CINCINNATI – If you're the victim of a crime, it's nothing to laugh at. To the rest of us, some crimes seem so absurd, so ridiculous, we shake our heads and think, "OMG!"
Here are the 9 craziest Tri-State crime stories in 2015:
9. Driver runs naked down I-71 after hitting six cars
Motorists were startled to see a Cleveland-area man run in the buff for nearly a mile near I-275 in Blue Ash, shouting threats and obscenities, until officers gang-tackled him. Before that, Tracy Martin, 44, had driven his pickup on the shoulder, hit six cars and flipped after hitting the median, police said. Martin claimed his brakes went out; police suspected drugs. They couldn't tell if Martin had been driving naked, but they didn't find any clothes in his pickup. Authorities wouldn't speculate about it, but similar incidents in Florida have been attributed to flakka, a synthetic drug that causes the body to overheat, as well as crazy, sometimes violent behavior.
8. Twin teens plot torture, armed robbery, but target wrong house
Police said 18-year-old David Morad and his sister Alexis belong to a prominent family and attended the best private schools but were involved in an underworld of hard drugs and crime. David, described as a heavy drug user and low-level dealer, said he wanted to "pop" a drug dealer who had threatened him, and he and Alexis made plans for a home invasion. But Alexis picked the wrong house, and David and another teen ended up brutalizing and terrifying a woman and her young kids instead. "He had a hatchet and he was going to start chopping off our fingers until we told him where the drugs were,” the victim, Ann Thompson, testified. "Of course, there were no drugs." David Morad was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison. Alexis Morad didn't participate in the home invasion and got three years' probation.
7. Mom puts feces into son's IV, prosecutor says
After a West Virginia mom brought her sick 9-year-old to Cincinnati Children's Hospital, doctors couldn't figure out why the boy kept a high fever, so hospital officials put a surveillance camera in his room. They caught the mother, Candida Fluty, injecting feces into his IV tube, according to prosecutor Joe Deters. Deters noted that she had been soliciting donations on social media. "We don’t believe her intent was to kill the child," Deters said. "We believe her intent was to make him sick, and she succeeded." Fluty is awaiting trial.
6. Liz Rogers, owner of failed Mahogany's restaurant, convicted of impersonating a police officer
This was a case of "he said, she said." A repo man testified that when he tried to grab the Mercedes Rogers was driving last March, she flashed a police badge, said she was a cop and she had to drive home and secure her weapon. The young man said he obliged her, but when he followed her home, she drove the car into the garage, the door closed and the repo man was out of luck. Until he filed charges. At trial, Rogers acknowledged that she carried a ceremonial badge in honor of her sister, a former officer, but she denied telling the repo man she was a cop. The judge (Rogers had chosen a bench trial) didn't buy it, but he suspended her 30-day sentence. All she got was a $150 fine and more bad publicity.
5. Indian Hill mom Crysta Pleatman goes to jail for harassing emails
The mother of three teens probably never expected trouble when she planned to buy Grant Troja's $1.2 million house. But Pleatman backed out after learning that a man convicted of attempted murder lived next door. Ben White had just spent 10 years in prison for trying to kill a 13-year-old girl. The Pleatmans had three daughters, and she said she feared for their safety if they moved in next to the Whites. According to White's father, Pleatman came to their home, met his son and indicated that she didn't feel threatened and that she would take the house. Shortly after that, the son moved out, the father said. But Pleatman still balked. Long story short, Troja sued Pleatman and Pleatman fired off angry emails complaining about Troja -- and this is the important part -- even after a judge told her to stop contacting people involved in the case. The prosecutor charged Pleatman with communications harassment but asked the judge to forego jail and put her on electronic monitoring. That worked fine until Pleatman cut off the EM bracelet and another judge threw her in jail. She stewed for a week behind bars, then sent more emails, and a different judge sent her back to jail for two days. In the meantime, Pleatman was convicted on the harassment charge. Her sentencing -- and the civil trial -- are scheduled for January.
4. Federal judge and prominent former attorney attacked, robbed in Indian Hill home
This had "Bad Idea" written all over it. Police said three men with guns were driving around Indian Hill looking for a house to rob when they settled on an $8 million mansion, not knowing it was the home of federal judge Susan Dlott and famous former attorney Stan Chesley. Bad Idea No. 1. Police said the trio - Terry Darnell Jackson, 21; Demetrius Williams, 20; and Darrell Joseph Kinney, 20 - accosted Dlott and Chesley in their bedroom and held guns to their heads. Bad Idea No. 2. Chesley was pushed down the stairs and suffered broken bones. Bad Idea No. 3. Dlott escaped and ran a mile to a neighbor's house, where she called 911 and implored the dispatcher: "Call the United States Marshals! I'm a federal judge!" The three men were caught when they rolled through a stop in Madeira. Bad Idea No. 4. Police noticed the trunk was open and they could see a fur coat and other loot inside. The authorities might lock these guys up and throw away the key. Literally. The three men face more than 100 years in prison and are being held on $2.5 million bonds.
3. John Boehner's bartender threatens to kill him
A Deer Park man, 44-year-old Michael Hoyt, served drinks to the then Speaker of the House for more than five years at the Wetherington Country Club in West Chester. Hoyt blamed Boehner for his firing, bought a gun and threatened to kill him, according to federal agents. He also wrote that he regretted not putting poison in Boehner's drinks when he had the chance. Hoyt was ruled insane and was released last month.
2. Christopher Cornell threatens terror attack on Washington, D.C.
From Oak Hills High School student to terrorist. That's how federal agents described a 20-year-old Green Township man's dramatic transformation after they said they stopped him from setting off explosives in the U.S. Capitol. Cornell's dad said he was just a normal kid "who loved video games and was best friends with the family cat." But that was before he converted to Islam and extremism. The FBI said Cornell intended to build, plant and detonate pipe bombs and shoot any workers or officials trying to escape. Agents set up a sting at the Point Blank Range & Gunshop in Colerain Township and arrested Cornell in the parking lot after he bought two assault rifles and ammo. Cornell is awaiting trial. He has asked the court to call him by his Muslim name, Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah.
1. Heroin-high drivers run amok, pose danger to others on Tri-State highways
There have been so many reports of Tri-State drivers high on heroin in 2015 that you're sure to remember some of them. Two drivers became social media heroes after posting video of erratic drivers and how they acted to stop them.
In August, Sam Haynes took a cellphone video of a driver weaving on and off I-275 and managed to block her car and force her to pull over. She admitted to using heroin and meth, police said.
In September, Sean French followed a driver speeding dangerously in the emergency lane on I-71 until the man crashed into the median. With his cellphone camera recording, French discovered a 1-year-old girl in the back seat, then reached through the window and snatched the driver's keys. French proceeded to berate and curse the driver, Troy Morsch. A Highway Patrol trooper said heroin was suspected.
WARNING: The following video contains profanity.
Back in March, Felicia Saylor admitted shooting up her husband, Larry Messer, while he drove on I-74 with their two kids in the back seat. Messer passed out and the car ran off the highway. Saylor told police she jumped into the driver's seat to step on the brake, but that never happened, her sister told WCPO.
In October, police found Julie Bates unconscious behind the wheel – engine running - at the busy intersection of Martin Luther King and Reading. Her baby son was in the back. She had her foot on the brake.
WARNING: The following video contains profanity.
In November, Peter Smeriglio crashed head-on into a school bus carrying 28 kids to Montgomery Elementary.
In December, two heroin-high drivers, Alan Wilder and Ryan Drew, caused serious crashes less than five hours apart on I-75 near downtown, police said. No one was killed, but it could have been much worse. Wilder's 5-year-old daughter was ejected from the backseat onto the busy highway, and Drew fell unconscious out of his car into the high-speed lane.