Like many Americans, Arizona man Richard Thomas Butts Jr. started his Memorial Day weekend strong, with a barbecue. But instead of cooking hamburgers and hot dogs with charcoal briquettes, he flame-broiled a medical helicopter with a molotov cocktail. A medical center staffer detained Butts as he was walking away from the flaming chopper, and police later examined security footage of Butts downing a bottle of beer in a gas-station restroom, going outside to refill it with fuel and walking off towards the hospital. He then chucked it through the chopper’s windshield, splashing fuel—which caught fire—all over the inside and outside and causing upwards of $200,000 in damage. Why? No one knows, as Butts stayed tight-lipped about the whole thing.
DUIs can cause physical injury, but what about emotional injury to children who were looking forward to having fun with a clown? Patricia Ingalls, a 17-year clown veteran, was in a drunk hurry to get to her goofy Memorial Day gig when she hit another car. Not wanting to miss a moment of clowning around, she hightailed it from the scene of the accident to get to entertaining kids. Police caught up to her at the party, where they very unhumorously arrested her in front of teary-eyed kids. “I'm not allowed to drink in costume and I should have never went [to the party] because I was too upset,” said Ingalls. “They were all hanging on me and saying, 'Don't take the clown.'” She blew a .252 on the breath test, but claims she wasn't drunk-driving and had imbibed after arriving at the party.
Drinking and driving is never a good idea. And despite there being not much to crash into, neither is drinking and boating. Rayman Fraiser III learned this the hard way after an improbable boating accident he got into while tearing up the water after a few drinks. Somehow the 23-year-old managed to fly his 23-foot boat out of the water and land in a tree eight feet off the ground, presumably having been flung up there by physics like a giant skipping stone. Despite some pretty bad injuries, everyone survived, making this a painful lesson for Fraiser.
Twenty-one-year-old Zoey Ripple had been kicking off the summer with some shots before getting a shot of a different kind when she drunkenly wandered into an unsuspecting couple's home. During the wee hours of the morning, Ripple woke Tim Justice and Doreen Orion with animal-like noises outside the French doors. Before long, a dark figure appeared at their doorway holding a light, who the pair shouted at to leave. With no response and the figure getting closer, Justice whipped out his Glock and fired. Once the bedroom lights were on, they saw a girl they thought was “kind of stoned or something” bleeding on their carpet. “Why did you just walk into our house when we were screaming at you to get out?” Orion asked Ripple as they waited for the ambulance. Adding insult to injury, Ripple was charged with trespassing.
Sophia Anderson had a blast on Memorial Day when she blew a red convertible Mercedes clear through the home of 96-year-old Long Island resident Helen Indiere. “It literally sounded like the house blew up next door. It did not sound like a car,” said a neighbor. “There was no screech marks, nobody hit their breaks.” There was just a giant hole straight through the front to the back of the home. Miraculously, no one was hurt. Indiere and her caretaker were in the bedroom to the left of the hole, and Anderson and her passenger, despite flying through several walls with the convertible top down, barely had scratches. “Yes, there was a very big accident in my house,” Indiere told firefighters when they arrived. Anderson was charged with a DUI.
Deputies got a call reporting a very drunk self-proclaimed werewolf who was being violent toward people and animals who were having a nice Memorial Day weekend campout. The police arrived to find 20-year-old Thomas Stroup passed out in his trailer among an array of knives, swords and other bladed weapons. When he roused from his drunken slumber, he inexplicably spoke to the deputies in a thick Russian accent. He explained that he'd had too much vodka and blacked out. Apologetic, he said he'd been scratched by a wolf in Germany and that as a result he blacks out and “goes on the attack when the moon’s out.” Police charged him with underage drinking and put him behind bars—probably a good idea, just in case the beast in him re-emerged.
A Brooklyn drummer was drunkenly “causing a ruckus” at a third-floor party in Manhattan with a bandmate before slipping off and impaling his head on a metal fence below. When police and rescue workers arrived on the scene, 26-year-old Nichols Blossom was somehow alive, yelling for help and saying he “hated everyone.” They used an electric saw to cut the section of fence that was stuck in his head and rushed him to a hospital. There, they removed the piece of ironwork from his scalp and he said, “I just want to fucking scream.” Though doctors feared for his life at first and wouldn't let him sleep, he was much better the next day.
An emergency call about a New Jersey man threatening self-harm took a turn for the macabre after the suspect went all-in and threw his own intestines at police. When the cops first arrived, Wayne Carter had barricaded himself in his room with a knife and hammer. After they kicked in the door, Carter began stabbing himself all over his body while police sprayed him with pepper spray, which evidently had no effect but to provoke Carter into throwing bits of his guts at police. Understandably, the cops retreated and called in the SWAT team, who carted the man off to the hospital. Time called the incident a “zombie alert,” while police suspect drugs may have been involved. You think?
Crystal Leija celebrated the American free market in her own way by asking John Rauchbauer for $1,000 to help find his kids in the rubble after she wrecked his home with her car. After too many drinks, Leija was zooming down the road before slamming though Rauchbauer's house. “I thought it was a tornado,” Rauchbauer told reporters. "And then I saw the tail-lights on the car.” Emerging from her vehicle, Leija offered: “If you give me $1,000, I'll help you find your kids.” Rauchbauer was enraged, but focused on locating his children. His 10-year-old son was fine, and his four-year-old son crawled out from under some debris later. Leija was taken in with a pretty extensive rap sheet—and without a grand in her pocket.
The only thing worse than a hateful, violent drunk is a misguided hateful, violent drunk. Eric Pattern, 20, showed himself to be a homophobe—and not a very sharp one, either—when he launched a verbal and physical assault on two women he believed to be gay men. After calling them an expletive usually reserved for gay males, he pushed one woman into a window and punched the other. A large, angry crowd gathered and flagged down police to have Pattern arrested. It turns out the belligerent drunk had been kicked out of a bar earlier and lashed out, but the damage was done and he was put away for hate crimes, assault and battery, and battery with a dangerous weapon—the window.