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    A New Jersey woman set fire to a man’s home after accepting a booty call invitation only to discover when she arrived that he had fallen asleep, police charge.

    According to cops, Taija Russell, 29, torched Curtis Stokes’s home around 4 AM on August 4. Russell was arrested this week on several felony charges, including attempted homicide, aggravated arson, and aggravated assault.

    As detailed in a probable cause affidavit, Russell had initially texted Stokes “hello,” to which he responded, “Bring ya ass.” But Stokes, 32, told cops that he fell asleep after inviting Russell over and that he “later awoke to his house on fire.” During a police interview, Stokes referred to Russell as a “side chick.”

    Investigators say that when Russell (seen above) arrived at the residence, the snoozing Stokes did not hear her at the front door. He also did not respond to a series of text messages sent by Russell while she was outside his home.

    In those texts, Russell complained, “You wasted my money to come out here.” She then allegedly sent a series of threats declaring, “U smoked,” “I see you wanna die,” and “I swear to god I hope you die."

    Unable to contact Stokes, cops say, Russell went to a nearby Conoco gas station, where she purchased lighter fluid, matches, and a cigarette lighter. She then returned to the property and allegedly set a fire outside the door.

    As seen in the below photos, the resulting blaze destroyed the one-story home in Woodbury, a city just south of Camden and Philadelphia.

    Stokes, who escaped the flames through a window, was transported to a local hospital “suffering from burns and smoke inhalation,” cops reported. The man’s dog was rescued from the home by firefighters.

    Investigators quickly recognized signs of arson, like the presence of an accelerant, and launched a criminal investigation. Through interviews with Stokes and other witnesses, and a review of surveillance video, cops identified Russell as the alleged perpetrator.

    Russell was busted Tuesday and booked into the Salem County jail, where she is being held without bail.

      

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    When Sergeant Kyle Smith of the Washington State Patrol last night spotted a car on the shoulder of a road near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, he assumed the vehicle was somehow disabled.

    But when Smith approached the auto, he discovered that the male driver had pulled over while playing Pokémon Go simultaneously on eight separate phones.

    As seen in the above photo snapped by Smith, the driver had the phones secured inside a makeshift foam carrier rig.

    The driver, cops say, agreed to put the phones in the car’s rear seat before resuming his commute. The motorist, who was not identified by police, was not cited for distracted driving or any vehicular violations.

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    A suspect who used a stolen debit card to purchase a cell phone, beer, and cigarettes signed the sales receipts as “Thief,” according to a Pennsylvania court filing.

    Police report that the male suspect swiped the card from a woman who gave him a ride home from a bar last week. The debit card, cops say, was inside a purse in the center console of the woman’s vehicle.

    The victim, Joei Thompson, noticed the purse was missing the following day and filed a report with police in Butler, a Pittsburgh suburb. But Thompson’s debit card had already been used to purchase a $200 iPhone 6S at a MetroPCS store and a case of beer and pack of cigarettes from Butler Beer and Tobacco.

    When cops examined the sales receipts for the two transactions, they discovered that the purchaser signed his name as "Thief."

    The suspect used the surname “Latimore” during the iPhone purchase, which prompted Butler police to check a database that yielded the name Marc Latimore, who “matched the description” given by Thompson “as to the male she gave a ride to.”

    Latimore, records show, has a rap sheet that includes convictions for disorderly conduct; marijuana possession; reckless endangerment; possession of drug paraphernalia; public drunkenness; and making terroristic threats.

    But after police filed a six-count criminal complaint accusing Latimore, 28, of theft, fraud, and receiving stolen property, they withdrew the charges, according to court records. Investigators now say that the theft suspect used Latimore’s name during the phone purchase. Additionally, when a cop called the number assigned to the iPhone purchased with the stolen debit card, the man who answered “identified himself as Marc Latimore and provided the correct date of birth and address that we have on file for him.”

    Butler police did not return TSG calls seeking comment about the withdrawal of the charges against Latimore (seen at left).

    In a Facebook post, Thompson wrote that, “My whole life got flipped” by the theft of her purse, which also contained two phones. She urged her followers to “be a decent fucking human being and tell someone if you see anyone selling them or hear any idiots bragging.”

    8/14 UPDATE: Police have charged Ewari Ellis, 36, with stealing the victim’s debit card. In addition to the counts initially filed against Latimore, Ellis, a Butler resident, is facing an additional misdemeanor count of falsely incriminating another person.

    Ellis, pictured in the below mug shot, is a convicted felon whose lengthy rap sheet includes convictions for drunk driving; disorderly conduct; assault; burglary; criminal mischief; receiving stolen property; theft; narcotics possession; reckless endangerment; and firearms possession.


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    If you are going to get naked and have sex with your partner in the back seat of an automobile, your car should be located anywhere but the parking lot of the local police department.

    That important precaution was ignored by a Michigan couple now facing a court date next week after they were cited for disorderly conduct.

    According to cops in Birmingham, a Detroit suburb, a patrolman last Thursday pulled into the parking lot of police headquarters around 12:15 AM and spotted an “unknown vehicle” that was running and situated in a “municipal vehicles only” spot.

    Upon approaching the auto, the cop “noticed the rear windows were fogged up” and the car’s two inhabitants--a 25-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man--were naked in the back seat.

    The lovebirds were each cited for disorderly conduct and directed to appear in District Court on August 14.

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    The Indiana man who accidentally shot himself in the penis with an unlicensed handgun has pleaded guilty to a weapons charge for which he was sentenced to 60 days in jail, according to court records.

    Mark Anthony Jones, 47, was arrested in late-February after the Hi-Point 9mm handgun he was carrying in his waistband discharged as he was walking on a street in Marion.

    Seen at right, Jones told cops that when the gun “began to slip,” he “reached down to adjust the firearm,” which then discharged.  Police reported that, “The bullet entered just above his penis and exited his scrotum.”

    Jones, who was charged with carrying an unlicensed handgun, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor count during an August 1 court appearance (at which he also copped to a separate driving with a suspended license rap). A Marion City Court judge sentenced Jones to 60 days in the county jail.

    Since Jones was already in custody, his housing arrangements have not changed post-plea.

    Weeks after shooting himself, Jones was arrested on a complaint charging him with dealing methamphetamine. Since that felony collar, Jones has been incarcerated in the Grant County jail in lieu of $30,000 bond. He is scheduled for trial in mid-November on the drug charge.

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    In what may be a United States record for currency hidden inside a body cavity, a woman had $6233 in stolen cash inside her vagina when she was collared this week, according to Louisiana cops.

    Ashley Beth Rolland, 23, was the subject yesterday of a TSG story reporting that, following her July 31 bust for allegedly stealing cash from her boyfriend, she denied ownership of methamphetamine that was lodged inside her body.

    A probable cause affidavit noted that a plastic baggie with meth was “inside Rolland’s vagina.” The cash, the affidavit reported, was located during “a consensual search of Rolland’s person” conducted by a female correctional officer.

    As it turns out, the cash and the meth were both inside Rolland (seen above).

    According to West Monroe Police Department officials, Rolland had a large roll of cash, which was secured by a rubber band, concealed inside her vagina. At the center of the wad was the baggie of meth. The arresting officer told TSG that the currency included 62 $100 bills, with the remaining $33 made up of tens, fives, and singles.

    While not addressed in the court affidavit, it seems likely that the money recovered from inside Rolland was in the same condition--rolled up and fastened with a rubber band--as when she allegedly took it off the victim’s dresser while he was showering. Which could explain Rolland’s disavowal of ownership of the meth that cops found in the core of the cash roll.

    Pictured above, Rolland remains locked up in the Ouachita Parish jail on $8000 bond. She has been charged with theft and narcotics possession, both felonies.

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    A California woman whose Instagram page is filled with photos chronicling her world travels was arrested this week for the unglamorous crime of stealing a Juul vaping device from a Florida gas station, a heist from which she first sought to flee in a Lyft car and then an Uber van, police report.

    According to investigators, Kate Lamothe, 23, asked to purchase a Juul device around 11 PM Tuesday at an Exxon in Pinellas Park (where she was staying in a home about three miles from the gas station).

    Lamothe, who arrived at the Exxon in a Lyft car, allegedly took the $42.79 Juul device from a clerk and bolted from the convenience store. When she attempted to flee in her Lyft, the driver declined the opportunity to be Lamothe’s wheelman.

    Undeterred, Lamothe called for an Uber and began walking away from the Exxon.

    When cops arrived, they found Lamothe inside an Uber van in a parking lot adjacent to the gas station. Lamothe, who reportedly confessed, was charged with retail theft, a misdemeanor, and booked into the county jail. She was released from custody early Wednesday after her mother posted $150 bond.

    Lamothe’s mug shot would not pass muster on her carefully curated Instagram account, which includes photos of her beach, ski, and European vacations, and a private jet trip to Las Vegas. In addition to an assortment of contemplative poses, Lamothe’s page--which was made private today--also advises visitors to “be Humble, it looks good on you.”

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    A comedian at a small San Francisco venue was attacked by an audience member who was told to “stop talking” during the victim’s performance Saturday afternoon.

    As seen above, the July 27 assault was recorded by a camera inside Mutiny Radio, a performance space in the city’s Mission district that also houses a community radio station that broadcasts online.

    At the close of a two-hour open mic session, the comedian Capital Pilcrow was on stage when he briefly exchanged words with an audience member seated in the storefront space (seen below).

    The comedian told the man--who appeared to have been conversing with a female acquaintance during Pilcrow’s set--“I do know who you are, so shut, stop talking.”

    The audience member then jumped out of his chair and attacked Pilcrow, who was knocked off stage and punched several times. While being restrained by other patrons, the man yelled at Pilcrow, “You wanna act like you’re black? Where you from?”

    As the attacker was being shoved out the front door, he broke a window that will cost $500 to replace, according to a Mutiny Radio administrator. Pilcrow, pictured at left, and others injured during the melee have, so far, declined to press charges against the assailant.

    The patron seen rushing the stage is Geoffrey Decarlo Harris, an Oakland resident whose web sites describe him as a “video editor/producer” and “all around good dude.” The 34-year-old Harris, who has hosted stand-up and sketch comedy events at another San Francisco venue, has not responded to TSG e-mails seeking comment about his attack on Pilcrow.

    Harris appears to have moved west from Orlando, Florida, where he was arrested for resisting a policeman without violence (2010) and failing to appear in court (2011). A court filing indicates that Harris was busted for “failing to comply with the lawful commands” of an Orlando cop or “struggling with the application of handcuffs.”

    After initially being rejected for admission to a pretrial diversion program, Harris was accepted into the program, which he successfully completed. As a result, prosecutors in 2012 dismissed the misdemeanor criminal case against him, records show.

    Harris, seen at right, today stripped his Facebook page of photos of himself and changed the account name to “Murray Palmer.” The page, however, continues to contain "geoff.decarlo" in its url. While Harris's personal web site (geoffdecarlo.com) was deleted today, his Tumblr and Vimeo pages still exist.

    [8/2 UDATE: Harris’s Facebook page has been removed and his Vimeo page has been stripped of its videos.]

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    7/30 UPDATE: Police today arrested Grace Marina Brown, 20, in connection with last week’s potato tampering at Walmart. Brown, a Pittsburgh resident, has been charged with open lewdness, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness, according to court records. During police questioning, Brown reportedly “identified herself as the person urinating on the potatoes,” according to investigators. A criminal complaint notes that a Walmart official estimated that the store suffered $200 in damages as a result of Brown “pulling her pants down and squatting on a produce rack where potatoes and other vegetables are offered for sale.”

    Brown has been arrested multiple times over the past two years (by four different Allegheny County police departments) for disorderly conduct, drunk driving, and purchasing alcohol while underage.

    Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a young woman suspected of urinating on a stack of potatoes at a Walmart in suburban Pittsburgh.

    According to investigators, the woman being sought relieved herself in Walmart’s produce section during a visit to the store Wednesday evening. Police yesterday released surveillance photos showing the suspect inside the store on July 24.

    The morning after the incident, a Walmart worker “noticed urine on the floor near the potatoes in the produce area,” prompting a loss prevention officer to review security footage. A store surveillance camera captured a woman “urinating in the potato bins” around 10:10 PM the prior evening, police reported.

    The Walmart in West Mifflin is open 24 hours a day, so 10 hours passed before the store determined that the potatoes had been urinated upon. A Walmart spokesperson said that the store disposed of “affected products” and sanitized the area “to ensure cleanliness and safety for our customers.”

    The suspect, who was by herself in the Walmart, was wearing a graphic t-shirt which appeared to include the word “Adrenaline.”

    Anyone with information about the woman’s identity is asked to contact the West Mifflin Borough Police Department.

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    A Florida Woman arrested early yesterday for grabbing her husband’s genitals with “such force that the victim crumpled over and had trouble walking” told cops that she was just trying to “arouse” her spouse “in an effort to have sexual intercourse.”

    According to cops, Anastacia Tasch, 44, approached her husband while he was asleep around 5:30 AM on the living room couch in the Tampa-area home they share with their two children.

    Tasch, a complaint affidavit states, walked over to the victim and, “without provocation or permission,” grabbed his genitals.

    When later questioned by police, Tasch acknowledged that she executed the clampdown without the consent of her husband, who apparently called 911 after his genitals were crushed.

    Seen above, Tasch “advised she did this in a sexual manner because she was attempting to arouse the victim in an effort to have sexual intercourse.”

    Tasch was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

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    In separate incidents in Brooklyn and Harlem, NYPD officers were doused with buckets of water by unruly young men who appeared unconcerned that they would be arrested for their actions.

    Videos showing the incidents surfaced today online. The clips appear to have recently been recorded during the heat wave that has gripped New York City. While unclear from the videos, it appears likely that the water tossed on cops came from open fire hydrants.

    Seen above, the top video was recorded and narrated by a passenger in a vehicle parked outside the Marcus Garvey Houses project in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The officers do not respond as they are getting drenched--even after a young man dumps a full bucket of water over one cop’s head.

    As the clip concludes, the drenched patrolmen are seen approaching the entrance of the Dominican Paradise hair salon on East New York Avenue.

    In the second video, which was shot on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in upper Manhattan, two cops have water thrown on them as they appear to be handcuffing a man on the hood of a vehicle. At one point, an officer is struck in the head by a plastic bucket thrown by a shirtless male.

    In a Twitter post this afternoon, Terence Monahan, the NYPD’s chief of department, called the Harlem video “reprehensible,” adding that “EVERY New Yorker MUST show respect for our cops. They deserve nothing less.”

    No arrests have been made in connection with either incident.

    NYPD, viral video
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    Meet Brittany Mapel.

    The 21-year-old McDonald’s employee is behind bars after allegedly "smashing lemon cake" in her mother’s face during a confrontation Friday night in the family’s home outside Tampa, Florida.

    A complaint affidavit does not indicate why Mapel “willingly smashed lemon cake” in her parent’s face.

    After the alleged cake battery, Mapel snatched a cell phone from her brother’s hands and reportedly declared, “Nobody is calling the cops today.”

    When police arrived at the family’s Holiday residence, they observed the 51-year-old victim’s “face to be covered in cake, and there to be cake all over the floor.”

    Seen above, Mapel was arrested on a misdemeanor battery count. She was also charged with tampering with a witness, a felony, for allegedly taking her sibling’s phone before he could use it to dial 911. A judge has ordered Mapel to have no contact with her mother or brother.

    Mapel, locked up in lieu of $15,000 bond, has been arrested multiple times over the past two years and her rap sheet includes collars for trespassing, domestic battery, marijuana possession, and providing a false name to police. Last month, Mapel was arrested for slapping and striking her mother in the head with a bottle of mouthwash.

    Mapel is facing trial for animal cruelty for allegedly kicking and choking her dog after the animal urinated on her bed earlier this year. When police sought to arrest her on a related domestic battery charge, Mapel, cops say, allowed a second dog, a pit bull, to charge at officers, one of whom was bitten by the dog. Mapel then barricaded herself inside her mobile home (she was subsequently apprehended after cops made a forced entry). According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Mapel was also arrested last month when she “chased her boyfriend with a switchblade knife and slashed the tires on his truck."

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    A McDonald’s worker on probation for cocaine possession was arrested last night for dousing a customer with a large soft drink during a dispute at the drive-thru window, according to Florida court records.

    Katrina Lee Jordan, 37, was working at the Pinellas Park restaurant when she and the male victim “began having a verbal argument.” The nature of the drive-thru dispute was not detailed in an arrest affidavit.

    Cops allege that Jordan, seen at right, “took a large soft drink and threw it in the victim’s window,” striking the man and spilling the cup’s contents “all over his car and his clothing.”

    Jordan, arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge, will also face a probation violation count in connection with her 7:45 PM collar. Locked up in the county jail, the St. Petersburg resident is on probation until January 2021 for a felony cocaine possession conviction.

    Jordan’s rap sheet includes convictions for scheme to defraud, violating probation, and passing bad checks or currency.