Friday, February 27, 2009

Two children traded for one cockatoo?

SmokingGun reports the following:

A trio of Louisiana nitwits agreed to swap two young children for a $1500 cockatoo and $175, police charge. The deranged exchange was hatched after Donna Greenwell, a 51-year-old trucker, learned that the bird was being offered for sale by Brandy Romero, 27, and Paul Romero, 46. According to Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office investigators, Brandy Romero told cops that Greenwell contacted her and said that while she could not afford the cockatoo's price tag, she did have children to trade (in a bid to sell the bird, the Romeros posted a flyer at a barn, where Greenwell spotted the notice, which included a photo of the cockatoo).

The accompanying picture indicated the cockatoo was of the sulfur-crested variety, as distinct from the more common umbrella cockatoo, which birds are frequently put up for adoption, mainly because they screech a lot if not given attention. [The screeching behavior, also manifested by Moluccan cockatoos, saved "Peaches" from death. Note also the story of Luna, in Trenton.]

TheTownTalk has pictures of the trio (which are worth viewing) and begins with the text:

Residents of the Pitkin area expressed shock and disgust Thursday [Feb. 26] of the news spreading about the area woman who was charged in connection with trading two children in exchange for a cockatoo.

Donna Louise Greenwell, 51, was charged with kidnapping and is still being held in the Evangeline Parish Jail, with bail set at $100,000.

Greenwell, who drives a semi-tractor trailer cross-country, lives on the edge of Rapides Parish, between Glenmora and Pitkin. The two children -- a 5-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl -- weren't related to Greenwell, although they had been staying with her for some time, Evangeline Parish sheriff's officials said.

TheTownTalk was more detailed about the $175:

The next day, the exchange happened -- Greenwell dropped off the children and took the bird, authorities reported. She told the Romeros that she needed $175 more to pay an attorney to draw up adoption papers that she would drop off to them soon.

"Our investigation has revealed that in their mind, the Romeros didn't think they'd done anything wrong," Dupre said, pointing out that they told family and friends that they'd bought the two children. "They understand now that it was not a good idea, but they had good intentions, just bad judgment."

The talk of "good intentions" reminds one of various patent reformers, who may intend "good things" for the patent system, but who may achieve a result more like that of the Romeros.

A different cockatoo is on the video


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