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Stupid Case File for January 30, 2005

It was a wild, wacky world of crime in 2004

Courtesy of phillyBurbs.com

Picking Bucks County's dumbest criminal of 2004 isn't easy. Neither is choosing the most bizarre crime of the year. There are no lack of contenders, and plenty of categories to consider, such as:
Most unbelievable offense: A legally blind Lower Southampton man who pleaded guilty to collecting hundreds of child pornographic images on his home computer.
Bloodiest fight over an accessory: A Lancaster woman was arrested and charged on July 4 with stabbing a Bristol Township woman in the upper abdomen. The women were fighting over ownership of a handbag.
Most photogenic vandals: Two upper Bucks men who videotaped themselves as they lit a tree and bush in Sellersville on fire, threw Molotov cocktails around a parking lot and set off fireworks.
The list goes on and on, but here are some of the highlights ... make that lowlights.
He allegedly set fire to the family home in the 900 block of Manor Lane. His parents were not injured, but the home was destroyed.
The man told a neighborhood friend that he became angry on Christmas Day when there weren't any presents for him, Lower Southampton police said.
Murray initially denied he set the fire, police said, but later allegedly admitted his involvement in front of several officers saying he started the fire "on purpose." Police said the his jacket smelled of smoke, a lighter was in his pocket and gas cans were 10 feet from the front door hidden under trash bags and bins.
"So what if I burned my house down?" Murray said during his arraignment. "It's my house."
The tall black woman wearing multi-colored boots, tight jeans and a woman's pink jersey called herself "Dami-Anne."
The 24-year-old Maryland resident walked into Gordon's Jewelers in the Oxford Valley Mall in early December and applied for store credit, allegedly using personal information from another woman. Suspicious store employees called police.
Meanwhile, the suspect was given $9,600 in store credit. After employees rang up a $9,081.44 purchase, Middletown police moved in and took her into custody.
Soon after police learned her name wasn't the only thing she lied about. When police attempted to search the suspect, they discovered another lie. "Dami-Anne" - real name Damian Antonio Gant- is a man with breast implants.
Police charged Gant with a felony count of forgery, several felony criminal attempt charges and one count of misdemeanor identity theft. He was sent to county prison in lieu of 10 percent of $50,000 bail, where he was held in the men's section, according to a prison spokeswoman.
The high school seniors called it a dumb prank. Lower Makefield police called it a felony. Pennsbury administrators called it a day of traffic chaos.
In the early morning hours of May 2, two 17-year-olds, one a Bucks County Technical High School student, the other a Pennsbury High School East student, scaled a locked, 8-foot barbed-wire topped fence surrounding two school bus lots at Charles Boehm and Pennwood middle schools.
Once inside, they caused $15,000 worth of damage (including bus drivers' pay) to 52 school buses - clogging bus door locks with epoxy, a resin-based glue, and ripping and cutting electric wires controlling bus operations.
The vandals left behind more than damaged buses - they left their footprints and fingerprints. What did them in, though, was the glue, which Lower Makefield police tracked down to a local retail store.
They turned themselves in to police 10 days later. A Bucks County Juvenile Court judge sentenced them to spend the summer in boot camp and repay the district $2,623, and each donate $200 to a district program that teaches kindergartners bus safety.
They had to complete 50 hours of community service, which involved washing the district's bus fleet.
The crime shocked students at Bucks County Community College.
Unnecessarily shocked them, police said, after they learned that a reported assault in a parking lot of the Newtown Township campus never happened.
In March, a 19-year-old Middletown woman told police her "harrowing" tale:
She was running late for class when a man wielding a box cutter pushed his way into her car and sliced her, leaving superficial cuts on her chest and near her shoulders. The man also slammed her head against the car door and uttered, "such a pretty face," as he attacked her.
The woman later admitted that she cut herself and made up the story of an attacker.
Police charged her with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor.
Two men allegedly wanted to rob a couple at the Creekside Apartments in Bensalem, but police said they didn't bring enough duct tape.
The tape ran out before Shawn Raditz could bind the legs of a woman who lived in the apartment with her boyfriend, who was already taped up, police said.
"I can't believe we didn't bring enough, again," Raditz said, according to arrest papers filed in April.
So Raditz allegedly improvised and tied her legs with her boyfriend's shoelaces. Raditz and his accomplice, Raul Aguirre, then stole more than $2,000 worth of jewelry, cash and video equipment, according to police.
After they left, the woman freed herself, cut the duct tape on her boyfriend and called 911.
The suspects were soon apprehended inside their getaway car - a taxicab that they called to pick them up at the crime scene. Philadelphia police were able to find the two men because a suspicious supervisor at the cab company followed the cab.
Raditz, 32, of Elmhurst Street in Philadelphia, and Aguirre, 25, of Floral Park, N.Y., were taken into custody, police said. Both were charged with robbery, aggravated and simple assault, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment and unlawful restraint.

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Uncle Sam wanted himself.
Warminster police and U.S. Postal Service special agents in August arrested Frank Roy, 56, of Maple Shade, N.J., after he allegedly purchased more than $1,100 worth of stamps by writing bad checks at area post offices.
Law enforcement agents were able to track down Roy, who, postal agents allege, used personal checks drawn on a closed bank account in his name, after a Hatboro post office employee recognized him from an interoffice memo relating Roy's alleged fraudulent tactics.
The employee described Roy as dressed in a white polo shirt, red tie and a bright blue colored jacket -"red, white and blue like Uncle Sam."
The description of his patriotic attire did Roy in when he showed up later at the Warminster post office, where he purchased 800 stamps, again allegedly signing a bad check.
Roy faced misdemeanor charges of accessing a device of fraud, theft by deception, receiving stolen property and writing bad checks.
The Eagles season tickets got a couple of fans into a game, but they could also be what puts an alleged burglar behind bars.
After a full set of Eagles season tickets were taken during a series of three burglaries and seven thefts from vehicles in Northampton in November, police started staking out Lincoln Financial Field.
Eventually, someone used the tickets, which police traced to a Philadelphia man they allege is the burglar, Joseph Andre Soto.
Police allege that Soto broke into two homes and attempted to break into a third between Aug. 2 and Sept. 10. He is charged with three first-degree felony burglary and seven theft from vehicle charges. He was sent to Bucks County prison on $800,000 bail.
William Fennell is the marrying kind. He tied the knot for the first time in 1992. The second time in 1997. The third time in 2001.
Apparently, though, the 33-year-old Darby man isn't fond of divorce.
In February, Fennell pleaded guilty in Bucks County Court to the rarely seen crime of bigamy.
As part of a plea agreement, Fennell was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation. He must also pay $1,000 to cover the cost of therapy for his third wife and her three daughters.
New Hope police arrested him in August 2003 after his third wife alerted authorities to her husband's marital status.
An investigation showed that he had been married twice before, and that he was still married to his first wife. Police also found that Fennell had been charged with bigamy in Maryland in 1997, and had been placed in a probation program by the courts in that state.
The 1997 marriage - to wife No. 2 - prompted his arrest and was subsequently annulled, and he has now finally divorced wife No. 1, who lives in British Columbia.
At his sentencing, wife No. 3, was looking for a good divorce lawyer.
Joseph Guarrasi tried to jump-start the illegal sex scene in the area, but was done in by a poorly planned murder plot, police say.
The 38-year-old attorney from Warwick planned to turn a home in Doylestown Township and another in Montgomery Township into brothels, court records said.
He bought the Doylestown house from Lisa Fryling, 35, and her boyfriend, Michael Samios, 51. Guarrasi agreed to take over payments on the couple's $350,000 house and, in return, gave them a mobile home in Danboro and some cash.
Guarrasi didn't own the mobile home and the couple was quickly evicted, court records said.
Fryling and Samios went to the police, who urged them to continue working with Guarrasi while they investigated. Unaware the couple had contacted police, Guarrasi put them up in a motel room and shared his plans with them. Soon, Guarrasi allegedly offered Samios $5,000 to murder or seriously injure Thomas Whittenhauer, who refused to move out of the Montgomery Township home that he sold to Guarrasi, court records said.
Guarrasi is in Bucks County prison awaiting trial. Fryling and Samios are back in their house, which Guarrasi turned into a 10-room bungalow.
Ryan M. Steel is accused of growing a bountiful garden of marijuana - on a former police chief's property.
The 26-year-old Upper Makefield man allegedly grew the plants on land owned by Robert Bell, the former Springfield Township police chief. Police arrested Steel on Dec. 2.
Why Steel picked the retired chief's 40-acre property isn't known. Police say they still haven't figured that out and they haven't said specifically how they tied Steel to the crop.
Steel was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, criminal trespass and agricultural vandalism. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Jan. 7.
"My initial question [after seeing the plants] was, 'Is this just some stupid druggie that doesn't know where he's at or someone trying to give me grief?' " Bell said after the arrest. "It turns out it was some stupid druggie."
A celebrity writer can't get Martha Jane Shelton out of his life. A Doylestown filmmaker hopes he has.
She pleaded guilty to charges of stalking, harassment and identity left related to her seven-month harassment campaign against Brunt, 35, a television and movie engineer who worked on "The Last Broadcast," a 1998 movie filmed in Bucks County that has been compared to "The Blair Witch Project."


Blogger Marti Jane Shelton said...

You are an ass. If you are going to say something about me at least tell the entire story. You are as bad as Tom Brunt and Dominick Dunne. They are both closetted fags who don't know their asses from a hole in the ground.

June 19, 2005 7:58 PM  
Blogger Marti Jane Shelton said...

You are an ass. If you are going to say something about me at least tell the entire story. You are as bad as Tom Brunt and Dominick Dunne. They are both closetted fags who don't know their asses from a hole in the ground.

June 19, 2005 7:58 PM  

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