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Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).
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Tricks and Treats

Thanks to the usual suspects and miscreants, Halloween is no night of candy and fun for patrol officers.

October 28, 2008  |  by - Also by this author

Yes, it's that time of year when lovable teenagers can be found breaking eggs and car windows, trees sprout toilet paper, and parents go over their parasitical kids' ill-gotten gains for signs of tampering. It also means it's time for my Annual Real Men (and Women) of Halloween Genius Roundup wherein I review the previous year's sordid activities. Here are the weirdos and wackos who helped keep us employed, entertained, or emotionally spent in 2007.

The A Little Too Into It Award goes to the Frederica (Del.) woman who hung herself from a tree next to a city street just before Halloween. Her body, suspended about 15 feet off the ground, hung for hours as cars and pedestrians alike passed by. Guess she didn't hear that no noose is good noose. When pressed for an explanation as to why the 42-year-old decedent was allowed to hang around all day, Fay Glanden, wife of the city's mayor, explained that locals "thought it was a Halloween decoration."

The Dumbest Halloween Costume and Act Award goes to the Arizona teen who jumped onto a school cafeteria table while holding a fake gun and threatening to kill his fellow students. I take it the campus is a "gun-free" zone as he was still alive and kicking for his arraignment the next day.

The Most Insensitive Halloween Costume Award goes to Penn State students who attended a Halloween party as victims of the previous spring's Virginia Tech massacre-replete with bullet holes and fake blood-go to the top of my list. (Initially, I was thinking Most Tasteless, but then I saw a costume involving tampons and decided this was probably a better fit.)

The Good Housekeeping Award goes to the Tampa woman who allowed her six-year-old son to nearly die from asphyxiation after he became entangled in the family's nylon Halloween spider web display. "His little face," said the child's mom and arachnophile. "I saw it around his neck and his face was completely reddish purple."

The Dumbest Halloween Prank Award goes to the skeleton-masked moron who exploded an industrial-style firework in a shop, nearly killing the owner's 15-month-old son.

The Best Halloween Prank Award goes to the Fargo (N.D.) PD's finest for inviting their local wanted subjects to a free concert featuring Rob Zombie and Ozzy Osbourne. The lucky recipients instead found themselves spending Halloween in jail. All trick, no treat!

The Best Halloween Grinch Award goes to New York's John Odee. Besides suffering the misfortune of being the namesake of Garfield the cat's clueless dog, Oddee allegedly attacked a neighbor's inflatable lawn display of three ghosts and a giant pumpkin before smashing his addled head through her window. Hell, that would have scared the hell outta me. Why the apparently drunken man allegedly flipped out is a bit of a mystery, especially as he was apparently fine with the previous year's decorations.

The Most Genuinely Spooky Place to Spend Halloween Award goes to New York's Union Square, where four people were injured by gunfire and another stabbed. Runner Up: Salem, Mass., where two people were stabbed, a third person shot, and 21 people arrested mostly for disorderly conduct.

The Good Initiative Award goes to the state of Wisconsin. Yeah, I know it was home to "Psycho" inspiration Ed Gein and cannibal killer Jeffrey Dahmer, but I have to give props to a state whose Department of Corrections officers check up on sex offenders to make sure they aren't taking part in Halloween festivities by displaying decorations or handing out candy.

The Best Place to see a Full Moon on Halloween Award goes to Boulder (Colo.), home of the Annual Naked Pumpkin Run. As promoted on the event's Website, the run features "strapping young lads and lasses taking to the streets in a fine blend of artistry, harmless debauchery and, most importantly, nudity." The hell with that-what I wanna know is if they pay the local cops overtime.

Well, that wraps up this year's Halloween Round-up. May yours be as safe as possible.

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