Joseph Pointer of Lakeland, Florida was arrested on Thursday after he allegedly stole his ex-girlfriend’s sister’s ashes and threatened to snort them. Pointer was booked into Polk County Jail on charges of grand theft, where he remains incarcerated in lieu of paying $1,000 bail bond. It is not clear whether Mr. Pointer has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
According to the arrest report, the incident occurred on Wednesday, when Pointer allegedly stole Melissa Williamson’s ashes from her sister, Angela Speakman. Williamson had died in a car accident in 2008. Details on the crash are not available, and it is not known how old Williamson was when she died.
The affidavit indicates that Pointer and Speakman had lived together at Pointer’s residence for a short time in April, but they are not believed to still be in a relationship. It is not clear what incited the theft or what the circumstances surrounding the incident were. It is also not entirely clear where the alleged theft took place; Speakman told authorities that she and her parents took turns keeping Williamson’s urn at their respective residences.
After the theft, Pointer allegedly drove past Speakman’s mother’s home, holding the urn and yelling, “I’ve got your dead daughter’s ashes and I’m going to snort them.” The family subsequently contacted authorities, and Pointer was apprehended without incident. It is not clear where the arrest took place, nor is it clear whether Williamson’s remains have been safely recovered.
This is not the first time human ashes have been stolen. International reports of burglaries of urns or jewelry containing human ashes are fairly common. Some speculate that this is partially because some burglars mistake urns for jewelry boxes, and take jewelry containing ashes simply for their monetary value without knowing about the contents therein. In some cases, such as the one at hand, human ashes are targeted by acquaintances of the victim for revenge or other purposes, though such cases are not as common as the former.
Pointer was not the only South Florida resident to be arrested under unusual circumstances recently. Another South Florida resident, 28-year-old Jenson Bolla-Sosa of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested on Sunday after he was allegedly caught having sex with his dog. Bolla-Sosa was booked at Broward County Jail on charges of resisting arrest without violence, animal cruelty, and knowingly engaging in sexual contact with an animal.
Bolla-Sosa, Guatemala national, is also on immigration hold. He remains incarcerated in lieu of paying $12,500 bond. It is not clear whether he has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
According to the arrest report, a witness told police that Bolla-Sosa penetrated the dog’s ‘backside’ with his penis, and that the dog appeared to be in pain. The witness told officials that they took the dog away from Bolla-Sosa. Mimi, whose breed is not known, is believed to be in the care of Bolla-Sosa’s family. It is not clear whether the witness is in Bolla-Sosa’s family or was a random passerby. It is similarly unclear where the alleged attack took place.