Saturday's Headlines & Surprises: Head Butting Cars Isn't Healthy
- Not Sure Why His Head Continued to Slam Into My Baton: Norberto Santana, Jr. at the Register reports that an unidentified “28-year-old inmate at the Orange County jail died Friday after deputies used a taser gun to subdue him.” Damon Micalizzi, the taxpayer-paid flack assigned to get Sheriff Michael S. Carona good ink, claimed, “Deputies tried to do what they could to remove him from other inmates. A confrontation ensued, a taser was deployed and then he was taken to the nursing station for examination. At some point, he stopped breathing. Emergency life-saving procedures were taken and paramedics were summoned.” Okay, so what if Micalizzi’s summary sounds well-rehearsed? His words are calm and thorough, right? And everyone appreciates that OC jail deputies wouldn’t spin events to their own advantage, tell half truths, lie or ever--ever--use excessive force. Well, I'm sure we can rely on the autopsy for clues about how much the dead guy was beaten. Wait. What did you say? Oh, yeah. Carona is the coroner too.
- Fingering OC: No need to buy the Saturday Times. The paper continues its abuse of its Orange County readers by placing only one OC related story in its online “Orange County: local news” section this morning. The other articles in the section involve a Los Angeles politician, a Los Angeles police raid, a Los Angeles hospital mess, a Los Angeles jail and “New San Diego facility cares for war’s worst wounded.” Once again, they had an OC story, Gil Reza’s report on an OC defense attorney’s role in a bail bond scam, but incredibly didn’t put it in the OC news section. No worries. It’s a pretty good Register today.
- They’re Dying for NOTHING: Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, coalition commander in 2003 and 2004, admitted Friday that the Iraq war is “a nightmare with no end in sight,” and blamed politicians in both major political parties for wasting the lives of American soldiers in a “lust for power.” According to CNN this morning, Sanchez said, "After more than four years of fighting, America continues its desperate struggle in Iraq without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve victory in that war torn country or in the greater conflict against extremism." He also noted that the “intractable situation” is the result of “neglect and incompetence” in the George W. Bush administration. As of October 11, the Department of Defense reports 3,826 American dead. The month-old statistic for the number of American wounded was 27,753. Hey, you know the difference for us between now and next month in Iraq? Nothing but another 100 of our soldiers dead and 700 more wounded.
- The Benefits of Global Warming? The Register editorial boys slammed the Nobel Peace Prize going to former Vice President Al Gore for “advancing scary half-truths, flat-out errors and politically inspired schemes about global warming.” Their main evidence in the column? Well, it could be a first. They went all the way to Europe to find a judge there who thinks Gore’s documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, is “alarmism and exaggeration.” I was under the impression the political Right didn’t like Europe or judges. How much do the Reg boys disagree with Gore? According to them, “Mr. Gore completely ignores the benefits of a warming climate.”
- Running of the Bull . . . In Long Beach! KCBS Channel 2 in LA is reporting that a Long Beach probation officer who allegedly “ran nude down a street, head-butting cars and resisting arrest” has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges stemming from the September event. Jermaine Marcus Walton, 31, is set to return to court in November. He faces numerous felony and misdemeanor counts. (Nope. That's Britney Spears in the photo. Thought it adequately represented public meltdowns.)
- Little Saigon Island: For an estimated 250,000 Vietnamese fleeing harsh communist conditions in their own country during the 1970s and 80s, the island of Pulau Bidong was the first stop on the path to freedom. This week a newspaper in Malaysia reported that the local government there is “beautifying and conserving” the former camp in hopes of enticing Vietnamese tourists. (It’s also a great spot for snorkeling and diving, the locals say.) So far 500 Vietnamese boat people have returned but hundreds more are expected in coming months.
- Major Drug Bust: Laguna Beach police issued a press release about a Thursday raid where they found 30 weapons--including shotguns, handguns, martial arts weaponry, a stun gun as well as night-vision equipment and a bullet-proof vest, according to the Coastline Pilot. I’m not sure what’s illegal about any of that, but police also claim they recovered “under one ounce of marijuana and one marijuana plant” at the residence. Wow-wee! That must have been one huge plant. The paper claims police arrested Todd Colley, 26, in the case. He’s free on $45,000 bail.
- Question of the Day: Can Orange County's own Mark Sanchez lead the USC Trojans back to glory with a win today over Arizona? The Mission Viejo native and third-year sophomore takes over quarterback duties because John Wilkes Booth is injured (broken finger) and sucked in last week's loss to Stanford, a 41-point underdog. "I think I'm ready for it," Sanchez told the Times.
Kickoff is set for 12:30 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Catch the game on Channel 7 or 710 on your AM dial.