UPI) -- Two New Yorkers who were recently arrested for violating an anti-loitering law declared unconstitutional 25 years ago have filed a false arrest suit.


The federal class-action suit accuses New York and its police department of continuing to arrest people under an anti-loitering law that was thrown out in 1983, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said the suit, if certified as a class action, will also cover others arrested under the law since it was abolished -- a number the Daily News found to be 2,513 people.

"This action seeks to end -- finally, for all time -- this pattern and practice of unconstitutional conduct by police officers in the NYPD," the suit says.

Paul Casale and Anthony Garcia were arrested in March 2007 while walking at the New York Port Authority. Their lawyers said they were strip-searched and arrested under the defunct law.

"They were walking when they were arrested, they were doing nothing wrong," lawyer Katie Rosenfeld said.

M&M's maker: Naked Cowboy committed fraud

NEW YORK, March 5 (UPI) -- The maker of M&M's has accused New York's famed Naked Cowboy of fraud after he sued the company for trademark infringement.


Mars Inc. filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that claims the performer, Robert Burck, committed fraud when he obtained his trademark, the New York Post reported Wednesday. The company claims he did not produce a list of items that would be covered by his trademark.

Burck filed a $6 million suit against the company three weeks ago after billboards on Time's Square bore the image of a blue M&M dressed in a fashion similar to his Naked Cowboy apparel.

Shopkeeper erects poo-filled catapult

WEST BRIDGFORD, England, March 5 (UPI) -- A British shopkeeper, frustrated by repeated break-ins, said he has installed a catapult full of chicken droppings to deter burglars.

Joe Weston-Webb, proprietor of Grumpy Joe's Flooring in Nottinghamshire County in England's East Midlands, said he installed the 30-foot catapult and a cannon that fires railroad ties after security fencing, motion-sensor lights and CCTV cameras failed to put an end to repeated nighttime burglaries, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

"Warning: These premises are protected by smart-poo and railway sleeper projectiles," a sign posted on the premises reads.

"I have an exploding coffin too. The intruder would have to climb into the box in order to be blown out of it and I don't expect anyone would be stupid enough to do that, but I'm working on it."


Weston-Webb said he has a theory about the identity of the culprits.

"We are pretty certain it was a rival company, but I can't prove it," he said.

Obscene word in assigned 7th-grade book

MELBOURNE, March 5 (UPI) -- Parents of Australian seventh-graders at a Melbourne school have objected to an assignment that involves a novel containing an obscenity.

Opposition politicians and parents groups said the novel, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," by English writer Mark Haddon, is inappropriate for seventh-graders at Melbourne Girls' College because it contains a four-letter profane reference to the female anatomy, The Age reported Wednesday.

"Most men wouldn't say that word in front of women and most women don't use the word at all -- and there is a reason for that: It's not socially acceptable," said parent Peter Taylor, who added that his daughter will not be reading the book.

Shadow Education Minister Martin Dixon said the language makes the murder-mystery inappropriate for the age group.

"Students shouldn't come across that language in school texts, even more so when you are talking about year sevens," Dixon said.

Latest Headlines


Follow Us