Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crime Does Pay!

Well, apparently, in some cases, crime does pay!

I played a gig at a 'Cafe' in Houston [name removed - see below] the other night and when I finished, the owner refused to pay me what he owed me.  He offered half of what he owed instead, "Take it or leave it".  (He had asked me to book through one of his employees and once I'd done the gig, denied ever speaking with me.)  Of course, he was extremely nasty about the whole thing also, calling me a liar etc. (I, admittedly, had some harsh words for him also - deservedly so!).  

I said I needed to make a phone call (to get a second opinion on whether I should accept the lesser pay, or refuse partial payment so that I could try to legally pursue the full payment - which I realize would have been a waste.)  He said, "I'll give you a few minutes and then you need to get out!".  Within a minute, he was in my face, threw down the cash he'd offered on a table and said, "You gotta leave!".  He was holding an IRON SPEAR!  (About a four or five foot long iron bar with an arrow, or spearhead, on one end!)  I took the money, started leaving, called him an asshole . . . he started swinging the iron spear like a baseball bat toward my head!  "Say it again, say it again . . ." as he was threatening to hit me in the head with this iron spear!  I kept backing out of the place and he started jabbing the iron spear toward my face!  All the way out and when I was out on the sidewalk, he was still jabbing the iron spear toward my face, with a psycho look on his face . . . I thought he might actually stab me in the face with a damn iron spear!

Finally, he put the spear down and I told him I was going to report that . . . I called the police . . . when he saw them arrive, he slipped out the back (I could see him through the front windows).  The police took a report.  (They went into the place to find him, but  as I said, he was gone.).

A few days later, I got a letter telling me to go to speak with a Houston city prosecutor about pressing charges against him.  When I did go into that office, the 'receptionist' was rude and nasty right away, then when she asked me to tell her what happened, as I told her, she actually rolled her eyes, belittled me, tried to discourage me from doing anything about it. ("You know, this is a long process, and the only thing that can happen is that he'll pay a fine, like a ticket.") Finally she gave me a form to fill out. When I turned the form over to her, she looked at it and said, "Well, this doesn't rise to the level of a crime . . ." .  Threatening me with a deadly weapon isn't a crime? "Well, there weren't any witnesses, we can't really prosecute without witnesses. . . ." (which is a different issue actually than whether or not it's a crime to threaten someone with a deadly weapon).  This woman then claimed to BE a city prosecutor!  She wasn't even qualified to be a receptionist, so either there's a horrible receptionist in the Houston city prosecutor's office pretending to BE a city prosecutor OR there's a horrible Houston city prosecutor who is not even professional enough to be a decent receptionist!  Either way is SCARY!

Bottom line, the law won't do a thing about someone threatening with a deadly weapon unless they actually HIT YOU, AND there's a neutral WITNESS, WILLING TO TESTIFY.  I explained that my whole purpose in reporting his crime was that I suspect that he's probably done it before, and will probably do it again, unless he faces consequences.  "Well, if he ever does actually hit someone, then we can build a case against him".

Wow!  A lousy experience all around . . . 

BTW, I deleted the name of the venue, because at one point he suspiciously took a picture of my license plate!  I can only surmise that he has some way of finding out my home address or something, so I fear that if he finds out that I'm letting people know about his actions, he'll come after me!  Without a weapon in his hands, I wouldn't fear this guy at all, but I am afraid what he could do to my property when I'm not around.  Not to mention that I already know he is willing to bring a weapon into the mix!

And, no, it's not about the money, but apparently, crime does pay!