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February 2013

5 February 2013

The BBC reports that a student in Germany drove up to a Hell's Angels clubhouse near Munich while wearing only shorts. Carrying a puppy, he exited his vehicle, then mooned the biker gang. Throwing the puppy at the bikers, the 26-year-old student escaped on a bulldozer from a nearby building site. His slow getaway created a 5 km traffic pile-up before he abandoned the bulldozer and began hitching rides.
It is thought that the man, later arrested at his home, had stopped taking the anti-depressants prescribed for him. The puppy was taken to an animal shelter.

Pennsylvania's Timothy Bonner was arrested on charges of assault and was placed in a holding cell. Officers say that Bonner, 40, kept abusing the cell door and managed to knock it off its hinges and escape the facility.
Bonner's first stop was at a nearby house, where he borrowed a pair of shoes. He was now attired appropriately to be served at the neighbouring bar, Richey's. There, he announced to patrons that he had just broken out of the jail and needed a beer. The customer who then bought a beer for Bonner later said: 'He didn't even get to take a drink of it [...]. He was only here a few minutes before police showed up.'

An intoxicated Alabama man was injured in a car crash and admitted to a hospital emergency room. The man, 24-year-old Matthew Todd, didn't see a need to be there, so he persuaded staff to let him to outside to smoke a cigarette, then bolted. He hopped into an ambulance with its engine running and drove off. The local police chief, Todd Adams, later reported that '[h]e got the ambulance stuck [...] and after that, he entered a barn and a connected pasture and tried to saddle two horses'. That too didn't work out, so Todd made off with an SUV instead. He crashed it so stole another SUV and drove home.
The next day, he went to the emergency room, seeking treatment for the injuries he'd suffered in the first accident. Adams said: 'That's when the ER staff and medics called us and said, "That's the guy that stole our ambulance."'

Almost in the 'happens too often to be weird' category now:
Matthew Dollarhide is a 19-year-old tow-truck driver who shouldn't keep his mobile phone in his pocket while driving - especially if discussing drug deals with passengers. Dollarhide, from Orange City, Florida, knows this after having inadvertently rung emergency services. As dispatchers listened, they heard mention of 'Harry' and that those speaking were in a tow truck. Shortly thereafter, Dollarhide's Harry's Towing truck was pulled over.
Adding to the charges against him, Dollarhide was carrying a crack pipe, which he claimed belongs to his father.

Samantha Kurdilla, 22, attracted a drug-sniffing dog's attention when returning to the US at the border with Mexico. James Perry, with whom she had been walking arm in arm, immediately said: 'I'm not with her', leaving her to her fate. Agents then asked her twice whether she was 'bringing anything from Mexico', and she denied it. She said that she had, however, smoked marijuana with Perry in Mexico - perhaps the dog was reacting to that.
However, a text message sent from Kurdilla's mobile phone stated: 'I'm smuggling cocaine and heroin in my coochie', and indeed she was found to be carrying 100 grams of cocaine inside a condom in her vaginal cavity, in exchange for compensation from Perry.

Dalawna Berran-Lett is charged in connection with the death of her three-year-old twin boys, Ky'heir and Dy'heir Arthur. It is believed that the unattended boys started a fire while she was trying to recover marijuana that her 15-year-old daughter had stolen.
According to investigators, a few weeks earlier, the boys had decided to try to cook ribs when Berran-Lett left them unattended. That time, a fire was only narrowly averted.

Florida's Randolph Bean, 51, was waiting for his wife at the end of her work day when two men dragged him out of his yellow 2002 Corvette at gunpoint and forced him to the ground. The men tried to drive off but failed. With a gun pointed at him, Bean shouted instructions on how to operate the manual transmission: 'I had to tell him four different times to push in the clutch, because it's a standard transmission.'
In the end, the would-be carjackers gave up and fled the scene. Bean, who did lose his mobile phone, keys, and wallet, is grateful that nobody shot him out of simple frustration.

Lazaro Sopena wanted his wife's family name to live on, so in an 'act of love' when marrying her, he had his passport, credit cards, and other documents reissued in the name Lazaro Dinh. He then followed the instructions of Florida's Department of Motor Vehicles for changing the name on one's driving licence upon marriage, adding: 'It was easy. When the government issues you a new passport you figure you're fine.' A year later, the DMV announced that his licence would be suspended, with a letter addressed to Lazaro Dinh speaking of 'obtaining a driving license by fraud'. Explaining to state officials that this was a name change due to marriage, he was told 'that only works for women'.
After filing an appeal and getting rides to work for the last month or so from his wife and friends, Dinh has now had his licence to drive reinstated. Media coverage may have influenced proceedings.

CBS in Chicago reports on an attempted robbery on a train bound for O'Hare. At about 12:30am, two men accosted a 70-year-old man, took his wallet, kicked him to the ground, and started to beat him. One of the robbers decided to stab the victim for good measure. However, he ended up stabbing his 24-year-old partner in crime instead. The stabber escaped, while his accomplice and the 70-year-old man were both taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, a Rio Claro resident rang the police to report having heard a gunshot from a parked car. Officers arrived at the scene to find a man slumped in the driver's seat, bleeding from the groin.
The man, a 33-year-old security guard, was taken to hospital and determined to have shot his penis off by accident. He was found to be in illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

A Missouri woman tried to return an unwanted gift to a Walmart in Kansas City. Since she didn't have a receipt for the book, she produced photo ID. That's when the problems started: the clerk doubted that the blonde in the photo was the woman standing at the service desk, who had much shorter, brown hair. The woman explained that she'd recently undergone chemotherapy for breast cancer. With three employees continuing to scrutinise her and her ID, complete with eye-rolling, 'I finally pulled down the top of my shirt and showed them I still have the scar', she said. She was given a gift card for the book, and Walmart later issued a statement saying: 'We truly apologise to the customer for her experience.'

Media in Hannover report that a 74-year-old German man didn't heal properly after surgery for prostate cancer, because of surgical items left inside his body. Helmut Brecht underwent the surgery in 2009, and over the next year 16 foreign bodies were found in his body, including tape, compresses, and a needle.
Brecht died last year in ill health, and his family are seeking 80,000 euros in damages. The physician responsible for the surgery denied the allegations and stated that the items found were not used in the surgery he managed. The family have been offered 15,000 EUR, up from the 500 euros originally offered.

Responding to a call, sheriff's deputies in Calaveras County, California, found a homeowner sitting in his driveway, on top of a man who was wearing only a trenchcoat and socks. The homeowner said that the nearly naked man had been going through his kitchen cabinets. In turn, 49-year-old Robert London explained that he had simply been using the home's sauna. He said that he had done so in the past and thought the home was unoccupied.

Police in Barnstable, Maryland, decided to stop Michael Sheehan, 57, on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, and also because he was driving down the wrong side of the driveway into a car park. Sheehan had also just driven past two large signs stating 'Do Not Enter' and 'Police Personnel Only'. He was stopped in the police station's car park and failed field sobriety tests, according to police. An arrest followed, as did the short walk from his car to a holding cell at the station.

Another that's nearly in the 'no longer weird' basket:
In Tennessee, Tony Newsom made the mistake of using his smartphone's 'police lights' application to pull over an off-duty Memphis Police Department officer. That officer said that as he approached the imposter's car in full uniform, the miscreant tucked away the mobile phone. Inside Newsom's car, which bore police decals, officers found ammunition, a receipt for handcuffs, and a sex toy. Newsom faces various charges.

Russian judge Yevgeny Makhno, of the eastern Blagoveshchensk City Court, was filmed in court with his eyes closed and his head lolled to one side while hearing a fraud case. After the video, shot by the defendant's solicitor, was shown on state television, Makhno claimed that he had merely been listening - on several occasions - with his eyes closed.
Nonetheless, 'The Judges Qualification Panel [has] accepted Makhno's resignation from his judge's post', according to panel member Valentina Pozharskaya as quoted by RIA Novosti. Makhno can be reinstated if he retakes his judge's examination. The defendant in the fraud case, who had been sentenced to five years of hard labour, is to be given a new trial.

California's Gail Castle decided to take a 1987 Chrysler 5th Avenue for a test drive. The owner insisted on accompanying her in the car and ended up doing the driving. After a few blocks, the 51-year-old Castle reportedly asked him to pull over at a Bank of America branch so that she could withdraw enough money to buy the car in cash. After this stop, the car was headed to the man's house for the transaction when police sirens went off, and it became clear to the driver that Castle had robbed the bank.
When police told the car's owner to step out of the vehicle, Castle threatened to shoot him. In reality, she wasn't carrying any firearms.

Chinese media report on Peng Xiuhua, a 101-year-old Lianjiang City woman whose daughters looked after her as she recovered from a fall. About 10 days post-fall, they found her lacking a pulse and not breathing, so the community prepared for her burial and funeral feast. When they placed her in a coffin the next day, she opened her eyes and greeted those gathered around her. The meal was held anyway, and Peng said that she was happy to see how many people care about her.

Florida's Shirley Ann Duncan told members of the Community Life Center Church about her four sons, all military men who died in the Middle East. Her heart-rending story netted her more than $1,000 in cash and donations. But Duncan, 49, has only two sons, both of them alive and only one of them, Nicanol Collazo, in the military.
When the church asked for photographs of her sons for a memorial service, Duncan used random images from the Internet but also photos of Collazo in uniform, from his Facebook page. Collazo reported the news of his death and his nonexistent brothers' to the authorities.
As evidence of the deaths, Duncan produced a letter ostensibly signed by Adjutant General James A. Ulio, who died in 1958. She has now confessed to the fraud and was arrested on charges of 'scheme to defraud' and criminal use of personal identification information.

Jorge Sanchez is accused of shoplifting. The 36-year-old man apparently walked out of a Burbank, California, Costco store with about 24 litres of motor oil. According to police reports, he had used bungee cords to attach the 24 bottles to his legs and waist, but several bottles fell in the car park as he tried to run away from the store's security staff. Several more bottles fell as he clambered over a chain-link fence. Sanchez was arrested not far away on suspicion of burglary.

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