So what is about the Blackberry in particular that makes it an attractive weapon the throw at people?
Rap singer Foxy Brown this week was arrested for smacking her neighbor upside the head with her Blackberry. The 27-year-old turned herself in to NYPD and was booked on felony assault, menacing, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon—the Blackberry. She was arraigned and released on $5,000 bail. Police said the two women got into a fight over Brown blasting her car stereo. According to police, the Blackberry did some damage: some lost teeth, and swollen lips and eye.
Scientific American said of the Foxy Brown story: Nice to know that 100,000 years of human history (not to mention billions of dollars worth of R & D on the part of Research in Motion) has done little to change our innate tendency to hurl small, hard objects.
Then we have supermodel Naomi Campbell who earlier this year plead guilty to misdemeanor assault for hitting her maid with a cell phone over a pair of missing jeans. Campbell told a judge in Manhattan Criminal Court: "I threw a cell phone in the apartment. The cell phone hit Anna." Campbell said it was an accident because she did not intend to hit her. Right. In exchange for her guilty plea, Campbell paid the maid’s medical expenses of $363, do five days of community service and attend an anger management class.
There have been other instances of celebrities throwing phones.
One of the most famous of course was Russell Crowe who in 2005 threw a fit and threw a phone that smashed the cheekbone of a concierge in a New York hotel, but that was a real phone and you could cause real damage with one of the hotel lobby phones.
Blackberry offenses have become so common that the CrackBerry site has a highly amusing guide to the belligerent uses of the Blackberry.
Of course Blackberries are relatively new to the technology assault weapon team. Cell phones are the king. Brad Pitt threw his cell phone once but didn’t hit anyone, apparently (there was no word of a multimillion dollar lawsuit anyway). So if you throw a cell phone and it doesn’t hit anyone is it news really? I guess if you are Brad it does.
Such obnoxious behavior is hardly limited to celebrities. Just this week A Plymouth Mass., teenager looking to replace her cell phone ended up under arrest. Police accused the 17-year-old woman of throwing a cell phone at a store employee at South Shore Wireless after a dispute about her plan. Samantha Sayce faces a charge of assault and battery with dangerous weapon: the cell phone.
Then there' this YouTube film of a purported professor getting so mad at a cell phone ringing in his class he throws it. I would be remiss not to mention singer Rick Frost’s “I threw my cell phone in the ocean today” song. A snippet of which you can hear here (if you love it you can buy it there too – I found the snippet to be plenty, thanks).
I should also note that smashing your Blackberry or cell phone upside somebody’s head isn’t the only way to destroy your mobile technology. Toilet drowning is the most common cause of cell phone death.
The thing is, this week everyone had a legitimate reason to throw their cell phone: if you were competing in the 2007 GoldenPalace.com U.K. Mobile Phone Throwing Championships that is. Chris Hughff won the contest by throwing a cell phone 312 feet, besting the former record of 311.5 feet set in 2005. Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Finland all hold national mobile phone throwing championships, so you might want to check one out if you feel the urge.
Anyway all of these nefarious actions have nothing on the former Telstra worker who last month thought way outside the cell throwing box and went right to a tank. The Australian man allegedly used a restored army tank to destroy six mobile phone towers on a rampage in Sydney in July. He would have knocked over seven but he stalled the tank and police nabbed him. The tank by the way is worth over $1 million confirming the notion that if people are pissed off enough they will destroy anything to make a point. This guy had an issue with cell phones and towers, friends said. No kidding.
Throwing Blackberries and smashing cell phones though is so passé. I say be different and throw and iPhone instead. I wonder when the first assault with an iPhone will happen? Inside the year I bet.