The 2011 Houston Press Crimes of the Year

From a fake vampire to a getaway guy in a wheelchair, a defendant peeing in court to a cop-car backseat blow job, it's been a wild year.

With the Mayan Apocalypse just around the corner, perhaps it should come as no surprise that people are going a little nuts. And perhaps that's why 2011 was such a banner year for crazy crimes in Texas. Seriously people, we're starting to give those nutjobs over in Florida a run for their money.

Since January, we've seen a self-professed teen vampire terrorizing people on Galveston's Seawall and a hearing-impaired Houstonian who got trashed, bit off a chunk of his friend's ear, got run over by a truck, and escaped from the police while cuffed to a wheelchair, all in the same night. We've seen one domestic dispute sparked when a wife failed to like a husband's status update, and another one end when a false rape accusation was captured on tape.

We've read the dumbest quote from an alleged drunk driver ever, and written up the wildest and wooliest north Houston battle royale of all time. Lame robberies, a defendant pissing in court and threatening to join Al Qaeda, a woman tossing religious pamphlets at kids she'd just run over and the cop-car blow job heard 'round the world...2011 has had it all. Here is just a sliver of the oddest and strangest sins, blunders, and criminal follies from the past 12 months.


Nude-wrestling cops, copious K-2 and courthouse wigwams: the strange saga of Lufkin's Douglas Paul McCoy, a.k.a. ­Geronimo the Cherokee.

This summer, Angelina County deputies found 48-year-old Douglas Paul McCoy sitting by the side of the highway, allegedly stoned on the synthetic marijuana product K-2, and in a state of agitation. The instant the cops rolled up, McCoy stripped naked and girded his loins for combat. Described by police, to whom he is well-known, as "very anti-social, anti-government, anti-law enforcement," McCoy then proceeded to mock and berate the cops. A tussle ensued from which the police emerged victorious, though it wasn't easy. "It's a little awkward just because when he's naked, you don't have anything to grab hold of," a policeman said at the time, which doesn't speak too highly of certain of McCoy's manly attributes, but anyway...

McCoy was jailed on charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication, and his remaining stash of K-2 was seized. Unsurprisingly, McCoy was "extremely non-compliant" during the booking process, so much so that he had to be strapped to a chair with a spit guard clamped over his mouth, Hannibal Lecter-style.

McCoy was freed around 8:30 the next morning, and mere minutes after walking out into the Piney Woods heat, McCoy spotted one of the arresting officers from the day before in front of the sheriff's office. McCoy reportedly made a beeline for him and angrily demanded that the lawman return the two little bags of fake-but-potent weed that had been seized the day before.

Deputy Bryan Holley told McCoy that there was a federal ban on K-2 and that his stash had been entered into evidence. McCoy told the cop he would "kick his ass." The cop told McCoy he would be doing no such thing and rearrested him on the spot, this time for felony retaliation.

And the story doesn't end there. Earlier this month, McCoy had a court date to answer to some of these charges. He showed up to the date early — almost 24 hours early, in fact, and pitched a tent near the courthouse. Told by a local judge to remove his abode from the premises, McCoy refused and told the cops that he didn't know who they were referring to when they called him Douglas Paul McCoy, as he was a Cherokee Indian named Geronimo who had forgotten his "white man's name." (He also apparently forgot Geronimo's tribe.)

And so he was arrested yet again, this time for disorderly conduct, failure to identify and criminal trespass.

Drunks Say the Craziest Things

In the wee hours of a Sunday morning in November, 27-year-old Matthew Mitchell smashed his Chevy Impala into a Life Flight chopper that had touched down on an East Texas freeway at the scene of a fatal drunken-driving accident. In the aftermath, Mitchell reportedly asked a DPS trooper on the scene the following question: "Why was the helicopter flying so low?" Mitchell was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Seawall's Lot

Around dawn on a Saturday morning, a Galveston woman awoke in her Seawall Boulevard apartment to find 19-year-old Lyle Monroe Bensley kicking in her door, clad only in his boxers, growling, hissing and claiming to be a vampire. The tattooed teen then tried to bite her neck and slapped and tried to punch her. The woman escaped to the parking lot and was able to flag down a neighbor's passing car, but the inked, Hot Topic-looking vampire continued his pursuit and beat on the roof and windows of the car as the woman was whisked to safety. (She suffered minor injuries that didn't require hospitalization.)

Police arrived on the scene minutes later and found the wannabe Nosferatu still prowling the parking lot, though he did flee when he saw the cops. After scaling two fences in his attempted getaway, Bensley was finally captured by police who ran him down. He confessed that he was a vampire. Not only that but he was also 500 years old and from Hell. He warned them that they needed to restrain him for their own protection, because he could not suppress his "need to feed."

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