You call that fixed? Give us a brake!

For your unclear-on-the-concept file, the Star News, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department publication, reports the unusual case of a man who had been given a fix-it citation for a broken brake light.

The fellow showed up a few days later at the vehicle inspection zone of the Van Nuys courthouse, carrying his (allegedly repaired) brake lamp assembly -- in his hands.

“Needless to say,” the publication said, “the brake lamps did not operate correctly due to the rest of the car not being attached” to them.

In the stupid criminal tricks division . . .


An X-ray machine at the same courthouse showed that a woman trying to enter had a knife hidden in her purse. An officer retrieved the knife and a plastic bag containing drugs, but the woman snatched the weapon and bag, ran out of the courthouse, threw the stuff into the grass and then. . .

And then. . .

Got into another line at the courthouse.

She evidently didn’t realize that her actions had attracted quite a bit of attention from officers, who arrested her.


Roadside mysteries

Freeway driving can be a tedious and frustrating experience. But at least the directional signs supply a bit of amusing and/or intriguing reading material (see photos).

Recently I spotted an “Exit” sign in Culver City that is in some sort of code I can’t decipher. Paul Rayton once found a reference to a city that must be a combination of Sacramento and Bakersfield (scary thought). Then there was Kevin Buck’s classic shot of the directions for ships cruising down Interstate 5 in San Diego (in the swimming pool lane?).

Disorder in the courts

The L.A. Daily Journal notes that Kevin Yu of Los Angeles is the co-founder of, a website that lists (for a fee) the names of attorneys interested in handling lawsuits. If you don’t find someone to your liking there, you can always go to another new site,

“Just what people in the litigious United States need -- an easier way to sue,” the Journal said.

While we’re on the subject

Carl’s Jr. likes to say it serves the $6 burger. Well, outside a Santa Ana courthouse, a reader thinks he found the $7 attorney (see photo).


News from above

A piece of junk mail bearing the words “God is speaking to you” was sent to Constance Bessada’s mother in Van Nuys, prompting Bessada to say: “I’m pleased to know she’s done so well.”

However, her mother died three years ago.

“Apparently,” Bessada said, “St. Peter didn’t get her latest address.”


The San Juan Capistrano News reported that a resident complained to police that some kids “were throwing avocados at his residence.”

Wasting potential guacamole should be a capital offense.



Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012, and by e-mail at