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February 2015


3 February 2015

An incident report from the Alabama Highway Patrol states that a loose tooth caused a truck driver to veer off the road near Tuscaloosa and end up in a ditch, with ensuing traffic jams lasting into the next morning. The report says that the driver 'stated he lost control when he was pulling a tooth with his hands'. As evidence, the 57-year-old man produced the tooth from his shirt pocket.

Adam Swider is a Florida art teacher who got caught using Pine View School's laptop computers inappropriately. On six occasions between June and November of last year, he pawned three HP laptops for about 1/16 their stated value. Sheriff's office spokeswoman Wendy Rose said: 'He was trying not to get detected, so when he had money he'd go get them out of pawn and put them back.'
Swider, 36, has been arrested and charged with six counts of dealing in stolen property and of providing false ownership information to a pawn broker. The school district's HR department plans to discuss Swider's employment status.

Also in Florida, officers noticed that Lee Barbour's car didn't have appropriate lights. When the deputy turned on his siren, Barbour, 37, pulled over and fled on foot. The police officer giving chase lost sight of him; however, officers soon needed only follow their ears. They heard what sounded like a 'snorting wild boar' under a nearby trailer and found Barbour catching a nap. He is now in jail on charges of driving under a suspended licence, vehicle theft, and resisting an officer.

In Torpoint, Cornwall, Derek Nash found an invoice for the equivalent of 20 euros in his five-year-old son Alex's school bag. The boy had chosen to visit his grandparents instead of attending a schoolmate's birthday party at a ski centre, and the invoice, passed on by a teacher from the other child's mother, was for the 'no-show'. Nash, who explains that he didn't know how to contact the birthday boy's mother to report his son's cancellation, has refused to pay the amount, and action is pending in small-claims court. The birthday boy no longer plays with Alex at school.

In the last month or so, several items have been added to the Gun Fun file:
A woman in Elmo, Missouri, rang the emergency services to report that her five-year-old son had shot her nine-month-old son in the head with a paintball gun. Sheriff Darren White said that it soon became clear that the fatal shooting had actually involved a .22-calibre revolver. The latter had been kept loaded on a shelf built into the headboard of the bed next to the baby's cot.
Shortly after her husband gave her a handbag with a special pocket for carrying a handgun, 29-year-old nuclear research scientist Veronica Rutledge was fatally shot by her two-year-old son. Both the boy and the handbag had been placed in the front of a shopping trolley at an Idaho Walmart.
Finally, a three-year-old boy in Albuquerque apparently had been rummaging for an iPad in his heavily pregnant mother's handbag when he pulled out a loaded handgun instead. He managed to wound both of his parents with a single shot, which hit the mother's shoulder after father Justin Reynolds was hit in the hip and buttock. Reynolds, who didn't notice that he'd been shot until he sat down, may be in for more bad news, since being near a gun is a breach of his probation conditions. The mother had apparently bought the 9 mm handgun only hours earlier. Both the shooter and his younger sister have been taken into care.

In Colorado, a man in a hoodie and bandana walked into a convenience store near Denver, took a look at the clerk, and announced: 'I was going to rob this place, but I know you.' He paused, then asked 'Do you know me?' and, when the clerk replied in the negative, gave a thumbs-up sign and left. A short while later, a man in a hoodie and bandana robbed a 7-Eleven a few blocks away, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

An executive engineer has been fired from India's Central Public Works Department for skipping work. Since 1990. According to a government statement, A.K. Verma 'went on seeking extension of leave, which was not sanctioned, and defied directions to report to work'. Though he was found guilty of 'wilful absence from duty' in a 1992 enquiry, complexities of labour law meant that he was only recently removed, once a cabinet minister intervened.
Absenteeism in India's public sector is rife. In efforts aimed partially at greater public accountability, the Prime Minister is now requiring civil servants in New Delhi to scan their fingerprints when arriving at work. The results are available at www.attendance.gov.in .

In court on drugs charges, Jason Duval, 39, said that he didn't have enough money to post bail. In response, Judge Douglas Stoddart said: 'If you can come up with a creative idea to convince me that you'll come back, I'll work with you.' After a brief recess, Duval offered to hand over a pair of Nike trainers, valued at about 80 euros, as collateral. Judge Stoddart says that Duval will get his Christmas present back after he has completed his community service obligation or paid the equivalent of 95 euros.

Eyewitness Jamie Shankland, 25, describes an incident he saw in Dundee: a man was riding a space hopper down the dual carriageway toward on tunnel on the city centre ring road when police officers spotted him. Shankland said that officers blocked off the left lane and that the man on the inflatable toy, who 'looked very drunk', then tried to run off. Officers caught him with ease.
A spokesman for Police Scotland's Tayside Division has stated that a man on a space hopper had been stopped on the road but no formal action had been taken.

In an examination room with a patient and a colleague, Florida gynaecologist Dr Sebastian Kent thought 'I am really getting old because these young doctors look younger every year'; however, he said, he soon realised that he was dealing with an imposter and reported the young man in question to the police. Security guards at St. Mary's Medical Center, in West Palm Beach, confirmed that a teenager wearing a lab coat and stethoscope had been seen in various parts of the hospital for about a month.
The youth told the police that he has been a physician for 'years'. His mother told the police that he has been refusing to take his medicine. No charges are to be filed.
The hospital claimed in a statement that the teenager 'never had contact with any hospital patients and did not gain access to any patient care areas of the hospital at any time', thereby contradicting Kent's account of events.

According to UPI reports, Michigan bakery worker Ruben Giovanni Gramajo is charged with putting the wrong kind of nuts in granola-bar mix. The deed was caught by security cameras and the Hearthside Foods quality-control system. Gramajo, 22, later told the police that he'd put nuts and bolts in the mix in order to 'get a break from work'. He has his wish: at least for now, he isn't to set foot near his employer's facilities. He is being charged with placing harmful objects in food, a felony in this case.

Irish citizen Hugh McMahon was ejected from a nightclub in Surfers Paradise, Australia, after he was found sleeping on one of the sofas. The 18-year-old McMahon somehow got back into the club and was jettisoned again. His third entry attempt, which involved climbing onto the roof from a neighbouring block of flats, was less successful. At about 1am, club-goers near an air vent were able to hear cries for help. The police were summoned, and in court Magistrate Ron Kilner pronounced: 'Drunk or sober, it is a remarkably stupid thing you've done.'
McMahon has been fined the equivalent of 1400 euros and ordered to pay about half that sum for the rescue, along with roof-repair costs.

A 32-year-old unemployed man had been gaming at an Internet cafe in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, with the occasional break for a nap, when he died of a heart attack. According to Hunei district police spokesperson Jennifer Wu, CCTV footage showed a small struggle before the man, identified as Hsieh, collapsed. Gamers around him continued to play, and several hours passed before his death was noticed. Workers explained that Hsieh was a regular customer who often took naps in his chair or face-down on the desk.
The incident comes less than a month after a 38-year-old man was found dead in a north Taiwan Internet cafe. In that case, a police spokesperson said, after the fatal five-day gaming stint, 'we went inside to cordon off the tables [and] only then did the other patrons realise that someone had died, but they still showed no concern and kept playing their games'.

A report from the US National Transportation Safety Board on last year's crash of a light aircraft near Watkins, Colorado, states: 'Contributing to the accident was the pilot's distraction due to his cellphone use while maneuvering at low altitude.' The pilot, Amritpal Singh, 29, had been sending text messages, but also selfies were involved. Both he and his passenger, Jatinder Singh, died in their brief night flight.
The goings-on during the pilot's jaunts earlier in the day, with various passengers, were captured by a GoPro camera pointed into the Cessna 150K's cockpit. It captured images of the pilot and passengers taking numerous photos of themselves, sometimes even flash photos, and at least once the pilot was talking on his mobile phone while flying.

According to Albania's News 24, three Chinese contractors travelling on a northern mountain road were accosted by three local highwaymen. One of the Chinese men later said: 'They were masked and armed and stopped us, putting the gun below the chin of our friend. They wanted our mobile phones, money, and the sacks with our goods.' The Chinese nationals decided to resist, using their martial arts training. A few kicks and hand blows later, the gunmen were subdued and the contractors were on the phone to the police. Officers later reported taking two men into custody and seizing Model 54 submachine guns, a mask, and a bag from them.

Chamille McElroy is one telemarketer who can be praised for her persistence. She placed a call that was answered by the pocket of a young woman in Oregon. When the call connected, McElroy heard a 'horrible whimper' instead of greetings and promptly summoned her supervisor, explaining: 'I don't think this is a joke. Something's happening. I think this lady is getting hit.' Workers alerted the authorities and stayed on the line, recording the woman begging 'please don't kill me' while officers rushed to the scene. A man's voice could be heard saying 'Quiet!' shortly before police forced their way into the relevant home. They found Walter Ruck, 33, still assaulting the woman, who had been unaware that she'd picked up a call.
Ruck was booked into the county jail on charges of fourth-degree assault, menacing, and strangulation.


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