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August 2013

21 August 2013

Alongside the usual 911 calls for things as trivial as a need for a pen, we have a Deltona, Florida, woman's call. She reported that her son wouldn't stop keeping an alligator in the family's bathtub. The son, 45-year-old Sean Lewis, explained to authorities that he had been looking after the creature for a friend who had failed to show up to collect it as promised. Lewis was arrested for intentional possession of an alligator.

Parking-meter mechanic James Bagarozzo spent the first half of every work day collecting money from 70-75 meters in Buffalo, New York - for himself. Instead of fixing parking meters, he broke them in a manner that kept the money on top rather than letting it enter the collection cannister. He later scooped the money out with his hands. He visited the bank during his lunch hour.
Bagarozzo got away with this for eight years, in which time he stole around 840,000 quarters. He has now been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

When cleaning out his flat in Manhattan, playwright Ethan Fishbane threw away props from a play he'd directed in New York, and a building superintendent noticed. The play was called American Suicide Bomber Association, the prop was a fake bomb, and the result was a visit from a bomb squad. Fishbane later commented that he hadn't been thinking and that the officers' response was 'wholly appropriate'.

An extreme backyard sport has claimed another life: in Panguitch, Utah, nine-year-old Oaklee Sidwell was playing on a trampoline when she sat down to put her shoes on. A large gust of wind lifted the anchored trampoline from the ground - sending it, and Sidwell, about 50 metres. She died of her injuries while being treated at a Salt Lake City hospital.

Bobby Ray Carter, 51, joined the band on the stage at a bar in Krabi, Thailand, and began singing along, which the bar allows. However, the musicians became upset that Carter wouldn't stop singing, even when the band took a break. Carter demanded the return of the tip he'd given the musicians, and then he and his son engaged the band members in a fight outside the bar. The three musicians stabbed Carter. He died on his way to hospital, at around 3am, and the band have been arrested.

When Denver's Francis Freemyer prescribed skin-cancer salve for one of his patients, that patient's neighbour used the remaining salve to treat a foot infection, then visited Freemyer's clinic for further treatment. Freemyer, a 70-year-old veterinarian, later explained that 'I said: "Hell, I don't treat people, but you've already put [the neighbour dog's salve] on there', so he wrapped the man's wound, accepted payment, and sent him on his way. Later, an area medical centre issued this statement about the human patient: 'Ultimately, the patient required surgery to remove three toes due to a lack of proper medical care.' Freemyer was ticketed for 'unauthorized practices'.

The Los Angeles Times reports on a little extra service that Orange County Deputy Juan Tavera allegedly provided to a 19-year-old man stopped for a traffic violation. Tavera is accused of adding a topping to the pizza in the car's back seat when no-one was looking: a dose of pepper spray. When the teenager returned home and shared the pizza with four friends, all five fell ill. The young man recalled his encounter with Tavera, and the latter has been charged with misdemeanour assault or battery by a public officer. He faces up to a year in jail and has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Nikolai Kupriakov has accused police in Quebec of attempting to censor his artistic expression. He refers to a portrait of a Superior Court judge that he was painting outside the Montreal courthouse, with faeces as his painting medium.
The painting was intended as a protest of the judge's dismissal of Kupriakov's lawsuit against the province's ministry of culture. The alleged censorship attempt was a letter from police that asked him to undergo mental-health examinations as part of a review of the licence for his firearms.

The Concord, New Hampshire, Police Department report that a 63-year-old man awoke with a bang. He had heard a gunshot, perhaps because he'd just shot himself in the knee while sleepwalking. The man, who explained that he had been having a nightmare at the time, will not be charged, because it was an accident. He was admitted to hospital with serious injuries.

Text messages lead authorities to believe that Florida's Michael and Tracy Arnold had just had an argument when Michael, 36, left the marital home without her, on his all-terrain vehicle. A short while later, the 40-year-old Tracy headed out on her dirt bike to look for him. They ended up in a nearly head-on collision on a nearby road, and both died at the scene of the accident. Neither was wearing a helmet.

Two law professors in Ohio are 17 years into their divorce proceedings. Much of the case file, which has racked up more than 1,400 entries thus far, has to do with the custody of their two children, the younger of whom is just about to reach adulthood.
During one of the many hearings involved, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz said: 'It is frightening to this court that either is teaching current law students the boundaries and ethics of our profession.'
The marriage of Christo Lassiter and Sharlene Boltz lasted seven years less than the legal battle has so far.

It can be inconvenient when the stall door in a public convenience is without a functioning lock. A 19-year-old man from Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, found this out when Michael Sprung walked in on him sitting backward and fully clothed on such a commode. The young man had apparently been trying to break up marijuana on a $100 note. Noticing that he was no longer alone, he turned, saw Officer Sprung in uniform, and fumbled as he attempted to hide the drug behind the porcelain fixture. A charge of drug possession resulted.

Russian media report on a physician in Bogotol, in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region, who was tasked with removing capsules of heroin from the stomach of a drug smuggler who had become ill during a train journey. The physician, reported to be a 32-year-old man with convictions for drug possession, allegedly helped himself, stashing five grams of the heroin on his person. Police reported: 'At the moment of his arrest, the doctor was in a state of drug intoxication', while the drug mule remained in a coma. The physician, who was not named, faces up to 15 years in prison for theft and possession of the drug.

A 30-year-old man looked dodgy when he entered a Wells Fargo bank branch in Everett, Washington: he had a shirt over the bottom of his face and paint on the upper part of it. So passers-by rang the police, and at least half a dozen people began chasing the man when he left the bank with a wicker basket full of cash.
While trying to evade his pursuers, the man ran into the back of a truck. This caused him to drop the basket, whereupon several people tackled him. Police spokesman Aaron Snell says that the man was examined to hospital for minor injuries before being taken to jail.

Ohio's First National Bank of Wellston are blaming a 'bad GPS navigator' for their repossession of the wrong house. While Katie Barnett was on holiday with her family, her possessions were removed from her house in the town of McArthur, and the locks were changed.
She wants $18,000 for the now-destroyed items, while the bank wants to see receipts for everything, explaining that her list of items doesn't match their records of what was removed.

A man in western Ohio ordered a gun-storage safe from Utah's Champion Safe Company. When the safe arrived, it contained 130 kilos of marijuana, tightly wrapped in 10 bales. The steel safe had been manufactured in Nogales, Mexico, and arrived in Utah by truck. Opining 'it's a pretty decent way of smuggling', Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart reported that the driver who'd brought the shipment from Mexico has vanished.

Davey Orgill is a wedding photographer who wanted a Wyoming couple to have some unique memories, thanks to a remote-controlled helicopter equipped with a GoPro camera. Guests' videos of the pre-wedding photo shoot feature Orgill's DJI Phantom Quadcopter hitting the bridegroom-to-be in the face. He was left with a cut on his cheek and the side of his head.
Orgill concludes: 'I did practice a lot, probably not enough.'

In April, Miami police gave Alex Mesa a ticket for obstructing traffic by jogging backward. A judge has now dismissed the case and told Mesa that he is free to continue jogging backward as long as he does so only in designated bicycle lanes. Mesa had explained to the judge that jogging backward puts less strain on his body and that he had felt afraid to exercise since getting ticketed: 'Every time I went jogging, it felt like I was [...] sneaking out and doing something wrong and that was an uncomfortable feeling.'

Finally, Detroit's Joseph Hardman, 40, suffered a heart attack while in an ambulance. The unusual part is that Hardman, a paramedic, was performing CPR on a heart-attack victim at the time. The patient survived, and Hardman dropped him off before signing in to the emergency room himself. Union representative Joe Barney reports that friend Hardman, who 'nearly died' before undergoing surgery, is 'laying [sic] three beds over from the guy he brought into the hospital'.

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© 2013 Anna Shefl