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December 2017

27 December 2017

Alex Bowen is a South Carolina man who became hungry while unable to sleep. So, Bowen explains, he walked to the local Waffle House. After a 10-minute wait, it became obvious to the 36-year-old man that no-one was going to take his order. The staff were asleep. Bowen decided to make his own food. He grilled himself a Texas bacon cheesesteak melt at the restaurant, cleaned up after himself, and headed home. Later in the day, he returned and paid for the DIY sandwich.
After Bowen posted about the incident online, a Waffle House district manager asked him to become a 'secret shopper' for the chain and thanked him for pointing out a flaw in the franchise.

When a man was admitted to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital for follow-up liver surgery, the surgeon noticed the letters 'SB' on the patient's liver, apparently made with the argon beam used to prevent bleeding during the previous surgery. That earlier surgery had been carried out in 2013 at the same hospital, by one Simon Bramhall. At least one other case of an unconscious patient's liver getting branded with 'SB' then came to light. Bramhall has now pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating.

FBI officers were called to Vermont's Wake Robin retirement community to investigate a potentially toxic substance. Special Agent Mark Emmons reports that one of the residents, 70-year-old Betty Miller, explained to him that she had been making ricin with the aid of castor oil plants on Wake Robin property. Sure enough, her wicker basket of pill bottles was found to contain one accurately labelled 'ricin', and a 'ricin' bottle cropped up in a kitchen cupboard alongside 'cherry seed' and 'castor beans'. Miller stated that she'd been testing the effectiveness of the substance in fellow residents' food and drink. Miller, who has a history of suicide attempts, indicated that she plans to ingest ricin herself one day, when the recipe is perfected.
The Health Department reported that, while one person had likely suffered from ricin poisoning, the situation is under control. Miller has made her initial appearance in court on charges of unregistered possession of a select agent.

West Midlands Fire Service workers report on a man in Fordhouses, Wolverhampton, who decided to make a mould of his head. With the aid of friends, this 22-year-old mixed seven bags of Polyfilla, and the material was then poured around his plastic-protected head. The container chosen for the casting was a microwave oven, which became a trap once the mixture hardened.
The man's friends were able to feed an air tube into his mouth to help him breathe. Then they summoned firefighters. Watch Commander Shaun Dakin stated that it took about an hour to dismantle the microwave oven and free the 'prankster'. He added: 'All of the group involved were very apologetic, but this was clearly a call-out which might have prevented us from helping someone else in genuine, accidental need.'

Police officers responded to an accident in which a Fiat van ended up in a field in Estonia's Ida-Viru County. Just in front of the main police vehicle was a passenger bus, which slowed to manoeuvre around cars that had pulled over at the scene. Swerving to avoid the bus, the police van ploughed into a police car that had just stopped at the scene. The van then veered back into the bus, also hitting a Volvo parked at the side of the road, which, in turn, struck the ambulance in front of it. Finally, the police van ran into the hapless Fiat. In all, four people were injured.
According to police spokesman Dmitri Kabanov, the Volvo driver's foresight in encouraging people not to cluster so closely at the roadside may well have prevented a much longer chain of events.

Thanks to long-time reader Dave for this item from the Albany Times Union. More than 30 tightly clustered buildings in historic downtown Cohoes, New York, were damaged or destroyed in a fire caused by a man imitating something he'd seen on television. While 50 km/h winds raged outside, John A. Gomes lit a fire in a burn barrel in his home and set about trying to bend steel in the flames.
Mayor Shawn Morse, who had worked for 26 years as a firefighter, said: 'Now we know that a small fire gets out of hand and becomes a big fire, and we've got millions of dollars in damage and three blocks of destruction.' Meanwhile, the wannabe steel-forger's 16-year-old son has asked people not to be hard on his father, who 'didn't mean to burn his house down'. The elder Gomes, 51, faces charges of felonious reckless endangerment and arson.

In the Indian state of Telangana, Swati Reddy ditched her husband in favour of lover Rajesh Ajjakolu. This involved pouring acid in Ajjakolu's face, then passing him off as Reddy's husband, Sudhakar. The post-swap look was attributed to reconstructive surgery.
Sudhakar could hardly complain, as Swati and Ajjakolu had killed him in advance of the switch. His parents fell for the con and paid Ajjakolu's hospital bills (the equivalent of 7,000 euros), but the dead man's brother was wary. He contacted the police for a fingerprint check. According to the cops, Swati has been arrested and confessed to participating in her husband's murder, while Ajjakolu is to be arrested once his facial burns have been fully treated.

Most of us prefer to pay a little less. Mark Stetter is no exception. He is a 48-year-old Buffalo, New York, man who asked for a discount at a Starbucks coffee shop. He displayed a firearm and fake badge to bolster his argument. The staff denied his request, so he headed to Spot Coffee instead, again claiming to be an officer of the law. He was arrested, and officers confiscated his BB gun. He has been charged with criminal trespassing, criminal impersonation of a police officer, and menacing.

A family dog in Oklahoma had been eating little and vomiting, so a trip to the vet seemed in order. X-ray results showed 7-9 child's dummies in the canine's digestive system, giving the family an answer to the puzzle of where several dummies had got to, and they recalled an incident a few months earlier in which the baby's grandmother plucked one from the dog's mouth. Veterinarian Chris Rispoli said that after surgery on Dovey, 'we had 21 binkies on the table, and they were good, extensive, thick rubber pacifiers'. Twelve hours later, the dog's skin had already recovered its sheen and the family have a good reminder that 'dogs will eat anything, anytime and at any age'.

New Jersey's South Hackensack Police Department report on a 52-year-old driver who had been involved in a road accident in Seucacus. Not noticing the incident, she kept driving. Others did notice, though, thanks to the New Jersey Transit sign protruding from the roof of her car. They rang the police. When pulled over, the woman was made aware of the sign and was tested for drunkenness. She has been charged with driving while intoxicated and careless driving.

Jamie Patterson and her seven children adopted a dog, named Mack, from Perryville, Missouri, Rough Road Rescue in 2015. It wasn't long before Mack ran away. Mack was found by Rough Road Rescue director Steve Svehla, who decided to keep him and claimed that the boxer-mastiff mix had been a victim of neglect in the Patterson home. After two years of legal wrangling, the courts awarded Mack to Patterson.
Svehla's response was to turn over a box of ashes and claim that Mack had just died. He has now decided to surrender the dog to the authorities after all, and he faces charges of theft for not having done so immediately after the ruling.

A mother in Stafford, Virginia, explains that her 12- and 15-year-old sons have on several occasions ordered a pizza delivery online with the special request that a joke accompany the pie. On the most recent occasion, she didn't like the taste of the result - the pizza box said: 'What do a pizza delivery driver and a gynecologist have in common? They both have to smell it, but neither of them get to eat it.'
The mother reports being 'really shocked and floored that Pizza Hut would send that type of joke out'. Concerned, the employee responsible rang to apologise, but she has been fired nonetheless. News outlets are protecting the mother's identity because she claims she is a victim of cyber-bullying.

Finally, a member of radical feminist group FEMEN climbed over a railing in St Peter's square on Christmas and made a run for the Vatican Nativity scene's baby Jesus while shouting 'God is woman!' The topless woman, who bore the same message on her bare back, was apprehended by the police just as she laid hands on the Messiah.
The FEMEN Web site identifies the woman as 'sextremist' Alisa Vinogradova and describes her act as a protest against the Vatican's stance on abortion and contraception. In the group's 2014 action, the Jesus statue came closer to abduction: it was actually lifted from its place before the woman responsible was arrested.

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