A History Of (Hair-Related) Violence


Back in the day, people were knocked off in restaurants. But that was then — now, it’s all about salons and barber shops. In recent months, it seems not a week goes by without some hair-related crime going down.

October 24, 2010:
A robber holds up a Brooklyn beauty salon. Luckily, an off-duty cop is on the premises having her hair done; in the shootoff that ensues, Feris Jones dodges three bullets before shooting the gun out of the robber’s hand. Jones is later commended by the commissioner.

December 30, 2010: A man is shot “Execution-style” in the of the Rob NG Cutz barber shop in Queens.

March 9, 2011: A Brooklyn family feud comes to a tragic head when Carmelo Calabro, 77, “a tough old ex-boxer and former firefighter infamous for his short fuse and routine bouts of rage” marches into a barber shop where a young neighbor is having his hair cut, brandishing a gun. The neighbor, Michael Mininni, pulls a service weapon and Calabro is killed in the ensuing violence.

March 9, 2011: Mid-haircut, David Davis, a Connecticut man grabs a pair of scissors and stabs another man in the back. Victim is okay. “A police mug shot shows Davis with thick hair sticking up from only one side of his head.”

March 21, 2011:
A Michigan woman was assaulted after leaving a hair salon. “The victim was having her hair done when she noticed a 39-year-old female suspect watching her, police said. After the victim left, she was confronted by a 22-year-old female and a 19-year-old female, according to police reports.” They messed up her car, but the victim was released without serious injury.

April 6, 2011: Tennessee cops are looking for two women who “stole expensive hair extensions and shocked a cashier with a stun gun during Tuesday’s afternoon robbery at Hair World Beauty Supply.”

Why hair? Why now? Coincidence? Trend? Barber shops were traditionally places of community; maybe there’s a flip side to everything — at least everything that involves large groups of people hanging out. Then too, in the past few years, we’ve been treated to a plethora of reality TV highlighting the inherent drama of hairdressing: with tensions running this high, maybe we’ve come to think of salons as places where things go down. Or, just maybe, you know you’ve got an assailant at an advantage when he or she is wearing a plastic smock with their guard down. After all, are you ever more fully at someone’s mercy?

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