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The skinny

Booby trap is effective, and therefore illegal

Self defense

Booby trap is effective, and therefore illegal

Back in the '70s, Joe Weston-Webb of Nottinghamshire, U.K., built a catapult to launch his wife across a river. It was a crazy decade, and she was okay with it. Anyway, that never worked out, and Weston-Webb has had the catapult sitting in the yard ever since. So when burglars started raiding his business, he pulled out the old Roman-engineered device, loaded it with bags of chicken waste and waited. That got him attention in the media, and that apparently led to no one breaking in, even though it seems aiming would be an issue. Anyway, then the local police read about it and told him it was illegal. So he disabled it. And then the business was robbed of a TV, computer and equipment. "It is ridiculous that we are in this situation now in which we can't defend ourselves," he told the Daily Telegraph.

Moving violations

Here's what you don't want to do ...

Under most circumstances, it might have been okay for Daniel Winsky, 53, to be drunk in the passenger seat of a car. But he was convicted of operating under the influence on Thursday for a December 2007 incident in Newburyport, Mass. The problem: Winsky is a driving instructor. The car Winsky was in was equipped with a brake pedal on the passenger-side floor, and prosecutors say he moved the steering wheel. He was sentenced to 18 months probation and loses his license for one year. He claimed he wasn't drunk.

Mayor wants more than just a warning

Jim Fouts, the mayor of Warren, Mich., was pulled over on his way to City Hall for doing 45 mph in a 40 mph zone. The officer let the mayor off with a warning. When he got to work, he remembered that one of his campaign promises was to end favoritism in City Hall. This presented a moral dilemma. Had he just received favoritism en route to City Hall? To be safe, he called the deputy police commissioner and asked that they send over a ticket. Of course, if the Average Joe got out of a ticket and wanted one later, could he just have one sent over? Hmmmmm?

Good day, bad day

Officer honored, laid off at meeting

Kristopher Weston had an eventful day Tuesday as a police officer in East St. Louis, Ill. It started when he arrested a suspect in a murder case within 20 minutes of the crime. That night, he was summoned by the mayor to a City Council meeting, where he was recognized for his work. Five minutes later, the council voted to enact budget cuts, which meant he was laid off. "It was nice to be recognized," said Weston, who was on the job for 10 months. "I'll just leave it at that." No one was happy about what happened. "This city is broken," council member Delbert Marion said. "This city is going through changes it may not recover from."

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at jwebster@sptimes.com.

Booby trap is effective, and therefore illegal 04/17/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 17, 2009 11:14pm]
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