True Crime, March 19, 2008 

One More Reason to Dodge the Mall

Did you really need another? The plasticine aisles at the Boise Towne Square present lots of reasons to avoid the place, whether it's the harsh neon lighting, the depressing sameness of it all, the crushing boredom ... and now, the stabbings.

Late in 2007, a writer for the Twin Cities alternative weekly CityPages determined to spend an entire week living full-time in the Mall of America, a megalith of consumption that has become a tourist attraction in and of itself. While there, the writer, Matt Snyder, developed a set of rules he would follow while camped out in the place:

•Do not leave the building for any amount of time during open hours.

•Step foot in every one of the mall's 520-plus stores.

•Sleep a minimum of one night in the mall. Somehow.

•No outside food, water or alcohol. Everything consumed must be purchased onsite.

•No iPod or other distractions allowed.

•No poking fun at the mall's Santa Clauses.

•Not even the one that kind of looks like a pedophile.

To which the True Crime Desk might add, "no knife fighting over the ladies."

It's true that some people you encounter at the Boise Towne Square look like they exist there, and only there, carrying out some kind of bizarre existence that couldn't possibly work in the real world.

And now one of them, Harley Orshal, is in jail. Orshal, apparently, objected to being placed in a headlock on March 16. But rather than make his points in a reasoned manner, Orshal drew a knife and began stabbing his assailant.

While we salute Orshal for finding a novel way out of a classic wrestling takedown the Boise Police viewed his ingenuity dimly, and arrested him. Orshal was booked into the Ada County Jail on one count of aggravated battery. The victim was rushed to a hospital. The fight began inside, eyewitnesses told KBCI Channel 2 news, but moved outside where it got gory.

It took Snyder nearly a week in the country's largest mall to get truly weirded out by the experience, but this news has shaken the True Crime Desk. Where, we ask, will we go for our Gap Baby supplies now?

Shivs For All My Friends

Springtime is for stabbing, apparently. Knives were all the rage for people in a fit of rage this last week. Whether it was the mall-mania stabbing described above, or the other two knife-related incidents in the Treasure Valley, sharp and pointy was the modus operandi for crooks all over this land.

In the wee hours of March 17, police were called to an apartment complex in Meridian over reports of a fight. When they got there, they found one guy with stab wounds and other injuries after a fight that witnesses told KTRV Channel 12 was an out-and-out melee. Meridian Police Sgt. Scott Colaiann told the newsies that anywhere from 10 to 12 people were involved, all using more traditional whack-and-poke weapons like baseball bats and knives. Just as the fight mechanisms were primitive, so was the motive: Assailants were duking it out over a girl, reportedly. Sigh. And Valentine's Day is still a recent memory.

The latest rendition of Blade: The Prequel occurred March 16 in Nampa, where a woman was taken to the hospital after she was stabbed by an intruder. The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the suspect, still at large, is described as a Hispanic male, 16 to 17 years old and about 5 feet 8 inches tall. The cops say he was wearing black pants, a black shirt and a black hat on backwards. The Press-Trib tells us he was last seen fleeing the area, possibly with two other people. We're still checking to see if they were headed towards Boise Towne Square.

Anyone with information about the Sunday stabbing is asked to contact Nampa Police at 208-465-2257.

Death Wish 6?

Back from the grave, baby: Charles Bronson is still kicking some ass out there in the hinterland, despite reports of his death several years ago.

Wait, maybe this is a different guy: Garden City Police report picking up Charles Bronson, 26, of Spangle, Wash., after he busted probation. Never mind. The vacant stare? Sure, we'll grant him that. But this guy has none of the strong-silent-type appeal that was so handy digging a dirt tunnel in The Great Escape, to say nothing of using a grenade launcher to dispatch a baddy in Death Wish 4. Never mind.

So we've got new skepticism that Mundy Lou Bogosian has any relation to the great New York playwright Eric Bogosian. Sure, she's got the brooding eyes, but hers appear to come courtesy of a pile of mascara, not a lifetime of cigarettes, booze and writer's angst. Mundy Lou was nipped for a DUI by Boise Police officers Sunday afternoon. And although she probably had a wicked headache when her mug shot was taken, there is no evidence that she was taking her namesake's experience to heart. After all, it was years ago that Bogosian wrote Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead.

We also doubt, after reading the reports, that Richard Ford the fashion designer and perfume magnate would have anything to do with Craig Richard Ford, the 46-year-old who showed up at the Ada County lockup with a suspended license.

Guy could use some of Ford's style, even if he is trying to emulate the perfectly trimmed five-o'clock shadow made so famous by the fashion fop. But lord help us if this Ford decides to unbutton his shirt to the midriff, as the New York version so often does.

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