Lawyer John Kersey pleaded guilty to assault in July and agreed to counseling and to give up his law license for five years. A female divorce client had accused him in May of locking her in his office in Smyrna, Tennessee, threatening to hit her if she did not correctly answer questions based on schoolbook multiplication tables, and spanking her. Since May, 11 other clients have come forward with similar tales.
James Murphy, 40, was arrested for criminal mischief in Ronan, Montana, in March after he came upon a motorcycle parked outside the home of a former girlfriend and assumed it belonged to her new boyfriend. Murphy, on horseback and wearing a full ammunition belt, roped the bike, dragged it onto the lawn, shot it several times with a rifle, and galloped away.
After a 14-year-old girl argued with her older sister in Vaughan, Ontario, in February over the relative merits of two figure skaters performing on television, she went to the garage, loaded a .22- caliber rifle, and peppered the family home with seven shots.
The March wedding of Belinda Mansell and John Robert in rural Napoleon, Missouri, was abruptly halted when Mansell's father demanded that his daughter be married in a dress and not the pants and blouse she was wearing. The father, the groom, and the bride's brother continued to fight outside the church until the brother was wounded by gunshot. Reports were unclear about just who shot him.
In May police in Lincoln, Nebraska, arrested a 41-year-old painter who had been at work on a parking lot. He had lost his temper when a 21-year-old woman had walked through a cordoned- off area and smudged paint. He yelled. She spat. He then sprayed her with yellow paint from head to toe.
The Litigious Society
Kirsten Madsen and her husband sued a Nashville hospital in April for $4 million for emotional distress. A hospital employee had referred to their just-born baby, who was covered in a harmless blue dye used in a medical test, as "Smurfette."
A 64-year-old woman sued her 71-year-old husband in Boulder, Colorado, in June because he had not been able to consummate the marriage in the one month following the wedding after leading her to believe during courtship that he was capable. She claims "severe mental anguish, personal humiliation . . . and financial losses" and is suing for $50,000.
Lonnie and Karen Boozer filed a $1 million lawsuit against Disneyland for several incidents last October. They claim guards hassled them for shoplifting an item for which they had a receipt (which the guards refused to look at for several hours) and for having a dried-fruit bar in a knapsack ("no outside food allowed"). While they were being detained, they saw several actors dressed as Disney characters, apparently leaving work for a break, remove the heads of their costumes, so traumatizing their four-year-old daughter that she needed psychotherapy for three months afterward.
Stan Fox won $108,000 for finishing last in this year's Indianapolis 500 after traveling only ten laps before a gearbox problem forced him out.
Basketball player Scott Skiles, the Orlando Magic's ninth highest scorer last season, was voted the team's most valuable player in a poll of fans in April. Skiles is white; the top eight scorers are black.
After balloting at a hockey tournament sponsored by the Hartland (New Brunswick) Evangel Assembly earlier this year, Gary Adams was presented the plaque for "Most Christ-Like Player."
Baseball player Glenallen Hill of the Toronto Blue Jays missed several games in June because of cuts on his toes. Hill has a spider phobia and awoke one night, from a nightmare in which he was trying to evade spiders, trying to climb his apartment walls.
Adult basketball programs in Saint Paul, Minnesota, were canceled in February because some players were taking the game too seriously, according to a spokesman. In one incident Albert Simmons, 24, was wounded by gunfire after a disputed foul call.
Margaret Weldon, 74 and legally blind, scored a hole-in-one in March on the seventh hole of a course at Amelia Island Plantation in Florida. (Her husband coaches her.) Then she did the same thing the next day.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.