- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 15, 2005

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (AP) — Making out with palm trees. Mistaking police cars for taxicabs. Rolling a stolen restaurant barbecue down the road with flames shooting up from the chicken still cooking on the grill.

Such spring-break high jinks have made Municipal Judge David Colwell’s courtroom one of the best shows in town. Now Judge Colwell has collected some of the memorable anecdotes from the past nine years in a new book, “Spring Break: A Judge’s View From the Bench,” being sold at local bookstores.

The anecdotes in the 98-page book are mostly humorous accounts of public intoxication and the silly excuses defendants give.

“My primary rule is if I have to sit up there all day, by God, they have an obligation to entertain me,” said the 60-year-old judge.

His sense of humor is not always apparent to spring breakers, like the New York student who pleaded guilty to indecent exposure and asked what the punishment would be. The judge writes: “I said: ‘This is Texas. — We have a tree out back, and we’re going to hang you.’ The defendant turned pale. Being from [New York], with tales of the Old West in his head, he actually believed me.”

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