True Crime, Nov. 28, 2007 

One Tough Dog

Warning: Read no further if you don't want a minor plot detail revealed in the excellent new movie No Country For Old Men.

OK, then: In the film, the hero, Llewellyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin, takes down a giant pit bull coming after him with one shot from a pistol. It would have been a different story if Moss's escape had taken place in Teton County instead of Texas. They might have named the movie, No Country For Wimpy Dogs. That's because a pooch in that eastern Idaho area survived not one, not two, but three shots from a Teton County Sheriff's deputy before crawling to a porch, where the family rescued it and took it to the vet.

Sadly, the family's 3-year-old had to witness the carnage. That may be one part of the reason that the Barboza family has filed a tort claim against the sheriff's department, as a precursor to a lawsuit if the two sides can't settle out of court. According to the Associated Press, Leo Barboza's dog was wanted by the sheriff's deputy because someone had complained of getting bitten by the pooch, who should definitely never be called "Fluffy." Nope, he's called "Bobby."

The AP quotes Barboza's attorney, Joshua Garner, as saying that the experience has injured his client "physically and emotionally." Bobby is also probably feeling similarly, but has no standing in Idaho's judiciary system.

The deputy, Joseph Gutierrez, who is probably rethinking his choice of ammo, has been suspended while the sheriff's office conducts an investigation of the matter.

Doctor's Orders

District Judge Robert Elgee of Blaine County is most likely regretting his decision to give Raquel Martinez more time to schedule her sentencing. That's because Martinez is now pretty much AWOL in Mexico, although her attorney swears she's getting "medical treatment."

The True Crime Desk, noticing the weather approaching the Treasure Valley, has also considered getting "treatment" in Mexico. The conditions needing treatment include Severe Margarita Deficiency as well as Seasonal Affective Disorder and Total Surf Deprivation.

Martinez is free on a $25,000 bail after pleading guilty in March to a single count of felony forgery. She got the deal in exchange for the Blaine County Prosecutor's Office agreement to dismiss three felony counts of grand theft and four charges of petty theft. According to the Idaho Mountain Express, Martinez was accused of acting, badly, as a federal immigration employee. Apparently, she managed to dupe seven Ketchum-area Hispanic workers into giving her some $8,000 after promising she would help them obtain legal status in the United States.

Her attorney, Dan Dolan, swore up and down that she was receiving medical treatment in Tijuana, a Mexican city known for such impeccable medical facilities as Senor Maguey, a center that also advertises "cantina and mucho party."

Say, maybe we're not feeling so well around here, either ...

"We're still waiting for medical reports to say what she's suffering from," a Blaine County prosecuting attorney told the Express.

How about "veisalgia?" Look it up.

Choosing Not To Fade Away

The world is full of good ways to end an argument. A shaking of hands, perhaps, or even a decision not to speak to the aggravating party. But "pouring gasoline all over your opponent's car and lighting it" is not considered a sure-fire way to seek closure.

Nonetheless, that's the route chosen by Timothy Flowers of Boise. Flowers was apparently arguing with a friend (we use the term loosely) inside the Corpus Christi house here in town.

Shortly afterward, Flowers, who is apparently not named well, was seen pouring gasoline into his conversation partner's truck and lighting it on fire. Witnesses saw the flowering of flame and put in a call to Boise Police, who arrested him that evening.

Consider, however, it may have been an aggravated attempt at turkey barbecuing. This unorthodox method of Thanksgiving dinner cookery has been gaining adherents in recent years. Gets the crowd, and the heat, out of the kitchen on a big cooking day and lends your bird a memorable flavor quite unlike the usual oven roasting. Since Flowers was arrested late in the day on Thanksgiving, we might yet assume that he and his chum were debating the finer points of bird burning, and Flowers was ready to demonstrate his technique.

The BPD are, reportedly, not fans of this method of outdoor cookery, and Flowers now has a blooming third degree arson charge, a felony.

Hands Up, Not In

It's the simplest of things, and we've all seen the movies. When that cop flashlight pans across your face, and you're faced with an extra shiny bit of bling with the words "Boise Police Department" stamped across its face, you know one bit of body language can go a long way: You raise your hands over your head.

Two suspects over the weekend missed out on this crucial bit of action and are now paying for it.

Randy McNeil, 25, was the first to mess up the basics. Friday night, with a warrant out for his arrest for stepping out against his parole, McNeil was spotted leaving a store at Fairview and Milwaukee. When the officers approached him, he ran. He followed up the footwork by, according to police reports, reaching for something tucked into his waistband.

Which is about where officers decided to chase, tackle and tase him, bro. When they rolled his still-twitching body over, they found he had a handgun and two folding knives on his person. Off he went to the Ada County lockup.

Second to miss the cue in the wee hours of Saturday morning was Timothy Bonnell, who, shall we say, vigorously disputed accusations of driving under the influence. Here we are again with our key point of advice: You're faced with a cop. What do you do? Not, as Bonnell did, keep your hands in your pockets. Nor should you wiggle out of your jacket and start a sodden sprint away. Bonnell was tracked, turfed and checked into the lockup on charges of battery against an officer, as well as the resisting and obstructing charges we now know how to avoid, right?

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