Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

All’s Bear in Love and War

Have you ever been so desperately in love that you just couldn’t handle it? Your heart, your brain and your body are going haywire, so you go into full-on fight or flight mode, call off your engagement and go live in a tree. But, in a twist straight from Queen’s under-appreciated 1991 hit “I Can’t Live With You,” you can’t stay away. You go back, and soon find yourself in an even greater state of confusion, unable to distinguish the tears caused by your broken heart from those caused by bear repellent.

When Christopher Hall, 31, of San Francisco met the woman of his dreams in a hackey sack circle, he got pulled, as if by a rip tide, into a romance that would soon leave him all banged up and facing prison time.

In a classic relationship “don’t,” Hall and his unidentified darling angel became engaged and moved in together after only two weeks. About a month after that, they broke up. A dejected Hall took his things and moved into a tree in a nearby park, but the tree, unlike the bed of his beloved, was cold and scratchy. He tried to go back, but she wasn’t home, so he curled up under some bushes and waited.

While Hall was trying to sleep al fresco, it appears his lady was rapidly moving on. Around 10 p.m., she returned home from the movies with a new beau, a combat trained Marine who probably would rather rip a phone book in half with his teeth than join a hackey sack circle.

Hearing noises outside, the Marine and ex-Mrs.Hall-to-be grabbed a frying pan and a knife, respectively, and went to investigate. That’s when the kerfuffle began. Hall allegedly grabbed the Marine, and the two engaged in 90 seconds of gentlemanly sparring on the ground. The Marine, well versed in disabling tree-dwelling brokenhearted hippies, held Hall in a headlock and instructed him to “take deep breaths and relax.”

Perhaps not satisfied with the amount of men fighting for her honor, the woman went to a neighbor, who, according to incredibly named Deputy Public Defender Phoenix Streets, “ran out of his house shirtless and armed with an aerosol can of bear repellant.” Though a substance designed to fend off bears seems like overkill for a man who couldn’t even make it til 10 o’clock in a tree, the neighbor sprayed Hall right in the face.

Hall, all out of options, and maybe all out of love, threw a rock at his former home sweet home and fled. He was arrested shortly after and hit with the heavy charges of assault and breaking and entering, which could have landed him in prison for seven years. A jury found him not guilty on both counts, however. The Marine was uninjured, and Hall had paid rent at the house, giving him a right to be there. He was found guilty of misdemeanor vandalism, a small price to pay for short dance with true love.

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