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June 17th, 2005

Fliers for JoJo & The Good Guys Win One

I have the greatest friends in the world.

The Worm and I spent an hour going around the neighborhood putting up flyers and bringing them door-to-door. No one had seen JoJo. We were tired, hot and bummed out when we back to our painfully quiet house.

We'd made dinner plans with friends earlier in the week and had decided against breaking them, even though neither of us had the heart for company or entertaining. We knew it would be better than sitting home alone all sad, though, so a few minutes after we got back Nodnarb & Ms. Big Dawg showed up.

Bless their wild and crazy hearts because by the end of the night they had us in the best of spirits. We laughed, we ate a delicious dinner that everyone contributed to, and we smiled for the first time in days. I thank the gods for my wonderful, off-the-wall, wacky friends; I'm very blessed.

On to other business.

I'd meant to post this as soon as it happened, but the JoJo-affair pretty much took over my life around then. But you have to hear about this! A would-be thief in Shreveport, Louisiana came up with one of the worst ideas of his life when he decided to rob a local beauty parlor/school at gunpoint. I'll let you read the article - this is one where the good guys win, and then some:

(The article in its entirety as it appeared in the Shreveport Times):

Armed robber gets extreme makeover
Group defends beauty school by attacking, holding suspect for police | June 15, 2005

It was a beauty school knock-out.

An armed robber brandishing a revolver and some tough talk entered Blalock's Beauty College demanding money Tuesday afternoon.

He left crying, bleeding and under arrest, after Dianne Mitchell, her students and employees attacked the suspect, beating him into submission.

Mitchell tripped the robber as he tried to leave and cried aloud "get that sucker" as the group of about 20, nearly all women, some wielding curling irons, bludgeoned him until police arrived.

"You can tell the world don't mess with the women here," said the 53-year-old who manages the Shreveport beauty school in the 5400 block of Mansfield Road.

Jared Gipson, 24, of Shreveport was charged with armed robbery, Shreveport police said. He will be booked into the City Jail once he is released from the hospital.

"He received several lacerations to the head and was taken to LSU Hospital in Shreveport," spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave said. "Nobody else was seriously injured besides the suspect."

About 3 p.m., the workers and students sat around the beauty salon, recounting their tale, like warriors after a great battle.

A little before noon the students and workers were cleaning up when the robber walked up quietly behind Mitchell and said, "This is a holdup," she recalled.

"I thought it was someone just playing, but then I saw that big old gun. He said 'get down big momma.'"

The robber, a tall, thin man wearing a handkerchief over his face and a skull cap, barked out orders to the other people in the school to get down on the floor, Mitchell said.

As the group complied, some of the women began to cry. The robber didn't react kindly, telling one of the women she would "be the first to go," Mitchell said.

After collecting any money the people had on them, the robber pushed one of the employees, Abram Bishop, into the back of the room.

"I thought 'Oh my God, he's going to shoot him,'" Mitchell said.

But instead the robber ran toward the front door to escape.

That's when Mitchell raised her leg.

It was enough to trip the robber, who dropped the gun and tumbled into a wall.

Bishop jumped on the man's back, driving him into the ground. Seizing the opportunity, Mitchell rallied her students.

"We moved some furniture after that," she yelped with joy as she retold the tale.

Arming themselves with curling irons, chairs, a wooden table leg and clenched fists, the women attacked.

Blood and urine splattered from the victim; stains adorned the white paints worn by many of the beauty school students.

Crying in pain, the robber tried to crawl away from the students, Mitchell said.

"I grabbed his legs and wouldn't let him go. I pulled him back. He wasn't going to get up out of here and tell everyone he robbed us. When he came in here, he knocked down a beehive and sent the bees flying all over."

Sharon Blalock, owner of the school, said she couldn't be prouder of her students and employees. "They just whooped the hell out of him."

Sgt. Kevin Crow, head of the Shreveport police armed robbery unit, said he was happy no one was hurt but was quick to point out that not all of these situations end well.

"Legally you can always defend yourself if you feel threatened," Crow said. "But is this the best idea? No.

"Any time you are going against a guy with a gun, you have to ask yourself if your life is worth risking over some material item you have in your store or on your person. When it works out it's great ... but when it doesn't, usually the results are pretty tragic," Crow said.

The gun, police learned later, was not loaded. But there was no remorse from the students.

"He got what he deserved," Renae Collier, 26, said. Collier's engagement ring was broken at some point during the melee.

"I'm just relieved he didn't get away," student Gladys Woods, 24, said. "He probably would have come back if we didn't stop him."

Police are continuing their investigation into the incident, suggesting it might lead to more charges against Gipson. "He will be looked at as a suspect in other robberies in the area," Detective J.E. Cromer said.

The Family Dollar in the 2600 block of Hollywood Avenue and a Chevron gas station at the corner of Hollywood and Hearne Avenue are two other businesses in the area that have been robbed recently.

Early Tuesday, before the robbery, Mitchell had gathered her students and told them they needed to watch out for one another.

"It's like we were saying in class, we have to stay together as a team," Mitchell said. "You can tell any prospective students, Blalock's Beauty College has got your back."

It's so nice to see the good guys win one, but even better to think of this guy, handcuffed, bleeding and crying, with pants full of piss being led off by a bunch of cops laughing their asses off.

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