The law is a funny thing. It applies in all sorts of really interesting scenarios, and much of it seems rather straightforward. But sometimes the law can be weird and wacky. Sometimes the law can apply in strange circumstances that do not make much sense at all. Or, the particular facts of a case and be so unusual that they will make you laugh. Or cry. Or both.
For that reason, I've started a new weekly blog series called Weird and Wacky Wednesdays. In this series, I will do a roundup of a few cases that are weird, wacky, or otherwise strange and interesting. My hope is to provide a quick summary of the case and a discussion about some interesting legal issues that arise in the case.
So here we go with Round One!
A Man is Arrested After Urinating on The Seat In Front of Him, on a Plane
On a flight from Denver to South Carolina, a man saw fit to whip it out (and by it, you know what I mean) and commence urinating on the seat in front of him. All of this was caught on camera by nearby passengers who noticed the disgusting act. Naturally, he was arrested after disembarking the plane.
It is unclear what his reasons for arrest were, as there were reports that he had also assaulted other passengers prior to being moved to the (toilet) seat. If he was arrested for the urination in Canada, he could be facing charges similar to our Criminal Code charge for Mischief. This offence requires intentional interference with the use or enjoyment of another's property. Given that an airplane would likely be grounded until it could be properly cleaned, it is likely that the mischief would be in excess of $5000. Yikes. Of course, there are also numerous offences under the Indecent Act and Indecent Exhibition provisions of the Criminal Code that could also apply in such circumstances.
Suffice it to say, don't pee on the seat in front of you when flying. It should go without saying, really.
A Man is Arrested After Having Sex with a Car
Ah, cars. Sexy, curvy, sleek, and shiny. Sometimes so much so that you just can't help but put parts of your body into parts of the car. Oh, sorry, you don't? Well, for this man in Kansas, the beauty of his automobile appeared to be too much for him to bear. He was tasered into submission, before being arrested for having sex with a car.
And while this certainly falls under the definition of Indecent Act, what's more interesting is the question of whether this constitutes care and control of a vehicle. It's certainly arguable. Care and control only requires interacting with the fittings or equipment of a vehicle in such a way as to give rise to a reasonable risk. But the Supreme Court of Canada held in R. v. Boudreault that risk is not necessarily an element of care and control. So, technically he was interacting with the fittings or equipment of the vehicle. It's unclear whether he possessed the means to set the vehicle in motion, but if he did then perhaps there is an argument for impaired driving.
That's a case I'd be willing to defend.
And, just to prove that it isn't always men...
A Woman is Arrested After Pooping in Tim Hortons, then Throwing Her Poop at Staff
Apparently the staff members denied her access to the washroom. But, as the saying goes, when you gotta go you gotta go. And go she did. If you're particularly strong-of-stomach, you can watch the entire thing on video.
Now, clearly this is an example of mischief, assault with a weapon (to wit, shit), and indecent act. But what is perhaps more telling is what's not part of the story. People who are homeless, who have mental illness, or who have medical conditions often find themselves having to go and nowhere to go. While I appreciate that it can be inconvenient and disrupt business, more often than not people who need the bathroom just need the bathroom. And it was probably far more disruptive to Tim Horton's to have flying feces than to just let the woman use the washroom. So while the act was absolutely abhorrent and disgusting, on a very human level I have a lot of sympathy for this woman.
Check back next Wednesday for another series of Weird and Wacky cases.
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer with a focus on impaired driving, marijuana legalization and related issues, and immediate roadside prohibition defence.