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August 2018


5 August 2018

Florida man Earle Stevens Jr. knew that drinking while driving is a no-no. So why did he hit the vehicle in front of him at a Vero Beach McDonald's drive-through several times, thereby prompting its driver to summon the police? The 69-year-old Stevens explained to officers that he hadn't been drinking from his brown-paper-bagged bottle of Jim Beam bourbon while driving. According to his arrest report, he explained that he took a swig 'only when he stopped for stop signs and traffic signals' on his journey of 65+ kilometres. Although he felt 'pretty good', Stevens failed field sobriety tests and a breath test. He has been arrested, but there is no risk of his driving licence being revoked. He doesn't have one.

In the 'Do not go gentle into that good night' department sits Arizona's Anna Mae Blessing, who spent a few days contemplating her 72-year-old son's resolution to send her to a care home. With a handgun in a robe pocket, she visited the bedroom he shared with his girlfriend. She fatally shot him and then turned the weapon on the girlfriend, who wrested it from her grasp and discarded it. Blessing then produced a second 1970s revolver, from her other robe pocket, and that too was confiscated.
Blessing, 92, sat in a reclining chair and waited for Maricopa County sheriff's officers to arrive. As she was being led away, she had this parting shot for her son: 'You took my life, so I'm taking yours'. She told officers that she'd had planned to kill herself too, adding that she deserves to be 'put to sleep' for first-degree murder.

Meanwhile, Florida brings us a story of someone who _didn't_ want a loved one to leave. In the town of Clearwater, 67-year-old Colin Lee Showard was engaged in an argument with girlfriend Crystal Grimes, who was in his car. To prevent her from driving off without at least hearing him out, he got into a forklift truck and pinned the car against a bus. Grimes suffered a back injury, and Showard faces a charge of aggravated battery.

Jack, who pointed me toward the next story, offered 'See what you get for going to Walmart?'.
Whitney Leigh McWhite and her ex were having words about her sport utility vehicle's car radio in the Greer, South Carolina, Walmart's car park. He decided to find his own way home so opened the back of the SUV to remove his bags. At least five onlookers saw her clobber him in the head with a tyre iron and pack him into the boot, where he probably couldn't hear the radio, let alone touch its controls, as she drove off. McWhite hadn't made it far before the police stopped her. She helped to free her ex but maintained that no physical assault had taken place.
Among the charges against her are kidnapping, driving under a suspended licence, and using a licence plate on the wrong vehicle.

Allegedly, Preston Smith rang his brother 'under duress' to relay a kidnapper's demands for $2,000 to secure his release. The ransom money was to be brought to a local West Virginia Sheetz convenience store. Smith's brother didn't pay up: he rang the sheriff's department, whose officers converged on the location, where they found a captorless Smith waiting for money to arrive. Smith, 24, was soon deprived of his liberty for real and is being held on $10,000 bond on charges of conspiracy.

A Pulaski, New York, man woke with a start when a snake fell on him from his bedroom ceiling. The state Department of Environmental Conservation's Matt Foster determined that this two-metre-long creature was a red-tailed boa constrictor that had escaped from its enclosure in the flat above his. The boa constrictor was returned to its owner.

In another tale of falling things, a 19-year-old man was hit in the head by one of the pins that are used to attach numerals to a manually updated scoreboard at Chicago's Wrigley Field during a baseball game. Chicago Cubs spokesman Julian Green said that it isn't yet clear whether the 15-20 cm pin was dislodged or instead a worker dropped it. He explained that the man, who received five staples to close a resulting cut, might well have suffered much greater injury if he hadn't been wearing a plastic bucket on his head.

Kahali Johnson says that he was investigating an alarm sounding at his New Jersey home when the stench of vehicle exhaust led him to the running vehicle in the garage and the corpse of his partner of 13 years, one Tamika or Tameka Hargrave, and of her 56-year-old mechanic. He rang the emergency services, who believe the deaths to have been accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The Newark police have neither confirmed nor denied reports cited by local media that 'law enforcement sources' believe Hargrave to have been paying for car repairs via sex at the time of her death.
Johnson puts the blame on owners who didn't have adequate alarm systems in place. Echoing this, Hargrave's daughter Khalisha stated: 'They have cameras and stuff. Why can't they get smoke detectors?'

Rye Daniel Wardlaw rang the emergency services at about 4am to report that he was 'stuck' in an escape-room business in Vancouver, Oregon. He claimed that he had headed there in a panic when someone started breaking into his house 'an old folks' home', but it was Wardlaw himself who was doing the burgling, after having found some keys in a lockbox near the business.
Wardlaw eventually found his way out of NW Escape Experience, shortly before responding officers with the Clark County Sheriff's Office saw him in the vicinity. The 40-year-old homeless man, who initially denied having been anywhere near the escape-room business, is being charged with second-degree burglary - he took a beer from the business's fridge, a television remote control, and the mobile phone he had used to ring 911.

A 13-year-old boy in China's Heilongjiang province decided to insert a USB cable into his urethra, removing the USB connector first to avoid trouble. Trouble found him anyway - about 10 cm of cable became scrunched up in his bladder, and he was unable to remove it. Staff at a local hospital in Linkou fared similarly: they couldn't solve the problem via lubrication. A day later, the boy, in intense pain by this point, was transferred to another hospital, whose urologist Dr Xu Liyan reports that surgeons there cut off the knotted portion within his bladder before pulling the remaining portion from his urethra. The boy spent two weeks recovering in hospital and answering questions about his 'curiosity' about his genitals.

Hastings, Michigan, police officer Cleon Brown is upset about the results from DNA testing he received through an ancestry.com service. The results in question are his colleagues' responses to the revelation that he is '18-33% sub-Saharan African'. Brown, who is white, says that he was upset by racial taunts such as colleagues whispering 'Black Lives Matter' in his presence. He described responding 'I cannot believe you just called me that' after the police chief addressed him as Kunta.
He sued the city for $500,000 on account of this 'straight-up racism' and was placed on paid administrative leave until 31 October. City officials, who argued that Brown himself had taken part in the jokes (e.g., 'the 18% is all in my pants'), stated that it has chosen to have insurers pay out a $65,000 settlement merely to avoid further disruption.

Eric Stagno entered a gym in Plaistow, New Hampshire, and started performing exercises on a yoga mat. He was soon arrested, because of stripping off all his clothes first. The 34-year-old Haverhill, Massachusetts, man objected to his arrest, explaining to officers that the Planet Fitness facility in question is signposted as a 'Judgement Free Zone'. Stagno has been charged with indecent exposure, lewdness, and disorderly conduct. It is unclear whether his yoga moves were particularly disorderly.


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