Tuesday, September 7, 2010

11 y/o nailed with felony for prank

Hey, here's one that makes a lot of sense to me right off the top... (yeah, sure....)

An 11-year-old allegedly wrote a note in a Richmond bank, indicating she had been kidnapped and was missing since 2009.

I've seen B.S. charges before, but this one takes the cake. Congratulations, Richmond P.D. (For you friends in Richmond, Va., who are reading this, it was the Richmond, Illinois P.D.!)

Now I don't think the police ought to disregard any note of this type. It could have been a real situation. But, when you look at the big picture (the girl was found safe with her father in Harvard (Ill.)), does it warrant a felony charge?

Geez, how lucky I was in about 1967, when I went into Northern Trust Co. (bank) in the Chicago Loop to make a withdrawal. I knew the teller, and she knew me. I filled out my slip for a withdrawal from my checking account and, when I put it on the counter by my lunch bag (I was brown-bagging it that day), I had also written on it, "Just put the money in the bag."

I didn't look at the teller when I walked up to the window. What I didn't know was that Wendy had stepped away from the window and a trainee had taken over. When I looked up and saw it wasn't my friend, Wendy, and saw the look of shock on the trainee's face, I quickly said, "Hey, Wendy, tell her it's Gus. I'm kidding; it's a joke."

Luckily, the trainee had temporarily frozen and hadn't hit the panic button. Lucky me!

Do I dare write this today? Will the McHenry County Sheriff's Department or the FBI swoop down on me and charge me with attempted bank robbery? Is there a statute of limitations on a joke? I hope it's 40 years or less. Will that help me with my election chances? Will all my antagonists finally realize I'm just a "regular" guy?

I can't imagine that this 11-year-old deserves a felony charge. It will, of course, be bargained down to a misdemeanor, but the Richmond PD and the State's Attorney's office will rattle their swords at the parents and probably bankrupt them with legal fees (or keep a Public Defender well compensated for yet another day in court).


But Seriously said...

Could not agree with you more on this Gus. To be blunt, it's just plain stupid to charge this 11 year old with a felony.

Seems like a case of overcharging to scare the parents into settling on the lesser charge instead of charging the more appropriate charge and risking a challenge, IMHO.

Gus said...

But Seriously, thanks! Must have been a slow month in Richmond...