Animalistic impulses all the rage

BECK ELEVEN
Last updated 08:29 14/07/2012
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You have to wonder what sort of uninventive criminal uses a boring old bat to assault someone these days. Sure, sticks and stones might break bones but a frozen armadillo will really show someone who's boss.

My knowledge of law is roughly the same as my gifts in science or maths so excuse my foray into the unknown but since I started paying way too much attention to the internet I have seen some crazy assault charges.

How many times can a judge have possibly overseen a case in which a man is accused of "assault using an ostrich egg as a weapon"?

This week North Island man Phillip Russell lost his rag after discovering his wife's pet pig had damaged his tools. Russell started out gently by using a series of cusswords, then spat at his wife a few times (something I find more disgusting than egg hurling), then in his final act, he grabbed a large ostrich egg from the kitchen table and "threw it at her with force".

The heavy egg bruised her chest.

Although he pleaded guilty to assault using an ostrich egg as a weapon, he did argue the fact by saying he threw the egg at his wife expecting she would catch it.

Yip, because who doesn't have a screaming fit at their partner then think a quick game of catch-the- ostrich-egg is appropriate?

Keeping on the foods theme, in February last year a woman from Louisiana in the United States became so incensed with her boyfriend not leaving enough room in the freezer for her strawberry cream liqueur that she felt the only way to express her displeasure was to assault him with a frozen slab of meat.

She turfed a solid steak at his head leaving a bloody gash on his face and a strange entry on her criminal rap sheet.

Leaving behind the more traditional meats, let me tell you about a Texas man charged with assault using a frozen armadillo. Late last year in Texas, a man met his former lover, who he had known for 30 years. The pair had since broken up but she was kind enough to lend him room in her freezer to store an assortment of creatures he'd hunted so he could cook 'em up when needed - you know, racoons, possums and armadillos.

Anyway, the man was after his armadillo and she decided to hold out until he returned the $250 he owed her. However, she agreed to meet him in the car park of the "senior village" in which she lived. As so often happens in these cases, they both began tugging at the frozen carcass until he "went berserk, had fire in his eyes" and hit her with it on the leg and breast.

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I also found a case in which a man assaulted a woman with a frozen dog but after the armadillo it seemed so tame.

Lastly, in this round-up of exotic ways to assault your fellow man, I bring you the 2008 case of a Whakatane man charged with using a hedgehog as a weapon.

The man, who was 27 at the time, biffed the hedgehog about 5m (which is not a bad throw) at some poor teenager with the heralding cry of: "Do you want to wear a hedgehog helmet?" I doubt the lad had the chance to answer before ending up with a large, red welt, several puncture marks and several quills lodged in his skin.

Although the man was eventually charged with boring old common assault and offensive behaviour, the charge of "assault with a weapon, namely a hedgehog", was dropped.

So please, for my amusement at least, if you're planning on a little assault this week, keep it inventive.

- The Press

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