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Archive for Thursday, April 15, 2010

Prosecutors charge Lawrence man with aggravated assault in connection with Wednesday’s incident downtown

The Lawrence police arrive to take Steven J. Vincent, a Lawrence transient who police said threatened restaurant patrons with a railroad spike Wednesday evening in downtown Lawrence, into custody. Craig Hoffman subdued Vincent until police were on the scene.

The Lawrence police arrive to take Steven J. Vincent, a Lawrence transient who police said threatened restaurant patrons with a railroad spike Wednesday evening in downtown Lawrence, into custody. Craig Hoffman subdued Vincent until police were on the scene.

April 15, 2010

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Suspect charged with assault for downtown incident

A 24-year-old homeless man threatened Free State Brewery patrons with a railroad spike. Enlarge video

Douglas County prosecutors have filed charges against a 24-year-old man who police said threatened restaurant patrons with a railroad spike Wednesday evening in downtown Lawrence.

The Lawrence resident who jumped on top of the suspect to subdue him until police could get there said he was protecting his friends.

According to district court records, Steven J. Vincent, who police identified as a transient, faces charges of aggravated assault and criminal damage to property. Vincent was scheduled to have a first appearance in court Thursday afternoon.

Lawrence police gave an account of events Wednesday evening. Police said the suspect had been walking down Massachusetts Street, approached some men outside Free State Brewing Co., 636 Mass., and asked if he could have a beer or cigarette.

When they refused, the suspect became belligerent, produced what turned out to be a railroad spike and threatened people with it. After the patrons talked him down, the suspect eventually turned around, as if he was going to attack someone, but instead he was tackled by Craig Hoffman, who held him down until police arrived on the scene and took Vincent into custody.

Hoffman, a 49-year-old self-employed contractor, on Thursday deferred description of the events to police.

“Free State is a local community on its own. I have a lot of close friends here, and I was just helping protect what is close to me,” Hoffman said.

Comments

Newell_Post 4 years ago

Lawrence was a much better place to live when our boys in blue used guys like "Spike" for baton practice.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years ago

"Hoffman's frequent enough belligerent attitude with fellow patrons is well known but dysfunctionally tolerated."

Well known to whom?

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smitty 4 years ago

Hoffman, a 49-year-old self-employed contractor, on Thursday deferred description of the events to police.

Self-employed....One day I was having lunch at the counter as self-employed contractor Hoffman was seated next to me as he made a pitch to a guy for a construction job. Craig placed his elbow on the bar only to have his arm slide off rather quickly, looked up to see if anyone noted the elephant in the room before he wiped off the offending bar rail then placed his elbow again on the bar and again slid off. Don't think Hoffman got that contract. I'm sure it had nothing to do with unlimited shooters followed by beer chasers.

Hoffman is always that drunk but defers to the LPD to keep him self clear of the DUI's when he drives his picj-up truck away from the bar.

Today, just at the end of the lunch hour I witnessed Hoffman bad mouthing a woman around 70 for asking him if the new celebrity status has increased his odds with the ladies. His words were so slurred from intoxication at the end of the lunch hour but he managed to shout for her to keep her damn nose out of his business. At least that what it sounded like. Got to say Hoffman didn't take the same attitude toward the young women who questioned him due to his new found celebrity. Lokked like he was gong to sit on her for a minute.

Hoffman's frequent enough belligerent attitude with fellow patrons is well known but dysfunctionally tolerated.

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Newell_Post 4 years ago

This guy's street name will be "Spike" for years ever after.

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hillbilly_jim 4 years ago

I think I know Stevie too. I think he's the one that threw his shoe at me when I refused to give him money or change. He asked, I said no, went on my way, and about half a block later he took his shoe off and threw it at me. It wasn't very close, but I still picked it up and threw it on top of the building. So, downtown somewhere, poor Stevie's shoe is still sitting on the rooftop. Probably, anyway.

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MacHeath 4 years ago

too bad you can't see Stevie's nasty ass hanging out... Hey, you don't want to be provoked? I have an idea! How about not asking folks for drinks, and cigarettes!

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bromidrosis 4 years ago

I know Stevie, and all I can say is he'd never do anything to hurt anyone unless he was provoked. And those bozos on the porch at Free State talk crap to the homeless down there all the time. Phil probably started the whole thing. Look at the smug look on his face.

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MacHeath 4 years ago

LawrenceGuy40....you are really getting tiresome. You must be a troll, no one can be that stupid. Of course, one might make a point that no one can be as smelly and nasty as Mr. Vincent...wait,, maybe LG40 IS Mr. Vincent....

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MacHeath 4 years ago

Thats the dude I saw the other day!! I knew he looked like trouble. Stank badly and talked loudly. I think the ass was out of his greasy jeans too.

Kudos to Mr Hoffman. Hey, I will contribute to his defense fund. He won't need it though. He could have shot him dead, and justified his actions. Mr. Vincent should be thankful he is still with the living.

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Flap Doodle 4 years ago

At least he didn't call the ACLU a bunch of idiots.........

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years ago

" The public defender and/or the ACLU may try to sue him on Vicent's behalf for "vigilante" activities."

Not gonna happen, but at least you seized the moment for a gratuitous jab at the ACLU and public defenders.

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monkfellow 4 years ago

I hate to bring this up, but in this day and age, Mr. Hoffman had better retain a lawyer. The public defender and/or the ACLU may try to sue him on Vicent's behalf for "vigilante" activities. Mr. Hoffman should make absolutely certain he's got the law on his side on this one. Just sayin'

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years ago

Craig Hoffman didn't do what he did because this guy is a transient or homeless (no matter how you want to semantically parse the difference.) He did it because the guy was physically threatening him and the other patrons on the Free State porch.

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naturalist 4 years ago

Don't mess with the peeps on the porch! Nice going, Jeff.

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4everahawk 4 years ago

BruceWayne: Well stated and I completely agree.

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BruceWayne 4 years ago

edjayhawk (anonymous) says… Whats the difference between a homeless person and a transient?

homeless person: someone, that due to circumstances has lost their home. in need of a "shelter" at night to sleep and shower. takes advantage of the tools and services available to get a new start on life.

transient: someone chased out of most other cities for violating panhandling laws. heard from another bum about Lawrence Kansas.

it is time for Mayor Mike and the minions to act. The work at the airport...farmland industries...all to draw business and jobs to our once fine city. Business and customers are being driven away daily by our transient population. How many police man hours are spent a week on this problem? Read the book in log...appears a majority of the officers time is spent dealing with the it. It is up to our elected officials to rid Lawrence of this filth .If they wont you will see more and more Craig Hoffmans step up.

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CreatureComforts 4 years ago

You can tell Hoffman is a contractor, because he subdued that guy like a stud.

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CLARKKENT 4 years ago

HAVING KNOWN CRAIG FOR 10 PLUS YEARS, LET ME SAY A BIG THANK YOU. I AM PROUD TO CALL YOU A FRIEND. LAWRENCE, KANSAS, THE UNITED STATES, NEEDS MORE LIKE HIM.

LAWRENCE, WAKE UP, LETS GET RID OF THESE TYPES, INSTEAD OF MAKING A NEW AND BETTER PLACE FOR THEM. GET RID OF THE SHELTERS, AND THEY WILL GO.

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BruceWayne 4 years ago

Craig Hoffman...well done.

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matthewjherbert 4 years ago

I'm glad to see that our Craig Hoffman is fighting against our victim culture. Stand up for yourselves people- don't be intimidated by fools. That's a wonderful thing that is diminishing rapidly not only in this community but in this country. In a country where airplanes can be hijacked with little more than a box knife we need more Craig Hoffman types!

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independant1 4 years ago

While begging is not a crime, it is an occupation for some.

This guy obviously went off. It wasn't pretty and now it's up to the criminal justice system and social services. The question is, "What will his behavior be if/when he comes back?

Make crime pay. Become a lawyer. (Will Rogers)

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Bob Kraxner 4 years ago

To all of the dirtbags in this world who just don't understand why we all were put on this earth: To explain principle to those wearing blinders is an infinitely futile waste of one's time and energy, ie; Those of you self centered souls with such materialistic mindsets would'nt ever be able to understand the philosophy of the "Golden Rule" anyway. Those of you that I'm referring to know exactly who you are, you are the same suckers who'll gladly hand a stripper a 20 dollar bill, just because she's dancing naked in front of you... yet you refuse to give a guy a beer and a smoke that costs under $3.50. What is the difference between one beggar and another? The evil in your mind is the difference ! May all of you die a painfully slow, eternal death in the fires of hell !!! For the handful of genuine people who have posted on this blog... (and you know who you are!) may God bless your lives now and forever !!!

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Multidisciplinary 4 years ago

From the other thread, JK's response to my earlier comment on a removed person and the resulting fallout of other's comments being removed. FYI for everyone to know how it's working at present so they won't be wondering if something turns up missing.

jkealing (Jonathan Kealing) replies…

Yeah, unfortunately when we flushed banned commenters from replies, we had to ditch any replies to that comment. Shouldn't be a problem again because you shouldn't see banned comments and be able to reply to them. April 15, 2010 at 2:53 p.m.

* permalink
* reply
* suggest removal

It just happened again tonight, with Ceal's comment on anna's tax blog. She had made the comment before you removed the person. Now both comments in the tree are gone. These are the type of holes I write of, the comment replies that will inevitably occur before you will ban people. Banning will happen perhaps that day, later on, weeks, whenever.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years ago

The_Original_Bob (anonymous) says…

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/dfgdge/...

LJW/JK/Dolph - Get rid of this crap. And the threaded comments nonsense.

On principle, I beat up people wearing Ed Hardy shirts. April 15, 2010 at 9:04 p.m. ~~ jkealing (Jonathan Kealing) replies…

  Sorry guys. We get spammers every day, I just usually catch them before they get setup. Was teaching a class in Ottawa and the drive back has very spotty Internet and cell phone service. User's gone now.
  April 15, 2010 at 9:31 p.m.

~~~
And now so is Ceal's comment that threaded after it on Anna's tax blog. It was a funny comment Ceal, sorry to see it gone now.

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oneeye_wilbur 4 years ago

Will the railroad spike be place in the Watkins museum for viewing?

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The_Original_Bob 4 years ago

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/dfgdge/comments/

LJW/JK/Dolph - Get rid of this crap. And the threaded comments nonsense.

On principle, I beat up people wearing Ed Hardy shirts.

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dfgdge 4 years ago

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Multidisciplinary 4 years ago

You guys need to check the batteries on your sarcasometers. I got it Deb. geez. Deb will probably have a pretty good laugh when she checks back in over the thread.

Craig is a home grown fellow. When he went into that, there was 49 years of 'not in my town' behind it. Here is a better photo of Craig. Good looking in school, I'm liking the gray and the beard pretty well myself, lol. http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2009/sep/14/177047/

A fun part of this? At some part he probably realized, 'Uh Oh, My mom's going to hear about this.". I hope so. Icing on the cake. ;) Craig, may the free beers of honor flow your way, you deserve them.

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The_Original_Bob 4 years ago

"Whats the difference between a homeless person and a transient?"

Homeless are homelss for a reason. Transients can work if they wanted and just travel around doing nothing but begging. Lawrence is known as a haven for them.

/Webster's might disagree.

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devobrun 4 years ago

Mental health issue, Big_B, is the issue in virtually all LPD interactions.

The definition of civil behavior has expanded to include that which resulted in death a few decades ago. But there are still limits. Threatening with a steel weapon is still in the realm of bad behavior.

Every now and then, somebody pushes the envelope and gets hammered. Not that big of a deal.

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edjayhawk 4 years ago

Whats the difference between a homeless person and a transient?

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homechanger 4 years ago

Deb engstrom is part of the problem. Why give him anything. What does he deserve? Why do we have to help him get and stay drunk an high?deb help the poor guy out when he is released back to the drop in shelter and let him crash at your place!

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lawrenceguy40 4 years ago

Gnome - I am almost 70, and I have never even had a speeding ticket. But I can tell a good PD from a bad one, and LPD is a very bad one.

It is good that you are able to selectively appreciate my posts. Spikeboy has been around for a while and I remember him showing a dog to my grandson on one of the first warm days of spring. LPD were watching over him then.

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LJ Whirled 4 years ago

Sounds as much like a mental health issue as a criminal one, but you can't take a spike after the folks.
Also seems like somebody could flip the guy a smoke if he promised to move it along. It's a hard life.

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PebblesFlintstone 4 years ago

"Why not just give him a beer and a cigarette??"

Um...because I worked for money to buy my own beer (and cigarettes, when I smoked)?

When they tried to make panhandling illegal, somebody had a weepy quote in the paper that it was a transient's RIGHT to ask others downtown for money and it was the askee's RIGHT to not give it to the asker. Does that not apply now? It's some violent whack job's RIGHT to ask for beer and cigarettes, but if a Free State patron exercises their RIGHT to not give him anything, then it's VWJ's RIGHT to pull out a railroad spike and threaten patrons? I don't get it.

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bearded_gnome 4 years ago

a medal for Craig Hoffman!


so, was Vincent attracted to this community by the drunken/druggie shelter? does it help maintain him in his current lifestyle?
bill them for his care while he's a guest of the county.

and as I wrote on the first article: it is a good thing Vincent wasn't a wilding black teen, else Hoffman would be called a racist bigot. [note, see recent kansas city news]

LG40 is a complete troll but if you read into his post, you see that apparently spikeboy has been a problem downtown for some time.
LG40 is likely still sore because the local police caught him committing a crime and hauled him away. his posts almost always communicate hatred of the police, and paranoid suspicion of their actions.

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The_Original_Bob 4 years ago

"Why not just give him a beer and a cigarette??"

They are like cats. Set out the milk and cat food and they will keep coming back.

/Free State fan. Not arrogant, foreign (well, I was born in Texas), and not all that professional.

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lawrenceguy40 4 years ago

Good work Craig!

This guy obviously has issues. LPD have harassed him to breaking point. He can hardly sit on a bench downtown without some of LPD's finest mental health experts coming and playing with his mind.

Deb - you forget that many of the brewery's customers now are the liberal elite. They talk the talk, but never walk the walk. The last time I went it was so full of arrogant, foreign, professional types that my wife and I left. It is time Chuck remembered who stuck by him in the early days.

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Deb Engstrom 4 years ago

Why not just give him a beer and a cigarette??

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The_Original_Bob 4 years ago

Transient scum.

/This was meant for this particular individual and not to all transients, who are upstanding, productive members of society.

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5thgeneration 4 years ago

Good job Mr. Hoffman!!!!!!!!!

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Andini 4 years ago

Thank you Craig Hoffman.

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