A 65 year old Pennsylvania man has been charged with criminal trespass, defiant trespass, indecent exposure and public drunkenness after he was found drunk and naked inside his neighbor's pig barn. The natural question is why anyone would want to frolic in the nude among pigs. The man explained to Manor Township Police of Lancaster County, "I just like pigs."
A Pennsylvania teen who broke into a woman's home by kicking in her front door will be charged only with criminal mischief, and more importantly, he is still alive. Earlier this week, 19 year old Cory R. Gootee of York County left a friend's house to smoke a cigarette. He was so intoxicated that he ended up trying to enter the wrong house. When he discovered the door was locked, he decided to kick it in, which would have been inappropriate even if it were his friend's house, but much worse when it is the home of an unsuspecting neighbor. A 31 year old woman was waiting at the door with her hand gun drawn when Gootee burst through her doorway. She commanded him to not come any closer, and called 911 to report a burglary in progress. Gootee retreated to his friend's front porch, where police found him. Gootee explained to the police that he was simply confused due to his intoxication, and the police found his story to be credible. Although he could have been charged with a second degree felony charge of criminal trespass, the victim asked police to charge Gootee only with the summary offense of criminal mischief, which entails destroying or damaging another person's property without permission.
It was not long into my career as a criminal defense attorney when I realized that the majority of crimes are either rooted in the pursuit of or effects of drugs and alcohol, or in mental illness, or a combination of the two. My educated guess is that the 38 year old woman who accused workers at a South Central Pennsylvania SPCA animal shelter of "kidnapping her niece," was likely suffering from some DSM-V mental health diagnosis, in light of the fact that her "niece," Molly, is actually a dog. The bizarre delusion led to a rather unusual, alleged burglary over last weekend.
Many things have changed since I lived in the Penn State dorms in the early 1990s, but unfortunately, one thing that has not changed is the high number of dorm room burglaries on the Penn State campus. Dorm burglaries are common, because so many students carelessly leave their doors unlocked when they go to the study lounge or take a shower. The burglars are often other students, who lurk around, waiting for a time when both roommates are out of the room and have left the door unblocked. With dorm rooms being so small, it generally only takes a few seconds to locate and grab valuables.
Before the typical student arrives at college, he has seen scores of movies glorifying the drunken debauchery and mayhem of fraternity life. In movies like "Revenge of the Nerds" or "Animal House," the impressionable, teen viewer is shown that laws do not apply to fraternities and sororities. Such films have a long cinematic tradition, and many are quite funny, but in the real world, fraternity pranks often lead to the filing of criminal charges. As a criminal defense attorney in State College, PA, I deal with such cases first hand.