There oughta be a law

What if a statute could address the sheer stupidity of some lawbreakers?

Lawmakers should consider adding a new category of crime to state statutes:
aggravated stupidity.

It would be charged whenever an act is so wantonly dopey that the perpetrator goes beyond
stupidly endangering or injuring himself and risks the same to others and their property. Conviction would come with stiff penalties and restitution to the victims.

We’ve got some poster children for the proposed law already, right here in good old Augusta.

How about the eggheads who tried to drive a pickup truck across the Sixth Street train bridge over the Savannah River about 5:30 a.m. Friday and crashed headlong into, and cracked, a trestle beam? Investigators said the two hospitalized men, James Ryan Anderson, 25, and his brother Todd, 37, couldn’t remember where they were going or where they’d been, and that beer cans littered the area of the crash.

“I think they honestly thought they were on the road,” a deputy said.

It clogged the morning commute, rerouted trains for 24 hours and required crews to pull the truck off the bridge and repair the trestle. They’re lucky they weren’t killed – the speedometer was stuck on 60 mph, the report says – and even luckier no one else was.

Or how about the genius who decided not just to run from deputies – an early indication of flawed thinking – but then reportedly ran over one during a traffic stop last Thursday night?

The 29-year-old driver – this being the final year, of course, in which he can claim youthful indiscretion – allegedly went out of his way, putting his car in reverse, to hit Deputy Dale Roberts. Thank heaven the officer wasn’t seriously injured. But Kimmie Gresham Jr. wasn’t finished, deputies say: The car left the scene and dragged a passenger 10 to 15 feet before hitting two other sheriff’s vehicles before crashing to a halt.

Then there’s 19-year-old Zander Wheeler, who allegedly did some $50,000 in damage stealing metal from six air-conditioning units at the Henry R. Brigham Community Center – which the people of Augusta taxed themselves to build as a haven particularly for kids and seniors.

Charges of criminal damage to property just don’t cut it, do they?

Of course, you can’t write such a law as we’re suggesting. But it’d be nice. We’re not just tired of the crime and recklessness. We’re fed up with the stupidity that’s making our streets unsafe.

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