The New Phone Book’s Here!!!!

Actually, even better…

It’s Kristian Gravenor’s year end crime review, courtesy of the Montreal Mirror
(Gravy confided that it’s been difficult to come up with this stuff since Allo Police went belly-up, but he still manages to come up with some good ones):

The year in weird crime
The stupidest, meanest and most bizarre illegal behaviour of 2005
KRISTIAN GRAVENOR

Incarceration, deprivation, humiliation, alas! None of these disincentives has yet managed to quell our dark appetite for misdeeds. Such is the nonsensical and anarchic world of misconduct and transgression that some acts bear noting… and here to do just that is our annual description of the lesser-known crimes that coloured our province this year.

Tears for beers A 17-year-boy old allegedly stabbed his friend in the neck in a 1 a.m. dispute over who’d pay what for beer. The friends were drinking in the basement while a parent sat upstairs in the suburban St-Hubert home. James Fournier, 19, died in the attack. In a similar type of stupid beer story, Robert Lafleur was drinking with a buddy at the Bistro Bar l’Original in Gatineau on Sept. 3 when the friend took a sip of Lafleur’s beer without obtaining prior permission. Lafleur took exception and punched the 46-year-old buddy repeatedly in the head, leaving him in a coma.

One way to train your girlfriend Daniel Bédard, 36, of Lotbinière, persuaded his girlfriend to move in with him, a decision she regretted when she realized he was an inveterate alcoholic. On Oct. 2, 2004, she announced that she was leaving him after a mere eight days of co-habitation. His response was to punch her in the face three times. She fled in her car. But he followed, and as she waited at a level crossing, he repeatedly accelerated his vehicle into hers in an attempt to land her car on the train tracks in front of the oncoming train. The cop station was right in front and Bédard was arrested. Fellow inmates decided that Bédard might be a pedophile, so they savagely beat him. Bédard suffered permanent damage and was treated in a 12-hour operation requiring 55 screws in his face. He got 34 months in jail.

Sofa-munching mutt murder On Jan. 20, Quebec City construction worker Serge Dufour, 39, returned home well into the sauce, only to find that his bulldog had chewed up a roommate’s furniture. When the roommate complained, Dufour went to the kitchen, returned with a large knife and cut his dog’s throat. “You’re lucky because I should have stabbed you,” said Dufour to the roommate. The roommate fled. Dufour called a gun-owner friend, intending to finish the dog off. Cops arrested Dufour and he pleaded guilty to assault and threat-related charges, as well as a separate offence in which Dufour had threatened to poke out his twin brother’s eyes. Dufour blamed a bad break-up for his behaviour. “I was so depressed that I took refuge in booze, I was like a stray dog,” said Dufour, apparently without irony, according to Photo Police. On August 19 he was fined $1,400 and given two years probation.

For those whose wives are in grade school Former Montreal mayoral candidate Daniel Cormier, 53, told a preliminary inquest that Quebec’s civil code allows adults to marry children as young as seven. The pastor and former Wisdom Party chief was arrested in June 2002 for marrying a 10-year-old girl. Cormier, who now heads the Downtown Church of Montreal near Place d’Armes, plans to defend himself in court starting Jan. 6 by relying on the 140-year-old law, which he argues was in force when he wed the child in 1999.

Orgy patrol well armed Two guys went to the Grands Duc strip club in Gatineau on Canada Day and flashed a big wad of cash, which proved persuasive enough to three strippers to accompany them to a party in their room at the Motel Montcalm. One of the dancers made a mysterious phone call, and soon a guy showed up at the door with a rifle, robbing the men and breaking the nose of one. Two of the three dancers fled. Gatineau cops didn’t responded to repeated Mirror queries of what became of the case, but presumably their investigation involved repeated visit to the strip club.

Visit Saguenay and photograph the pervert In late October, an exhibitionist in Saguenay, said to be in his 40s, leapt out in front of a couple near an outdoor pool in Mont-Fortin and showed off his turgid manhood before fleeing in a car. The duo, afflicted with the sight of his friction-happy tumescence, snapped a photo of his car. The next day he leapt out naked in front of another man on a pedestrian pathway, who also snapped his photo and brought it to the cops. The exhibitionist was never caught.

Let’s organize a duel to determine our meanest old broad A 76-year-old lady in Scott, in the Beauce, decided it was too late at night to open her door for the newspaper delivery guy. Good thing, because he had long ago lost his job delivering papers and had since turned to theft. He forced the door, and she whacked him hard with her cane. Police chased the thief in a car and into the woods before finally apprehending Guy Bérubé, 42, who had no previous criminal record. If you enjoyed that story, here’s a bonus: Thérèse Bonhomme, 70, a retired nurse, chased, caught and severely castigated a young guy who stole a stranger’s purse outside her old age home near Valleyfield on July 29.

Can’t a guy pee off his balcony in peace? Christian Dutil, 50, of Lévis, near Quebec City, got into a yelling match with a female neighbour who took exception with him for urinating off his upstairs balcony in August. She called 911 and he came downstairs to discuss the matter, rifle in hand. But he got distracted when another woman walked by, who he decided to call a whore and a bitch, and claim that she gave him AIDS. A tactical squad was called in and Dutil surrendered five hours later. He had previously visited the clink for drunk driving. He got three months probation.

I’m driving fast because my brakes aren’t working and I want to get home before I have an accident Jean-Denis Viens, 23, was being pulled over for an illegal left turn in Gatineau. A police officer stood in front of the young driver’s car, as a gesture to entice him to stop. However, the peace officer was unaware that Viens was on his way to the garage to have his brakes repaired, so he couldn’t stop his car. Viens attempted to swerve around the police officer, Pierre Gignac, 48, but ended up tossing him quite a distance, causing severe damage in the process. Viens apologized for the incident in court on Oct. 28.

The Houdini of the police cruiser Sébastien Charette, 21, had a bad habit of driving the wrong way on the highways near the Ontario border. When cops decided such bizarre behaviour merited a trip to a Buckingham hospital on July 31, they popped him in the back of a police cruiser, wherein the intrepid youth managed to make a mockery of the steel protective cage dividing the criminals from the public defenders by stabbing one officer in the neck. He then snuck into the front, stealing the cruiser and driving it off up to 150 km/h before behind apprehended. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and has been in a loony bin ever since.

The great paintball massacre Jocelyn Brisson, 33, had a body living in Vanier and a mind living in cocaine-craving-land. On a summer day, he met up with an acquaintance in a parking lot to discuss a business deal. Brisson pulled out a shotgun and shot the guy. Brisson’s weapon, however, shot paintballs. The impact broke the guy’s nose and undoubtedly dirtied his shirt. Brisson drove away in such haste that he banged his car into a woman’s vehicle in Quebec City. He got two years.

A first-round choice in your fantasy league crime pool Jonathan Ferland-Petrin, 19, of Gatineau, got his adult crime career off to an impressive debut by facing 55 criminal charges, many involving theft to feed his drug habit. When he finally went to court, his 15-year-old girlfriend stole his limelight. She caused such a fuss that she was thrown out of the audience and once in the hallway she attacked a security guard. He got two years.

Arson, not eviction On Nov. 2, Serge Linteau, 48, of Quebec City, called 911 when he noticed that his apartment building was on fire. He hadn’t paid rent for six months and had been ordered to move out the day before. Linteau helpfully aided neighbours leave the blazing building, but his story became suspicious and cops looked at his criminal record which involved arson, drug convictions and sexual assault. He’ll be pleading not guilty to various charges in January.

Eat my socks Claude Lefebvre faced charges of extortion and fraud in a $40-million (U.S.) business scam to defraud beer-famous Joseph Coors, among others. The sixty-something Lefebvre had spent over $4-million on plastic surgery and expensive sports cars. During his trial he mocked his victims, babbled incomprehensibly and complained of bad tasting prison vegetables and cheese. He fired his own lawyer on the basis of his breath, which “smells like he ate my socks.” The judge was unimpressed. He gave him 20 years and ordered him to pay back the money he stole.

Legal advice: always count your punches Eric Brun, 28, of St-Eustache, allegedly punched his girlfriend 40 times as punishment for her refusal to prostitute herself to raise money for the good cause of replenishing his cocaine supply. The 28-year-old victim suffered a broken jaw and black eyes, among other injuries. Brun, who has a solid criminal history, vigorously denied the allegation that he hit his girlfriend 40 times, insisting that he only punched her 20 times.

Cops get mooned, goosed and fondled On Nov. 4, Valleyfield police reported that a 19-year-old boy at a party in a mall parking lot had approached their car and mooned them. In June, a 32-year-old Gatineau woman approached several police officers who had just finished a pickup hockey game against local youth. She offered her sexual services for $60. When they refused, she goosed a cop, or, for those unfamiliar with the term, she reached into police officer’s pants to arouse his trouser snake. “You can’t arrest me because I’m not alright in my head,” she said, according to Photo Police. And to complete the police-sex trifecta, SQ lieutenant Yves Maher, 49, was charged for sexually fondling fellow male police officers between 1999 and 2003. He had already quit the force, but was given an unconditional discharge on Nov. 30 after he pled guilty.

Lights, cameras, suicide A 35-year-old threatened to hang himself off a bridge in downtown St-Georges-de-Beauce. In subsequent negotiations, he demanded that TV crews be there to record the historic event. He was eventually talked down and now faces charges of public mischief.

Kids terrified of uncombed man Claude-Jean Gauthier, 24, returned from a camping trip on Sept. 28, 2002, looking somewhat unkempt. He hopped on a city bus full of children aged six to 12, who were returning from a movie downtown. Gauthier’s unwashed face, long hair, straggly beard and mirror glasses did not go unnoticed. One child started screaming in terror. Then another did the same. Soon the bus was full of children, staring and pointing at Gauthier. The bus driver pulled over amid the hubbub and the youth disembarked. Gauthier followed to try to reassure them, but that only worsened things. Police quickly showed up and arrested him, jailed him and forced him to take a psychological evaluation. During his stay in prison, other inmates broke his jaw in two places due to a rumour that he was a child molester. On 20 May this year, Gauthier showed up combed and clean and was quickly acquitted of six charges of criminal harassment.

You can’t beat off at City Hall Pascal Allard of Drummondville lost his job as government liaison agent in March and was banned from Drummondville City Hall after making what was interpreted to be a mocking gesture miming masturbation. He admits to moving his wrist but denies that the motion was meant to mime the fine act of self-pleasuring. Allard argues that such an act would be less grievous than those recently committed by some city councillors: One was recently arrested for drunk driving and another for picking up a hooker in Florida.
Lovers and their photo snaps Mathieu Dufresne, 23, of Quebec City, was having trouble accepting that his true love had left him. After harassing phone calls and other tactics proved a failure, he tried blackmail. She didn’t bite, and he ended up sending intimate photos of her to 24 people, including her teachers. An unimpressed judge inquired about his method of showing his love and sentenced him to six months to be served in the community.

The key to successful crime Charles Roux, 23, stole a snowblower, jewellery, a generator and computers, all from the Victoriaville courthouse. He had no trouble entering, as he was the locksmith. He had to return to the courthouse to face 18 charges ranging from theft to fraud, and there was the issue of him having yanked a deposit bag from someone’s hands in the middle of a downtown Victoriaville street. He’s currently facing up to 18 charges in various stages of progress.

Banking with chainsaws A 38-year-old landscaper from St-Romuald went to collect an unpaid bill by hauling a chainsaw into the Salvatore restaurant at a crowded shopping mall. An employee grabbed a knife but police defused the situation before the knife-versus-chainsaw duel could really get started. The man was arrested and the debt remains unpaid.

For Gravenor’s past year end round-ups check the archives of Who Killed Theresa,

Here

and here

And Gravenor has a great book out – co-authored by his brother – called Montreal:The Unknown City… a nice peek at the City’s underbelly… very Hush-Hush.

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