Ah America, where you're free to let your buttocks hang out in the breeze.
A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ruled Tuesday that, while not tasteful, mooning someone in Maryland is not illegal, according to The Washington Post.
The decision acquitted a Germantown man who bared his buttocks during a fight with his neighbor, reversing the earlier guilty of indecent exposure verdict of a district court judge.
"If exposure of half of the buttock constituted indecent exposure, any woman wearing a thong at the beach at Ocean City would be guilty," Judge John W. Debelius III said following the trial.
Saying that the alleged butt-bearing was undeniably "disgusting" and "demeaning," Debelius said if the defendant had been on trial for "being a jerk" his ruling might have gone the other way.
The defendant, Raymond Hugh McNealy, 44, allegedly yelled at neighbor Nanette Vonfeldt on June 7 and threatened to "blow up" her building as she and her 8-year-old daughter walked out of their apartment.
"Then, for whatever reason, in full view of my daughter, he mooned us," Vonfeldt wrote in court papers.
McNealy's attorneys said the two had been arguing for a while about disagreements over their homeowners association and McNealy wanted Vonfeldt kicked off the board.
Montgomery District Court Judge Eugene Wolfe got the case first on Sept. 12 and ruled against the alleged butt-bearer — whose attorneys appealed the decision, saying indecent exposure in Maryland is a willful public exposing of "private parts," not buttocks.
A $1,000 fine and up to three years in prison is the punishment for indecent exposure in Maryland.
The indecent exposure law in the state is ambiguous, Montgomery County prosecutor Dan Barnett told The Washington Post.
"In our minds, this was not a bathing suit scenario," Barnett told the Post. "This was a grown man exposing himself to an 8-year-old girl."
The case of a female protester arrested in 1983 demonstrating outside the Supreme Court in nothing but a sign covering the front of her body was cited by the defense. "Indecent exposure" is limited to a person's genitals, the D.C. Court of Appeals later ruled in 1986.
James Maxwell, one of McNealy's attorneys, told the Post the ruling should "bring comfort to all beachgoers and plumbers" in Maryland.
— Thanks to Out There reader Bill B.
BAKER, Calif. (AP) — An artist who chained his legs together to draw a picture of his legs wrapped in chains hopped 12 hours through the desert after realizing he lost the key and couldn't unlock the restraints, authorities said.
Trevor Corneliusien, 26, wrapped and locked a chain around his bare ankles Tuesday while camping in an abandoned mine shaft about 5 miles north of Baker, San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Ryan Ford said.
Corneliusien often sketches inside mines in the Southwest.
When he finished his chain drawing, he realized he would have to seek help in Baker, the deputy said Wednesday.
"It took him over 12 hours because he had to hop through boulders and sand," Ford said. "He did put on his shoes before hopping."
Corneliusien finally made it to a gas station on the edge of Baker. He called the sheriff's department, which sent paramedics and deputies with bolt cutters.
Corneliusien's legs were bruised, but he was otherwise in good health, Ford said. The artist did not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment.
And the drawing?
"He brought it down with him," Ford said. "It was a pretty good depiction of how a chain would look wrapped around your legs."
— Thanks to Out There readers Wade N. and Keith W.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — For former Gov. Gary Locke, the problem was bats. For his successor, Christine Gregoire, bigger predators threaten her small dog.
In recent months, a professional trapper has removed a raccoon and an opossum from the grounds of the governor's mansion, and State Patrol troopers have run off an undetermined number of coyotes.
Gregoire has said Franz, the family's 13-pound Pomeranian, is not allowed out alone for safety reasons.
"If you have a small dog like the governor's dog, two raccoons could tear it up," said Robert I. Dice, the trapper.
At least Gregoire and her husband, Mike, have not had to move. Eight years ago, Locke's wife, Mona Lee Locke, and their children temporarily vacated the mansion because of a bat infestation, and the family got rabies shots.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A stolen car suspect sure made things easy for the deputies who were following him Tuesday he drove to the county jail and then surrendered.
Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies followed Darrell Wayne Morton as he drove an allegedly stolen minivan along Interstate 75 into Sarasota County and then back into theirs.
The slow-speed pursuit ended when Morton, 41, pulled into a Hillsborough jail parking lot, got out and surrendered.
He was charged with grand theft auto and fleeing and eluding. Bail and attorney information was not immediately available.
— Thanks to Out There reader Derek H.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man apparently looking for free lunch was arrested for allegedly assaulting a pizza delivery man.
Police say Virgil Dennis ordered three pies from Pizza Hut at lunchtime Tuesday and gave the address of a vacant apartment downstairs from his own. When the driver arrived, authorities say 22-year-old Dennis pressed a knife against the delivery man's neck and demanded the pizzas.
The crime was reported and police traced the number Dennis provided Pizza Hut to an apartment two floors up from the one where the pies were delivered. When officers arrived there, they said a young man and woman opened the door, holding a small girl who was eating a slice of pizza.
"That was our first clue," said Officer George Springer.
Officers said they found Dennis hiding in the bathroom. While police waited for an officer to return with the delivery driver to identify his assailant, Dennis bolted from the apartment barefoot, handcuffs still dangling on one wrist.
"This guy jumps across about six different balconies, and scales down to the second floor," said Officer Darin Snapp.
After a brief struggle in the parking lot, police got him under control, and the driver identified Dennis as the thief.
Jackson County prosecutors charged Dennis with first-degree robbery and armed criminal action. Police returned the uneaten slices to Pizza Hut.
ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — Apparently, you can build up quite an appetite breaking-and-entering. James Michael Fowler, 26, was arrested and charged with burglary Tuesday after a neighbor watching the house found a pan of cocktail franks cooking on the stove and some freshly made orange juice nearby.
Anderson Police Lt. Layton Creamer says when the neighbor went to check on the home, she saw the food cooking and a black stocking cap on the kitchen counter.
Creamer said it looked like Fowler broke into the two-story house through a first-floor window.
Officers didn't find Fowler at first. But when authorities returned to collect evidence, the neighbor noticed the key to the patio door wasn't in the lock, Creamer said.
That's when police saw Fowler lying, coiled up on the deck floor, Creamer said.
After authorities surrounded the house, they arrest Fowler as he tried to get back in through the deck door.
"He heard us and was trying to make his escape," Creamer said.
SHANGHAI, China (AP) — In a new twist on the phrase "working like a dog," a company in northern China says it will hire only candidates born in the Asian zodiac's Year of the Dog.
The lunar-calendar astrology used in China and other Asian countries counts the coming year, which starts Jan. 29, as a dog year. The Asian zodiac assigns a different animal to each year in a 12-year cycle, each of which is credited with different personality traits.
A personnel manager for Jilin Jiangshan Human Resources Development Co. Ltd. said his company believes people born in the Year of the Dog are more suited to its corporate culture.
"We believe that people born in dog years are born with some good characteristics such as loyalty and honesty," said the manager, who identified himself only as Mr. Dong. "As a human resource company, those characters are exactly what we need."
The company's policy, placed on an Internet job site, has drawn accusations of bias from some Shanghai college graduates.
Although Chinese law forbids discrimination in hiring, it doesn't say what constitutes an offense and job ads often come with a list of conditions including gender, age, height and even place of birth.
Dong said critics are barking up the wrong tree.
"I think we have the right to choose our employees by our own rule and I don't see this rule could hurt anybody," he said.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.
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