Gregory Reddick, 54, and his employer, SJQ Sightseeing Tours, filed a lawsuit in June against New York City for "harass(ing)" them and hampering their ability to rip off tourists, specifically, interfering with their "right" to sell tickets for $200 or more for trips on the Staten Island Ferry — which is actually free to ride. Reddick was wearing an unauthorized "Authorized Ticket Agent" jacket when arrested, and according to a New York Post account, believes he operates legally because he misunderstands a technicality in a 2013 court case. Prosecutors, who described the waterfront tourist-exploitation scene as "the wild west," found Reddick with seven dates of birth, five aliases and six Social Security numbers.
Can't possibly be true
• Doctors at a hospital in Dongyang, China, removed 420 kidney stones from a single patient in June (a "Mr. He"). One of the surgeons told reporters that a soy-heavy diet of tofu was probably to blame. According to the Guinness World Records, the most stones removed from one kidney during surgery is (this is not a misprint) 172,155 during a three-hour operation in India in 2009.
• France's daily La Provence reported in May that at least one enterprising drug dealer in Marseilles had begun distributing "loyalty cards" to its best customers, offering a 10-euro discount on future sales after that customer's card was full (all 10 squares stamped from previous sales). Said one buyer, "I thought I was hallucinating. I thought I was at a pizzeria or something." The card also expressed thanks for the patronage and reminded the customer of operating hours (11 a.m. to midnight).
• Laquanda Newby, 25, was charged with three counts of child abuse on June 7 at the county courthouse in Richmond, Va., after police spotted her car with two children locked inside on a day in which the temperature reached the 90s. Newby had parked at the courthouse that day in order to attend her hearing on charges that on May 26, she had locked her kids in a hot car while she was out on errands.
• Luis Cruz, 46, sought pretrial release in Springfield, Mass., in June — even though he had been charged with heroin distribution and even though his rap sheet, counting his record in Florida, was 52 pages long. His court-appointed lawyer, Anna Levine, was not deterred, arguing that bail was not necessary to assure that her client would appear for trial because none of the 52 pages, she said, contained an arrest for failure to appear. Said Levine, earnestly, "It's a 52-page record for showing up."
• "Just one of those spur-of-the-moment crazy things," explained John Paul Jones Jr. in May after he had intentionally driven his pickup truck through his living room in Senoia, Ga. He told a reporter that he had been on the phone with his wife and gotten angry, and "one thing led to another." Fortunately, Jones is a contractor, and has been out of work for a while and thus figures he can keep busy fixing his mess. The house "needed some work," he said, "needed air conditioning." Jones said the truck fared well, with just a few scratches.
Least competent criminals
• Nashville police arrested Mashara Mefford in June and charged her with breaking into one of their marked cruisers. She was discovered by an officer after she had locked herself inside and could not figure out how the locks worked.
• Dene Temple and Stephen Fidler pleaded guilty and were sentenced in June for burglarizing the Sichuan Garden Chinese restaurant in Brighton, England. Police, called to the restaurant, caught the men attempting to hide inside the walk-in freezer. There was "no doubt," said a supervising officer, that the men would have frozen to death if not for being spotted by police.
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