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Florida man invokes ‘stand your ground’ after killing iguana



Florida man invokes 'stand your ground' after killing iguana

A Florida man accused of brutally pummeling an iguana to death said he was just defending himself.

PJ Nilaja Patterson, 43, tried to use the Sunshine State’s State Your Ground Law to get out of animal cruelty charges that could put him behind bars for up to five years.

But a circuit court judge denied Patterson stand-your-ground immunity, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel first reported.

Stand Your Ground allows people to use force if threatened and there’s no requirement they have to retreat. Patterson’s attorneys claimed their client feared for his life on Sept. 2 when he was faced with the 3-foot iguana.

“The vicious animal got the best of Patterson and savagely bit his right arm,” Patterson’s lawyers said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. He received 22 staples for his injury, the attorneys reportedly said.

The animal had leaned forward with its mouth wide open and showing its sharp teeth “in a threatening manner,” his attorneys said.

Killing an iguana is technically legal in Florida, if it’s done humanely, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

“You can hit iguanas over the head with a shovel, stab them in the brain, and even decapitate them as long as they die instantly and don’t suffer,” the publication stated.

But prosecutors argued that the animal did suffer.

Prosecutors said Patterson kicked the “defenseless animal at least 17 times causing its death.”

Patterson “clearly tormented” the animal, which was found to have a lacerated liver, broken pelvis and internal bleeding, the publication said.

“Patterson believed that the iguana could have injected poison in him and thus he rushed to incapacitate the iguana the best way he could in order to preserve its antidote,” public defender Frank Vasconcelos wrote in a motion.

Iguanas are not poisonous.

With Post Wires

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New Hampshire bar patron leaves staff $16K tip



New Hampshire bar patron leaves staff $16K tip

A New Hampshire bar patron who ordered two chili dogs, fried pickle chips and drinks earlier this month left the staff a whopping $16,000 tip, according to reports.

The generous tip, which was tacked onto a $37.93 tab, was left by a man at the Stumble Inn Bar and Grill in Londonderry on June 12, WMUR reported.

“Don’t spend it all in one place,” the tipper, who wished to remain anonymous, told his shocked bartender, according to the bar’s owner, Mike Zarella.

“That’s what made her flip it over and look, and she’s like, ‘Oh my god, are you serious?,” Zarella said.

The bar’s owner, Mike Zarella, said he thought the customer may have made a mistake, but the man reassured him he meant to leave that amount.

“He just said that they deserve it, they work very hard,” Zarella said, referring to his workers.

Zarella told Fox News that the bar and kitchen staff split the tip.

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Virginia woman used inmate names to help $700k pandemic relief scheme



Virginia woman used inmate names to help $700k pandemic relief scheme

A Virgina woman stole nearly $700,000 in pandemic relief funds — using the personal information of unsuspecting prison inmates to help her scheme, according to federal prosecutors.

Farren Ricketts, 30, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to defraud the government from May 2020 to February 2021 by filing over 100 fake pandemic unemployment benefit claims, according to the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Virginia.

As part of the scheme, Ricketts created a state-registered business that billed itself as a financial services company that provided help with completing pandemic unemployment claims, the feds said.

Ricketts even filed fraudulent claims for her husband, who in actuality was ineligible to receive the payments, prosecutors said.

Many of the claims were also accompanied by doctored IRS forms that falsely reported pre-pandemic income, according to prosecutors.

Ricketts pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Her sentencing is scheduled for October 29.

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Graham calls cartels, Taliban, China ‘winners’ in Biden administration



Graham calls cartels, Taliban, China 'winners' in Biden administration

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) accused the Biden administration Tuesday of practicing “incompetent domestic and foreign policy” that is only benefitting criminals and US adversaries.

“All these policies are blowing up in the Biden-Harris administration’s face,” Graham told Fox News’ “Hannity”. “Six months since they’ve been in charge — let’s name the winners in the past six months.

“Drug cartels in Mexico, human traffickers and coyotes in Mexico, the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Iranian ayatollah, Russia, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, and China have all been the biggest winners of incompetent domestic and foreign policy,” the senator added.

The Department of Homeland Security is set to announce Wednesday that thousands of asylum-seekers whose claims were dismissed due to failure to appear in immigration court will get a chance to come to the US make their case, a move Graham described as another example of the White House being “incompetent and foolish when it comes to managing illegal immigration.”

Turning to the coronavirus pandemic, Graham called for a revival of federal legislation that would allow Americans to sue the Chinese government for damages.

“I think I could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the virus came from a lab, not from a bat to animal into human beings … You can convict somebody in a court of law,” Graham told host Sean Hannity.

“So what do we need to do? We need to allow the American people to go to an American court and sue the Chinese Communist Party for ruining their lives and their businesses by waiving sovereign immunity like we did after 9/11 for Saudi Arabia,” the South Carolinian continued. “So I’m going to challenge my Democratic colleagues to open the American court system up so we can get to the bottom of what happened in China.

“The best way to get to the truth is to have a trial over where it came from and how it got to America, and I’m convinced this came from a lab leak,” Graham added. “I don’t think it was intentional, but it didn’t come from nature.”

A bill waiving sovereign immunity for China was introduced last year by then-Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee but died without receiving a floor vote.

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