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December 2006


7 December 2006

Hiroki Ito, a 28-year-old plumber from Yokkaichi in Mie, Japan, was pulled over while driving and was given a breathalyser test. When he failed the test, he tore off the printout of the test results and ate the piece of paper. Questioned later, he admitted: 'I thought I could destroy the evidence by swallowing the paper.' The information still was on the breathalyser unit, so Ito can be charged with both destroying an official document and driving while intoxicated.

Derrick Hardy, 21, told a court in Canada's Prince Edward Island province that he didn't know what to do when his girlfriend's 10-month-old daughter had a fever. Putting a cool cloth on her face had no apparent effect, and neither did taking her out into the night air. He worried that she might drown if given a cool bath. When the girlfriend returned home to find the girl providing company for the ice cubes and frozen mince in the kitchen freezer, Hardy explained his idea for bringing her body temperature down. Hardy, who is charged with criminal negligence and assault, said that the girl hadn't been in the freezer for long and that he left the freezer door open but it must have swung closed before his girlfriend returned home. The girl suffered first- and second-degree freezer burns.

When New South Wales school-bus driver David Stack was pulled over for speeding and swerving across the road, officers found that his blood alcohol level was 13 times the legal limit. However, the 50-year-old Stack still felt a sense of responsibility - he asked the officers: 'Can I finish my run, at least to drop these kids off?' He will have to hone his persuasion skills before his February sentencing.
Elsewhere in New South Wales, police in Casino report being called to a paddock on Monday morning. According to a police report, there they found a naked 35-year-old woman 'engaged in an indecent act' with a horse. The woman is being charged with bestiality and 'behaving in an offensive manner'.

Police in Fulton County, Georgia, say that Bobby Thompson went to bed after an argument with girlfriend Cynthia Covington on Saturday morning. Covington, still upset, allegedly poured petrol between Thompson's legs and set his crotch on fire. She caught fire herself. Both were taken to hospital, where Thompson was listed as being in stable condition and Covington in critical condition.

Two temporary employees of the city of Boise, Idaho, were working at the city's ice rink at about midnight when they decided that they needed some food. For their fast-food run to the Burger King drive-through a little over two kilometres away, they drove a pair of Zambonis. The men were caught after an anonymous tipster reported seeing the ice-resurfacing machines creeping back from the restaurant to their home at the ice rink. Parks Department director Jim Hall said: 'When we interviewed them, they didn't seem to be too concerned about it.' Hall, by contrast, was concerned enough to see to the pair's immediate dismissal.

Ben Cooper wanted to keep his job as mayor of Wise, Virginia, after the 2004 election. Therefore, he decided to trade things like beer, cigarettes, and pork rinds for votes. That wasn't enough, so he forged some ballots, voted more than once, and stole a few election records. He also enlisted the help of at least 13 people in the town of 3,000 to swipe absentee ballots from the mail and forge the signatures of the intended recipients on votes for Cooper. He is no longer mayor.
Judge Tammy McElyea recently made the 64-year-old Cooper plead individually to each of the 243 felony charges against him. After 11 charges, she admonished him for starting to say 'Guilty' before the charges had even been read out. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

According to police reports, Roxane Sterling of Allen, Texas, returned home to find a stranger in her bedroom. He told her that her husband, who was visiting relatives with the couple's son, had hired him to murder her. The man asked her to ring the police. He has not been charged with a crime. As Sterling is eight months pregnant, her husband, Albert Jackson Sterling II, faces two charges of criminal solicitation of capital murder.

Jessica Smith of Colorado Springs says that her sister Sarah took her two-month-old baby with her to accompany her boyfriend in buying nappies. While he was in the shop, Sarah waited in the car and prepared a bottle of formula for the girl. She used three ounces of the liquid in her boyfriend's water bottle, which was vodka. Smith said: 'I don't think she had any idea what it was.' When the child became unresponsive, the couple took the girl to hospital, where she was in good condition. The boyfriend then left, and the police cannot find him.
Colorado Springs police lieutenant Rafael Cintron said that both parents are under investigation but neither has been charged with a crime.

A mother in Rock Hill, South Carolina, reported her 12-year-old son to the police for disobeying his 63-year-old great-grandmother's instructions not to open a present that was lying under the Christmas tree. The two women said that when they asked him about the empty Game Boy Advance box, he said he had no idea where the game system was. With the threat of police involvement, he surrendered the system. Officers arrested the boy anyway, and he is being charged with petty larceny. His mother said she didn't know what else to do since she couldn't keep the boy from doing things such as shoplifting, stealing money from her, and punching a police officer.

On Monday, passengers on a flight from Texas to Washington, DC, reported the smell of burnt matches. The matches, it turned out, had been lit by a woman who hoped to cover the smell of her methane emissions. The flatulent passenger was not forthcoming at first, so the plane made an emergency landing in Tennessee. Airport spokeswoman Lynne Lowrance said: 'Of course, she was scared and embarrassed but all the passengers had to disembark, all the luggage had to be searched, a canine team was brought in, and about three hours were consumed in sorting out the situation.'
Safety matches are allowed aboard American Airlines flights but are not supposed to be lit during a flight. The woman has been barred from the airline but faces no charges.

New York sisters-in-law Christine Britton and Donna Mardovich believed that a man who died of cancer three weeks ago had left $1 million in his safe, so they broke into his home to steal the strongbox. Neighbours awakened by the sound of shattered glass were treated to the sight of the women, aged 44 and 50, loading the over-140-kilo safe into a shopping trolley, which they then tried to push down the gravel driveway. Detective John May of the Nassau County Police Department said that the women told people at the church next door that they were grieving relatives and then summoned a cab. Various people, including the cab driver, rang the police.
The police said that the safe contained only paperwork. The man's relatives had taken whatever money was inside to the bank.

The South African media report on Charles Sibindana, 27, who stole a medical certificate from the medical centre used by his girlfriend in Vereeniging, near Johannesburg. He used the certificate as justification for a recent seven-day absence from work. His employers checked on the excuse and turned him in. Fining him the equivalent of about 107 euros, magistrate Bruno van Eeden warned Sibindana 'not to walk around faking sick letters from gynaecologists', especially of a sort used for pregnant women.

The BBC report that a London Ambulance crew were asked to take a man from a hospital in Ilford to one in Brentwood, a 19-kilometre journey. However, their GPS navigation system led them about 300 extra kilometres before they realised that something wasn't quite right, on the outskirts of Manchester. They then drove the man, who was reportedly in comfortable condition throughout the trip, back again. A spokesman for London Ambulance reports that the navigation database information is being seen to.

Calvin E. Fluckes, Jr., 21, visited a Wal-Mart store in Detroit, parking alongside 40 marked police cars. He still decided to pay for the merchandise he had selected with what was described as a poorly photocopied cheque for $847.83. The clerk who was serving him summoned a manager, who summoned the police. This wasn't difficult: 80 officers were in the store, helping needy children select items as part of the annual 'Shop with a Cop' charity event. Fluckes is being charged with one count of uttering and publishing. He could face up to 14 years in prison.

According to Reuters, an injured man in Schwabach, Germany, reported to police that he had been mugged by six youths while on his bicycle and that his attackers had fled through the bushes. Noticing that there was a fence behind the bushes, the officers persisted and coaxed a different story from the 30-year-old man. Police spokesman Peter Grimm said that the man, who was intoxicated at the time, had run into a lamppost and 'made it all up as a cover story because he was afraid of his wife'. He faces charges for being drunk while in charge of a bicycle and of faking a crime.

23 December 2006

After spending 30 minutes in a shop in Lapel, Indiana, 18-year-old Cheyanne E. Dwiggins brought a single item to the cashier, candy costing 59 cents. She had only 40 cents, so she began to leave. Then store owner Scott Law confronted her, as he had seen her pocket several items. When Dwiggins tried to run, Law held her by the back of the coat until the police arrived. She then made a further attempt to flee, which resulted in her merchandise-laden trousers falling to her ankles.
In addition to the 15-ounce box of strawberry drink mix she had placed in her crotch, she had taken a potato peeler, tubes of cake decorating gel, six chocolate bars, an ice cream scoop, and measuring spoons.

News agency Xinhua reported that doctors in Fushan, north-eastern China, tried to remove plastic that was obstructing two dolphins' digestion. Doctor Zhu Xiaoling said: 'The unidentified objects were hard to handle, and the stomachs of the dolphins [contracted] drastically every time we tried to take them out.' Help was summoned from Inner Mongolia in the form of herdsman Bao Xi-Shun, recognised by Guinness as the world's tallest living man. In a locally televised operation, Bao reached down the dolphins' throats with one of his 1.06-metre arms to grab the plastic. Xinhua reported that the animals are recovering well.

The BBC report that Britain's NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have admitted to an error caused by a computer 'misreading' a prescription given to several patients. The error resulted in smokers who wanted to kick the habit being prescribed anti-impotence drug Viagra. An NHS spokesman said: 'At no time was patient care affected by this'.

Portland, Oregon, police spokesman Brian Schmantz said that officers received a call reporting that someone had rammed a car into a squad car and then backed up and repeated the action. The owner of the offending Honda Civic, 35-year-old Jason Klopf, explained that he had rammed the police car because he had been driving around the city at over 160 kilometres an hour but no-one pulled him over or issued a speeding ticket. Klopf is being charged with reckless driving and criminal mischief.

A man in Savannah, Georgia, wanted to go bowling at Hunter Army Airfield. When the gate guard wouldn't accept Eugene Ferguson's cracked-in-half driver's licence as a valid form of identification, he presented a Chatham County sheriff's lieutenant's badge. The guard checked with the police and discovered that the 46-year-old Ferguson's driving licence had been suspended on account of failure to pay child support. Nor was he any sort of police officer. Ferguson later explained that he found the badge at a work site and simply wanted to go bowling.

California-based Golden State Fence Company was responsible for some of the fence along the border between California and Mexico. It was also responsible for hiring as many as 250 illegal immigrants, about a third of the company's staff. The revelation came in a follow-up on checks made in 2004 and 2005. Two of the company's managers could serve about six months in jail, and the company has agreed to pay almost $5 million in fines.

Niclas Johansson, based at the police station at Ronna, Sweden, told local newspaper Länstidningen i Södertälje that officers were unaware that a brothel was operating from the same building until colleagues from Stockholm told them that a watch was being kept on a flat there. At least one woman was held in the flat against her will as a sex slave. The officers in Ronna were asked to remain quiet until arrests were made. Arrested was the apparent madam and a man accused of organising the operation. Police say that they believe the owner of the flat, who is currently in jail for inciting his dog to bite another man in the crotch, did not know of the prostitution.

The AFP reports that two men in Kuala Lumpur decided to steal the spotlight from a billboard. When spotted by the police, the man in charge of the ladder took both it and the light, fleeing the scene and leaving his accomplice seven metres in the air. When authorities came to collect the man atop the billboard, he swung at them with a steel rod. Local assistant police chief Amer Awal said: 'Despite attempts to persuade the suspect to come down, he refused and was content to sit up there.'
During nearly seven hours of negotiation with authorities, firefighters threw water on him to keep him from becoming dehydrated and supplied him with lunch and cigarettes. In the end, firefighters grabbed the man while he was distracted by their spraying water.


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© 2006 Anna Shefl