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The Wonderful World of Crime

The criminal mind is a fascinating thing, especially to those of us who aren't criminals. I confess it's kind of entertaining, too. Why do bad guys do what they do?

For example, on Monday, March 16, in Loudoun County Circuit Court, 21-year-old Jhonny Lopez pleaded guilty to malicious wounding and identity theft stemming from a March 1 incident at Dulles Town Center Mall. Here's what happened, according to a press release from the Commonwealth Attorney's office:

Lopez, and an employee working at one of the kiosks, became involved in a verbal dispute, the specifics of which are still unclear. Following the dispute, Lopez proceeded to the second level of the mall and entered the Disney Store where he stole a...

Well, what would you steal from a Disney store if you were in need of a makeshift weapon? You wouldn't steal a plush toy, obviously. I mean, how much damage could a 12-inch Allergy-Friendly Eeyore Plush inflict, even in the hands of a hardened MS-13 gang member? Something like a Tinker Bell Flower Pot would be good, but it's sort of unwieldy. Perhaps a Mickey Mouse Wind Chime? You could wield it like a set of nunchuks. Me, I'm kind of partial to the 2-Pc. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Bust Set.

In the end what Lopez stole was the one item I would have least expected.

He stole a Pete's Dragon snow globe. The Commonwealth Attorney's office thoughtfully provided a photo of a "similar intact" example:

Disney Figure - Snow Globe.jpg

Here's how Lopez used it:

Lopez proceeded to the railing where he dropped the item onto the victim, striking him in the head and causing a laceration requiring stitches. Witnesses were able to identify Lopez, who was stopped in the parking lot shortly thereafter by Sheriff’s Deputies.

Lopez is a bad dude. His extensive record includes assault and battery by mob, simple assault, trespassing on school property, possession of marijuana, destruction of property and carrying a concealed weapon (presumably not a snow globe). “These guilty pleas will put us in a strong position to advocate for a lengthy sentence that should help keep this repeat criminal off the street for several years,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman.

I guess the next stop for Lopez is prison, where he should have plenty of time to think about how to fashion weapons out of the most unlikely of objects.

By John Kelly  |  March 24, 2009; 8:50 AM ET
 
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Comments

I wonder where the identity theft figured in?

Posted by: Epigon | March 24, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, he's a bad dude, but he would have made an outstanding bombardier back in my day. A direct hit from more than 20 feet up on a target no more than 8 inches across? That's just outstanding.

Posted by: DaveGeorge1 | March 24, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@Egigon: I think it must be immigration related. This is from the press release: "The Loudoun Sheriff’s Office has initiated paperwork to place an immigration detainer on Lopez who is originally from Bolivia. 'This felony conviction will hopefully ensure his removal from the country once his sentence is complete,' said [Commonwealth's Attorney Jim] Plowman.

@DaveGeorge1: Really! I'm picking him for the prison baseball team.

Posted by: JohnFKelly | March 24, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"Lopez is a bad dude. His extensive record includes assault and battery by mob, simple assault, trespassing on school property, possession of marijuana, destruction of property and carrying a concealed weapon (presumably not a snow globe). “These guilty pleas will put us in a strong position to advocate for a lengthy sentence that should help keep this repeat criminal off the street for several years,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman."

...with all due respect, let's be serious here. This guy made the mistake of doing this in a public mall in Va. Getting into a few fights and getting caught with what was probably a knife or some other low-grade weapon on him (maybe even a loaded gun in his car) hardly makes him a "bad dude". If that was the case, half of Va would be ready to go to jail "for several years".

In any case the prosecutor is naturally talking tough, this guy will be out on the streets in 18 months, no more.

Posted by: dubya19391 | March 24, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

it's his mom's fault for spelling his name "Jhonny". dead-giveway problem. like "Denis". I should know.

Posted by: excowboy55 | March 24, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The fact that no one has questioned the spelling of Mr. Lopez's name is a testament to the respect and journalistic expertise that Mr. Kelly enjoys in our community! A lesser writer would have been hit with several challenges to his spelling/typing skills.

Posted by: Slinger61 | March 24, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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