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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Unintended Consequences of Baggy Pants

Who says the Wall Street Journal is just another boring business paper? This story from today's paper, "Perpetrator Problem: It's Hard To Run Away In Baggy Trousers" resulted in a bit more cleanup at breakfast today (the Unknown Wife and I laughed so hard we spewed coffee on the table):
...Just about every other week, Jim Matheny, a 41-year-old police lieutenant in Stamford, Conn., says he gets into foot chases with youths. He says it's getting easier to capture them because they can't run fast or far in those loose jeans."When I catch them, I tell them they'd do much better if they had pants that fit," says Lt. Matheny, who says he has had to help hold up the pants of his suspects while patting them down to search for drugs or weapons. "It's like: 'Hey dude, buy a belt and save yourself some trouble.' "

Ill-fitting pants aren't suited for jumping, either, as Noah Donell Brown of Hendersonville, N.C., learned. The 24-year-old tried to leap over the counter of a Subway sandwich shop during a robbery attempt, but he stumbled and came crashing down in front of several startled store employees. Mr. Brown, armed with a gun, got up and fled into a nearby residential neighborhood as the police were notified.

Police didn't have to work hard to arrest him. As Mr. Brown tried to scale a picket fence in someone's backyard, he caught his pants, according to the police department. He was found dangling upside down, his pants at his ankles and tangled in the fence.

"He didn't make a good jump," said Hendersonville Police Chief Donnie Parks, who spotted Mr. Brown on the fence. "The only reason we caught the guy was because his pants fell down," he said, adding: "He was wearing underwear, thank goodness."

Hendersonville police used a knife to cut Mr. Brown free
Read the whole thing here (online subscription required).

I love the mental image of a petty thief hanging upside down from a fence in his skivvies. It's too bad no-one had a video camera handy -- it would definitely make the cut (no pun intended) on one of those TV shows.

I may not be the height of fashion, but at least my pants stay up in public.

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