Tuesday, May 04, 2010

When A Fecund Stench Permeates The Courtroom: What I Really Think About The "Not-Guilty" In The Cyber-Stalking Case

Note to readers: This post has been updated. Scroll to bottom.

Well, I've had some time to sleep on it.

Now, I'm going to say what I really think about what happened yesterday. We've come full circle today, because last night my Mom actually encouraged me to say my peace.

Before I start, I'd like to thank all of the folks who've offered words of kindness, encouragement and support over the last few months.

"Not Guilty" was not the outcome I/we had hoped for, but it's the outcome that deep-down I'd knew I'd get all along.

It is Randolph County, after all.

First, as I've said before, I really don't like the way I was bullied and man-handled by the DA's office and Judge Michael Sabiston in terms of scheduling the case. After granting two continuances to "Mr. Stench" in the case, Michael Sabiston could not grant a Pediatrician on-call far away in rural Eastern North Carolina the same consideration . . . and forced her to drive four hours on a Sunday night to make a Court appearance that barely lasted an hour and seems to have been preordained as to outcome.

I might as well have phoned it in. But we'll get to that.

[I'm gonna pause here for a moment and tell you a little bit about my last Saturday in rural Eastern North Carolina - a Saturday I spent anticipating the delivery and taking care of a premature infant born with a very serious problem that many Pediatricians never ever see or manage in their entire careers. In fact, I was the only doctor on staff at that small/rural hospital who had ever dealt with this particular condition (several times) - and just the fact that I was there quelled a lot of nerves during the wait. It was dumb luck that Judge Sabiston's refusal to work around my call-schedule (and the subsequent scheduling contortions/trade-offs) did not serve to pull me away from the hospital earlier this weekend. What had to be done for this newborn was a tremendous team effort - everybody really pulled together for the child - and I was so very proud of the people I now work with. The wee one was transferred to one of our finer tertiary-care institutions, and at last check (I'm glad/relieved to report) is doing well.

So in terms of some of the bile Jeff Martin has hurled in my direction for the horrible sin of refusing to "let go" of things that were done to me in the name of pure malice and greed, I think we've already established that far from being "stupid" or "crazy" or a "lunatic" or a "booger-eating-moron", I'm pretty damned good at my job, and unfortunately it's the real reason I'm not working at Randolph Hospital in Asheboro, North Carolina.

And no, Asheboro City Councilman Bell, blink your bug-eyes in disbelief all you want, but I've not gotten over what our local "non-profit" hospital did to me (twelve years or fifty years ago, it does not matter), and barring someone holding your good buddies, Bob Morrison and Steven Eblin, accountable for their despicable deeds, I NEVER will "let go". Some things you do not get over.]

Most of all, I think the case was inadequately/very narrowly prosecuted.

Even as Mr. Stench (alternating between his trademark insipid grin and huffing/puffing into his lawyer's ear) was hiding like a little girl behind the art of blogging and what he styled as "friendship" . . . albeit using the "she was a bad friend who deserved it mantra" as his primary defense . . . the Randolph County ADA did not introduce Mr. Stench's own very ugly history/commentary on the blogs (especially not his despicable/vile post on Mike Baron/the Randleman Dam) . . . or the statements he later made at Vie De Malchance about what he did to Mary Johnson and why he did it . . . about "getting mean" and bringing Mary Johnson down.

Mr. Stench's portrayal of himself in Court . . . as some undeserving, defenseless "victim" of the angry lady doctor's irrepressible wrath was both laughable and PATHETIC.

Jeff Martin was nobody's "victim" here. On the blogs, he was simply being served up a very small taste of what he's very liberally dished out to others (as a "hobby") over the years. Indeed what started this mess was when he dished it out to a man with terminal cancer who had just gotten out of the hospital. It was cruel, despicable stuff that was just painful to read. And in terms of leadership our little part of the void, it wasn't GSO blogger-king Ed Cone who told Martin he was beyond out-of-line, it was Dr. Mary Johnson.

But Martin-as-Stench could not take a pale imitation of what he's dished out for even a very short period of time. So the big brave man switched to sending creepy e-mails to a woman. And in doing so, he crossed a line. He KNEW exactly what he was doing . . . and YES it was all about making me feel "vulnerable" . . . but only in the sense that he considered his target emotionally fragile . . . a doctor he thought he could intimidate into silence by telling her that he knew where she lived . . . and when his plan back-fired, he moved right on along to hurling libel online.

Mr. Stench can rationalize/justify it now all he likes. But I'm not buying what he's selling (just like I wasn't playing his head games back in November), and I called him on it.

As someone reminded me yesterday, the Randolph County ADA was not really charged with representing me, the ADA was charged with representing the State. And, as several others-in-the-know have observed, the State's primary interest was served by going through the motions, but then getting rid of this thing as quickly/quietly as possible.

Alas, in addition to failing to illuminate the true nature of Mr Stench's "hobby", the Randolph County ADA didn't think it was relevant to cite Mr. Stench's history/modus operandi of doing the very same kinds of things he'd done to Dr. Johnson to other bloggers (in other words, it wasn't the first time Mr. Stench has crossed this line). But they have Greensboro addresses, and/so the whole truth doesn't matter.

The Randolph County ADA also didn't think the freakish clown-show that Stench put on for the press spoke to motive or intent. The Stench knows he "screwed up" and "probably frightened" his intended victim for the newspapers (and TV). But he wasn't about to own up to that in Court.

Likewise, the Randolph County ADA didn't introduce the brazenly LIBELOUS blog posts Stench put up after sending those 27 e-mails (when he suddenly realized that pummelling someone's Inbox with unsolicited nasty e-mails was illegal in North Carolina - and that for once, the target of his bile was not backing down) . . . those posts intended to compound the online harassment and embarrassment for his chosen victim.

Moreover, the Randolph County ADA did not question investigating Detective, Justin Trogdon, about the menacing anonymous comments (all from the same Greensboro IP address) left at Housecalls - or ask him if he had identified the poster. In fact, I'm still waiting for someone at the Randolph County Sheriff's Department to answer that question.

(Addendum: I expect this "oversight" occured in part because the DA's office seemed to to be ALLERGIC to picking up the phone and calling the Sheriff's Department to exchange information. I was supposed to provide copies of the e-mails, I was supposed to call the Detective and remind him about things. It was ridiculous. At one point during what friends are already calling the "show-trial", Mr. Bell tried made an issue between the difference between the time-stamps on the e-mails read into evidence. There was nothing dishonest or sinister about it. The discrepancy was because the DA was NOT using the e-mails I originally copied the Sheriff's Department back in November, but recent copies I had provided him - after the automatic computer corrections made due to time change.)

Let another one of those comments pop into my Inbox and I can guarantee you that I WILL get an answer. And since they were not a part of the original complaint and (conveniently) did not come up at trial, jeopardy is not attached. And/so the answer is that if it was Mr. Martin, I will have the option of re-filing charges . . . this time perhaps in the much-more favorable jurisdiction where I first opened the e-mail that announced the comments.

In short, I will not be HIS victim any more. Or anyone else's.

Speaking of questions, in order for ANY of these things to come out, I had to be asked the right questions. As a witness for the State, I could not just sit there and lecture the Court.

No. The Randolph County ADA sat there like a lump on a log . . . even as Asheboro City Council Member Clark Bell pelted the State's witness with the "stupids" and "crazies" (and opened doors that a good prosecutor could've driven a truck through) . . . rarely objecting . . . and not asking that anything be clarified or explained on re-direct. I kept waiting for him to DO SOMETHING - to give me something I could run with. But it didn't happen.

I suspect that the real problem for the ADA was that the truck he should have been driving was on a pot-hole-filled road that led back to the reason Dr. Mary Johnson is in the blogosphere in the first place. And that reason is because two VIP "non-profit" hospital executives repeatedly lied under Oath in a civil matter under his boss's jurisdiction, and for six years his boss has pretended it didn't happen and has refused to refer to case to the North Carolina Attorney General for the proper investigation it should have gotten years ago.

What was really frustrating in Court was that the ADA actually had copies of the blog posts that Mr. Bell questioned me about (I gave them to him), but the ADA did not get up out of his chair and offer them to me for reference. Exhausted from the events of the previous weekend - and the road-trip in the night before, I was supposed to answer questions (out-of-context) about a real-time "blog war" (engaged on three "fronts") almost six months ago from memory without having anything in front of me to refer to.

Something was just very wrong - very OFF - in that Courtroom . . . from the moment I arrived only to be told that the case might be dismissed (and jeopardy would be attached) because I opened the e-mails while on-call in a far-Eastern North Carolina County (never mind that I was told by three different magistrates that the jurisdiction was Randolph County, and someone had had almost six months to address that question).

And, after you've sat there, as the victim of the crime . . . being forced to re-live all the UGLY for the umpteenth time (because you've had to print and reprint and send and re-send the e-mails and the blog posts . . . and you've been made to work with a DA's office that's done you nothing but dirty for twelve years) . . . forced to mouth the Stench's threats and accusations in your own voice in open Court . . . then be repeatedly re-called "stupid" and "crazy" by the paid representative of an individual who does not have the intestinal fortitude to take the stand and be cross-examined about his own behavior and the actions for which he is on trial . . . only for the Judge to not even offer the pretense of deliberating before he delivers his verdict of "not guilty" (because in his estimation, all of Mr. Stench's sick/warped behavior somehow "did not rise to the level of cyberstalking") . . . it's just surreal . . . ludicrous . . . beyond absurd.

I mean, I initiated correspondence with the Medical Board the very night the Stench sent his e-mails (correspondence that, INCREDIBLY, the ADA never entered into evidence). Does Judge Sabiston really think that I was not genuinely frightened of what the self-styled "child of a borderline Mother" could do (and clearly was very capable of doing) to complicate my professional life even further than it already has been? Does Sabiston actually think that being investigated by the Medical Board for six to twelve months (which is exactly what would have happened had the Stench carried through on his threats) is a walk in the park?

Sabiston was a lawyer before he was a judge. Does he think it would be fun if the State Bar climbed up his butt on the word of someone who has bragged about having "sociopathic tendencies" that he'd never had as a client?

After all, it's not like it's not a variation on a theme that's played before. Of course, on a primary day, no one wants to talk about that.

Moreover, does Judge Michael Sabiston really think that the harassment and abuse that the Stench dished out in his e-mails and at Vie De Malchance was fun to read . . . or that I spent the last almost six months trying to do something about it simply for sport? Did he really think I was not annoyed/scared as the e-mails flooded my Inbox? That I didn't feel harassed by what happened next (wait, I forgot, Mr. Stench didn't own up to that even as his lawyer tried to blame me for the observations and free speech of others - and it wasn't introduced as evidence)? That I haven't been massively embarrassed?

Oh, and because I'm a woman I cannot be all of these things and ANGRY too?

I got the distinct feeling that because I was not home that night . . . because the Stench was not sitting in my driveway plotting to do to me what I was told he did to one of his ex-tenants (it was crystal clear yesterday that my house-sitter's safety that night was not a consideration to anyone) . . . because I did not feel physically-threatened for more than a very short while . . . Judge Sabiston didn't give the rest of the very clear/very applicable language in the statute any credence at all.

But, of course, what I really think is that the black and white of the cyber-stalking statute did not matter one bit because Judge Sabiston was actually brought in from somewhere else in order to keep the lid tightly shut on a really big can-of-ugly when it comes to the huge pile of CRAP that has been shovelled onto Dr. Mary Johnson's head under Garland Yate's jurisdiction.

In short, I think the fix was in from the get-go.

And, as an aside, I'm just wondering. Why find Mr. Stench "not guilty", but then instruct him never to do it again? Why not find him GUILTY of something he clearly did and admitted to doing and boasted about doing . . . of what you're telling him not to do . . . and at least make him take an anger management class or bump up the meds for his sociopathic tendencies?

Again, I just don't get it.

This is what passes for "justice" in Randolph County.

There is NO DOUBT in my mind that the outcome would have been very different in Guilford or the far-Eastern North Carolina County I currently serve . . . where a number of residents of the former have had enough of Mr. Stench's nasty online antics, uber-ugly temper and potty-mouth (there certainly would have been more victims to testify) . . . and residents of the later really do appreciate the Pediatrician that Asheboro threw out-of-town like so much garbage because she saved a baby's life.

(OBTW, Randolph Hospital's latest edition of HealthLink made me physically-ill. And two of the nurses on that cover know exactly why. And, if you really want to THROW UP, look no further than this website for "Dancing with the Randolph Stars", a veritable Who's Who of Asheboro's "right-people"-who-fancy-themselves-"celebrities".)

The deck was stacked from day one. I knew it was stacked and I told people it was stacked, but everyone told me that I was being silly/paranoid . . . that this case was a slam-dunk application of the statute . . . and to "just trust the system to work".

"Let the locals do their job."

Of course, there was something inherently wrong with the theory that these particular locals would actually do their job. But I did surrender to the process. Again.

And I got hosed. Again.

The Courts in this county and this state are a joke . . . a pathetic mockery of justice. The system does not work. Victims of crime have ZERO rights. The sad thing is that people very rarely talk back (most of the time because by the time they feel they can they are too beaten-down/burned-out by the B.S).

This time I'm really damned mad. And I'm thinking that I need to hook up with more people who are really damned mad, and that together we should channel that anger and insist upon some changes.

I have been advised I can take the way this case was handled and adjudicated up with the Administrative Office of the Courts. To what end, I'm not sure. But I'm thinking why not? You just get tired of being jerked around.

Habitual intemperance gets REAL old.

Meanwhile, beyond disgusted with yesterday's farce, friends and family are encouraging me to sue the fat-pants off Jeff Martin for LIBEL . . . over the uber-nasty/hate-drenched posts he put up when his original e-mails didn't accomplish his goal of putting me into the "fugue state".

I have not yet ruled it out.

But what I'm really thinking is that the Stench is (and always was) a waste of my time . . .

. . . and perhaps I need to shake off the meaningless distractions (most specifically, the useless, do-nothing, mealy-mouthed, well-named "citizen journalists" in the Greensboro blogosphere) and focus on bigger fish (the ones whose apathy and laziness and abject negligence put me in this ether) and other jurisdictions. The last month or so . . . not posting here very often . . . commenting in other medically-oriented forums . . . connecting with other physicians of like mind . . . slowly working on crafting a legal case that hopefully will finally focus the public spotlight on Randolph Hospital and its nasty tactics (which are actually more commonplace than anyone in the general public realizes) . . . has really expanded the horizons.

My passion is that medical whistle-blowers-of-the-future never experience what I have . . . that they have a mechanism to pick up the phone, and like having a "Bat-phone", their call goes right to someone who can and will IMMEDIATELY help them . . . as opposed to being forever mired in the slime of in these penny-anty, backwater jurisdictions filled with two-bit, hustling, good-ole-boy John-Edwards wannabes scratching one-another's backs.

Anyway, that's what I really think. I know some of you were wondering.

In this era of healthcare "reform" mine is a story that deserves far more press attention and respect than it's gotten. Brought to this ether on the invitation of a journalist, I've spent the last five years telling my story on this blog. I've told the truth and I make NO apologies. Until recent events shut comments down, it was an open (albeit moderated) forum, and the people I've accused of wrong-doing have been free to engage/refute those accusations. Yet they've all crawled under rocks to hide. And our local "journalists" (including and especially the ones who enticed me here) have steadfastly refused to look under the rocks.

The most delicious irony in all of this is that, like the "resolution" of my legal battle with Randolph, "Fecund Stench's" "vindication is probably not going to get the MSM air-play or print love that his arrest did. None of the local news outlets want to feed a monster that might risk exposing the real stories behind the smoke . . . be it Dr. Mary Johnson's battle with a hospital whose idea of "care you can trust" is firing a Pediatrician who went above-&-beyond to provide it . . . or the burial of Mike Baron's career as a water conservationist under the tons of concrete composing the Randleman Dam. In short, "Fec" is most likely going to get yet another small taste of what it's like to live in our worlds. Maybe then he can compare notes with his hero and true friend, Edward Cone of the Moses Cone Healthcare System Cones . . . you know, the institution that employed the neonatology-wannabe I rescued on that fateful night so long ago.

Clearly, I was "stupid" then too . . . to believe that right would overcome money and might.

The bigger picture is also a story that deserves an ending worthy of an already-battered woman brave enough to take a cyber-bully to Court in a venue where she's previously been done NOTHING BUT WRONG and where she KNEW she'd just get screwed again. She showed up and stated her case (inasmuch as an ADA on a short leash let her) and took her medicine.

But as bullies do when directly challenged, "Mr. Stench" ducked behind clouds of smoke. And in doing so . . . by lowering the bar of discourse in free speech and muddling/crossing the lines of civility, I think Jeff Martin did real dishonor to the art and practice of blogging.

He's no hero.

I'm not the only one in this ether who thinks so. Let him live with/chew on that.

Working towards the ends I've alluded to above, and barring earth-shattering developments in stories that I am following, I will remain on break.

You-all have a nice summer.

5/5 Update: It's not earth-shattering enough to put a crack in the Randleman Dam, but the Greensboro N&R actually linked my posts on the verdict (???). First, they endorse local lawyer/blogger Sam Spagnola (not exactly crying over that loss) and now they're linking me?

There definitely IS a distrubance in the Force.

It makes you wonder if major advertiser, the Moses Cone Healthcare System, is finally sick and tired enough of the guilt-by-association & cooperative relationships to (like the shareholders of First National Bank) throw the doctor-stomping-lying-cheating-SLAPP-suing tag-team of Bob Morrison and Steven Eblin under the ambulance?

5/6 Update: For anyone who was still wondering if the Randolph County Sheriff's Department and Randolph County District Attorney's office did not throw me under the bus, I just took a call from Justin Trogdon, the "investigative officer" on the cyber-stalking case (after sending him two e-mails).

The IP address ( of the menacing anonymous comments left on this blog . . . comments which the poster KNEW would be moderated through E-MAILS to my Inbox and would not go up (but would still "get" to me) . . . comments that SCREAMED "I am Fecund Stench and I am geting around all of the big black holes in North Carolina's USELESS cyberstalking law", WAS NEVER EVEN SUBPOENAED!?!

The Sheriff's office had almost six months to do this before the trial - or at least tell me they were NOT going to do it. I met with the DA a week before the trial. He did not say a word!?!

In fact he ENCOURAGED me to contact Detective Trogdon and light a fire. And I did.

IN SHORT, just like ADA King Dozier leaving a message on my phone that my perjury complaint against Randolph Hospital executives, Bob Morrison & Steven Eblin would be forwarded to the SBI for a full investigation - only to find out later that Garland Yates KILLED any investigation before it could start, the Randolph County DA's office once again LIED to me.
"Let the locals do their job." Yeah, right. These locals DID NOT DO their jobs . . . because it was Dr. Mary Johnson and they were not about to do their jobs . . . and I am DONE with all of them!

I will be taking this matter up with somebody else (jeopardy is not attached) . . . perhaps even a Federal jurisdiction. And I've gotta say, it only fuels the fire and makes the case I plan to make against the state/JCAHO/DHHS even more compelling.

In its "White Noise" section, Yes Weekly has a blurb up on the resolution of the case (this after participating in the freakish clown show cited earlier). Once again, Martin admits he should not have sent the e-mails . . . something he (excuse me, his lawyer) did not say in Court.

No Sir. No Ma'am. In Court, poor/pitiful Jeff Martin tried to justify sending the e-mails by throwing out-of-context excerpts from blog threads (i.e "public forums") in my face.

Meanwhile, Martin could dodge anything he said or did in those forums - because he did not have the guts to take the stand.And in the best bit of journalistic "poetic justice" I've seen yet, Jordan Green aptly sums up my experience thus far with the Randolph County legal system using Jeff Martin's own words:

"The prosecution, in my opinion, acted more like my defense."

Well yeah, DUH, Jeff. No kidding. Now you and the rest of the bad boys in Randolph County can all sit around drinks at the Flying Pig and compare notes.

Really big brave men, you all are.

5/8 Update: Still hearing from locals new to this story (I'm not talking about the cyber-stalking case). After five years hauling water uphill in Edward Cone's blogosphere (where I had to be reminded about the character of the people flinging the "bat-shit crazies"), it's unbelievable to me, just unbelievable, that people can say they had no idea about what the lying thugs running Randolph Hospital had done to me!?!

Just so we're clear on the scope and depth of the Courier Tribune's "news" coverage of what is really going on in Randolph County, as of today, there has not been one peep out of Asheboro's local newspaper about this case . . . not when Mr. Martin's arrest was made . . . and not now.

Just like when the local "non-profit" hospital/it's controlled affiliate (trying to cover the medical butt of a Cone-owned physician) fired me for saving a newborn's life (and reporting what happened to Peer Review) . . . and just like when I sued the "controlled affiliate" a year later.

The Courier Tribune MUST protect the big dawgs . . . excuse me, Randolph County's "stars".

I'm told that, in one of his posts after the verdict, the poor/pitiful "eternal victim" Jeff Martin warned his readers that the news media was not necessarily a friend.

Again, Jeff. Yeah. DUH. Welcome to my world.


jon said...

Dr J.,
I'm in full sympathy of your situation, but I sincerely do hope you can move on and put this behind you. I know you have the strength to persevere. Your story of not getting a continuance reminds me of the time I got a Stop Sign ticket while in college. I wrote a letter asking for a postponment since I had to drive 560 miles and cut class to appear. I was denied the postponment, drove all night and appeared in court at the appointed time before one of the toughest judges in the county. When he saw the letter in the file and saw that the DA had not granted my request he hit the roof. The case proceeded, but when the arresting officer's partner would not confirm that I had run the stop sign he dismissed the case over the strong objections of the DA and told him that if he didn't like his decisions he could appeal them. Then he apologized to me for the inconvenience that had been caused me. Obviously, I was probably the luckiest person in the courtroom that day. It's sad that the court could not grant you the same consideration granted the defendent.

Dr. Mary Johnson said...

Jon, thank you.

I've perservered for twelve years (Mr. Bell couldn't get the number right in Court - but then again, he didn't live it).

Jeff Martin is a mere blip on the radar. But someone had to send him the message that he cannot say everysickthing that pops into his head - and he cannot act on every base impulse. God knows none of the blogger-kings in this ether have had the guts to stand up to him. Indeed, it would appear they lurked in the shadows and egged him on.

I think this post indicates that I am indeed "moving on".

Where I am going I expect this DA's office is ultimately not going to like.

Brandon Burgess said...

Dr. J, I hate it turned out this way. Sadly, our system doesn't have the time, resources or empathy to handle these kinds of situations. Hindsight reveals to me that while Martin's actions were over the top, I'm not sure how much harm he really intended. This in no way impacts your right to have him charged (which was the right thing to do and no one should be slammed the way you were for protecting themselves or their livelihood).

When all of this happened, I left a comment with Martin indicating how I felt about you and him as relevant and talented bloggers and I meant it. You both have a lot to say and it comes from interesting points of view.

I have learned that it's probably not a good idea to drink and blog. Martin knows what he did was wrong. I think that is the closest thing to an apology that you will get from him.

--Brandon Burgess

Dr. Mary Johnson said...

Brandon, I appreciate what you're trying to do. But this is not the first time I've crossed the path of someone like Jeff Martin. There's much more to this than him being a drunken clown who made a stupid mistake.

He thought I was weak and and emotionally beaten-down (by twelve years of being SLAPP'ed silly by mill-town "stars" dancing around the amoral/unethical/illegal things they did . . . not to mention five years in this blogosphere being called "batshit crazy", "stupid", etc. for the horrible sin of telling the ugly truth about the way all "the right people" do things in Asheboro) and could be easily bullied into silence.

He INTENDED harm. He wanted to "break" me.

Not broken.

When this started, I contacted the FBI. They told me that I needed to let the locals do their jobs - and if they did not do their jobs (and there was clear evidence they did not do their jobs), then we could explore the options.

Well, this morning's conversation with the investigative Detective (I use the term very loosely) sealed the deal for me that the fix was always in.

And since NOTHING has changed, we're going to explore ALL of the criminal and civil options.

The talking-out-of-both-sides-of-his-mouth garbage is not going to cut it. If you are truly sorry and you were truly wrong, you say so, and you shut your foul mouth, and and you STOP hurling the libel and you move on along.

As for those in this blogosphere who "slammed me" (the "usual suspects") for defending myself, a lot of that was about the fact that they were nervous about having their own behavior as bloggers examined under a microscope and their own feet held to the fire.

Vigilant for pianos falling from the sky said...

"Mary Helen,
You'll never get to be a Right person in Asheboro society with such an attitude........

I laughed, hard. Good blog, and you took no prisoners."

Dr. Mary Johnson said...

What? You mean I won't be able to dance with the "Randolph Stars"?

That celebration of mill-town cliques has all the wrong people I know reaching for the Pepto.

(Oh, and what a shining example of diversity that crew of couples is!)

Too bad the "detectives" at the Randolph County Sheriff's Department are too busy snuggling up to cyber-stalkers . . . or negotiating terms on behalf of drunk young men who mow over mailboxes (and don't own up/have to be tracked down) to take any prisoners.