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February 2021

22 February 2021

Brazilian news outlet UOL reports on a confrontation in the centre of São Paulo in which police officer Márcio Simão took subordinate Felipe do Nascimento to task for returning five minutes late from lunch and thereby preventing Simão from having his own break. When Simão declared that he would report Nascimento's tardiness, the latter waved his service weapon in Simão's face. While members of the public were urging Nascimento to 'kill him! and 'shoot him in the ass!', nearby officers stepped in and took him into custody. He is now on report for tardiness and for threat and violence against a qualified superior.

Ohio's Columbus Dispatch reports on an Ohio State University postgraduate who experienced difficulties when collecting her vehicle at a local multi-storey car park at the end of a long day. As 23-year-old Victoria Strauss was attempting to pay at the exit toll booth, she dropped her credit card and opened her car door to fetch it. Footage from security cameras suggests that she accidentally depressed the accelerator pedal at this point. When the car lurched into the payment kiosk, Strauss's head became trapped in her door. Paramedics summoned by security staff declared her dead at the scene.

University of New Mexico student Conrad Duran found two tatty old dining chairs dumped at the kerbside and decided to adopt them for some DIY attention. He left them outside his garage before heading to work, and they were gone upon his return from his double shift. While disappointed, he reminded himself that items being stolen in Albuquerque is 'one of those things where you come to terms with it' and noted also that his garage isn't that far from the kerbside. A couple of days later, while he and his girlfriend were away for the weekend, the chairs returned. They were deposited on his porch, with a fresh coat of paint and new upholstery.

In a reunion story with a somewhat longer time frame, Tommy Cook is a Virginia man whose engineless orange 1969 Camaro vanished from its space at a car-repair lot in 2003. When recently accompanying a friend who wanted advice on a 1968 Camaro listed for sale online, he enquired about a green 1969 Camaro under repairs in a corner of the seller's garage. When the man mentioned that the green car had originally been orange, Cook checked the vehicle identification number on the dashboard. It didn't match the stolen vehicle, but the VIN under the bonnet did. Since Cook had kept renewing his car's 'missing' status with the authorities for 17 years, it was swiftly returned to him. He reports that the four intervening possessors of the vehicle had installed an engine and otherwise rendered it 'better than it was when it was stolen'.

Tre Brown is a 19-year-old who had several credit cards; a job at the fuel department of a Duluth, Georgia, Kroger supermarket; and a supervisor who was on holiday. Without anyone to approve or deny refunds on alleged purchases, Brown obtained more than 40 refunds on probably non-existent lottery tickets, for amounts ranging from $75 to $87,000 and coming to nearly a million dollars, which he poured into guns, lots of shoes, and several vehicles - including a Chevrolet Camaro that he proceeded to wreck.
For some reason, the corporate headquarters noticed that something odd was going on, and Brown was arrested. Some of the funds have been recovered.

When a mother left her four-year-old child in the back of her SUV just outside the front door of a meat shop in Beavertown, Oregon, a car thief capitalised on the fact that the engine was still running and the key was in the ignition. Upon noticing the child's presence, the thief made a beeline back to the market and ordered the mother to remove her child from the SUV's back seat. He then drove off again. Police spokesman Matt Henderson reported: 'He actually lectured the mother for leaving the child in the car and threatened to call the police on her.' The thief remains at large.

A health-care worker with Israel's Maccabi Healthcare Services didn't realise that a phial of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine contains at least five doses until after having injected the whole lot into a 67-year-old Jerusalem woman last month, according to the Jerusalem Post. The same provider had already made headlines because their staff at a Tel Aviv vaccination centre had given pharmacist Uday Azizi five doses, with Azizi later reassuring the public that, since the vaccine is safe, he'd have no problem receiving several doses the second time around either. Forgetful nurses with health-care provider Clalit too have racked up some examples of their own, including five doses for a 70-year-old woman and a double dose (the amount remaining in the phial) for a man in his forties.

The UK made headlines for rather a different sort of error in vaccination procedure. Liverpool's Liam Thorp explained that he was offered the prophylactic shots even though he is only in his thirties and has no underlying health condition. The reason turned out to be a computer flagging his dangerous body mass index of about 28,000 as putting him in priority group 6, for the morbidly obese. Once NHS records of his 6.2 centimetre rather than 6'2" height were corrected, he was told that he'll have to wait for his vaccination.

Also failing to get vaccinated early were a a pair of young women, whom the Florida Department of Health's Dr Raul Pino described as having arrived 'dressed up as grannies - the bonnets, the gloves, the glasses, the whole thing'. He said that there were 'some issues with their IDs and their driver's licence' but also the vaccinators thought they 'looked funny' so stopped them. Pino reported that the faux senior citizens, ages 34 and 44, had at least claimed to have received their first vaccination already.
He stated that, while 'it's kind of hilarious to a sense', the incident is part of a general increase in weird things happening.

There are weird things happening on the other end of the needle too. Several residents of Virolahti, Finland, notified the police about a woman who was going door to door with offers of coronavirus vaccinations for 150 euros each. Police Commissioner Jukka Tylli stated that the woman, who had claimed to be a foreign nursing student, apparently did not possess genuine doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. She was apprehended on the following day in the city of Lappeenranta.

Our next item involves shots of another sort. With large knives in hand, 20-year-old Timothy Wilks and a friend approached a group of people who were standing outside Nashville's Urban Air trampoline and adventure park. A 23-year-old member of that group responded by fatally shooting Wilks. Apparently, this ruined the YouTube 'prank robbery' video that Wilks and his friend had been making. No-one has yet been arrested in connection with the incident.

More guns... Someone fatally shot two people at Louisiana's Jefferson Gun Outlet before several people responded in kind. The killer ended up dead, and two by-standers were injured. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto later said that officers are trying to piece together exactly what happened, since there seem to have been 'multiple shooters here at this location that were either customers, employees or individuals here at the location itself'.

Denied a handgun permit because there was a warrant out for his arrest in another state, Tennessee's Robert Joseph Hallick decided to try again. What harm could it do? Hallick received his answer when he was arrested for forging a Tennessee Enhanced Handgun Carry Permit application signed 'President Barack H. Obama', on US State Department letterhead. A conviction of felonious identity theft could leave him ineligible to try a third time for at least a little while.

In 2016, 19-year-old Caroline Létoile rang the Reims, France, emergency services, reporting that her three-year-old son was unconscious. In recordings from the portion of the call during which she was on hold, she can be heard telling partner Loïc Vantal: 'I said he fell down the stairs. The stair will do, right? The stairs to the apartment? And I'm hiding all the stuff from the argument.'
Vantal, 28, has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison for beating the child to death, and Létoile has been handed a three-year custodial sentence for failing to report physical abuse.

The police in Little Ferry, New Jersey, report on a Mazda SUV that became mired in a snowbank after sub-optimal navigation of an embankment near Losen Slote Creek Park. Police Captain Ronald Klein stated that two police officers advised the 62-year-old driver to stop repeatedly revving his engine in his futile attempts to dislodge it. While the officers were returning to their patrol car to summon a tow truck by radio, the impatient driver obviated the need for a tow via more revving, which resulted in a fire. By the time the officers had broken a window of the locked vehicle, neither it nor the driver could be salvaged.

Recent snows brought out the worst in some Plains Township, Pennsylvania, residents also. Video recordings show James Goy and his wife shovelling snow from their property onto Jeffrey Spaide's lot across the street. When Spaide asked them to stop doing this, matters escalated to obscene gestures and Spaide grabbing a pistol from inside his home. He then shot both Goys, leaving them on the street before fetching another gun, to finish the job. As the police pulled up a few minutes later, they head a gunshot from within Spaide's home. The incident has been ruled a murder-suicide.

You may have read reports about Tessica Brown, the Louisiana woman who used a super-glue product called Gorilla Glue when she'd run out of hairspray. Apparently upset that her hair is still in place a month later and undeterred by ridicule she faced online, Brown started collecting money on GoFundMe and announced a plan to sue the spray adhesive's manufacturer - though the label warns against using the glue on one's eyes, skin, and clothing, it does not mention hair.
Brown has taken up an offer from Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Michael Obeng to solve her problem at no cost via a four-hour procedure involving 'medical-grade glue remover'.

In case you've missed it, I'll include mention of something else that has reached major news sites: the toilet visit that left Alaska's Shannon Stevens with a puncture wound to her posterior. Responding to her screams from the family's Chilkat Lake outhouse, her brother Erik 'said "What bit you? Where is it?" and she said "In the hole." I shined the headlamp and opened the lid, and right there at the level of the toilet seat was a cinnamon-coloured bear face, big enough to fill the hole.'
State wildlife biologist Carl Koch stated that this was probably an out-of-season outing by a black bear, which Erik surmises had accessed the hole via the rock wall at the hillside behind the privy.

Larry Colon, of Lake County, Florida, wanted to save money on a Caesarean section for his French bulldog Lyla, so he asked non-licensed non-vet Frankie Huertas-Rivera to perform the surgery. In the TikTok video captured by Colon's 15-year-old daughter during the procedure, a semi-sedated Lyla contorts her body in apparent agony. The $650 procedure netted Colon a dead dog, although two still-living puppies were safely extracted from Lyla's body at the real veterinary clinic where he allegedly confessed a short while later.
Colon and Huertas-Rivera have been arrested for felonious cruelty to animals.

Illinois's Alexis Sykes seems to have thought it would be a good idea to pour boiling water on her boyfriend while he was sleeping - and to video herself doing so. According to the DuPage County state's attorney's office, the 22-year-old Sykes also recorded the skin falling from his arms afterward and posted the action to Snapchat, above a caption stating that she 'kinda feel[s] bad now because he got 2 and 3rd degree Burns from face to waist'.
Although she hid his car keys, he managed to retrieve them and drive himself to the hospital for skin grafts. Sykes, meanwhile, is in trouble with the law.

Secreted three metres above a false ceiling at Onelife Fitness, in Stafford, Virginia, 41-year-old Brian Anthony Joe was spying on the action in a women's changing room when he shifted position and the ceiling gave way. He landed on one woman and was restrained by others until handcuffs arrived. Anthony has been charged with peeping into a building, burglary, and vandalism.

A woman in Russia's Dagestan region desperately wanted to please her husband by becoming pregnant. Laura Daudova's lie about a positive pregnancy-test result snowballed, and soon she had rented a flat near a maternity hospital in Stavropol. She later recounted: 'I knew I wasn't pregnant, but I couldn't stop pretending.' Ultimately, she chose to report to husband Daud that the twins she'd given birth to had died of a cerebral haemorrhage. Her lies remained intact until she returned to Dagestan to bury the babies at his family's graveyard at his behest: there, a member of the family said that all those present should honour the children by seeing their faces before the burial.
When Daud saw that the shrouds contained dolls, he could only repeat 'I had babies. I brought them to Dagestan to bury them.' After Stavropol governor Vladimir Vladimirov reported that there were no records of the supposed birth or death and after Laura underwent a medical examination, she came clean.

On several occasions, one Jason Collier visited his girlfriend an hour's drive away in Amarillo, Texas, while on the clock. The girlfriend, Cecily Steinmetz, mentioned this online in a note to the residents of Stinnett, where he is the chief of police. She mentioned some other things too: 'He lied to me and presented me with fake annulment documents when I found out he was married.' Steinmetz also reported learning of a second girlfriend and comparing notes: Collier, 42, had apparently asked both women to marry him.
The city announced Collier's resignation and, thanks to the bogus annulment record he'd sent to Steinmetz, his arrest for felonious tampering with a governmental record with intent to defraud.

A Cajeme, Mexico, woman identified by local media as Leonora was similarly incensed upon finding photos of husband Juan N. amorously entangled with another woman. She was able to stab him a few times in the arms and legs with a knife before he wrested the knife from her grasp and demanded an explanation. It turned out that she was the women in the images on his phone, which he had kept from before their marriage, when she was thinner and wearing make-up.
Responding to neighbours' reports of a domestic disturbance, the police arrested Leonora, while paramedics treated her husband at the scene. She is being held in jail while a decision about charges is pending.

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