The criminal who had no hands or feet

“Court Case Friday”

When I was a prosecutor, there was a homeless man who loitered around the courthouse in Santa Ana. He was confined to a wheelchair, because he had no hands or feet

He would roll up to women and solicit them for sex. He appealed to their sympathy by saying, “Please help me [various sex acts]. I have no hands and feet.” He offered to pay.

When women complained to the police, the man was arrested for misdemeanor solicitation for prostitution. He had a lengthy record for the same thing.

Prosecutors were stumped about how to handle the man’s cases. He was an annoying public nuisance, but he wasn’t really dangerous. We wondered if any women accepted his proposals.

The way he lost his hands and feet, was also tragic and memorable.

Distraught, he decided to commit suicide.  He lied down on the train tracks, waiting for the train to take his life. 

But instead of lying perpendicular to the tracks, he lied in the middle of the ties, parallel to the tracks. Then, he stretched out with his hands and feet on the rails

The train severed his hands and legs, but it didn’t kill him. The quick-thinking engineer gave first aid and summoned paramedics, who saved the man’s life. 

If the man was distraught before his attempted suicide, he was certainly distraught afterword.  

He was a “sympathetic” lawbreaker.


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