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Bum Steer Awards 2018: The Rest of the List

The eight infamous Steers celebrated elsewhere in this package had a lot of company this year in our hall of shame. Here are another fifty or so Texans deserving of some ignominy.

By January 2018Comments

Illustrations by Rami Niemi

She’s Part of the “White Lies Matter” Movement

Two weeks after Breana Talbott, a young white woman, staggered bloodied into a Denison church claiming to have been abducted by three black men and raped, she confessed that she’d made the whole thing up.

Recite the Alphabet Backwards From “You’re Fired”

Officer Michael Cuellar was suspended indefinitely from the Austin Police Department after a breathalyzer indicated he was probably intoxicated when he drove to work. Cuellar ran the test on himself as a requirement to maintain his certification to use the equipment on others.

Their Superhero Names Are Captain Killjoy and the Wet Blanket

Two Austin men filed formal complaints with the city against the Alamo Drafthouse, claiming that the theater chain’s hosting of a women-only screening of Wonder Woman was discriminatory.

Still, Collecting Recipes for Beef Ribs Is Not an Entirely Bad Idea

Dan McQueen, whose brief tenure as mayor of Corpus Christi ended with his resignation after just five weeks, announced plans to fund a primary challenge to Senator Ted Cruz by giving a commercial building he owns to the winner of a contest in which participants were directed to pay a $250 entry fee, submit an essay on job creation, and offer a recipe for beef ribs. Three months later he dropped out of the race.

He Figured, Why Just Carry a Torch?

After his arrest, a nineteen-year-old man told investigators that he set fire to a commercial building—temporarily shutting down a highway in Harris County—because he was feeling angry after fighting with his girlfriend.

She Wanted to Bang More Than Her Gavel

The Texas Supreme Court suspended Harris County justice of the peace Hilary H. Green for exchanging hundreds of sexually charged text messages with her bailiff.

Arresting Officers Took Care Not to Use the Force

Their suspicions aroused by his nervous manner during a traffic stop for a broken tail light, Cedar Park police searched a 22-year-old man’s vehicle and found seven strips of blotter acid branded with an image of a Star Wars stormtrooper.

Specifically, Prosecutorial Misconduct

When defense attorneys in a murder case said they planned to raise issues of prosecutorial misconduct, Bexar County district attorney Nico LaHood reportedly threatened to “shut down” their law firm—right in front of the presiding judge, who later testified that in doing so, LaHood may have committed a crime.

Is This the Line for Perturbed Passengers?

Actor Judge Reinhold was arrested at Love Field for disorderly conduct after removing his shirt and cursing at a TSA agent while going through the preflight screening.

“There Will Be a $2.50 Rescue Fee for This Transaction, Sir. To Accept, Holler Once; to Decline, Holler Twice”

A technician who was trapped in the enclosure of the Corpus Christi ATM he was servicing was rescued after affixing cash withdrawals with handwritten notes saying things like “Please help I’m stuck in here and don’t have my phone.”

In Other News, the Sun Rose This Morning

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller posted a tasteless and xenophobic joke on his Facebook page.

Next Time, Come Through the Gate

An Austin man was arrested for indecent exposure after a woman told police that he performed a sex act on her fence.

But Someone’s Got to Keep Young, Professional Women From Throwing Themselves at Middle-Aged, Mid-Level City Bureaucrats

William Manno, an events coordinator for the City of Austin, was issued a formal reprimand for refusing to attend meetings with certain female colleagues because he was afraid of provoking his wife’s jealousy.

She’ll End the School’s Reputation for Violence on Campus If She Has to Get Violent on Campus to Do It

During an after-game ceremony to commemorate her five hundredth win, Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey said, in apparent reference to the school’s sexual violence scandals, “If somebody’s around you and they ever say, ‘I will never send my daughter to Baylor,’ you knock them right in the face.”

She’s Bean Under a Lot of Stress

Round Rock police responded to a domestic disturbance call from a man who accused his sister of trying to stab him after he complained about her sticking her fingers in his burrito.

An Impressive Accomplishment, Considering How Often His Foot’s in His Mouth

Commenting on another representative’s hunger strike in protest of a bill to ban sanctuary cities that was being debated in the Texas House, bill sponsor Charlie Geren quipped, “I’m not doing that. I didn’t get to be a fat white boy by not eating.”

Provided They Are Accompanied by an Adult Chaperone at All Times and Little Rocket Man Is Home by 10 P.M.

Dallas evangelical preacher Robert Jeffress announced that “God has given [Donald] Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”

That’s Entrapment. Before His Arrest She Wasn’t Even Holding

A federal lawsuit alleges that Williamson County sheriff’s deputy Damon Grant denied a suspect’s request to use a gas station restroom. Instead, the suit alleges, Grant gave the man, a disabled veteran who was handcuffed, the choice of going in his pants or enlisting his girlfriend to help him urinate on a wall outside the store. He chose the latter.

They Also Proposed Instituting a One-Month School Year, Legalizing Wedgies, and Naming J. J. Watt Emperor of Awesomeness

Both chambers of the Texas Boys State mock legislature voted in favor of proposals calling on Texas to secede from the United States.

Representative Rinaldi’s Presence Ensured the House Had Indecorum

State representative Matt Rinaldi called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a group of Hispanic protesters in the state capitol and then threatened to shoot his fellow representative Poncho Nevárez. Rinaldi claimed he was merely acting in self-defense because, he said, Nevárez had threatened to “get” him in the parking lot later in the day.

Son, This Is No Place for a Hardened Criminal

A third-degree felony defendant who was free on bond was waiting in a Travis County court for a scheduled appearance when a bailiff observed him masturbating under his clothes. The judge immediately revoked his bond, and he was remanded into custody.

You Know He’s Banging His Head Now

Derrick Roseland, wanted in Austin on a warrant for aggravated kidnapping, was apprehended at an Iron Maiden concert in San Antonio after police spotted his friend’s Facebook post that included a photo of tickets for the show, with their seat assignments perfectly legible.

And Forget About Decent Wi-Fi Reception in the Sacristy

Noting that it was “shockingly small,” Business Insider named the Alamo as Texas’s worst tourist attraction.

He’s Stepping Down to Spend More Time With His iPhone Camera

Someone Tweeted a nude selfie of Texas congressman Joe Barton as well as a text message Barton wrote stating, “I want u soo bad. Right now. Deep and hard.” The photo was, reportedly, a still from a video of Barton masturbating. Barton announced soon after that he would not seek reelection.

That Was One Stiff Cup of Joe

Bestherbs Coffee of Grand Prairie agreed to a recall of its “New of Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs” [sic, sic, and sic] blend, marketed for its “male enhancement” properties, after the Food and Drug Administration found undisclosed ingredients—including one that was chemically similar to the active ingredient in Viagra—in high enough concentrations to cause serious drug interactions and allergic reactions.

Hence His Nickname, Adam Lee “The Shopping” Cart

Adam Lee Cart was arrested after attempting to walk out of an Austin Nordstrom while wearing eight stolen men’s shirts.

He Told That Kid Five Times to Stop Kicking the Back of His Seat

A Chicago-bound Southwest Airlines flight was forced to return to Austin because a passenger allegedly punched another passenger.

The Crack of His Ass Got His Ass in a Crack

A man who was staying in the Williamson County jail for misdemeanor public intoxication earned additional felony charges after a corrections officer heard him brag that he was “high as f—.” A search turned up a bag of weed and two kinds of pills he had hidden between his butt cheeks.

The Arrest Followed a Brief, Low-Speed Chaise

A man was charged with felony theft in Leander for stealing a large quantity of patio furniture from three model homes. He was caught after he tried to sell the items on Craigslist using pictures taken at the site of the thefts.

It Would’ve Been a Steal at Any Price

Three people advertised a car for sale in Georgetown on a buying and selling app, then robbed a prospective cash buyer who’d arranged to see it. Police soon noticed the same car again advertised on the same app, responded as an interested buyer, then arrested the trio when they showed up in the car.

As Far As We Recall, Aaron Burr’s Style Never Included Ducky Pajamas

Corpus Christi congressman Blake Farenthold told a radio host that if Maine senator Susan Collins, one of the few GOP holdouts on the Republicans’ health care bill, had been “a guy from South Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr–style.”

A Video Called “Hoosier Daddy” Definitely Would Have Done the Trick

Senator Ted Cruz’s official Twitter account briefly “Liked” a link to a hardcore pornographic video, causing a social media frenzy. “Perhaps we should have posted something like this back during the Indiana primary,” Cruz said.

Okay, But Other Than That, Did You Bag Anything?

Hunting guides Walker Daugherty and Michael Bryant claimed that Daugherty and a member of the hunting party they were leading in South Texas were shot by illegal aliens, leading to widespread news coverage and an online fundraiser that garnered more than $25,000 for Daugherty’s medical expenses. Weeks later, both were arrested when authorities announced that the attack was a hoax to cover up the fact that Bryant accidentally shot Daugherty and Daugherty accidentally shot his client.

“Oops” Again

Energy Secretary Rick Perry spent 22 minutes speaking on the phone with a man he thought was the prime minister of Ukraine. In fact, the former governor of Texas was the victim of a prank call from a duo known as the Jerky Boys of Russia.

Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Spells: Poorly, But Wins World Series, So All Is Forgiven

Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman deleted his Twitter account after an exchange with a fan who tweeted his opinion that Bregman should be traded and then posted screenshots of Bregman’s angry private replies, including one where he stated that he “shouldnt give flees [sic] on the nutsack of society the time of day.”

Drug Seizures in Crease

A man who was arrested for DWI after failing a field sobriety test was also charged with evidence tampering when Austin police said that he was caught on a squad car camera attempting to destroy cocaine that he had hidden in the folds of his belly fat.

Luckily, He Wasn’t Asked to Define “Amendment” or It Might’ve Gotten Really Embarrassing

During a legislative budget debate, state representative Briscoe Cain withdrew his proposed amendment to end an advisory council on palliative care after he was unable to explain to a colleague what palliative care is.

With a Legal Mind Like That, It’s Good That He Wears a Helmet

After Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott pulled down a woman’s shirt during a St. Patrick’s Day parade, exposing one of her breasts to onlookers, he argued at an arbitration hearing that his actions were acceptable because she slept with him later that night.

With the Right Grilling, Even the Most Seasoned Criminal Can’t Skirt Justice Forever

Gilberto Escamilla was arrested for felony theft after his bosses at the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department discovered that over the course of more than nine years he had ordered and taken deliveries of $1.2 million worth of fajita meat, which he then resold for his own personal profit. Suspicions were aroused when Escamilla took a day off to go to the doctor and one of his colleagues answered a phone call from the department’s meat vendor to confirm the delivery of 800 pounds of fajita meat—which seemed odd, given that the department’s kitchen doesn’t serve fajitas.

It Took Hours Just to Get That Perfect “Get Me the Hell Out of Here” Look in Her Eyes

A Cypress woman underwent nine plastic surgery procedures in one day in hopes of looking more like First Lady Melania Trump.

Ride Goeth Before a Fall

Dallas assistant district attorney Jody Warner was fired after the release of a video made by an Uber driver of Warner going on a drunken, profanity-laced rant, at one point saying, “I’m an assistant district attorney, so shut the f— up.”

The Charge Was First-Degree Robes Rage

Corpus Christi district court judge Guy Williams was indicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after a woman alleged that he tried to drive her off the road and then pointed a gun at her.

Don’t Feel Bad, Son. Your Plan Was So Dumb That You Probably Still Would’ve Been Caught Even If You Hadn’t Totally Screwed It Up

A man allegedly approached a cashier at an Austin Goodwill store, asked for change for a $5 bill, then pulled a knife and grabbed for the open cash drawer, before running off not only empty-handed but minus his own $5. The cashier was able to identify the suspect because she said he was a former store employee whom she had trained.

“I’m Letting Me Go With Just a Warning This Time”

A man who had reportedly been shaking down motorists in Live Oak County by posing as a cop was forced to flee empty-handed when he allegedly pulled over an off-duty San Antonio policeman, who got suspicious when the man accused him of speeding, then offered to accept payment for his fine immediately, in cash or by credit card.

And the Final Pay Envelope, Please . . .

A Channelview middle school teacher gave mock awards to students, including “Most Likely to Become a Terrorist” and “Most Likely to Blend In with White People.”

She’s So Competitive You Can’t Keep Pace With Her

A woman, apparently angered by a another singer’s performance at an Austin karaoke night, allegedly broke a bottle of hot sauce over her rival’s head.

“Benefiting Toyota of Rockwall’s Greediest Cases” Should’ve Been a Tip-Off

Toyota of Rockwall was deluged with negative online reviews after sponsoring a charity raffle to win a refurbished used Toyota Supra. The complaints arose when it was announced that the winner of the car was the wife of the dealership’s used-car manager.

What’d You Expect From One of Those Hotheaded Cubans?

After he hit a home run off of L.A. Dodgers pitcher and Japan native Yu Darvish during the World Series, TV cameras caught Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel in the dugout, pulling his eyes back as if to mock Yu’s ethnicity, while also apparently mouthing the word “Chinito,” a Latin American anti-Asian slur.

First Ever Case of Someone Getting Bailed In

A man who was attempting to bail his friend out of jail allegedly reached into his pocket for the cash and accidentally withdrew a bag of crystal meth as well. He was promptly arrested by Splendora police, who later wrote on Facebook, “An episode of the world’s dumbest criminal comes to Splendora.”

We’re Old Enough to Remember When a Simple “Hey, You Kids Get Off My Lawn!” Did the Trick

A Grapevine man fired several blasts from a shotgun to disperse a gathering of teens near his home, slightly injuring one teen and resulting in his arrest on charges of deadly conduct.

Still, It’s Probably the Best Place to Get an OLED Backlit 4K 65” Widescreen TV in an Emergency

After Hurricane Harvey, a Houston Best Buy started selling 24-packs of Dasani water for $42.96.

Well, Jerry, You Got That Part Right

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threatened to sue the NFL and some of his fellow team owners if commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract was renewed and then, when it became clear that few of his fellow owners supported him, walked back his threat in a letter that included the words “I know you are tired of hearing from me.”

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  • Prescott

    Some of these were almost as funny as the Bum Steer awards used to be, though the titles just don’t have the “zing” that the old awards had that often made me laugh out loud.

    And I suppose that if the Alamo Draft House had sponsored a “Men Only” movie, it would have gotten an award of its own. But since it was Women Only, the steer award goes to anyone that sees the irony in this.

    I think I will dig out some pre-2000 copies of TM January issues so I can laugh out loud again.