20 May: Lee Bradley appeared at Bolton Crown Court to receive an indeterminate sentence for using a stolen car as a weapon. Having been refused entry to the Dali Bar in Rochdale in October 2010, Bradley returned in a stolen Saab and ploughed through the queue—hospitalising 14 people and injuring 11 others—in a bid to get at the doorman who’d refused him entry. That he didn’t kill anyone is probably because he was pushing the car pushing through the crowd at low speed, directing his attack at the door staff, rather than ramming the queue at high speed. The judge described him as deliberately using the car as a weapon. Naturally, there are no implications for people who own and use cars legally.
22 May: In Cork, a middle-aged man approached a Garda Siochana (police) traffic patrol car, hauled the uniformed driver from his seat, punched him, slashed him across the face with a 12-in kitchen knife, then took off in the police car for Cork airport, buffeting four other vehicles on the way. According to the Belfast Telegraph, “Several garda units responded... and the stolen vehicle ploughed into one patrol car near the entrance to Cork Airport. A garda was partially thrown from the vehicle by the force of the collision. The stolen vehicle then ploughed at high speed through the old airport security fence. The man was confronted by airport police and fire brigade personnel—and was forced to abandon the badly damaged garda vehicle.”
By now he was, it seems, garbed only in boxer shorts. The report continued:
“However, he brandished his knife and dragged two fire brigade officials from their airport vehicle. He drove off [in it] and then attempted to ram two parked planes, but was frustrated by airport security vehicles. The airport vehicle eventually collided with two vehicles, the last of which was a luggage transporter, before it stalled. The man was then confronted by armed RSU officers. When he refused to get out of the vehicle, a garda fired a taser gun and successfully disabled him.”
The Telegraph described the incident as “the greatest security threat at Cork Airport in its 50-year history”.
No one has yet suggested that police cars and fire trucks should be banned lest half-naked gents wielding knives steal them and run amok.
Meanwhile in Mesa, Arizona, on 20 May, homeless 30-year-old Renee Deshaies entered a Dairy Queen restaurant and threatened employees with a grenade for reasons so far unreported. Police apprehended her soon afterward. They said the grenade was used only for training purposes. Ms Deshales however had been under the impression that it was live, which would tend to indicate murderous intent. She faces charges of disorderly conduct and misconduct with a simulated explosive.
Look, Ma, no guns. Again.
And fortunately, no one dead, although many could have been.
Readers may expect more reports along these lines, as we receive them.