Obiter Dicta

A Little Off the Top

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These are not exactly carefree times we live in. The average person has plenty to worry about–bills, evildoers, reality TV–without having to add hair snatchers to the list.

Edward Floyd was minding his own business at a restaurant in Harris­burg, Pa., in January, unaware that his toupee had been targeted by two nearby patrons. One dared the other to swipe it, and before he knew it, Floyd, 60, was au naturel on top.

Paul Goudy, 25, of Lemoyne, who did the deed, grabbed Floyd’s gold chain as well. The pair fled but witnesses ID’d Goudy. When questioned by police, he fingered an alleged accomplice, 26-year-old Mat­thew Flinchbaugh of Wormleys­burg.

Goudy pleaded guilty in Septem­ber to theft by taking and was given 23 months’ probation, fined $500 and ordered to write a letter of apology. As of late October, Floyd said he was still waiting for the letter.

Flinchbaugh’s attorney, William Fetterhoff, says his client was scheduled to be arraigned in November for soliciting Goudy to steal the hairpiece. Flinchbaugh could request entry into a first-time offenders program, Fetterhoff says, allowing him to complete probation and have his record wiped clean.

Meanwhile, Floyd, who was acquainted with Flinchbaugh before the incident, says it has had a devastating effect on him. “You can imagine the humiliation I went through–snickering, jokes. It affected my sex life. I lost 20 pounds, I’m still on medication. The man destroyed my life, and for what?”

Floyd says he intends to file a civil lawsuit against Flinch- baugh.

Absolut-Ly Outrageous!

With Court Reporter Nursing a Drink, Transcript Might Need Doctoring

If the judge had banged his gavel and said, “Order in the court,” he might have gotten this response: “Another vodka, straight up.” Myrna Gay Parrish, of Tulsa, Okla., was a temporary court reporter in the Muskogee courtroom of Special Dis­trict Judge Farley Ward in September. It appeared that she was keeping herself well-hydrated by sipping from a lidded plastic cup during a hearing for a multiple-defendant drug manufacturing case.

Joe Denney, public information officer for the Haskell County Sher­iff’s Department, says that some in the courtroom were looking askance at Parrish, as if there might be something wrong with her, though apparently no one thought to check the contents of her cup.

When she was done for the day, Parrish got on an elevator to leave when a bystander noticed that she smelled of alcohol. The sheriff’s department was called and a deputy administered three sobriety tests to Parrish, all of which she failed, according to Denney. The alleged tippling temp was charged with misdemeanor public intoxication and held overnight in the Hask­ell County jail. The charge carries a maximum penal­ty of a $100 fine and 30 days in jail.

Deputies returned to the courtroom and confiscated the cup and a straw that Parrish had been using, surmising it had contained vodka.

As for the transcript that Parrish produced at the hearing, a court official was quoted as saying it would be examined and a decision would be ren­dered at a later date. A tape re­corder had been running during the hearing, and will serve as a backup.

Written by Brian Sullivan; Stories by, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Research by Wendell LaGrand.

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