Dominatrix Monique Dee McFarland says man she robbed wanted it

Also: Arrested zombies, baby for sale

A Minneapolis woman who calls herself a dominatrix has been accused of robbing a blind man in New Hope who uses a wheelchair. She says it was all part of the game and he wanted to be tied up. We are guessing that the stealing wasn't part of his request.

Monique Dee McFarland, 34, is charged with felony theft of more than $500. She allegedly took his laptop, digital camera, lockbox, checkbook, keys, wallet, and cell phone. That doesn't sound so sexy.

According to the victim, he met McFarland on a chat line. She came to his apartment February 13 and allegedly pulled a knife on him, ordered him to take off his clothes, and tied him to the bed. The man estimates she went through his home for 30 minutes and then left him tied to the bed. He managed to get free and call 911.

Another knock to her claim: She has a criminal record of theft convictions in Hennepin, Wright, and St. Louis counties. Emily Kaiser

Service with a sneer

Sarah Kohl-Leaf went to take in Shutter Island recently at the St. Croix Falls Cinema, and it sounds like she didn't have a great experience. First, the theater doesn't accept debit or credit cards—and the ATM was out of cash. Then, a snafu led to her missing the first part of the movie.

So she did what a lot of folks do: She wrote a letter of complaint to the manager. What happened after that stunned her. He wrote back and told her to "go fuck yourself" and see the movie in White Bear Lake instead.

Kohl-Leaf and her husband then did what a lot of folks do in 2010: They started a Facebook group: "BOYCOTT St. Croix Falls Cinema 8." She posted her original letter to the manager, what she calls his initial reply, and a follow-up, in which his tail is clearly between his legs. The page now has more than 3,000 members. —Hart van Denburg

Vikings invade Capitol

The Minnesota Vikings' lobbying team is showing a seven-man blitz.

Determined to get an already cash-strapped citizenry to help pay for a new stadium, Vikings brass have deployed seven high-powered lobbyists into the Capitol halls to put pressure on lawmakers.

The additional hired guns include John Knapp, a hyper-connected Republican whom we featured in our "10 Most Influential Lobbyists" story last month.

For all their assembled clout, Knapp and Co. face a tall order. Confronted with a $4.6 billion budget deficit, legislators have generally given the cold shoulder to the stadium proposal (at least publicly). It will be interesting to see how/if the parameters of debate shift in the coming months. Matt Snyders

All zombies created equal

Score one for zombie rights.

A lawsuit filed by a group of Minneapolis zombies received a second wind last week when the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a ruling in the living-dead group's favor. The zombies say they were wrongfully arrested while protesting blind consumerism during the 2006 Aquatennial.

On July 22, 2006, seven protesters wearing white powder, fake blood, and dark eye shadow lurched down Nicollet Mall playing music from a sound system, intent on spoofing mindless shopping. Acting on an anonymous 911 call, police showed up and arrested the ghoulish play-actors for disorderly conduct.

The zombies subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and its police force. Arguing that their constitutional rights had been violated, the group sought damages of at least $50,000 per arrest. In September 2008, a judge dismissed those claims, ruling that police had probable cause for the arrests.

The zombies appealed and won: Being a zombie is protected by the Constitution. —Matt Snyders

Behind-bars exam

Former Minneapolis City Hall power broker Al Garcia was sentenced to five years in prison last week in federal court.

Garcia could have faced a stiffer sentence for his drug possession conviction—the range is typically 78 to 97 months. But Garcia's attorney argued for less time based on his short criminal record—he has a misdemeanor for driving under the influence. On Monday, jury selection began in another case against Garcia, in which he faces charges that he forced a client to have sex with him.

Until last year, Garcia was a practicing criminal defense attorney. His license has been suspended. In connection with the rape allegation, Garcia is also facing a felony charge for tampering with a federal witness. Erin Carlyle

For Sale: Baby, never used

Why would a 23-year-old Howard, Wisconsin, woman offer to sell a two-year-old baby on Craigslist for $800? For a laugh, she claims. Michelle Paters doesn't actually have any children. You'll also be surprised to learn that alcohol was apparently involved in her stunt.

Things got more serious when her ad became the subject of news reports in Wisconsin. Realizing her rotten sense of humor had led people astray, she turned herself in, filled with remorse. Lucky for her, the Brown County District Attorney's office declined to file charges, even though the sheriff's office originally said it would seek a disorderly conduct charge. —Hart van Denburg

 
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