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1990: A Retrospective : Overblown Stories

January 01, 1991

It had all the makings of an all-too-familiar hostage drama.

Two alleged robbers of a La Verne clothing store run into a McDonald's to evade the cops. The restaurant, teeming with customers and employees, is surrounded by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's SWAT team. The stalemate lasts 6 1/2 hours, with the cops poised for action and TV news crews broadcasting live from the scene. Only thing is, the suspect inside never drew a gun, threatened anyone or forced them to remain inside. Instead, he remained on the floor with the customers and played tick-tack-toe with children. What's more, his behavior was captured on the restaurant's security camera.

Consequently, no hostage-taking charges were filed by the district attorney's office.

Other overblown stories of 1990 included blowhard-billionaire turned blowhard-millionaire Donald Trump's plan to build the nation's tallest building on the site of the Ambassador Hotel; and the Los Angeles Raiders once-pending move to Oakland, Sacramento, Irwindale or any other community allegedly willing to take them.

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