Cops Don’t Like When you Touch their Donuts

It’s a hefty price for a pastry: A man accused of stealing a 52-cent doughnut could face up to 30 years in jail.  Authorities said Scott Masters, 41, slipped the doughnut into his sweat shirt without paying, then allegedly pushed away a clerk who tried to stop him as he fled the store.

The push is being treated as minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanour shoplifting charge to a strong-armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15 years. But because Masters has a criminal history, prosecutors say they could seek 30 years.

“Strong-arm robbery? Over a doughnut? That’s impossible,” Masters told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from jail.  He admitted that he took the pastry but denying touching the employee. “There’s no way I would’ve pushed a woman over a doughnut.”

Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said state law treats the shoplifting and assault as forcibly stealing property. The amount of force and value of the property doesn’t matter.  “It’s not the doughnut,” Baker said. “It’s the assault.”

Masters said he didn’t even get to enjoy his ill-gotten gains: He threw the doughnut away as he fled.   I have a sneaking suspicion this donut belonged to a hungry cop.  Anyways if this guy tucked a donut into his sweatshirt and intended to eat it then he is probably not sane enough to stand trial.

Oh How the French Love to Love

In France a woman who planted a lipstick-laden kiss on an all-white painting by the American artist Cy Twombly went on trial Tuesday, telling the court she had committed an “act of love” – not a crime.

Rindy Sam, a 30-year-old French artist, faced charges of “voluntarily damaging a work of art.” The painting is worth an estimated $2,830,000 and restorers have tried to remove the lipstick smudge from the bone-white canvas using nearly 30 products – to no avail.

Prosecutors, want Sam to pay a $6,400 fine and take a class on good citizenship. The verdict was set for Nov. 16.   Sam was taken into custody after she kissed the painting July 19. It was part of a travelling exhibition on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Avignon.  The painting is owned by collector Yvon Lambert. He was asking for $2,878,000 in damages, which included the value of the painting and the $47,000 restoration cost.

Twombly is known for his abstract paintings combining painting and drawing techniques, repetitive lines and the use of graffiti, letters and words.  Born in Lexington, Va., in 1928, Twombly has lived in Italy for nearly a half-century. He won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 2001.

Tuesday’s trial came as police in Paris jailed five people in connection with the weekend vandalism of a noted painting by French Impressionist Claude Monet, “Le Pont d’Argenteuil.”  Intruders, apparently drunk, broke into Paris’ Orsay Museum early Sunday and punched the renowned work, leaving a nearly 10 centimetre tear. The five were tracked by evidence from museum security cameras, police said. One person admitted to putting a fist in the painting under the influence of alcohol.

The intruders had entered by a back door. Culture Minister Christine Albanel said that apparently one in the group had information about access to the museum for professional reasons and used this information to enter. The minister did not say if any of those detained worked for the museum.  Why am I not surprised this happened in France, the land of love!