Archives for posts with tag: theft

This 1996 appeal of bank robbery conviction was affirmed with mention of ninja masks

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DARIN AUSTIN, a/k/a DARNELL WIGGINS, a/k/a “D BABY”; DAVID CLEMENTS; and JASON JARVIS, Defendants-Appellants.
Nos. 94-4220, 94-4238, and 94-4278
81 F.3d 161

Filed- March 11, 1996

The Court writes:

Police recovered three firearms, and two black “ninja-type” ski masks from Austin’s room.

The Court also notes that the defendants watched the movie “Point Break” as “instructional” to develop their “modus operandi”.

point break movie

Finding no errors, the appeals court affirmed the conviction and sentences of all the defendants.

On June 10, 1992, US District Court in Northern District of Indiana affirmed the detention of Jerry Williams. Mr. William was convicted of “conspiracy to set off a series of pipe bombs for personal gain, which resulted in the death of one woman.”

800 F.Supp. 659 (1992)
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
Douglas BERGNER, Russell “Rusty” Prevatte, Robert A. Soy, and Jerry Williams, Defendants.
No. HCR 92-042(4).
United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division.

Decided – June 10, 1992.

In December 1991 and January 1992, five pipe bombs exploded in Whiting, Hammond, and Highland, Indiana.

A. On December 23, 1991, a pipe bomb exploded at 1425 Stanton, Whiting. Emily Antkowics was in her backyard and was killed by the explosion.

B. On December 30, 1991, a pipe bomb exploded at Edo’s Lounge, 8929 Indianapolis Boulevard, Highland. The bomb was placed near a gas meter and caused extensive damage to the meter.

C. On December 31, 1991, a pipe bomb exploded at Salvino’s Restaurant, 1423 Indianapolis Boulevard, Hammond. Once again, the bomb was placed on a gas meter.

D. On January 1, 1992, a pipe bomb exploded behind a private residence at 6150 Harrison Avenue, Hammond. The bomb again was placed on a gas meter.

E. On January 5, 1992, the final pipebomb exploded behind an apartment building at 1608 – 169th Street, Hammond. The bomb again was attached to a gas meter.

The Court also mentions that the defendant, Williams, attended the police academy and actively tried to learn more about bomb-making and gang activities. The books he read in the police library are used as evidence against him.

One of the books which Williams reviewed was entitled Anarchist’s Cookbook.

This case arises for NinjaLaw because of the following brief, inconsequential mention of a stolen Ninja motorcycle:

On August 7, 1990, Williams and Rusty stole a jet ski while they were in Florida. Prior to his arrest, Williams permitted agents to search a storage locker which he had in Lansing, Illinois. Agents recovered the stolen jet ski along with a Ninja motorcycle stolen by Rusty.

Now, why call it is a Ninja motorcycle? What is the value of the modifier here? Is it included in part because this is a case about pipe bombs, thefts, sabotage – “Anarchist’ Cookbook” – And note, the connection to law enforcement: William is not acting under any color of government authority in this case, but he was trained in bomb-making by the police.

This conspiracy is also hatched by a group of high school friends. See US v Prevatte:

Russell Prevatte, with high school friends Douglas Bergner and Jerry Williams, commenced a series of burglaries in 1990.   In 1991, a fourth individual, Robert Soy, joined them.

It is so very typical of “ninja” to be but an adolescent male fantasy. And also the particular strategy diversionary explosions that this crime spree employed was also rather ninja-style:

Prevatte later read a book Williams had suggested, the Anarchists Cookbook, and the two discussed, when Williams was home from the academy on weekends, how to manufacture pipe bombs and how to use them near gas meters as a diversionary tactic for burglaries.

But let us not read too much into a single word, it is after all just a descriptive for the type of motorcycle; a motorcycle that has very little to do with this actual case because it is a co-defendant who stole it. It seems implausible to think that the judge (or his clerk) is using the word because of the greater association – but then again…