The Portland Tribune has a story today about a man the authorities call “Wyatt Perp” because he seems incapable of staying out of trouble. Read the following excerpt and ask yourself the question: how about we just give this dude a job?
Wyatt, 43 years old, an imposing 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, who used to be a welder and a machinist before drinking overtook his life, has been booked into Multnomah County jails 59 times on a total of 175 charges since 1987. Almost every one of the charges is a misdemeanor, ranging from trespassing to resisting arrest to interfering with public transportation. With that kind of history and with his own ideas of how the legal process should work, he clogs up judges’ and prosecutors’ time and resources. He never waives an appearance in court, attending all pretrial meetings — even the ones defendants traditionally do not — and files reams of handwritten motions when his lawyers do not serve him to his satisfaction. Only once has he pleaded guilty. He often defends himself and, more often, fires his court-appointed counsel — he has had at least 34 attorneys represent him in the last 19 years, as many as seven on a single case. On one recent case, in which he represented himself, he was drunk in court while cross-examining the cop who arrested him for drinking in public. No shortage of people who have dealt with him said Wyatt seems obsessed with and addicted to the legal process, the show of a trial and the legal intricacies that can mean the difference between jail and freedom.