Crime Blotter: Miss Barstow Arrested for Vandalism

Beauty and the Bust

BARSTOW, Calif. — There she is, Miss Barstow, defacing a car, authorities say.

Beauty queen Emily Arnold forfeited her crown last Thursday after admitting she defaced a California Highway Patrol officer's car in May

Arnold, who was crowned Miss Barstow in March, said she gave up her tiara because she plans to travel and go to college in Arizona.

Authorities decided last week not to press vandalism charges against the 18-year-old.

Arnold told police she wrote the words "mean" and "not nice" on the car with chalk. The vehicle belonged to CHP Officer Stan Clair, but was usually driven by his daughter, who attended high school with Arnold. The car was parked at his home on the evening of May 25, when the incident occurred.

Clair spotted Arnold and five others with her, and followed them as they left his home in the small, sun-baked community in the Mojave Desert. He called for backup and had them arrested.

Clair had to replace the windows in his car because of the damage, said Officer Willie Hailey.

"She did apologize," Hailey said.

Arnold had written a letter to the local Desert Dispatch newspaper last week, saying she wanted to keep her crown.

"I ask that the people of Barstow will be kind, and willing to give me a second chance," she wrote.

According to the Dispatch, Arnold had been suspended from her duties as Miss Barstow by the Kiwanis of Barstow, which sponsors the annual event. She sent letter of resignation late last month.

Stephanie Rohn, the first-runner up in the contest, will take over the title.

Dove Trouble at the Quickie Taco

KENNER, La. — On their last day of business, my true love gave to me: two taco doves …

Quickie Taco shut down late last month after police reported finding dove feathers and plucked doves in its kitchen, but it left behind a flock of problems with authorities.

The beleaguered 4-month-old restaurant closed up shop late last month because of bad publicity over the incident.

"I had to close it. I had no choice," owner Bo Zhou told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "Everybody was talking about it. A lot of people called up and said, 'Do you have dove taco and dove fajita?' I'm very upset about it."

Police say last month they saw Quickie Taco cook Chen Fenbin shooting doves with a pellet gun in a wooded area behind the restaurant.

Inside, they say they found two pellet guns, bird feathers on the floor and sink, and several plucked mourning doves in a pot.

"The feathers were everywhere," said Lt. Steve Caraway of the Keller Police Department.

Zhou insisted his chef was cooking them for himself and not for customers.

"It was not for the customers. It was not for the restaurant," Zhou told the Times-Picayune. "Everything is OK. It was just a misunderstanding."

"Whether or not they were mixing [the doves] in or serving that to customers, we really don't know," admitted Caraway.

Now that the eatery is closed, the business faces no further problems with the department of health, but police have charged Fenbin with firing a pellet gun in city limits and cruelty to animals.

A Hitch in His Plans

DUNEDIN, Fla. — A man who allegedly snatched a nun's purse made it easy for police — unwittingly hitching a getaway ride with a police officer.

Police say Darryl Hill ran up behind 79-year-old Sister Mary Hoguet, dressed in her habit, in the parking lot of a Winn-Dixie supermarket. He allegedly pushed her, grabbed her purse from her cart, and ran off.

Hill dropped the purse in a garbage can after taking the money out, and tried to thumb a ride to escape, said Marianne Pasha, a spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department.

But the 17-year-old picked the wrong getaway car when retired New York state trooper John Coyne picked him up.

Coyne saw police heading toward the supermarket, and when he spotted Hill trying to get a lift in the opposite direction, he became suspicious.

"This fellow Hill looked like he needed to get out of the area in a hurry," said Pasha, the department spokeswoman.

Coyne drove him to a motel, dropped him off and promptly called the police.

Pasha couldn't help thinking a higher power might have helped out.

"It's good to have friends in high places," she joked.

Crime Blotter is a weekly feature of and was compiled by Oliver Libaw.