Hard as it may be to believe, the criminal element of Southeast Texas did dumb and weird things in 2010, continuing a tradition that dates back to the creation of Southeast Texas.
Here are ten of the oddest and dumbest:
10. Two former EMS employees in Santa Fe were arrested after they allegedly phoned in a false report of an ailing man to draw attention away from the town's EMS station, where Santa Fe's sole remaining ambulance was parked. The two women were allegedly caught ransacking that ambo for meds, much like Bubbles and his buddy Johnny Weeks from The Wire.
9. A Bryan man was found incoherent behind the wheel of his car, which was pointed the wrong way off the side of the road, and he was unable to maneuver said car out of a ditch. He told police he was high on K-2 and wanted to get some more. He was charged with DWI, the only such person we know of to have been arrested for being under the influence of the newly-banned synthetic marijuana substitute.
8. Three Houston men were arrested in East Texas after their scheme to pass a forged check was foiled, in no small part thanks to manner in which they attempted to cash said check: by walking through a bank's drive-thru.
7. Apparently the municipal fireworks display was not enough to slate Albert Briede's desire for pyrotechnics. The 30-year-old Houston man stands accused of arson after allegedly setting fire to a line of hung-up blouses in the closet of the Montrose apartment he shared with his girlfriend, causing a fire that could have potentially caused numerous injuries and dozens of people to become homeless. His motive? He was allegedly angry that his friends had abandoned him when he tried to insist on driving them all home while he was drunk off his ass. Briede is free on $20,000 bond while the case is still pending.
6. This time, Nicole Ileen Murphy thought she had stashed her meth somewhere the cops would never find it. When the 26-year-old New Caney woman and known drug user was riding in a car pulled over by Montgomery County cops, she thought at first she was sitting pretty. A search of the car turned up nothing, as did a search of her person. This was a very persistent cop, however, and he went so far as to arrest Murphy for a seatbelt violation. And then at the station, Murphy finally caved. Yes, she did have some meth on her. Or rather in her. In her vagina, to be exact. Ridin' dirty indeed. Murphy voluntarily retrieved the vadge-stash and was charged with two felonies: one for the meth, and another for bringing it into a place of detention.
5. Nobody could say why Jaxon Leone was boozing it up in Clear Lake Regional Hospital's waiting room, but after he was asked to leave, the 34-year-old UGK and Hunter Thompson fan and sometime musician allegedly made his getaway in grand style. He reportedly staked out one of the hospital's emergency room entry bays and waited for medics to unload a patient from the back of a just-arrived ambulance, and then he hopped behind the wheel and drove it to an apartment complex two miles away. Authorities tracked the ambulance through its onboard GPS, and Leone was found nearby at a gas station. Leone was convicted of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and accepted a deferred two-year sentence, but was in trouble again within weeks. Since November, Leone has been in Harris County Jail after an incident in which he is alleged to have smashed up someone's sprinkler head.
4. Michelle Thomas, of the East Texas town of Hudson, is a apparently a demanding and mercurial woman. One second she's loving on you, and the next, she's slashing at you with a pair ofscissors
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. That was what allegedly happened in May, when police say the woman assaulted her husband after a sexual encounter failed to live up to her expectations. Thomas's mugshot shows a certain amount of defiance and even pride we don't see often in such photos.
3. A southwest Side love triangle was at the heart of a vehicular catfight in an apartment complex parking lot in September. According to an arrest report, Jeannette McCorvey and Jennifer Klinkhammer were competitors for the affections of an unnamed man. When the two met in the parking lot, a battle royale was on: the two women allegedly rammed each other's cars repeatedly. Misdemeanor charges against both women were later dismissed on the grounds that the motorized combat had been mutual.
2. Sadly, as a commenter to our original story pointed out, Thomas Louis Van Hook might not be sickest pedophile around, but he is certainly one of the dumbest. Back in March, the 57-year-old was on trial in Jasper County after the thrice-convicted flasher was alleged to have failed to comply with his requirements a registered sex offender. He was notorious in the area, not just for those crimes, but it was also widely known that he had penned a letter to Proctor and Gamble's ad department suggesting ways they could make their diaper commercials more erotically charged. (Among his stomach-churning ideas: They should show little girls laying down "with their little legs wide open." After all, as he wrote, ""there should not be a problem of your showing a nine-year-old girl's beautiful, pretty little hairless ...") So it was something of a cause for concern when Van Hook started hung out his shingle as a baby-sitter, offering dirt-cheap child care (Up to four kids for a whole weekend for only 12 dollars! Whatta deal!) for a very specific type of child: girls only, and they had to be between 11 months and nine years old. Police took an interest in his fledgling business, and once in his home, discovered dolls with home-made vaginas and other items of concern. At his trial, the jury took a mere half-hour to decide Van Hook needed to be up under the jail; he was given a 40-year sentence.
1. Pastor Randy Scott of Bryan-College Station reportedly had a secret. The married man of God -- pastor of Bethel Temple and a former chaplain for the Bryan Police Deapartment -- allegedly had a sideline in posting ads on Craigslist posing as an underage boy looking for men to hook up with, a la Chris Hansen. But where the newsman turned over the horny NAMBLA candidates to the cops, Scott is alleged to have coerced the men into sex. But only, Scott was quick to point out to investigators, as a top.