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December 2003

9 December 2003

Finnish media report that Leena Pettinen has been charged with being intoxicated while at work. Pettinen, a judge who often rules in drunk driving cases, hosted a party in March, drinking 'several glasses' of vodka punch, cognac, wine, and beer. She heard four cases the next day, with colleagues suspecting that she was drunk, before she was given a breathalyser test. The result came in at three times the limit for legal intoxication. According to a recent report from the attorney general, she explained that 'the breathalyser test result was affected by the alcohol that was left in my mouth and which I did not have time to remove in the morning rush by brushing my teeth'. She could be fined or jailed for up to a year.

A Philadelphia woman left her one-year-old and three-year-old with child minder Lashawda Whitehead, explaining that the socks on her one-year-old's hands were there because she had burned the child with a cigarette lighter, causing two blisters to form. Whitehead later noticed that the three-year-old had burned hands. She removed the socks from the one-year-old's hands and found that 'all his fingers were burnt, every last one of them [...]. Before we got the sock all the way off, all you see is just bleeding and flesh'. The children are being placed in foster care.

In Forth Worth, Texas, Ignacio Romero accidentally dropped a crowbar into a tyre shredder, jamming the machinery. So he decided to jump in to collect the crowbar. He noticed the jam unexpectedly clear and his leg get cut off at mid-calf. He said that 'I was yelling at them to stop the machine but it caught my other leg', which was also severed. Romero's employer has established a fund to help pay his medical expenses.

Police in Clearwater, Florida, say that Kurt Gerard Walczak was angry because his father, Gerald, had criticised him about his weight. Kurt solved the problem by fetching a handgun from his bedroom and fatally shooting his 76-year-old father. Kurt, 173 cm tall and weighing 180 kilos, was on the front porch when officers arrived to arrest him.

A Springfield, Illinois, man has changed his name. At the age of 39, Raymond Allen Gray, Jr, has changed his name to Bubba Bubba Bubba. He explained that his father called him Buddy, which some children pronounced as if it were 'Bubby'. A co-worker at the secretary of state's office teasingly chided 'Bubba, Bubba, Bubba', and someone else mistakenly thought that was his name. He said that 'started me thinking: Well, let's just have it all the way through - Bubba Bubba Bubba - first, middle, and last'.

The BBC report that Dawn Auty was being taken to her wedding in Blackpool on a trike when her wedding gown became caught between the engine and the back wheels, perhaps because of high winds. An accident ensued. Ron Stewart of Lancashire Ambulance Service said: 'When the first paramedic crew arrived, the lady's legs were literally hanging by a thread.' Doctors arrived and cut the skin that was holding the 42-year-old bride-to-be's legs in place.
Auty, who is dying of cancer, lives 400 yards from the church where the wedding was supposed to occur.

Daniel Lee Hurst, a 33-year-old man from Moraine, Ohio, rang Montgomery County Juvenile Court to request a marriage licence. As his intended bride was under the normal age of consent for marriage and her mother was opposed to the proposed union, he was seeking special dispensation from the court. Hurst explained to the employee who took the call that he wanted a marriage because he had impregnated a 13-year-old girl. The employee notified the police, who arrested Hurst.
Officer Paul Guess said Hurst acknowledged that he knew what he was doing was wrong. The girl's family are friends of the unemployed Hurst, but it is unclear beyond that why they didn't contact the authorities when they learned of her pregnancy.

Marcus McLaurin, a seven-year-old from Lafayette, Florida, was required to repeatedly write 'I will never use the word "gay" in school again'. Apparently, the boy had been waiting to go outside for recess when a classmate asked him about his parents. He explained that he had two mothers because his mother is gay. When the other student asked what that meant, McLaurin had explained that 'gay is when a girl likes another girl'. A nearby teacher told McLaurin that 'gay' is a 'bad word' and sent him to the principal's office. He was forced to write the lines at a 6:45am behavioural clinic session the following week.

A flight from Atlanta to San Francisco was delayed for four hours after someone afixed a bumper sticker referring to terrorism and war on the side of the aircraft. AirTran Airways spokesman Tad Hutcheson said the sticker, whose content he would not describe, was a practical joke that a ground crew worker noticed after all passengers were on board. The captain, notified by radio, decided not to take off. All of the passengers underwent a second security screening, during which the identity of the prankster was revealed. No charges were pressed.

In Racine, Wisconsin, Michael J. Walker, 19, and an unidentified 16-year-old decided to collect some money. They approached a Salvation Army bell ringer and took his donation kettle. The 14-year-old bell ringer chased the pair across the car park. When he caught up with them, they beat him up. Police found a car with the prised-open kettle in the front seat. The car's owner, Alex McLane III, 17, admitted that he and the others split the money from the robbery. He had used his share to buy a compact disc and eat at McDonald's. The two adults could face up to 21 years in prison and $60,000 in fines.

Virldeen Redmon, a 74-year-old from Anderson, Indiana, has been arrested at least 400 times for driving while intoxicated. He was finally sentenced to 17 years in prison, following his July arrest for driving while intoxicated, under a lifetime licence suspension. Since his first arrest, in 1947, his driver's licence has been suspended for life five times.

Samuel Worlin Moore, a 26-year-old man from Long Beach, Mississippi, was sentenced to 12 years in prison (most of this suspended) for an attempted armed robbery. He had pleaded guilty rather than dispute evidence such as security camera footage and several witnesses' descriptions of his tattoos. These three tattoos include a picture of a gun on his neck and the words 'not guilty'.
Just before the robbery attempt, Moore had apparently purchased a soft drink at a nearby convenience store and returned a short while later to recover the $200 that he had left on the counter by accident.
His criminal history includes convictions of burglary and passing off baking soda as cocaine.

Two teenagers in Gainesville, Florida, are accused of placing several calls to a local woman and convincing her that they would kill her son unless she paid them $300 for his safe return. Detective Joe Senn said the pair had dialled a number at random and used information the woman was providing in order to convince her they had kidnapped her son. Senn said the cold reading exercise then 'got out of hand'. The police were unable to locate the woman's son so took the matter seriously. They arranged a sting operation in which they picked up the teenagers after they collected a parcel of fake ransom money. The son was later located, unharmed.

At an auction, Indianapolis's Dennis Cheatem purchased a repair van that had belonged to a cable-television company. Pretending to be a Bright House Networks employee, he then began approaching people with offers of free cable television. One of the people to whom he offered an illegal cable hook-up was an undercover police officer. He explained to authorities that he was providing cable service to needy families with children, but prosecutors contend that he charged for his services in at least one instance. In court, he argued that the cable company shouldn't have sold him the van. The 47-year-old Cheatem has pleaded guilty and agreed to appear in anti-cable-theft adverts for Bright House.

Perhaps Lorenzo Pilagatti should have known better. A 40-year-old construction worker, he used a backhoe to dig a three-metre-deep trench in his front lawn. He apparently wanted to illegally install a sewer pipe and connect to the sewer system rather than using his septic system. He didn't shore up the sides of the trench before climbing in. The Toronto Sun reports that the sides collapsed, trapping him up to his neck. Rescue workers spent several hours trying to save him, while his wife and eldest daughter watched, but a second collapse completely buried Pilagatti. He died.

A seven-year-old Swedish boy and his two friends built a cave in the sandbox in their Gustavberg schoolyard. The sand cave collapsed, trapping the boy inside. When recess ended, only two of the three emerged. The playground supervisor found the boy in a half-metre-deep depression in the sandbox, lying on his stomach and not moving. Principal Helena Weiss-Larsson told Expressen that 'it was an innocent game that ended in a very tragic accident'. The boy could not be revived.

India'a Amar Verma, described as a young delivery boy, had his marriage proposal granted by 18-year-old Ragini's father but only on the condition that he would wed her sister, 21-year-old Priti, too. Amar's sister, Aruna Devi said the family were 'shocked initially [...] but then realised the humanitarian aspect of the condition'. Priti lost her legs in childhood and had depended on her father and sister for more of her care. The legality of the small ceremony, held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, has been called into question because the Indu Marriage Act forbids polygamy; however, one lawyer says there will be no problems since no-one objected to the union and there is no second wife on account of the weddings being simultaneous. Verma explained that he had 'developed a liking for both' sisters.

New Zealand's ONE News reports that a 27-year-old Brisbane man was apparently left alone with a one-year-old boy, whose mother returned to find that the boy's genitalia had been severely injured. He is accused of trying to bite off the child's penis. Brisbane magistrate Liz Hall released the cabinet maker, whose name has not been released, on bail. He must report to police and avoid further contact with his alleged victim. He is accused of torture and grievous bodily harm.

In a follow-up on an earlier story, Ohio's Catherine Nicole Donkers - the woman who nursed her infant while driving on the Ohio Turnpike, has been sentenced to three months of house arrest for breaking child restraint laws. She was also fined $300. Donkers had argued that her husband ordered her by telephone to save time by nursing the girl while driving. She said she did nothing wrong because her religious beliefs require her to obey her husband.

Ohio's Dayton Daily News reports that 19-year-old John P. McMurray and three others removed the head from a corpse in a county mausoleum and then drove to his flat, where they displayed the head atop a mug he had created in shop class. McMurray later tossed the head off a bridge about 0.4 km from his flat. Arrested after he was already in jail for petty theft, he faces felony charges of gross abuse of a corpse, breaking and entering, possessing criminal tools, vandalism, and tampering with evidence. Preble County Sheriff Detective Dean Miller said McMurray had offered no explanation other than that 'he wanted to do something so freaky people wouldn't believe it'.

Japan's Mainichi Shimbun reports that junior high school principal Masahiko Matsuoka has admitted that he molested a 16-year-old former student. He first invited the boy to his condominium to help him with his studies, then later asked to examine his genital area, after which he told the student he had developed testicular cancer. The boy reportedly believed that the diagnosis was genuine, as Matsuoka had explained that he happened to be one of Japan's top experts in the field and could thus treat the youth. When the student later saw a doctor, he realised he has been fooled. His parents reported the man to the police.

According to a BBC report, 37-year-old Waynetta Nolan became upset when she was told that her order at a Houston McDonald's drive-through did not come with mayonnaise. She threw the burger back through the drive-through window and began to curse and shout. When manager Sherry Jenkins came outside to speak with her, she gave her a new burger, but Nolan complained that her fries had grown cold. She was given new fries. She then demanded a new drink and ran Jenkins over, dragging her across the car park. Jenkins suffered a broken pelvis. Judge Brock Thomas said to Nolan: 'I sure hope it was worth it, because you'll have 10 years to think about it.'
Nolan later said her foot slipped onto the accelerator when she leaned forward to put catsup on her fries. She added that she 'was going through a bad time in my life'.

In a rather horrible story, a woman from Pretoria, South Africa, was found guilty of being an accessory to repeated rape because she had not protected her 11-year-old daughter from her stepfather's advances, even when the girl begged her to do something. A social worker's report stated that the mother gave in to her husband's fantasies of taking the girl's virginity after months of nagging and threats to leave her for a woman who could meet his sexual demands. She comforted her daughter by saying that she too had been raped as a child and that it was 'not so bad'. The mother testified that she'd held down the girl's leg while her husband raped the girl, because she was trembling. Acting Judge M.P. Tsoka sentenced the 34-year-old woman to 17 years in prison.

The BBC report that a 21-year-old man was arrested after a hoax e-mail message he sent was traced. The message, sent to people across the UK, claimed that about 400 pounds would be withdrawn from their bank accounts to pay for a music player and provided a number that customers could call if they had any questions. The number provided was that of the main switchboard for the Cambridgeshire police. The switchboard was clogged with more than 500 calls an hour following the sending of the e-mail. The suspect, from St. Neot's, is still being questioned.

Penn State student Katherine Ibanez was one of seven people who were trapped in a dormitory lift that stopped between floors. The group forced the doors open rather than wait for help. Two students jumped out safely, but the 21-year-old Ibanez slipped and, on landing, fell backward into the open shaft, officials in Pennsylvania said. She fell about 12 metres and died.

A student at Louisiana's Parkway High School is in trouble. Several students were searched in response to a tip from a teacher about a student smoking at school. Among them was Amanda Stiles, in whose handbag a teacher found Advil pills. Of the over-the-counter pain relief pills, Stiles said she carries them because she gets headaches and thinks 'we're old enough to know how many we can take without overdosing or being in danger'. She has been expelled from the school as part of the system's zero-tolerance drugs policy. Her mother, Kelly Herpin, said: 'I'm not sure we could afford a private school. We've been looking at moving to another area.'

A Toronto woman who has been keen on various fads, including karate and Buddhism, sought psychotherapy from Dr Alan Abelsohn, 52. She is now complaining that the doctor used treatments such as 'sexual body scans' that involved lying on the floor of his office while masturbating and sexual 'rewiring' that allegedly featured Abelsohn standing next to her with his fingertips touching her more intimate areas and his allegedly erect penis pressing against her.
The doctor's notes bear out most of this but also seem to indicate that the 50-year-old mother of three might have become obsessed with him. The woman, whose identity is protected under law, appeared upset mostly that the doctor didn't respond to her advances with equivalent fervour to that she displayed in such acts as sending the doctor a microwave oven for his office and penning a letter beginning 'I had birds in my head guarding a frozen lake full of razor blades and shards of glass' and going on from there. He declined when she asked him him to make love to her, and he became angry when she gave a poem to a hotel staffer to deliver to him during a conference he was attending.

Oliver Sherwood was transporting a load of construction debris in his truck when he moved into the left lane to allow merging traffic onto the road more easily. Someone then pulled in front of him and came to a near standstill. Sherwood said he slammed on his brakes to avoid a collision. This apparently dissatisfied the other driver, who fired seven shots at Sherwood and his vehicle, then disappeared from sight. Tips from witnesses led to the arrest of Paul Anthony Palmer, 35, of Sheraden, Pennsylvania. Palmer is a ten-year veteran of the Pittsburgh police force.

Budapest's MEO art gallery contacted courier DHL to ask why the paintings forming the centrepiece of its art exhibition hadn't arrived yet. DHL explained that the paintings, 250,000 UKP worth of paintings by Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki, had been deemed pornographic and slated for destruction. Gallery director Julia Szocs said it took three days of negotiation to persuade the Hungarian branch of DHL to turn over the paintings, which feature female nudity, to gallery workers.

Police in South Tucson, Arizona, said Edward Sanders grabbed a Salvation Army donation pot held by 60-year-old volunteer Patricia Parra, whose cerebral palsy made chasing the 40-year-old Sanders impossible. As Sanders fled from the drugstore, he was struck by a vehicle. Police captured him. Police Sergeant Dan Snyder said the red pot and its $53.97 contents were returned to the Salvation Army.

Chance Copp is a 15-year-old from Chillicothe, Ohio, who was on probation for arson. He was worried that a court-ordered drugs test would indicate that he had been smoking marijuana, so he asked a male relative to provide him with a urine sample that he could use. The relative complied. The urine didn't test positive for marijuana but did indicate that its owner had used cocaine recently. Copp was ordered back into a juvenile detention centre after he admitted that he had tried to fake the drugs test.

22 December 2003

Two months ago, Mohamed Ali bin Hj Ibrahim was fined the equivalent of 5,000 UKP for smuggling alcohol into Brunei. The 39-year-old didn't have the money. His solution to the problem was to smuggle 700 cans of Tiger beer into Brunei for a Chinese trader. Suspicious Customs and Excise staff stopped him after a high-speed chase. They found the beer in a nearby bush.

David P. Baer, 59, entered the University Bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin, and asked for a map of Chicago. An employee asked him if he had enough money to pay for the map, which apparently annoyed Baer. So he emptied his bladder into his trousers and then removed all of his clothes. When police officers arrived, they ordered Baer to put his sodden clothes back on. He was given a ticket and has been charged with lewd and lascivious behaviour.

Cheryl Picker of Shoreham, New York, pulled over to call in to a radio talk show debate about the charges against Michael Jackson. Listeners heard her say that 'maybe those are the parents that are the paedophiles', then heard a loud crash. They then heard radio presenter Ron Kuby ask Picker if she was okay and heard a faint voice beg: 'Please call the cops.' Her sport utility vehicle had rolled over after being hit from behind. Calls from witnesses poured in at the radio station as Picker was taken to hospital. No charges have been filed against either her or John Apperson, who hit her. The radio host later said: 'The only thing that came close [in "reality radio" terms] was two hours I spent on the air talking a jumper down from the George Washington Bridge.'

The Mercury newspaper reports that Gregory Harland-White bought a Santa suit from a shop in a small town in Tasmania. Wielding two pieces of pipe that were taped together to look like a gun, he liberated AUS$ 13,451 from the nearby bank. He dumped the Santa suit in a nearby horse trailer and headed for his getaway bicycle, which was chained up a block or so away. He forgot to remove the large Santa trousers and was caught quickly. He has pleaded guilty to bank robbery and is awaiting sentencing.

Scotland's Edinburgh Park railway station cost 4.5 million pounds to build and will serve 5,000 people who work in Edinburgh's largest business and financial park. The designers and builders of the recently opened facility forgot to include toilets for either passengers or staff. Scottish National Party shadow transport minister Kenny MacAskill described this oversight as 'downright daft'. A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive said it was a matter for Edinburgh City Council. The council said ScotRail was dealing with the issue. Train operator ScotRail had no-one available to comment.

Alice Broom, an 82-year-old resident of Citra, Florida, was fatally attacked by several of her neighbour's pit bulls. The neighbour, Robert Freeman, found her lying outside her front door with her car door open and surrounded by the seven animals. 'They were chewing on her, all right', he later said. Other neighbours had contacted animal control officers about the pit bulls, but county authorities took no further action as no-one was willing to complain in writing. Freeman said he didn't know how the dogs had escaped from his mobile home. He acknowledged that they had bitten others before Broom.

With the help of his brothers, Pakistan's Mohammed Sajid, 19, poured acid over the face of his fiancee after a seemingly minor argument. Rabia Bibi, 17, lost both eyes as a result. In addition to a jail term for the three men involved, Judge Afzal Sharif ordered that Sajid be blinded by acid himself. The punishment is to be carried out by a doctor at a sports stadium. Police said an appeal is likely.

A Washington woman sent greeting cards to Joseph Van Cleave, an inmate at a federal prison. Kristina Landry, 23, was paid $150 to $200 for each of the cards, which were fashioned from methamphetamine-soaked paper. Van Cleave cut the paper into pieces, which he sold to others in the jail. An informant alerted authorities to the scheme.

The police in Eudora, Arkansas, report that 18-year-old Eugene Weston Junior and his cousin were trying to drown their pit bull because the dog was old and didn't want to participate in any more fights. Weston fell into the pit of water, which was inside an old cotton gin, and his cousin rang emergency services and fetched Weston's father. Eugene Weston Senior jumped into the oil-, dirt-, and water-filled pit. Both father and son drowned. The pit bull is unharmed.

According to the Washington Post, Larry Eastep planned to compete in a chilli cook-off in Terlingua, Texas. When he couldn't go, his brother went instead to enjoy the event. As Don Eastep sampled the entries in the competition, he placed a spoonful of each entry into a pot. He entered the resulting chilli in the competition and won. Cooks who hadn't seen Eastep cooking his chilli voiced their suspicions, and Don relinquished the trophy. Judge Tom Nall banned him from further competitions.

The New York Daily News reports that 21-month-old India Bryan was dancing at a Christmas party in Washington Heights when Novella Williams reached down to pick her up. Williams, who weighs 86 kilograms, fell on top of the child and crushed her. She later commented that 'I'm very sorry about what happened', but she still disputes that she could have fallen on the child. Bryan suffered internal bleeding and trauma to the brain. She later died at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

Four days after Ronald A. Mahner was released from Florida's Seminole County Jail, he returned to collect his belongings - clothing, shampoo, a dart board, and a battery charger. He provided his driver's licence as identification, and the computer indicated that it had been revoked for life. Deputy Teri Cresswell hadn't actually seen Mahner behind the wheel so told him to pull into the parking area in back. He did so, leaving the car in a no-parking area. He was arrested as he prepared to leave in the car, which had been reported stolen four days earlier.
Mahner's original sentence had been for drunken driving, auto theft and habitually driving with a suspended or revoked licence.

The Toronto Star reports that Brampton police believe 19-year-old Randy Robinson and another man robbed a taxi driver at gunpoint and fled the scene. Robinson apparently tried to put the handgun in his trousers, where he accidentally discharged it. He fell to the ground, and his accomplice fled the scene. Police arrived to find the fatally wounded Robinson on the ground. The taxi driver was unhurt.

Ashi Terfa, a traditional doctor in Benue state, Nigeria, used an anti-bullet charm on patient Umaa Akor. Police spokesperson Bode Fakeye said that the herbalist tied the charm around his own neck and insisted that Akor fire a gun at him to test its effectiveness. Shot in the head, the herbalist died instantly. Fakeye said the dead man's patient appeared in court but 'the motive to kill could not be established against the suspect'.

Mainichi Shimbun reports that Shinichi Kiyono unlocked a police vehicle with his own car key when he was drunk after a party. The 32-year-old Kiyono recounted that 'I mistook the vehicle [at the police station] for my own'. It was the same make and colour, but the models were different. Kiyono drove about two kilometres, pulled into a vacant lot, and fell asleep. When he awoke two hours later, at about 8:00am, he realised he was not in his own car and contacted the police, whereupon he was arrested on suspicion of theft.

Thomas A. Willow had been pastor of an Arlington, Ohio, church, for about three years when he was caught inside a church member's home without permission when he knew no-one would be home. A sheriff's investigation revealed that he had unlawfully entered two other homes of church members and then masturbated. In a sentencing hearing at Hancock County Common Pleas Court, he asked for forgiveness. He resigned as pastor as well. In court, one woman said she found Willow in her home but overlooked this because he was her pastor. She has since learned that Willow had entered her home about once a week over a two-year period. He apparently was guilty of a similar offence when living in Pennsylvania in the mid-’90s.

New Mexico's Raymond Hernandez tried to overturn his conviction of bank robbery by claiming that the crime was so poorly conceived and executed that it clearly demonstrated that he was drunk and thus had diminished responsibility for his actions. The 57-year-old's failed appeal stated that it was stupid for him to try to rob the same teller who had just refused to cash his cheque. State District Judge James Counts, who presided over the trial, said Hernandez presented no evidence of inebriation and that this is the reason he didn't instruct jurors that drunkenness can sometimes be a valid defence.

James Stissi, 36, stole digital camera equipment worth $2000 from a Centereach, New York, Wal-Mart at the end of November. Surveillance cameras showed only an unclear image of the shoplifter and the woman with him. However, he posed for a photo that the woman took with a chained demonstration camera. She didn't erase the photo. When the image was made public, tip lines were flooded with calls identifying Stissi as the thief. He was arrested and his mug shot taken without incident.

In Bakersfield, California, a 64-kilo man allegedly committed forcible sex acts on a 24-year-old prostitute. The woman, who weighs 125 kilos, wrested the knife from Adrian Castillo Ramirez's grasp, however, and, after asking other prostitutes how many of them had been forced to have sex by a man wielding a knife, paraded Ramirez in front of them. She then decided to take the naked would-be rapist to the police station.
He had been convicted of four counts of rape in 1988 but failed to register as a sex offender. He was also charged in connection with another incident involving forcible sex acts.

In Naples, Florida, two men in black apparently robbed a jewellery store, hid in some bushes while the gated community was being searched by helicopters and dogs, and then hopped into the getaway car. However, they left the vehicle in haste when they noticed that the driver was wearing a badge. The driver, Collier County Sheriff's Sergeant Robert Maxfield, caught up with one of the men, 45-year-old Dale McClain. The other man and the jewellery have not been found.

Janice Meissner ordered a bagel and Diet Coke at a McDonald's drive-through in Weston, Florida. She noticed that the bag of food seemed 'super-heavy' so immediately opened it - to find hundreds or thousands of dollars in a plastic bag. Meissner remarked later that, athough 'there was the "good angel, bad angel" thing', she quickly backed up to the window and 'said "Do you want to know what was in this bag?". She turned white as a ghost'.
McDonald's officials said the money was placed in a food bag for security - so it could be delivered more safely to the bank for deposit. 'Someone didn't check twice before sending it out the window, obviously', concluded Beth Plotkin, in charge of McDonald's marketing in Florida.

George Poldrugovaz of Copiague, New York, didn't come back from work Monday night. A 60-year-old electrician who had worked for nearly 20 years for a Macy's department store, he often worked night shifts and weekends. But his partner, Theresa Pignatelli, began to worry on Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, the store called to ask why he wasn't at work - despite his car remaining in the store's car park and his not having punched out. Poldrugovaz was found later in the day in the ceiling in the foyer, where he had apparently been electrocuted early on Monday.

Wilbert Boswell allegedly held up a Payless ShoeSource outlet in Farmington Hills, Michigan, at gunpoint. He made off with $85 but dropped his mobile phone in the car park. Police Chief William Dwyer said Boswell's home telephone number was stored on the mobile. While staking out his house, officers rang Boswell at home to tell him that his phone had been found and could be collected at the police station. He apparently disguised himself and then went to the wrong office, the Public Safety Department. He was arrested anyway. Dwyer said Boswell, who has an extensive criminal record, 'obviously made a lot of errors'.

An 18-year-old Pennsylvania woman is being charged with trying to rob a neighbour's home. Angela L. Jackson, who is eight months pregnant, allegedly demanded a resident's handbag at putty-knife-point. A scuffle ensued, in which Jackson was hit lightly with a hammer and fled. She was quickly apprehended. The apparent crime occurred while Jackson awaited trial for robbery of a convenience store, in which her weapon was an ice cream scoop. Police were looking for her in connection with a second robbery of the store.

Pennsylvania's David McIntyre, 38, was stopped when he set off a metal detector at Miami International Airport. He was asked to remove his shoes, where he was carrying a razor blade and hacksaw blade. According to Detective Joey Giordano of the Miami-Dade police, McIntyre told the authorities that he had forgotten the blades were in his shoe.

The AP report that Dzhamal Gamidov, the 11-year-old son of a murdered politician, was kidnapped 3 1/2 years ago in Makhachkala, Russia. The kidnappers demanded the equivalent of over $1 million from his family for his return. The boy was discovered by chance during a recent house-to-house search for someone who had killed a police officer. His captors pushed him into a car and drove off, then pushed him onto the street in hopes the police would be diverted. They were caught anyway.
Imamutdin Temirbulatov, head of Dagestan's anti-kidnapping unit, is among the suspects who are charged with the kidnapping.
Gamidov weighed 15 kg when found.


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