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April 2010

28 April 2010

In Stevens Point, Wisconsin, we have Paula Wolf, who went on a shooting spree and has been charged with recklessly endangering safety. Her weapon of choice was a blow gun, which she used to shoot at least four pedestrians from a van. Also found in the van were a slingshot and a bucket of rocks. Wolf, 41, allegedly explained to an officer that she 'liked to hear people say "ouch!"'.

Police in Madison, Wisconsin, report that 56-year-old Nina Bell found a large pile of dog faeces on the walkway in front of her house and decided that the culprit must have been her neighbour's dog and not her own. So she collected the pile and deposited it on neighbour Arnessa Battles's steps. Soon, each women had shovelled up piles of dog leavings, smeared dog poo on the other's car windscreen, and flung shovels full of the material on the other's garden and clothes. When the police arrived, the women were squaring off, swinging miniature shovels at each other.
Both of the women, who were cited for disorderly conduct, promised to let their dogs defecate only on their owner's lawn.

A woman in Korbach, Germany, heard someone climbing her balcony so summoned the police. According to police spokesman Volker Koenig, officers apprehended the man, who was carrying flowers and a bottle of wine, and ascertained that he was the woman's boyfriend. They also found that he was wanted on an outstanding warrant. He offered the wine as a gift to the officers who took him to jail.

Jason Botos, a 30-year-old man from Papillion, Nebraska, had to face charges of driving while intoxicated in connection with a collision with five other vehicles. However, he needed a stiff drink before heading to court, or perhaps a few stiff drinks. After driving a heavily intoxicated Botos to the courthouse, his father asked deputies to remove him from the vehicle. They were unable to get him to the courtroom, and he was arrested in the car park for failure to appear in court.

Also in Nebraska, a man took a truck for a test drive a few hours before the vehicle vanished from the dealer's lot in Lincoln. The man had taken a break from his test drive to have a duplicate key cut. The Red Star Auto dealer drove to the man's address and found the truck parked a few blocks away. The man, 39, has been jailed.

Russia has mounted an invasion of Georgia and killed that nation's president, according to a news report on Georgian television station Imedi. The report, which was labelled beforehand as a simulation indicating Russia's plans, used library footage to 'point out the security threats our country faces', according to station head Giorgi Arveladze. Regarding the public shock caused, he said: 'It was a miscalculation to think that the society would have perceived the broadcast adequately.'

A man flying from Krakow to East Midlands Airport won 10,000 UKP with a Ryanair scratchcard and asked the flight crew to give him the cash there and then. They explained that they didn't carry that kind of money on board the aircraft, whereupon the impatient passenger ate the winning card. Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said that other passengers had tried to persuade the man not to eat the ticket. The money is being donated to charity.

Mainichi Shimbun reports that 58-year-old Masako Iwase woke to her son asking her: 'Who cancelled the Internet?'. It was her husband who had terminated the family's ISP contract, but son Takayuki decided to stab her too with a kitchen knife. In total, he stabbed five members of his family, then set light to his futon. The 30-year-old Takayuki later told the police: 'I thought the house should be burnt down and I wanted to kill my family'.

Florida's Sylvester Jiles had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter. When let out early on probation, he worried that the victim's family would hunt him down, and he begged to be sent back to jail. Not finding the answer 'file a police report' satisfactory, he chose to break back into prison. The 25-year-old Jiles made it past one of the two barbed-wire fences and suffered deep cuts from the other. A judge has given him the maximum possible sentence, 15 years, for the attempted prison break-in.

Reuters reports that, twice in the space of about a month, thieves have broken into a prison in Hoorn, Holland, while the prisoners were away for home visits over the weekend. They stole the inmates' television sets from their cells. A justice ministry spokesman explained that it is unclear how the burglars gained access to the prison, which is a minimum-security facility for prisoners making the transition back into normal society.

Police in Garfield Heights, Ohio, say that a motorist who wished to avoid a traffic citation fled officers, leading them on a chase through several Cleveland suburbs at up to 145 km/h. The chase ended when the driver and passenger jumped a fence on foot. Their escape left them in the yard of the state women's prison. Both were arrested.

The port of Dover's police report from March describes an 'unusual telephone request for assistance'; a couple halfway to France on a ferry advised 'that they had forgotten that their elderly mother was still in their car that they had parked in the multi-storey car park ahead of their day trip'. Officers took care of the woman until her reunion with her family four hours later.

According to AFP reports, Pakistan's Dr Muneer Qadri, the head of a rural health centre, was caught using an ambulance for non-work-related purposes near the border with India. Police stopped the ambulance on the way from Kunjah market to Qadri's home in the village of Tanda. Inside was a cow tied to a metal bar. Local senior health official Mohammad Muneer Ahmad said that both Qadri and the driver of the ambulance have been suspended.

Manchester physician Sulieman Al Hourani was scheduled to remove a cyst from a patient's right testicle. The BBC reports that, while the assisting nurse turned away to fetch stitch materials, he cut off the testicle in its entirety. It has come to light that, among other things, he stole two boxes of medicine two months later and also had injected himself with a sedative meant for a patient. He later fled to Jordan, where he is practising medicine. He is being tried in England in absentia.

A Crestview, Florida, man sent a text message to lady-friend Jennifer Lovett to report that he wouldn't arrive home for a while. Lovett responded that she would wait for him at his home. She did not; she left early, after stealing his computer, camcorder, calculator, and leather bag. The next two text messages in the exchange were a demand for the return of these items and 'Good luck finding me'. Authorities arrested Lovett some time later, after she pawned the bag and computer, and she faces various charges.

Police officers have visited Walter and Rose Martin's home at least 50 times since 2002, searching for drug dealers, rape suspects, and others. The most recent search left the World War II veteran with worryingly high blood pressure, and the police promised to resolve the issue. They explained that the address had been used as a test case for a new computer system and that the Martins' 2007 report of their troubles had led to its removal from some but not all of the systems. Rose Martin, who wants a letter of apology, remains unconvinced that the problems are over.
The previous owner of the home said that he had left the area in 1997 because police and fire crews kept showing up. 'I always thought I was being targeted personally - and, to be honest with you, it freaks me out that it's happening again,' he said.

The North Carolina Medical Board has issued reprimands to Dr Dorrette Grant, who performed a caesarean section and then discovered that there was no baby inside. Also reprimanded was Dr Gerianne Geszler, who had diagnosed the patient as pregnant.

A group of students rented a limousine for their high-school prom in Jenks, Oklahoma. When they left the car, it drove off, with the driver still outside. Of the apparent carjacking, Galaxy Limo owner Jim Nicolotti said that the culprits were his bank and a repo man. Nicolotti said he had settled his differences with the bank but the bank hadn't told the repo company to cancel the job.

Charles Bystrack was sitting in his North Branford, Connecticut, home, when his coffee began to shake. Looking out the window, he saw an excavator sticking out of his garage. Later, the police explained what apparently had happened: a crew in a neighbouring field had turned on the machine to warm it up, but its movable windscreen fell in and hit the controls. After its 60-metre journey at walking speed, the excavator left the home's foundation damaged and internal walls cracked.

Pennsylvania police report that Ronald Washington rang Uniontown's Menallen Elementary School to ask whether his son had arrived at school yet. He explained that he needed to fetch something from the kindergartner's bag. School officials soon were talking to the police, explaining that they had found about four ounces of marijuana in the child's backpack. When the 33-year-old Washington arrived at the school, troopers arrested and jailed him.

According to AP reports, a German meat supplier made his daily delivery to a restaurant in Aachen. When told that the restaurant didn't have the 400 euros in cash, the man was unhappy, and an argument broke out in the kitchen. In the end, he took back the meat he'd delivered, including some that was marinating and steaks being arranged on the plate. That still didn't cover the bill, so he went into the dining room and repossessed steaks from 20 diners' plates. The police, arriving after the vendor had left, said they believed no offence had taken place.

Recovery agent Luke Ross entered Krystal Gardner's SUV to repossess it. The 28-year-old woman, aware that Texas law prohibits anyone from repossessing a vehicle when someone else is inside, threw her baby through an open window as Ross prepared to drive off. Ross said the one-year-old boy landed on the seat 'like a kid bouncing on a bed'. The police were called. The baby was removed, to be placed with his father. Then Ross drove off with the SUV.

Someone rang a Fairfield, Connecticut, bank to ask them to get a bag of money ready. The bank prepared in other ways also. When 27-year-old Albert Bailey and a minor arrived 10 minutes later to rob the bank, police officers met them in the car park. Police sergeant James Perez said that the suspects were 'not too bright'.

Quandria Bailey of Meriden, Connecticut, decided to ring emergency services to request a ride home from a nightclub. The dispatcher declined to send rescue units to help her. So she rang again, and again. She now faces charges of six counts of misuse of the 911 system.

Sheriff's deputies in Noble county, Indiana, were looking for a man who was wanted on methamphetamine-related charges. They thought he had given them the slip, but they then spotted his head sticking out of a tank beneath the floor of an outbuilding on the farm they were searching. The 52-year-old suspect had spent at least an hour in this liquid manure pit, coming down with hypothermia in the process. He clearly wasn't having a fun enough time, because, after being removed, he resisted officers and was shocked twice with a stun gun.

Trying to reach a diplomat from Sierra Leone, Zambia's ambassador to the UN dialled the wrong telephone number. Lazarous Kapambwe ended up causing a high-school student's mobile phone to ring during a history lesson, annoying teacher Robin Sweeney. Sweeney rang Kapambwe's number and spent 10 minutes trying to unravel the apparent prank call. In apology, Kapambwe has given a speech on Zambia at the school.

Essex's Paul Hutton, 40, explains that rebuilding a toy Barbie car was a project he undertook as an electrical engineering student alongside his son, who is on an automotive repairs course. Hutton said: 'When it was done, I couldn't resist the temptation to take it out' to show a neighbour who lives down the street. After squeezing himself into the vehicle and starting off, not quite reaching the vehicle's maximum speed of 6.4 km/h, he was stopped by the police. Yes, he was intoxicated at the time, and he was given a three-year driving ban. Hutton said that he felt like a complete twit.

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