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April 2018

30 April 2018

For perpetrating more than nine years of fajita thievery, Texas's Gilberto Escamilla has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. The scale of the sentence is intended to match the scale of the crime: he stole over a million euros' worth of fajitas in this time, ordering them through the county juvenile detention centre where he works but delivering them to his own customers. The scheme - which he told the court had 'spun out of control' - came to light when the 53-year-old Escamilla had a sick day: co-workers were puzzled when a 360-kilo fajita delivery arrived, since the centre doesn't serve fajitas.

A teenager in Phoenix, Arizona, didn't want to attend church services on Easter. He asserted his desire to keep sleeping, so his mother, Sharron Dobbins, decided to assert her authority by means of a stun gun. The 17-year-old boy reported her to the police for child abuse, pointing to small bumps on his leg from where he'd been shocked. In response, Dobbins, 40, alleges that she did not actually shock him, just used the noise from the stun gun to wake her two recalcitrant sons. She is expected to appear in court soon.

Authorities in Guinea believe that there are at least 700 victims of a self-proclaimed healer who conned women into believing that her herbal concoctions had helped them become pregnant. Upon payment of roughly 2/3 of the country's average monthly wage, N'na Fanta Camara provided each apparently infertile women with a 'cure' that produced a bloated belly. Having been 'pregnant' for 12-16 months without deviating from their usual menstrual rhythm, some of the women disobeyed Camara's order not to see a physician. She has since been arrested.
While a police doctor reports that at least 47 of the victims are likely to suffer long-term health problems because of Camara, she maintains that she did nothing wrong - her methods work, though the final result of the pregnancy is in the hands of God.

A team of doctors at Russia's Ulyanovsk Hospital face prosecution for botching the final stages of an operation to remove an ovarian cyst. The doctors, led by senior physician Vladimir Demin, administered formaldehyde instead of saline solution. They then attempted to rectify the blunder by introducing 10 litres of saline solution to the patient's abdomen. When her condition worsened, 28-year-old Yekaterina Fedyaeva was taken to a hospital in Moscow for more advanced treatment. She woke from her coma briefly but ultimately ended up in need of further formaldehyde.

Monthly audits of phone calls to the emergency number in Texas revealed an unusually large number of short calls. It emerged that operator Crenshanda Williams, 44, had racked up thousands of under-20-second calls in her 1.5 years as a Houston 911 dispatcher, by hanging up on callers. In one case, involving a report of a robbery in which a shop-owner was killed, Williams was heard to sigh before ending the call.
As for the other side of the story, her attorney, Franklin Bynum, explained that she was 'going through a hard time in her life'. Williams has been sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months of probation.

In Columbia, South Carolina, twenty-something sisters Brittany and Tiara Jones decided that their 56-year-old neighbour was possessed and in need of an exorcism. Therefore, they kidnapped her and attempted to remove the demons themselves. The sisters are accused of holding her against her will and assaulting her with a cross. She was able to escape and get help from a less problematic neighbour. Brittany has been arrested, and Tiara is still at large.

A tip from a concerned patron to the manager of a gym in Saginaw Township, Michigan, led to the facility being evacuated and a bomb-sniffing dog being called in. Nothing was found. What led to this search, according to Police Chief Donald Pussehl, was the patron's search for a Wi-Fi connection: one of the options available was named 'Remote detonator'. No charges are expected.
In another case of evacuation, a library at Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology was cleared of more than 500 students and teachers because of a suspected gas leak. The origin of the smell turned out to be a durian rotting away in a cupboard. Staff with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade explained that the stench of 'turpentine and onions' had worked its way through the building via the air-conditioning system.

Florida's Lizzy Martinez, 17, decided to go without a bra one day. This is not against the Braden River High School dress code, but causing a distraction through one's manner of dress is. Therefore, school dean Violeta Velazquez summoned Martinez into her office and told her to don an undershirt in order to avoid other students' stares. She complied and was then asked to move around a bit, to test this solution to the problem. It was deemed inadequate, so the school nurse was called in, supplying four bandages, two to cover each nipple.
Martinez was left in tears, and the school district was left acknowledging that school officials, while within their rights, could have handled things better.

People living along a street in south Philadelphia were awakened by several loud booms in rapid succession. Their normal bin-emptying had gone awry. Thanks to what the bin man later described as some kind of mechanical malfunction, the sanitation lorry had laid waste to the row of cars parked along the street. For example, residents discovered an estate car atop the bonnet and windscreen of the Saab that had been parked next to it. Further investigation is in progress.

Some locals accused a theatre in Konstanz, Germany, of breaching the national ban on public display of Nazi symbols, because of its way of advertising an upcoming play about Hitler's early years. Theatre Konstanz asked that guests wear a Star of David in solidarity with the Nazis' victims but also offered a free ticket to anyone willing to wear a theatre-supplied swastika for the duration of the performance. The farce's director, Serdar Somuncu, says that the idea is to show how easily people can become corrupted and that the number of takers is surprising and frightening.
Prosecutors have rejected the claims that laws have been broken. since freedom of artistic expression must be honoured. Critics have responded by demanding a boycott of the 'tasteless' event. Mayor Andreas Osner stated: 'I wouldn't even like to imagine what could happen if people from the far right came to hijack the performance and used the play with the Nazi armbands for their own purposes.'

According to The Birmingham Mail, a man watching a film at the Star City entertainment complex's Vue Cinema dropped his mobile phone. The noteworthy part is what happened when he bent down to retrieve the device, which had fallen between two reclining Gold Class seats: the electronic foot rest of one of them lowered onto his head. His partner and then cinema staff attempted to free the panicking man. Rescuers eventually broke the foot rest free, but his troubles weren't over. He had gone into cardiac arrest and died in hospital a week later. Birmingham City Council are performing a health and safety investigation.

In Belmont County, Ohio, Kiana Wallace paid for clean urine to submit for a drugs test. Wallace, 24, didn't receive clean urine, though, and she therefore failed the drugs test. For providing a borrowed urine sample, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to attempted tampering with evidence.

A 37-year-old man in London, Ontario, wanted a stranger to rape his estranged wife, so that he could then arrive on the scene, seemingly rescue her, and rekindle the relationship. To this end, he created a profile under her name on dating sites, in which 'she' described rape fantasies. He continued the scheme by luring an agreeable man to her address via text messages appearing to be from her. The plan went awry when the woman's screams attracted neighbours to her home, at which point the would-be inadvertent rapist ceased his attacks and pulled out his mobile phone to display the text messages, photos, etc. he'd received. At this point, the husband emerged from hiding and snatched the phone, breaking it in half in a futile attempt to destroy evidence. He fled but was captured, and Justice Ian Leach has now sentenced him to five years in jail. The other man was deemed to have been acting in good faith and shown due diligence, so he faces no charges.

Officers minding their own business at a New York metro station in Brooklyn noticed a man vandalising the surroundings by tearing down posters. They couldn't help but notice that he bore a striking resemblance to the photo on those posters, of a man wanted for masturbating on a metro train. Kosta Kolaci, 61, has been arrested and charged with public lewdness.

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