March-April 2016

A roundup of notable quotables

“Sometimes we’re a warrior, sometimes we’re a guardian, sometimes we’re a babysitter!”
—Captain James Agee, a peace officer in St. Albans, West Virginia, after he and other officers rescued a 14-month-old child from a locked bathroom at a Kroger grocery store. In the hours before Child Protective Services could arrive to take the baby, the officers cared for her by purchasing baby food, diapers, and several small toys. (–abc-news-topstories.html)

“I’ve been drunk for three months.”

—a DWI suspect in Smith County, in response to a trooper’s question of how much he’d had to drink that day. (Submitted by Taylor Heaton, prosecutor in Smith County)

“Any mess-ups from now on, he’s going to be over with us. He’s going to see what the big-boy jail is like.”

—Terry Grisham, spokesman for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, about Ethan Couch, the now-18-year-old man who, at age 16, struck and killed four people while driving drunk. He was sentenced to probation after defense attorneys argued that Couch suffered from “affluenza,” meaning that his family’s wealth and dysfunction rendered him unable to understand the consequences of his actions. While on probation, a video of Couch playing beer pong surfaced about the time he missed a check-in with his probation officer, and authorities had just extradited him from Mexico as of press time. (

 “All they want to do is the drugs, make knives, and make alcohol. Then they say when they get out they will not come back. I tell them of course you will. You are doing the same thing that got you locked up. Of course they do not want to hear that. It is like speaking to a brick wall. Now I understand how people must have felt talking to me.”

—A letter describing prison life written by one-time NFL running back Lawrence Phillips to Ty Pagone, a retired vice principal and former football coach at Baldwin Park High School, which Phillips attended. A first-round draft pick in 1996, Phillips was serving a 31-year sentence for domestic violence and other crimes and was a suspect in the death of his cellmate when he was found dead in his cell of an apparent suicide. (
“The extent that the law goes through to protect the accused is pretty extraordinary. We have run that string in your case to the very end of the rope, but you create a little bit of dilemma about at what point do I quit trying to save you from yourself, and at what point do I make you responsible for what you’ve done?”
—Judge Graham Quisenberry of Parker County, to Kassidy Randall Townsend, a 25-year-old “sovereign citizen” convicted of cocaine possession, before he sentenced Townsend to three years in prison. In the months leading up to trial, Townsend repeatedly filed a counterclaim as a civil lawsuit against Judge Quisenberry, the district attorney, the district clerk, the law enforcement officers involved in the case, and even the wrecker service that towed his vehicle after he was found with cocaine. (