Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Armed with a BFA in creative writing, an MA in English literature and a thesis in NYC subway folklore, she has written thousands of articles for newspapers and the online crowd. Credits also include writing and poetry awards, several illustrated humor books, and a Rynski art shop at rynski.etsy.com. More about Ryndustries at www.ryngargulinski.com
We’ve all know folks who exaggerate a bit, perhaps say they run a business when all they really do is run the business’s trash out the Dumpster.
But one Arizona guy went above and beyond simple exaggeration and claimed to be a highly decorated U.S. Marine.
John William Rodriguez, 31, didn’t save his faux boasting for dates or personal chats, either, but made it widely known to the masses.
This Scottsdale guy was even introduced at large functions as a decorated veteran.
That’s also how he got busted.
An authentic former Marine thought Rodriguez’s uniform looked a little less than authentic. He also found it odd that a 31-year-old would be donning the Navy Cross.
Once the Arizona Department of Public Safety started investigating they learned Rodriguez had been introduced as a decorated veteran at several functions. He also listed serving in the military on his driver’s license.
Arizona Department of Public Safety arrests suspected military impersonator, news release John William Rodriquez, 31, of Scottsdale was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on 13 felony fraud schemes stemming from his impersonation of a highly decorated Marine. The arrest culminates a lengthy investigation which uncovered evidence that Rodriquez had been portraying himself as a U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant or Warrant Officer for at least a year.
Rodriquez faces possible federal charges in addition to his arrest for ARS Title 13 Felony Fraud Schemes.
Wow. That’s some heavy charges for pretending to be a Marine. Guess no one gets away with nabbing a military title if they haven’t been through boot camp.
Poor guy. I say “poor” because you have to be suffering from very low self-esteem to blow yourself up into a decorated veteran.
Not sure what the penalty will be, but maybe he should really be sent to boot camp. Either that, or shine the shoes of all the authentic decorated veterans out there.
Did you ever get busted pretending to be someone or something you are not?
Did it result in felony fraud charges?
Decker, from Kentucky, was residing at the Extended Stay America at 5050 E. Grant Road, while working a temporary job as a furniture liquidator
Motel management reported hearing noises, music, banging and moaning coming from the upstairs room.
Officers entered the room with a passkey and found the room ransacked and furniture broken, (Sgt. Mark) Robinson said. Decker was in the bathroom, clutching a toilet seat he had ripped off the unit.
Decker grabbed one of the officers, Robinson said, and the officer shocked him with a Taser. The Taser appeared to have no effect on him.
Officers handcuffed Decker, got him out of the bathroom and called paramedics, which is standard practice when someone a Taser is used.
Decker became unresponsive, Robinson said, and was unconscious when paramedics arrived.
If someone is in a rage, ripping toilet seats off the basin and lunging naked at police, a taser may be just the thing to calm the guy down. It was later determined he had also been high on cocaine, which just adds to irrationality.
But was the taser overused?
According to the Arizona Daily Star: Gary A. Decker, 50, died from a combination of cocaine intoxication, multiple blunt force injuries and being restrained after he assaulted three police officers (according to the medical examiner’s autopsy report)….
The Tucson Police Department is still investigating the case and has forwarded it to the Pima County Attorney’s Office for review. Neither agency would comment Wednesday on the incident.
According to the autopsy report, Decker suffered two puncture wounds to his chest and additional wounds to his right hip when he was Tasered.
He also received numerous rib fractures, the report states.
Decker had cuts and bruises all over his body, including his head, neck, abdomen, shoulders and arms, the report states.
How many tasers blasts did the guy get? Or were the broken ribs and other injuries from Decker throwing himself against the wall or toilet or some other cause?
Still too many questions that need answers, but the fact is clear: tasers can kill.
The smart thing would be not to get into a situation where you may have the opportunity to get zapped by one. The other smart thing would be to opt for the leopard print over hot pink.
What do you think? Are tasers too dangerous, especially to be readily available to the general public?
Tucson is not known for its skyscrapers, and I used to think it was because builders were just lazy or ran out of materials.
I later realized tall buildings would block the glorious mountain views.
One midtown neighborhood in particular is learning this firsthand, as outlined in a letter written by Kathleen Williamson.
This Feldman’s Historic Neighborhood resident sent the following letter to the Tucson Mayor, City Council, the press and any other cc she could think of. So far she said she’s gotten no response other than officials telling her it was forwarded somewhere to someone why may or may not do something about it.
Here is the Feldman’s Neighborhood Design Manual to which she refers
Letter from Kathleen Williamson to Honorable Tucson Mayor and Council:
I applaud your efforts to try to preserve the character of Feldman’s Historic Neighborhood. The effort, however, falls far short and gives too much in tax break incentives for too little effort on the part of urban density developers.
Historically, Feldman’s is not a two- or more- storied neighborhood. While you have allowed, however, for two-story or higher architecture in your design manual (which includes extensive details and suggestions about privacy and setbacks), I am shocked to discover that there is not one word about vista protection in the 100-plus pages. Most of the properties and strolls around this area provide great vistas of the Rincons, Tucson Mountains and, especially, the Catalinas.
Probably the most important characteristic of these old residential neighborhoods in Tucson is the mountain vistas. If you’ve been around these parts over the last few years, however, you’d see view after view being occluded by two story monstrosities that were built by developer Michael Goodman (who, ironically, is a non-resident panelist on the
NPZ Feldman’s Design Committee).
My views, which were part of the value of my property as well as a big contribution to my quality of life, are being ripped off more and more with each passing day. It’s become an aggravating and heartbreaking sight to behold from my house, which I have owned and lived in since 1991. My front porch used to be a pleasurable summer place to
sit and watch the monsoon storms come in over the Catalinas. Those experiences have been taken away. Now there are two two-story buildings where Pusch Ridge used to be, and two more will be built very soon obstructing the rest of the Catalina range.
My dear friend and neighbor across the street, Mrs. Canara Price, is almost 96 years old and has lived in her house since the early sixties. Her adobe house is over 100 years old. Right now, Michael Goodman is building four of his two story monstrosities at the edge of her backyard to the north and more two-story structures on the north side of the 300 Elm Street block. Mrs. Price has lost her privacy, quietude and mountain views without a request, apology, or compensation. She technically doesn’t live in Feldman’s but right across the street, on the north side of Lee.
Come on, Tucson. We can do better than this for the people who live here.
There needs to be view protection for the overall area, if not more of Tucson proper. The neighborhood just north of Feldman’s is falling prey to Michael Goodman and other developers. Much of Elm Street (one block north of Feldman’s) has been purchased by M. Goodman, and the properties near the Goodman lots suffer to the degree that they sell or will eventually have to sell (for cheap…to guess who!). Those strips of land are just north of Feldman’s, close enough that two-story and higher structures will permanently change the character of Feldman’s. What is Feldman’s, or Tucson, without views of the mountains?
Architecture does not thrive in a vacuum; it thrives in a visual context. Please make changes to the design manual to create incentives for vista preservation and vista corridors.
More importantly, the vista corridors and wide-open views also provide a free flow of breezes and air. Feldman’s is in a low lying area of this valley and is surrounded by four major arterial motorways (especially with the upcoming “improvements” and broadening of Grant Road). If more and more rows of two-story buildings in Feldman and its contiguous neighborhoods are permitted, we will be increasingly trapped in a bowl of stagnant toxic air. In the summer, add “hot” to the list of adjectives. Please give more thought to all of this.
I’d like to add that the design manual also falls short concerning healthy vegetation. The new developments have obliterated the natural desert plants and left absolutely nothing for birds, bees, and other critters (critical to the survival of all species, including ours) to thrive on. The Home Depot mono-palm trees that dominate these new Goodman type developments do not provide the necessary air cleaning and oxygen producing environment we need to be healthy.
The City Council exists first and foremost to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens; not to be a supporter of environmentally destructive developments. As Ed Abbey so eloquently wrote, sometimes development is like a cancer cell, “growth for growth’s sake.”
Regardless, if Feldman’s is destined for change and density because of the expansion of the university population or to reduce urban sprawl, let’s be wise about it. If we aren’t going to be thorough and sincere about quality of life, what’s the use of “planning?”
Please take your heads out of the abstract and put your eyes and feet on the ground where we live.
I wish you the best of all resources and integrity in your endeavors.
Kathleen G. Williamson, J.D., LL.M., Ph.D.
What do you think?
Has your neighborhood fallen prey to detrimental development?
Do you think more thought should go into factors other than making money?
Tucson is not unique for having single shoes pop up all over the place. What is unique may be the frequency – and places – they pop up.
Anyone who has ever lost sleep wondering where these single shoes come from will be able to rest easy tonight.
The lone shoe on the side of the road:
This is an easy one. Dozens of pedestrians are hit every year here in Old Pueblo, some violently enough to get knocked out of their shoe. Many decide to cross the street willy-nilly while wearing dark clothing and avoiding crosswalks. Some trample across the road, totally ignoring any oncoming traffic, and glare at the drivers as if daring them to hit them. Others, sadly, are hit by people who are drunk, drugged, stupid or just don’t know how to drive.
The lone shoe in the wash:
These are from murder victims.
The lone shoe in the Rillito River bed:
Several theories behind this one. If the shoe has any blood on it, you can bet the person was attacked and consumed by a pack of coyotes. If the shoe is clean but stretched at the ankle, the person was a victim of a javelina. The javelina charged at them hard enough to knock off a shoe. If the shoe has teeth marks, the person must have been using it as a dog fetching toy but the dog got bored and simply left it in the sandy reeds.
The lone shoe in front of the police station:
The lone shoe floating down Sabino Canyon:
Another easy one, as I’ve seen it in action. A person tries to cross the stream with his shoes and socks clutched in his hand and his backpack swinging from an arm rather than properly secured on his back. He starts to tilt, loses his balance, and drops a shoe. By the time he crosses the shoe has floated far, far away and lodged itself next to a mossy rock.
The lone shoe stuck somewhere strange, like on a stick in a concrete planter on Congress Street:
Please don’t confuse the single shoe issue with the single sock issue. The missing socks are always stolen by those evil elves who live in the dryer.
Where’s the weirdest place you saw a lone shoe?
Did you ever lose a single shoe? What did you do?