The Strangest Crimes at 2016’s Halloween
It’s not always a happy Halloween.
While most people use Oct. 31 as an excuse to dress up and go out, some people use it as an excuse to create mayhem. In addition to being generally drunk and disorderly, dozens of people are arrested for brawling, shooting, and overall poor judgment every year.
According to USA Today partner NerdWallet, crime-related insurance claims increase by more than 24 percent on Halloween. Whether it’s that “Fright Night” provides opportunity for thefts like crime and vandalism, or people really do become possessed on All Hallow’s Eve, one thing is for sure: This Halloween, be on the lookout for treats—and tricks.
Here are some the craziest, creepiest incidents that have happened so far during Halloween 2016:
San Antonio Nightmare—on Elm Street?
A Texas Halloween party turned dark when a male dressed as movie murderer Freddy Krueger allegedly pulled out a shotgun and shot five victims early Sunday morning. Authorities reported two individuals were asked to leave after starting an argument at a Halloween party they had crashed in Aspen Meadow, San Antonio. It was then that one of the suspects, dressed as Krueger—originally seen in the 1984 horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street—brandished his gun and began to shoot at other party-goers.
It was a “Dark Knight” for a 24-year-old man in the Bronx on Saturday. The young man was attending a Halloween party when he became engaged in a fist fight with a man in a Batman costume at around 3:20 a.m. on Sunday, police sources reported. The man was so viciously brutalized that he did not wake up the following morning, prompting his cousin, with whom he was staying, to call an ambulance. The victim was taken to the Allen Pavilion Hospital where he was treated for brain bleeding.
Medford, Massachusetts, Police Officer Gets in Trouble
Harold MacGilvray of the Medford Police Patrolmen’s Association (MPPA) recognizes his use of “poor judgement” when deciding to pose with a person dressed as Hillary Clinton in an orange prison jump-suit on Saturday. The picture was then posted on Twitter by Al Baldasaro, a Republican state representative from New Hampshire, with the comment “Medford MA Police Department Union President Harold MacGilveray on the right, found @HillaryClinton & arrested her.” The post resulted in a Twitter firestorm.
“These were Halloween costumes. It was meant totally as a joke,” MacGilvray said in an email to The Boston Globe. “I apologize if this offended anyone in any way. I never expected this sort of reaction.” MacGilvray also posed with an individual dressed as Donald Trump, along with other officers. The photos were originally posted on the Facebook page of the Medford Police Patrolman’s Association but have since been removed. The MPPA could not be reached for comment.
Party Bus Getaway
After leaving a “Halloween Monster Ball” held at a Hollywood nightclub, a 29-year-old man was beaten to death by two men who chased him from the bar after closing. The fatal incident occurred around 2:20 a.m. Sunday morning when the men began fighting outside of the bar, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Aareon Jefferson reported. One of the suspects, identified as 34-year-old Dietrich Canterberry of Anaheim, then fled the scene on a party bus. Canterberry was arrested by LAPD officers and is being held on $2 million bail. The other suspect has not yet been caught.
Cookie Monster Stabbed in Times Square
While attempting to break up a fight Saturday evening between someone dressed as an “American Indian” and another man wearing a Tuskegee Airman (the famed WWII-era black military pilots) costume, a man dressed in a Cookie Monster ensemble was stabbed in the back. The 24-year-old Sesame Street-clad Christopher Ramos was stabbed by the aviator, who got into a fight with the “American Indian,” whose costume he felt was offensive. Ramos was taken to St. Luke’s hospital with a lacerated spleen, but the two others have not been found.
Bacchanal in Athens, Ohio
In a town known for big Halloween celebrations, Athens, Ohio, police were hard at work over the weekend. The Athens police reportedly arrested nine people on Friday night and a total of 35 individuals Saturday night—mostly on charges of alcohol intoxication. Ohio University police was also busy with a total of 69 citations and 18 people jailed over the weekend. All in all, however, there were no serious incidents reported.
Tennessee “Clown” Arrested for Chasing Cars
A Tennessee woman—and married mother of three—Candie Kreidel, was taken into custody Thursday after being arrested for wearing circus makeup and chasing cars, along with being publicly intoxicated and making non-emergency 911 calls. According to the arrest warrant, Kreidel was partially naked and wearing “a stocking cap on her head” while “running after cars along Louise Road in Cunningham and jumping in and out of traffic.” When the deputy went to Kreidel’s home, she answered the door “smelling of alcohol” and “wearing a sports bra, pajama pants, a stocking cap and clown makeup on her face and body.”
UCA Student Expelled for Wearing Black Face
A sophomore from the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) was expelled after a photo of him at a fraternity Halloween party Friday night surfaced in which he was wearing black face and allegedly dressed as Bill Cosby. He then posted the picture to his Instagram account with the caption “It was a bold night.” The school immediately expelled the student, Brock Denton, and suspended the fraternity—Sigma Tau Gamma. UCA president Tom Courtway also issued a statement which said, “This picture is highly offensive and repugnant, and this representation goes against all we, at UCA believe in and stand for.” The national Sigma Tau Gamma organization also stated that it “condemns” the black face photo and will expel Denton from the fraternity. Denton has since apologized and begged for forgiveness, posting a long Instagram post in which he wrote that he has received “death threats.” He has since deleted his Instagram page.
“Evil Teddy Bear” Threatens Hotel Clerk
Travis Wallace, 28, was dressed as a teddy bear when he was arrested by Anderson, Indiana, police officers after allegedly threatening a hotel employee with a knife, according to the Anderson Police Department. Wallace was arrested early Sunday morning and found with two 10.5-inch hunting knives, a folding pocket knife, and a box cutter. After silently standing behind the Baymont Inn employee for around 20 seconds in the hotel lobby before lifting his shirt to reveal a knife, Wallace went into the hotel’s laundry room, where he “displayed a knife to a surveillance camera and made stabbing gestures,” before sliding the knife across his throat. Currently in the Shasta County Jail, Wallace is also thought to be behind the reports of an “evil looking bear” peering into vehicles.
Middle School Teacher Turned Murderer
A middle school teacher allegedly chatted up his future victims before murdering them in cold blood last Saturday night in Fort Worth, Texas. Witnesses described the suspect, Cary Heath, an Air Force veteran and Cedar Hill ISD middle school teacher, as having a “friendly conversation” with the two victims—roommates Daniel Haros and Phillip Evans, both 25-years-old—before shooting them at around 3:00 a.m in the front yard outside the Halloween house party. Heath is being held at a Fort Worth jail on capital murder charges, with his bail set at $1 million. Cedar Hill ISD spokeswoman Jamie Brown told Dallas News that the middle school teacher has been placed on “administrative leave.”
Sex Offenders Violate Trick-or-Treating Probation
The Department of Corrections arrested nine registered sex offenders in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Sunday after discovering that they were in violation of trick-or-treating rules. “They have to be in the house one hour prior to trick-or-treating starting and they have to remain there one hour when it ends,” DOC member Michelle Harings told a Fox News affiliate. Registered sex offenders are also not allowed to display Halloween decorations, hand out candy, or wear costumes.
Halloween Menace Attacks Trolley Operator
A man dressed up in costume for Halloween attacked a Boston trolley operator allegedly because he did not have sufficient fare. The 45-year-old victim told police that the masked attacker pulled him on to the train platform and punched him before fleeing the scene. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authorities told the Associated Press that the operator was treated and has since been released from a local hospital.
After attending a Halloween party in Lancaster, California, a 27-year-old man was shot, according to the Sheriff’s Information Bureau homicide detectives. One witness told Deputy Caroline Rodriguez that she attempted to drive the victim to the hospital but “crashed her car into the curb, disabling it.” The victim was found lying on the street next to his car and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Last-Minute Halloween Party
Two young women from upstate New York were found dead from gunshot wounds after a Halloween party in Newburgh, New York. The victims were Tabitha Cruz, 20, and Omani Free, 18, who were attending a costume party held in an apartment building on Saturday night. Free’s mother told the AP that her daughter was not planning on going to the party but decided to attend after a friend “became available.” The shooting occurred at around 12:45 a.m. on Monday and at least one suspect fled the scene, according to police. Five other people are being treated for gunshot wounds as the police continue their investigation.