(photo [and a great guide] @ Dino 2.0)
West Palm Beach, Florida
When a weird crime story is reviewed here at RamblingBeachCat.com, we normally prefer for there to be multiple sources detailing the incident and arrest report. This helps to provide multiple viewpoints along with a few extra layers of confirmation.
But sometimes, an obscure or single-sourced story appears that is not only too bizarre to ignore, but also leaves us with some burning unanswered questions. On Wednesday January 22 of 2014, the always reliable state of Florida gave us one of these strange stories.
According to Jorge Millan of the Palm Beach Post, 54-year-old Mary E. Cooper was watching television when an "unidentified" 11-year-old boy picked up the remote and changed the channel. (The "unidentified" part is important not because he's a minor, but because we're not sure how this kid is related to Mary).
Mary demanded that the boy (who may or may not be her son) change the channel back. At this point, the boy told police that the remote control wouldn't work. It's an excuse that may actually hold some water if they had Direct TV, but Mary wasn't buying it. She proceeded to take the remote from the boy's hand and beat him over the head with it.
This allegedly started a "physical confrontation" between the two, but was really more of an old woman beat down. Mary threw the boy onto the couch while scratching his chest. Not content with only drawing a little bit of blood, she then picked up a kitchen knife and began "poking" the boy with it. This resulted in cuts on the child's wrist.
The boy escaped outside, found a security guard, and alerted him to the fact that Lady McBeth had possessed a woman in his home who was now trying to kill him. The police were called, the boy was treated for his wounds, and Mary Cooper was arrested...
...only to be released the next day on her own recognizance.
My apologies to Mr. Miller's reporting (since that might be all the information he had to work with), but there are a number of things (both out of morbid curiosity and concern) that I would really like to know, starting with...
1. WHY THE HELL WAS SHE RELEASED ON HER OWN RECOGNIZANCE?
For those of you who just pretend to know what that word means when it comes up during an episode of CSI, being released under one's own recognizance implies that the arresste is free to go home, but aware and willing of his/her obligation to return to court and stand trial for their misdeeds.
It also strongly implies that they agree not to do any illegal stuff before the trial, which isn't really something you can or should be able to promise after trying to kill an 11-year-old boy for changing the channel on the television.
2. What was she watching?
I know this one is obvious and somewhat trivial, but a simple "time of incident" stamp along with her age and gender could definitely help us narrow it down.
Many of my fellow Charleston residents, for example,
fly into a blind rage at 10/9 C when Bravo airs 'Southern Charm'
3. Was the boy actually stabbed or "poked" with the kitchen knife?
The boy ended up with cuts on his wrist, so it had to be done with some degree of force. But semantics aside, I think we all have vastly different ideas of the physical efforts that is put into "stabbing" vs "poking."
Whether it was 'Pyscho' level strokes or tiny little jabs, however, Mary's still a pretty horrible person.
It's not that I don't understand or even sympathize a little with her rage; if someone tried to change the channel during a University of Kentucky game or 'The Walking Dead', I'd stab them, too...but only if they were over the age of 18. Stabbing a child is wrong.
4. What was Mary Cooper's relationship to the boy?
This goes back to the whole "released on her own recognizance" thing. If she wasn't the child's mother or primary caretaker, then the family can definitely cross a babysitter off their list. If she is the child's mother, however, then dinner at home that next evening was probably more than a little awkward (and potentially dangerous/stabby).
Until more reports are released on this incident, let's just hope for now that the boy is safe and Mary Cooper learns how to control her anger.
...and that a cure for male pattern baldness in women is found in our lifetime.
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