Perhaps in a sign of the weak economy's effect, pricey guns, knives and baseball bats are no longer en vogue among Orange County street criminals.
Rakes, screwdrivers and coffee cups are.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Now, yes, we do still regularly mention crime here that involves, say, a gang banger retrieving a Saturday night special to blow holes into a rival, or a gang banger whipping out a knife to carve his initials into a rival, or a gang banger boss going all Robert DeNiro as Al Capone with a Louisville slugger upside an underling's head.
The classics never die.
But there has also been a recent spate of mayhem involving atypical menace makers. It all started Friday night at the Tahiti Motel, 11850 Beach Blvd., Stanton, where a guest entered a room and started taking a shower. The thing is, it was not his room but that of a woman who tried to pull him the hell out of there.
On the way out, the intruder grabbed a metal rake just outside the front door and started swinging it at the woman, her son and another female before he ran away. The victims received minor cuts, and the public got this suspect description: bald white guy, 5-foot-9, 170 pounds and Irish Spring fresh from his shower.
Hours later, about 5 a.m. Saturday to be more precise, two men were waiting for a ride to work in the 700 block of West Washington Avenue in Santa Ana, where they were approached by two other guys bumming cigarettes.
But that's not all the strangers wanted, as they demanded cash by claiming to have a gun. During the robbery, one thug pulled out not a gun but a screwdriver which he used to slash the workers, who received minor injuries. Both baddies were described as dark skinned, in their mid-20s, 5-foot-6 with medium builds. Don't know how they smelled.
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Around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, a 19-year-old dude was apparently tripping on meth in the 200 block of West 15th Street, also in Santa Ana. Important safety tip: when encountering a dude tripping on meth, steer clear. A chap in his 40s can tell you that, because the tweaker ran up accusing the innocent of raping his sister before bonking the fellow on the head with a coffee cup.
The victim was later taken to a hospital with two minor cuts on his head, but this one ends happily as police say they have the unidentified meth-inator in custody on an assault with a deadly weapon rap.