Dispatcher: 911 . . .
What is the location of your emergency?
Caller: Um, actually, I guess
I've been robbed.
D: Where, ma'm? What's the location?
C: I'm in a hotel, and this is
really going to sound...
D: What's the hotel ma'm?
C: Um, actually I don't know...
D: OK, are you in a room?
C: No, Quality Inn Suites By Choice
Hotels... and they're trying to
take off down the hall...
D: OK, ma'm? Are you at the Quality
Inn Suites on Merle Hay Road?
Are you by Interstate 80?
C: Yeah, very close...
D: Ma'm, what room are you in?
C: One.... one.... 129... And
they have, um, a what do you call
it? Um... um... what the hell
do you call it?
D: M'am, just answer my questions,
OK? The suspect; what's he wearing?
C: Um, I guess, a beige jacket.
And his girlfriend, she's, like,
white and ...
D: What did they take from you?
C: My money, my money. Oh my God.
They tried to kick me out. I mean,
they were acting like they were
D: Where are they now?
C: I'm at Quality Inn...
D: No, listen to my questions.
Where are they now?
C: In... the hotel.
D: OK, where physically at Quality
Inn Suites? Quality Inn Suites
is a really big building, where
C: Um, actually, I went outside,
because I ... [Officer on the
scene: Suspects are in room 129?]
That's what I'm thinking. I mean,
she's driving a Cadillac, a gray
Cadillac. They took me out of
a club and got me to... I feel
really stupid right about now.
I really feel stupid. But, bottom
line is, I mean, they took my
money...oh my God. That's really
D: Are you with an officer?
C: Yeah. A guy in a brown suit,
a green suit. [To the officer:]
OK, they're in a gray car, and
they screwed me over. And, I'm
like, what the hell? [Officer:
How long ago did they leave?]
They didn't leave. They're here.
They tried to...
D: [Hangs up]
Officer's Report: Dorothy said
she had been out drinking with
a black male named KC and a white
female. Dorothy was very intoxicated
and having a hard time remembering
details of what happened. KC,
the white female and Dorothy went
into a room at the hotel. While
in the room Dorothy looked in
her purse and found that her money
($360) was missing. Dorothy confronted
KC and told him to give her money
back. Dorothy reported that KC
told her that there was nothing
she could do about it and did
not return the money. Dorothy
did not see who had taken the
money out of her purse. Dorothy
was too intoxicated to drive her
vehicle home. I transported Dorothy
to East 26th and Euclid and released
her to [her uncle's] girlfriend.
The rumors of an impending consolidation
were so stifling that, with productivity
in a tailspin, Younkers issued
a letter to employees in late
2000, assuring them that they'd
get 26 weeks of salary if the
company underwent a "change
of control." But two years
later, when the Younkers division
in Des Moines consolidated with
the Carson Pirie Scott division
in Milwaukee, the company reneged
on the promises in the earlier
Taking their case for the compensation
to the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Iowa,
dozens of former employees were
collectively granted nearly $1.7
million in damages in September.
But this month the court ruled
on one final, costly issue: a
small fortune in attorney's fees.
As federal Judge Robert Pratt
pointed out, the award of attorney's
fees in such a suit is based on
a handful of factors, including
the defendant's culpability and
whether the added cost will have
a deterrent effect on the offending
party. On the culpability issue,
plaintiffs argued the department
store defendant was "extremely
culpable," charging that
"[parent company] Saks put
together a scheme to deliberately
take advantage of the Class Plaintiffs...
and preyed upon the Class Plaintiffs'
insecurities." While Pratt
was less vindictive, he agreed
that, in the culpability department,
"the scales are tipped"
in favor of the former employees.
According to Pratt, the scales
were also tipped in favor of weighing
down the defendant with the added
costs as a warning against future
deception. "[A]n award of
attorneys' fees in this matter,"
Pratt predicted, "will deter
Defendant, and other like employers,
from carelessly drafting documents
meant to be clearly understood
by everyday persons."
But, even with the decision
made to make Saks pay, the matter
of how much merited some analysis.
The plaintiffs argued the legal
work added up to nearly $300,000.
The defense shot back that $25,000
of that total was for "excessive,
redundant and duplicative work."
Injected into a debate about the
lawyers' use of time, however,
Pratt took the opportunity to
inject an indictment of the wider
legal community. In several extended
footnotes, Pratt referenced a
report released last month that
outlined skyrocketing attorneys'
fees, which have reached as high
as $1,000 per hour.
"Unfortunately, the average,
non-corporate client, is completely
unable to afford such rates..."
Pratt opined. "The concern,
of course, is that average persons
are being denied access to the
courts for their inability to
pay legal fees. Meanwhile, law
firms are seeing ever-increasing
profits and shifting more and
more of their expenses, once deemed
part and parcel of running a law
office, to those persons most
in need of services, but least
able to pay."
But regardless of the troubling
national trend and his observation
that the $250-per-hour rate for
one of the plaintiffs' attorneys
did strike him as "extraordinary,"
Pratt determined the lawyers'
rates were certainly "reasonable"
when compared with the general
"Marketplace." And because
the defense didn't directly attack
their opposing counsel's rates,
but rather their efficiency while
on the clock, Pratt pointed out
that "while it is always
tempting to look back at a lawyers'
work and be critical of the way
counsel spent their time, it is
not reasonable for the Courts
to do so." As such, the federal
judge ruled this month that Saks
will have to pony up another $301,110.27
in attorneys' fees, bringing the
total cost of the severance suit
Sucks to be you
Name: Roderick Reifenstahl
Place of Incident: Des Moines
Posed for this picture because:
Though police say it was an inopportune
donut purchase on his food-stamp
card that identified him as a
suspect in a cash-grab from a
Blazing 7s gaming machine, Roderick
Reifenstahl allegedly went armed
with a knife to the home of a
Des Moines woman last week, reportedly
telling her to write a note to
her daughter before he "cut
her head off" because he
was convinced she had tipped off
the cops. Now, in addition to
charges stemming from the theft
of $1,600 cash from the gaming
machine, Reifenstahl is facing
charges of kidnapping, burglary
and going armed with intent to
According to the City of Des
Moines' January report the following
companies owe the city for past
due fees regarding street excavation:
-- Chas Goering owes $12,721.11
for fees dating to October.
-- Gallong Inc. owes $6,153.14
for fees dating to November.
-- Mihalovich Plumbing owes $5,896.43
for fees dating to September.
-- Rhiners Plumbing owes $5,756.66
for fees dating to Novembe.
-- Waldinger Corporation owes
$3,358.91 for fees dating to November.
-- Accurate Mechanical owes $2,970.35
for fees dating to October.
-- Kriens Plumbing owes $1,611.04
for fees dating to November.
On the clock
Des Moines Police- Jan. 12
3:15 p.m. Burglary in the 700
block of Southwest 62nd Street,
involving a victim who reported
that shortly after midnight he
heard someone knocking on his
door and, when he opened it, two
males with their faces covered
"charged at him," kicked
him multiple times and demanded
money. The victim gave the suspects
$50 cash, but they subsequently
"kicked him three more times,
took his cordless phone and left
with the phone." Victim reported
that two juvenile males, dressed
in the same clothes as the suspects,
had stopped by the house earlier
in the evening and he "loaned"
one of the males $20. The victim
also reported that the two males
"have caused a lot of problems
in the neighborhood" and
one was expelled from high school
and suspected of being involved
with a South Side gang.
5:15 p.m. Robbery of an individual
in the 2500 block of Kingman Boulevard,
involving a Pizza Hut driver who,
after returning to his vehicle
during a delivery, was tackled
from behind and knocked to the
ground by an unknown suspect.
Once on the ground, the suspect
began punching him and demanded
all his money. The victim gave
the suspect his money and observed
three men running from the scene.
7:19 p.m. Assault with intent
in the 3200 block of Second Avenue,
involving a victim who alleged
that a suspect, who had been staying
at his grandparents residence
was no longer welcome and "wanted
to fight about it." As the
two males exited the residence,
the suspect pushed the victim
while he was going down the stairs
and "struck him in the nose,
causing him to fall back. According
to the witness, the suspect struck
the victim numerous times with
his fist in the head, kicked him
and kneed him." The suspect
fled on foot and the victim was
taken to the hospital.
7:45 p.m. Assault on an officer
in the 1500 block of East Hull
Avenue, involving a parole officer
asking a juvenile male probationer
"to do something [he] did
not want to do." The juvenile
subsequently hit the parole officer
in the left cheek with his elbow
and was taken to the juvenile
court facility by officers.
(Alleged) drunk drivers
Name: Aaron James McManus
Arrested: Jan. 10
Name: Revoe Thomas Mulinex
Arrested: Jan. 10
Name: Larry Laverne Johnson
Arrested: Jan. 12
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