What’s with the female mug shots?
By Denise Crosby firstname.lastname@example.org May 1, 2012 6:26PM
Updated: June 3, 2012 8:14AM
Is it my imagination, or have girls gone wild here in the Fox Valley?
Check out the local news recently and you’ll notice mug shots have taken on a decidedly more feminine look.
In Tuesday’s paper alone, there are three female photos staring back at readers. The woman facing the most serious charges — first degree murder — is 24-year-old Latoya Baines, who police say stabbed a man to death Monday during a domestic dispute in a Batavia apartment.
Then there’s 21-year-old Caitlyn Knight of Elburn who, along with 23-year-old Octacia Williams of Maple Park, allegedly broke into a former boyfriend’s apartment in St. Charles Sunday. Police say they not only beat up her ex-beau, but also his new girlfriend as they lay in bed.
It’s not just humans feeling this female wrath. Analise Garner, a 19-year-old from Lake of the Hills, was charged this week with domestic battery and animal cruelty after beating up on her mother, then biting the family’s English bulldog, leaving three teeth marks on the poor pet’s back and shoulders.
And we can’t just blame this rash of feminine violence on young brains not yet fully developed. Check out 46-year-old Anita Joost of Elgin, who is facing felony charges after police say she encouraged her teenage daughter to beat another girl. According to authorities, Joost even went so far as to drive her teenager to the park where the fight was to take place last month, telling the kid to “kick her ass” — then videotaping the beating.
My bet: Joost won’t be earning any Mother of the Year distinction any time soon. And don’t expect Senior Citizen citations to go to 84-year-old Rosella Robinson of Elgin, who is on trial for aggravated battery and resisting arrest after allegedly struggling with a police officer following a traffic stop last July. Authorities contend that when the officer ordered her to turn off the engine and hand him the car keys, she refused, and began cursing, scratching and swatting his arm when he reached into the car’s window.
It’s not like I’m suggesting we are seeing some sort of weird societal sea change in crime. According to statistics from the United States Justice Department, men are three times more likely to commit violent acts than women. And women are, by far, more often the victim than the perp. Just recently, a measure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act — enacted in 1994 and again in 2005 to help identify and prosecute domestic abuse and sexual violence — was approved by the U.S. Senate.
Still, even Lt. Pat Gengler, with the Kane County Sheriff’s Department, says he noticed the unusual number of female mug shots recently and “wondered what’s going on here.”
According to Kimberly Rhodes, clinical director of behavioral health at the Aurora-based Family Counseling Service, society has given women permission to be more aggressive, and “they are using violence as a way to solve their problems.”
Rhodes, who runs the center’s Female Anger Intervention and Recovery program, adds that women are also “starting to fight back in ways we never used to see.”
And it’s not just here in the Fox Valley. A 34-year-old Austrian woman, a dentist, is facing jail after her ex-boyfriend came to her office with a toothache a few days after he broke up with her.
She gave him a heavy dose of anaesthetic, then yanked out every tooth in his mouth.
That’s what I call revenge with a twist.