Crime and Punishment: One-percenters accused of hate crimes

Colleges and UniversitiesCrime, Law and JusticeJobs and WorkplaceHartford (Hartford, Connecticut)New Haven (New Haven, Connecticut)Social IssuesHate Crimes

Anne Spurzem is apparently miffed that her alma mater, Smith College, is admitting more gays and poor girls “of color,” making it less appealing to college applicants in Westchester and Fairfield counties. In a letter to the student newspaper The Sophian, Spurzem (class of '84) criticized Smith's diversity efforts, writing that the Massachusetts women's college is now the first choice of only lesbians, international students and “low-income women of color who are the first generation in their family to go to college and will go to any school that gives them enough money.” Spurzem, who lives in Greenwich (of course), lamented “that the days of white, wealthy, upper-class students from prep schools in cashmere coats and pearls who marry Amherst men are over,” which is “unfortunate” because that demographic can later donate to the college. She told Greenwich Time her comments have been “misconstrued.”

 

At an Oscar party charity event in Hartford, Donald Vaccaro, CEO of the event ticket reselling website TicketNetwork Inc., allegedly groped a woman and shouted racial insults at a security guard. Vaccaro, 49, reportedly worked the room, kissing several women on both cheeks (“like he was from France,” the guard specified in the police report). After he asked a woman to name the designer of her dress (“as if she was on the red carpet and he was interviewing her”), Vaccaro allegedly grabbed her breasts and then berated the guard who interceded as a “black mother-[expletive],” in the words of the Hartford Courant. The incident, for which the CEO was charged with a hate crime, caused TicketNetwork to withdraw its application for a state-sponsored economic development package.

 

Another one-percenter was charged with a hate crime against a working-class minority last week. William Bryan Jennings, who Reuters described as “one of Morgan Stanley's most senior bond-trading executives,” hired a cab driver of Middle Eastern descent to take him from Manhattan to his $2.3 million home in Darien (because the Metro-North is so stuffed with scary poor people you‘d think it was a Smith College shuttle bus). The cabbie told police that Jennings, 47, refused to pay the $204 tab, hurled threats and racial insults at him and attacked him with a pen knife (causing injuries that required six stitches). Jennings' attorney alleges the driver attempted to overcharge him and then erratically drove off, forcing Jennings to fight to escape the cab.

 

Martha Dean, the Avon lawyer Connecticut Republicans nominated for attorney general in 2010, addressed a Tea Party rally in Hartford (yeah, those are still going on), where she made “several references to the conditions under Nazi Germany,” reports the website CT News Junkie. Dean said that soon such demonstrations might be banned, predicting “a society where nothing, just normal things are illegal and you have no way of ascertaining what is legal.” Dean then tore up a copy of Labor Department regulations that bar minors from certain jobs, because child labor laws are at the heart of fascism, apparently.

 

A Fairfield woman called police to inform them her son and two friends tried to light one another on fire the prior weekend. The boys, ages 11 to 13, were roasting marshmallows when one sprayed a can ofWD-40 into the fire, leading to a game in which the three sprayed each other trying to get one to ignite, singeing one boy's hair and eyebrows. The Fairfield Patch website reports the mother did not ask police to take action besides informing the other parents.

 

When police in Wolcott looked up the record of Kenneth Seyler, arrested on charges of breaking into a town American Legion Hall and making off with a safe, they found Seyler, 52, had been arrested 79 prior times. He has a record extending from Florida to Ohio, reports WTNH, and most recently was apprehended on suspicion of burglaries in Madison and Clinton.

 

While driving a stolen vehicle, Deon Coleman allegedly caught the attention of New Haven police by driving through a red light while talking on a cellphone, reports the New Haven Register. Police say Coleman, 21, led officers on a chase, driving onto and off a highway, until crashing the car into a fence and trying to take off on foot. He and his 19-year-old passenger both said the other procured the stolen car.

 

Twenty-four-year-old Tucker Przygocki allegedly drove to the state police barracks in Southbury to pick up his friend Wendy Thompson, who was being held on DUI charges, when he too was visibly drunk. Police simply arrested him as well, reports the Danbury News-Times.

 

Maurice Grimes and Daron Freeman, both 28, did not let the fact they were at a child's birthday prevent them from getting into a fistfight and were arrested outside the Chuck E. Cheese in Orange, police told the Orange Patch website.

 

Anthony Randolph of New Haven had the right reaction to the U.S.'s tax code but not at the right time and place. While at a Jackson Hewitt Tax Service location in Hamden, Randolph, 25, allegedly “unzipped his pants and exposed his genitals,” according to the Hartford Courant.

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