Patience can be a virtue

June 20, 2005

You talkin’ to me?

John McGivney called it a justifiable homicide, but police in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., said that’s no excuse to pump five bullets into the hood of your car. McGivney, 64, said that his 1994 Chrysler LeBaron convertible had been giving him trouble the entire four years that he owned it. Finally, in April, the car’s security system decided to activate itself, shutting down the engine each time it randomly went off. And for McGivney, that was the final straw.

You talkin’ to me?

John McGivney called it a justifiable homicide, but police in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., said that’s no excuse to pump five bullets into the hood of your car. McGivney, 64, said that his 1994 Chrysler LeBaron convertible had been giving him trouble the entire four years that he owned it. Finally, in April, the car’s security system decided to activate itself, shutting down the engine each time it randomly went off. And for McGivney, that was the final straw.

Right outside the apartment complex where he lives, McGivney pulled a .380-caliber revolver on his car and shot it five times in the hood, execution-style. The apartment manager heard the gunfire and came out to see what was going on. McGivney simply explained, “I’m putting my car out of its misery,” and then calmly tucked his gun in his pocket and walked back inside.

McGivney was arrested later the same day for discharging a firearm in public. He was freed the next day on $100 bail and wasn’t the least bit sorry. “I think every guy in the universe has wanted to do it,” McGivney told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It was worth every damn minute in that jail.”

Every dog has its day

A motorcycle madman in Miami was arrested recently after his dog tipped off police to a key piece of evidence.

David Carpenter, 24, had been spotted for weeks weaving through rush-hour traffic on the Florida Turnpike at speeds of up to 140 mph. He managed to elude police in cruisers and even helicopters, sometimes gesturing obscenely at them as he zoomed by.

The Florida Highway Patrol were at a disadvantage with Carpenter because of their no-chase policy, especially when dealing with speeding motorcycles. On top of that, Carpenter bent his license plate so that it couldn’t be read from the ground or the air.

But the police still had a few tricks up their sleeves. With the help of an officer flying a single-engine airplane, police were able to track Carpenter on his way to work. When he realized he was being followed, Carpenter made a U-turn and began heading home, speeding south on the Turnpike in the northbound lanes. The officer in the airplane was able to follow Carpenter the whole way and directed officers right to his apartment complex.

When officers arrived, Carpenter was outside pretending to wash his car. As police looked around the premise, Carpenter’s English Bulldog nudged open a set of bedroom blinds just wide enough for officers to spot the motorcycle they had been chasing for weeks: a silver-and-black 2004 Honda 1000.

The bike wasn’t the only interesting item police discovered in Carpenter’s apartment. Sitting open on his dining room table was an application to join the Florida Highway Patrol. Carpenter was actually scheduled to take his exam a few days later.

The joke’s on you

If you think North Americans can be superficial, watch where you drive in Romania. A driver there was recently issued a ticket for “having a face like a moron.”

The motorist was driving through Craiova when he was pulled over by a traffic officer. Unsure of what he had done wrong, he was surprised to receive a ticket for the equivalent of $40 US. The officer explained that the fine was for “having a face like a moron and being a big monkey.”

The officer later said the ticket was a joke, but the head of Romanian police didn’t find the incident very funny. He demoted the officer to a desk job in a remote village.

Bald isn’t always beautiful

A new study by the Rubber Manufacturers Association said that only 15% of motorists properly check their tire pressure, and two-thirds of motorists don’t know how to tell if their tires are bald.

The study is part of a joint effort with NHTSA, AAA and the Governors Highway Safety Association to raise awareness of the importance of properly inflated tires. Tire experts report that motorists can not only maximize safety and get longer life out of their tires with proper inflation, they can also save 4% on their fuel costs. Despite overwhelming evidence, though, the study found that many male motorists still stubbornly insist that balding tires are every bit as adequate and sexy as younger tires.