Reality Round-Up: Bad Behavior Edition

This has happened to me plenty of times!

Writer’s block can be painful, especially when you blog every day and punish yourself for falling short like I do. Fortunately, inspiration can always be found in my fellow man.

Anytime my creative well runs dry, all I need to do is scan some websites, surf some channels or thumb through a newspaper and within minutes, I discover someone doing something mean, stupid, unbelievable, inexcusable, awe-inspiring, evil and, in every case, just plain interesting.

A story starts to come together, usually around a common theme or idea. In terms of the Reality Round-Up—which serves to connect the dots between seemingly unrelated stories (in an effort to celebrate our commonalities while chuckling at our differences)—I hit pay dirt when a clear theme emerges quickly and organically.

At this point, I don’t tell the story; the story tells me, if that makes any sense.

One theme that always seems to emerge—regardless of the day, time, location or any other measurable factor—is the one thing our fellow humans cannot seem to prevent or avoid: bad behavior. It is everywhere and affects people in every walk of life.

I guess you could call it my “go to” theme for this reason. It makes writing almost effortless. Whether or not it is good writing remains to be seen. And that is for others to judge anyway since I am extremely critical of myself.

But one thing is for certain: bad behavior is everywhere. And writing be damned; it’s the stories that make the difference. Check these out and tell me I’m wrong.

CLEVELAND, OHIO

Students and parents were attending a kindergarten graduation ceremony at Michael R. White Elementary School when something unexpected—and pretty pathetic—happened: a fight broke out between two teenage girls and before you know it, the fracas became a full-fledged brawl.

Adults and children essentially rioted as the ceremony was winding down, with members of each family punishing the other for the initial altercation and forcing the school to be put on lock down.

Arrested at a kindergarten graduation. Terrible (courtesy of John Kuntz/AP)

Pomp, circumstance and fisticuffs? I’m pretty sure that’s not how graduation is supposed to be, especially for kindergarten kids. Aren’t we trying to matriculate these students to high school graduation someday, maybe even college? If so, then I hope the emotional scars of this ceremony gone violent don’t result in truancy and a higher rate of school absenteeism later!

NORTH CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

Carl Barnwell Jr. was the theater manager for the Charleston County School of the Arts and enjoyed teaching classes, too. Unfortunately, his passion for helping students turned into a sexual passion for one student in particular: a 16-year-old girl.

Did I mention that Barnwell is 30 years old?

According to the victim, she and Barnwell have been engaging in sexual relations weekly since last December. They had sex dozens of times and in many cases, did so on school grounds, even in the upstairs part of the theater he managed.

Needless to say, Barnwell has been placed on leave and charged with sexual battery of a student. A judge in Charleston County just set his bond at $50,000 and he is currently being held at the local detention center.

Okay. This goes beyond bad behavior into evil, perverted behavior, but it’s in the same ball park. Sick bastard.

PALM BAY, FLORIDA

Have you ever gotten into an argument, lost the battle and then wished you had thought of something poignant enough to make a lasting impression on your adversary? Well, that very thing happened to 30-year-old Stepfon Muse last Wednesday, only his “impression” was a bit more literal.

You may want to bite it, but resist the urge! (courtesy of YouTube)

You may want to bite it, but resist the urge! (courtesy of YouTube)

Muse and his wife were driving through town and got into a rather heated argument near the intersection of Foundation Parkway and San Filippo Drive. At some point, his wife had enough and decided nothing more could be gained from their conversation. She attempted to exit the vehicle, but Muse did his best to restrain her and even hit her on the arm. Nothing worked and he was desperate, so Muse did the only thing he could think of.

He opened wide and took a huge bite out of his wife’s ass.

Police arrived on the scene a short time later and investigated, but the only proof they needed could be found in the most unlikely place. On the woman’s buttocks was a clear and quite visible bite mark. And it didn’t take a dentist to realize whose teeth marks they were, either. Muse was arrested and is now sitting in the Brevard County Jail on charges of aggravated battery.

Isn’t it nice when the police get to the bottom of a crime so quickly?

STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA

Speaking of police, an officer in Stockton experienced violent crime first hand when he responded to a residential disturbance on Friday.

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Joey Yang is deadly with fruit (courtesy of the Stockton PD)

Outside a home was Joey Yang, sitting there peacefully and eating a fruit cup. When the officer approached him, however, things took a dark and disturbing turn.

Yang suddenly threw the fruit cup at the officer and took off running.

Unfortunately for Yang, sprinting just after eating must not have set well and he was quickly grabbed by other officers. A struggle ensued, but police were able to restrain Yang and apprehended him quickly. He now faces charges of resisting arrest and battery on an officer.

Battery? With a fruit cup?

If you ask me—and I’m not defending violent behavior, even with food products—the justice system is sticking it to this misguided criminal. Yang is definitely taking it up the yin… yang. Wow. I never thought I’d bookend a sentence like that!

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Montego Bay, Jamaica is nice this time of year. Gorgeous weather, lots of sunshine, beautiful beaches, great music… it’s got it all.

What is also has are drugs. And I’m not just talking about the ganja being enjoyed by Rastafarians in the hillsides or tourists huddled in their hotel bathrooms, either. I’m referring to that evil, white powder known as cocaine… you know, like the kind found in Iveliza Tuhanna Perez’s cork-wedged, high-heel shoes last week?

Sorry. I’m getting ahead of myself.

The 25-year-old party girl was returning from Bob Marley Land and passing through customs at Philadelphia International Airport last Wednesday when officers discovered the shoes in her luggage. For some reason, they seemed heavier than usual, so they were x-rayed and sure enough, anomalies were found in the heels and soles. Further inspection revealed more than four pounds of cocaine hidden there, worth roughly $140,000 on the street.

Now facing charges of possession with intent to distribute and knowing and intentional possession, this has to be Perez’s most expensive vacation ever. She should have known that what happens in Jamaica—and what you enjoy in Jamaica—needs to stay in Jamaica.

I’m fairly certain I saw that in one of their travel brochures…

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

Lakeville Police responded to a call from a local gas station recently and arrived to find a 13-year-old boy in tears and beat all to hell. He had an ice pack on his shoulder and there were marks and scratches along his neck, chest and elbow.

Even with gloves, beating a kid is wrong (courtesy of Pro Fit Boot Camp)

The boy told officers that his relative—Aubiedee “Che” Spearman—was the one who inflicted the damage in some misguided attempt to teach him “how to be a man.”

It happened as he was getting ready for school. Spearman didn’t like the clothes the boy was wearing, made him change, followed him to school, made him clean out his locker and then took the boy back home. That’s when he told the boy he would teach him “how to be a man” and started punching him while wearing boxing gloves. The attack lasted 20 minutes and only ceased once the boy escaped the house and ran to a nearby gas station to phone police.

Spearman told officers he was trying to pass along a lesson that his uncle passed to him, but confessed to going a little overboard. If he is convicted of malicious punishment of a child, he could face thousands of dollars in fines and up to a year in prison.

And just like Perez the Cocaine Customs Lady, Spearman learned an expensive lesson, one even his uncle might have frowned upon.

POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA

The final stop in our survey of recent bad behavior is Laurel Elementary School in Polk County, Florida. And the perpetrator? First-grade teacher Ashley Barker, who now faces termination for what she did.

Ashley Barker cheated the system (courtesy of WFTV-9)

Ashley Barker cheated the system (courtesy of WFTV-9)

For more than a year, Barker claimed that she and her father were both dying and that she needed time off for doctor’s appointments and the like. Only here’s the thing: neither of them were sick and she was just using this as an excuse for more time off.

Scandalous.

The ruse held for a year in which school officials accepted her excuses, gave her time off and even made special accommodations for her. And during this time, Barker wrote more than 120 letters to the principal explaining her situation and thanking the administration for their concern and flexibility.

Imagine their surprise to learn it was all one great, big lie. When the allegations first emerged, the school district confronted Barker and she immediately confessed. While they thought she was keeping doctor’s appointments and receiving life-saving treatments, Barker was simply sitting at home and relaxing. What a loser.

What’s most surprising is that Barker is now fighting her termination and may end up in court to defend her actions. I, for one, hope they televise her hearing on Court TV because people, this promises to be one of the greatest works of fiction in a generation!

And now, dear readers, the story must end. Better yet—and trusting my fellow humans to provide me with even more blog fodder tomorrow and for every day to come—I should say “to be continued” since where bad behavior is concerned, the story never ends.

Posted on June 1, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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